Bond Issue - A Better Deal?

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An entity wishes to invest in a $50 Million dollar property improvement within the Village of Greenhills.  The schedule of construction would be over 3 to 4 years, bringing local workers (some possibly from here in the Village) into the Village and frequent local businesses.  At the end of construction, the number of employees of this entity would double and thereby increase income tax receipts to the Village by approximately $60,000-$70,000 per year.  This entity is currently the largest employer in the Village.

Where funding for this project was previously only a 1/3 of the $50 Million was coming from the State, now 50% of the project funding is coming from the State of Ohio.  The cost to an individual taxpayer annually has gone down from the previous bond issue.  As before, the cost to operate these new structures will be less than the present facilities.  The new facilities will be more functional toward actual needs and able to address the increase of students that the entity is now experiencing.

Edited by WWWarrior

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Posted · Report post

Would the $60,000 to $70,000 in increased tax revenue to Greenhills mean an equivalent loss to the tax revenue of Springfield Township? 

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The recent JEDZ zones passed by Township voters does pull income from Primary South and also the Bus Garage, (the garage stays put).  The majority of the new staff would be coming from the two FP schools.  There would also be some loss there to FP, but they would gain by the 7-8 grade staff moving there.  Frankly, I was only looking at it from a Village viewpoint.

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Are you saying the Bus Garage stays put, or are you saying that both Primary South and the Bus Garage stay put?  (Obviously, PS wouldn't stay put as PS, but it could stay put as offices or some other resource.)  It makes sense that you were looking at it from a Village standpoint - I was looking at it from a broader standpoint.  If you take from the township to give to the village, you're going to lose township votes.  While the majority of the new staff may come from the FP buildings, that is being offset by the staff moving from the current MS in Greenhills to the new MS in Forest Park.  So it appears the real loss is in the township.  Is that a fair statement, in your opinion?  

Currently, how many are employed at PS?  All those positions would be moving to Greenhills, which is a reason for GH residents to vote for it, but it's also a reason for township residents to vote against it, as the township would lose its connection to the district, unless there's a plan in place to utilize the old PS building.  Is there such a plan?

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The plan for two, new school building campuses are  defined as PreK- 6th grade located at the current Middle School in Greenhills and the second campus would be 7-12th grade located at current High School. The Community Building would continue to serve the district for a variety of uses.  This plan for two school campuses was the recommendation by the 2012 WWSCD Facilities Advisory Team comprised of 32 members representing parents, school, community and business leaders. 

The exact design of schools has not been commissioned yet for a variety of reasons. Funding must be secured before paying for designs and also a definite design would be premature without much needed input from our communities, parents and other stakeholders. Ohio has very specific guidelines and formulas for school construction that guide this project based upon the 700 schools built under this co- funding process.   Plus there may be huge potential for the district to coordinate partnerships with other agencies and entities which further strengthens our investment.  

Once this bond passes, the specific plans for vacated property would be formulated and would require the decision of the school board to implement .This would also be part of the community engagement process regarding design of new campuses. 

PS- Regarding the question of Primary South property, the school district does own Helwig park adjacent to  the Primary South School and in a long time partnership with Springfield Township, rents the use of these facilities to Springfield Township for $1 year.   There are also district bus facilities located there, as well, but again any decision about these or any other facilities would be a school board decision.   

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Are you saying the Bus Garage stays put, or are you saying that both Primary South and the Bus Garage stay put?  (Obviously, PS wouldn't stay put as PS, but it could stay put as offices or some other resource.)  It makes sense that you were looking at it from a Village standpoint - I was looking at it from a broader standpoint.  If you take from the township to give to the village, you're going to lose township votes.  While the majority of the new staff may come from the FP buildings, that is being offset by the staff moving from the current MS in Greenhills to the new MS in Forest Park.  So it appears the real loss is in the township.  Is that a fair statement, in your opinion?  

Currently, how many are employed at PS?  All those positions would be moving to Greenhills, which is a reason for GH residents to vote for it, but it's also a reason for township residents to vote against it, as the township would lose its connection to the district, unless there's a plan in place to utilize the old PS building.  Is there such a plan?

I would almost go so far as to say the residents that live in Springfield Township, if afforded to them, would ditch the Winton Wood School District and start a Catholic School District. It could never happen due to Unions and the Federal Government (Department of Education), which is a shame, but true.

I don't know the exact numbers, but I would bet that the majority of kids in Springfield Township go to Catholic Schools. The support for the WWSD is not there in Springfield Township.

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I don't know the exact numbers, but I would bet that the majority of kids in Springfield Township go to Catholic Schools. The support for the WWSD is not there in Springfield Township.

That has been the case for quite some time (decades) on both issues.

As for Gambier Girl.   Only the employees of the bus garage would remain in the JEDZ zone.  I would assume that the Primary South building would probably be vacant once the proposed Pre K-6 building would be built.  Again, I was only looking at it from a Village perspective.

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An entity wishes to invest in a $50 Million dollar property improvement within the Village of Greenhills.  The schedule of construction would be over 3 to 4 years, bringing local workers (some possibly from here in the Village) into the Village and frequent local businesses.  At the end of construction, the number of employees of this entity would double and thereby increase income tax receipts to the Village by approximately $60,000-$70,000 per year.  This entity is currently the largest employer in the Village.

Where funding for this project was previously only a 1/3 of the $50 Million was coming from the State, now 50% of the project funding is coming from the State of Ohio.  The cost to an individual taxpayer annually has gone down from the previous bond issue.  As before, the cost to operate these new structures will be less than the present facilities.  The new facilities will be more functional toward actual needs and able to address the increase of students that the entity is now experiencing.

Out of curiosity, how much tax revenue will the Village of Greenhills, alone, generate for the school on an annual basis?  Ex. 1,700 homes @ $200/home/year = $340,000.  Do we have those figures?  Spend $63,000,000 for $60,000-$70,000 per year?  That's one solid fundraiser.  District keeps the oldest building -- because they must have it?  I thought old buildings were bad -- had to be replaced?  School has an F?  More operating cost coming down the pike?  Get real!

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Disband the district.  Implement a "complete open enrollment program".  Students in our communities get subsidized to go wherever they want.  Benefits:

-- students can attend any public school that has open enrollment
-- students can attend any private school that has open enrollment
-- students can attend any charter school
-- students can opt for home schooling
-- students can attend magnet schools
-- high school students can attend both college and high school classes (duel enrollment program)
-- potential of magnet schools being built within our communities

Public school choice would be an attraction to these communities, which can increase home values and change the demographics.  In addition, the $63,000,000 for new buildings would be a moot point, keeping taxes reasonable.  Current schools can be sold in an effort to rebuild the communities, or developers can purchase the land to build new housing.  Everyone wins -- kids, taxpayers and the communities!

 

 

 

 

 

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No need to disband the district.  Just offer open enrollment at all public schools, as well as vouchers for private schools, and let the laws of economics play out.  Before someone yells that I'm attacking public education, let me clearly state that this could not be further from the truth.  My kids attend public school, as did my husband and myself, and we are in favor of public education.  But we are not in favor of how much public education has deviated from its original course, with school administrators and bureaucrats having less and less accountability to students and parents, and students being held captive in public schools that are not a good fit for them.

Open enrollment and vouchers are not bad for the public school district - they're actually good for the district.  It's been proven time and time again that productivity goes up with competition.  The district administration would have an incentive to provide a higher-quality education to students in order to keep up with the alternatives and not lose students to those alternatives.  It's also been proven time and time again that the more choice parents have in their children's education, the higher the quality of the education that their children receive.  Conversely, it's also been proven time and time again that the more the administrators deem themselves "the experts" who know best in terms of making educational decisions for students rather than their parents and teachers, the more the quality of education deteriorates.  If anyone wants to argue these points, you're not arguing with me - you're arguing with Nobel prize winner Milton Friedman.  Does anyone here think they know better than him?

Just for clarification - I do not think it's right for charter schools and other private schools to not have to provide the same data - i.e. test scores - to prospective customers.  I believe all schools - public and private - should have to provide the data necessary for consumers to make a well-informed decision.

Here's a short video of Friedman's that briefly explains a few of his points - there are longer videos that go into more detail, and I'd be glad to provide more links if anyone is interested.

 

Edited by GambierGal
added video link

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Posted · Report post

There you go "subsidize the consumer".  Problem solved.

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There you go "subsidize the consumer".  Problem solved.

What are you getting at?  Please explain.  Are you saying you agree with me that this would improve our educational system?  Is our only difference that you want to disband the school district and I don't?

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Just looked at the Hamilton County Auditor website.  Suggest all of you do the same.  

VOTE NO! Sadly, new schools will not make a difference.

 

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As Pool Lover mentions, take a look at the amount school bond levy will push your taxes up. Look for your property listing; under 'view' -- 'levy information'

 

Proposed for the November 8, 2016, election. - mils

Hamilton Cty Auditor

Hamilton County - Children Services
Renewal - 2.77

Great Parks of Hamilton County - Park
Replacement - 1.00

Winton Woods CSD - Bond Issue ($61,500,000)
Additional - 6.95

Village of Greenhills - Current Expense
Renewal - 3.28

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Dear Pool Lover and Mirth,

The numbers speak for themselves. 

The Mad Botanist

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Yes they do....

An entity wishes to invest in a $50 Million dollar property improvement within the Village of Greenhills.  The schedule of construction would be over 3 to 4 years, bringing local workers (some possibly from here in the Village) into the Village and frequent local businesses.  At the end of construction, the number of employees of this entity would double and thereby increase income tax receipts to the Village by approximately $60,000-$70,000 per year.  This entity is currently the largest employer in the Village.

Where funding for this project was previously only a 1/3 of the $50 Million was coming from the State, now 50% of the project funding is coming from the State of Ohio.  The cost to an individual taxpayer annually has gone down from the previous bond issue.  As before, the cost to operate these new structures will be less than the present facilities.  The new facilities will be more functional toward actual needs and able to address the increase of students that the entity is now experiencing.

....the Village could use this.

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You talk about all the money that will br coming into the village. Doesn't, help me. You are still trying to take money out of my empty pocket.

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WWWarrior,

I have a serious question and am not being facetious.  First let me give some background to explain what made me think of the question.

My mother tends to criticize my husband and me for "wasting money" by eating out, and if we spend $50 on a meal out for our family of four, she'll consider it $50 wasted.  However, my husband pointed out that if we didn't go out to eat that night, we would not save $50 as my mother likes to think.  Why?  First of all, because if we didn't go out, we wouldn't just skip eating - we'd eat something at home, which would cost something.  Let's say the meal at home would only cost $20 - well, it would appear that we would save $30 by not eating out that night, correct?  Wrong, because our family is light eaters, and the portions when we eat out are larger than our portions at home, so when we eat out, we box up half our food and have it for dinner the next night.  So if we would have spent $20 to eat at home the next night, that brings our savings down to $10.  So when my mother thinks we're wasting $50 for a dinner out, maybe we're really only spending a net amount of $10 more for it as compared to eating at home.

You're probably wondering how on earth this relates to what I am about to ask you.  Well, it made me think that you can't just look at the increased income tax revenue in isolation.  Let's say you are correct that the bond would increase the Village's tax revenue by $60,000 to $70,000 a year.  But that doesn't take into account that the residents would be paying increased property taxes of a much greater amount than the income tax revenue generated - how would that affect the Village?

Another thing to consider - if the businesses had an increase in patronage due the construction workers for 3-4 years, wouldn't they then suffer after construction was completed and the construction workers left?  After all, that's only for three to four years, maybe only 10% of the time that the residents would be paying increased property taxes.  (They would pay for 37 years, correct?)  I personally don't think faculty and staff of the new buildings would frequent the businesses as much as the construction crew, because the construction crew would need to go somewhere to eat for lunch, whereas the faculty and staff must bring their lunch to eat at school and can't leave to go to eat at a Village restaurant. 

The bond would also mean that the residents would have less disposable income to spend in the Village for the next 37 years, which could affect the economics there - such as possible decreased sales at Village businesses, possibly decreased employment at Village businesses (which would cut into your income tax receipts), possible decreased donations to churches and other charities in the Village, etc.  So would this actually be a boon to the Village?

To be honest, I don't know, and I am not an expert in this area, and I am simply trying to think of all the factors that could have an effect.  I would like to hear from an expert, such as the mayor and/or Village manager on this - do they think the bond would be a boon or a bust for Greenhills?  Can anyone find this out and report back?

 

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The fact of the matter is, the buildings have outlived their usefulness and the cost to maintain them has reached a level where the district will be throwing good money after bad. Since the cost of maintaining old buildings is very near the cost to build new buildings, it makes economic sense to make the investment.

New buildings do not guarantee improved academic results. They might, for a time, but let's assume no change. That isn't the issue no matter who wants to make it one.

When the district built these existing buildings 40-50+ years ago they were built because they were needed, there was no question of academic results. The district had students and they needed buildings, so they were built. There were quite a few discussions at that time about buildings and what was needed, not unlike today. The votes were as contentious as today, but for other reasons.

New buildings are needed because the learning conditions for students have deteriorated. In other words, these old buildings are massively inefficient and tax dollars are being spent on worn out infrastructure that will only continue to decline in educational value.

New buildings will be more efficient, staffing will be more efficient, students, especially students, will benefit. Teachers want new buildings, not because they expect some sort of cushy place to work. Far from it. Teachers want the best environment for the children to learn. Teachers have to work around so many obstacles that they are less efficient in delivering the educational services the children need. Regardless of what anyone says, the teachers care about their students. That is the only thing that drives them. 

The taxpayers have gotten good value out of their tax dollars over the last 40-50 years. it's time to step up for the next 40-50 years.

 

 

 

Edited by ThreeHats

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ThreeHats,

Then are you saying that the students at Roger Bacon, St Xavier, Elder, McNicholas, St Ursula, Mother of Mercy, and Purcell are not learning because they do not have a shinny new building?  I am sorry but I do not agree that those buildings will make the difference since all those schools mentioned above have buildings at least 75 to 100 years old, and are producing merit scholars.  What I feel is that Winton Woods neglected the upkeep of the buildings they had on the assumption that the taxpayer was their cash machine and when they  would ask we were to respond "of course" and " how much do you want?" 

Some food for thought is the fact that the taxpayer has spoken loud and clear what their wishes were, and yet the Board has not engaged the communities in any meaningful discussion, in fact they persistently talked down and tried to patronize the very taxpayer whom they need to foot the bill.

It is obvious that neither the Board nor the Administration understand that any meaningful discussion involves a dialogue and not a unilateral imperative.

The Mad Botanist

 

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I can't support anymore money for the Winton Woods School District because, as it stands, the district is fiscally unsustainable. 

The district needs significant money for buildings that have no direct proven impact on student achievement.  The district will soon need additional operating dollars to fund the system as it operates today, let alone the additional dollars that will be needed to address the achievement gap and discipline issues with the teaching methods of the week.  And what happens if the bond levy passes, but they tap out the voters who do not pass the next operating levy?  We have new buildings, but the district can't afford to operate, staff or maintain them properly unless we give them even more money.  How well has that worked out for the Mt. Healthy district?  What has happened to the property values in Mt. Healthy with their new schools?

You put a significant financial burden like this bond issue on the properties within these communities, they become more expensive to maintain with the increased tax burden and become less desirable, thus pushing their value down.  And when the school district taps the taxpayer out and the local communities need additional funds to cover their increased costs, what then?  If the local community can't afford those services and they can't raise additional revenue, they will be forced to start cutting those services, once again making the communities less desirable to new residents and once again forcing property values down even farther.  What ends this cycle?

I dare say that the communities of Forest Park, Greenhills and Springfield Township can survive, and even prosper, if the Winton Woods School District would be dissolved into one or more of the neighboring schools districts.  The school district cannot survive if it breaks the financial back of the property owners and sends the three communities into a serious downward spiral. 

When is the point that the communities collectively ask "does the cost to our residents exceed the benefit of keeping the district as is, or is there a better way to provide an effective and positive educational experience?"  I would challenge that each of the three local community governments have the responsibility to their residents to ask these questions, explore the options, present those options and ultimately have the decision made by the voters. 

I think the time is now.

 

Edited by RocketScientist

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RocketScientist,

It does not take a Rocket Scientist to figure this out.  No pun intended.  I am with you on that.

The Mad Botanist

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Totally agree with RS!  Absorb into other districts or disband the schools.

The main objective is to provide the best quality education possible for these kids and ensure that the communities they live in are viable and safe!  That's what's best for these kids!  If you think the goal is to "save the district" or you believe the goal is to "build new buildings" at the expense of the communities these kids live in -- then you're going down the wrong path.  If you're willing to spend $61,000,000 of local taxpayer money, plus $40,000,000 from the State, knowing that being absorbed into other districts can give them the same education, or better -- then you're going down the wrong path.  If you're goal is to save the failing school district and you negate the option for "open enrollment for all" -- taking away the opportunity for them to attend schools that are ranked higher; Fairfield, Princeton, St. X, Finneytown, Roger Bacon, Reading, Lakota, McCauley, etc -- then you're simply letting pride get in the way.  

Don't accept the nonsense the district is spewing -- "we must spend $61,000,000" -- hogwash!  There are good options that have not been reviewed, only because administration and the board refuses to review them. These options in fact may be better for the students and the communities.  For those who support the purchase of new schools, if your priority is the "best education possible" then you should insist on administration, and the board, reviewing and exhausting all options.  They have not done their due diligence by any stretch.

Yesterday I threw out some numbers on another topic where (32) Winton Woods City School District employees collectively made over $3,000,000 in 2015 -- THIRTY-TWO -- averaging approx. $100,000 each.  That's a hell of a lot of money for an educational system that has not brought tremendous value to these communities.  Now they want us to spend $61,000,000 locally without a solid plan.  Plus over the next two years raises of up to 8% will be given?  

THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS -- FORCE THEM TO DO THEIR JOBS -- VOTE NO!!!

 

      

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Christine, do you think there is a wide reservoir of support for "Winton Woods" as a continuing entity?

I think a lot of people are indifferent about whether is stays or goes... particularly those that send their kids to RB.

Edited by equalizer

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Christine, do you think there is a wide reservoir of support for "Winton Woods" as a continuing entity?

I only look at the facts.  The facts are -- this bond is back on the ballot, the schools are "alive and not well", this community cannot absorb additional taxes without a significant return-on-investment, and a cost-effective solution needs to be developed that:

  • provides strong educational opportunities for our kids
  • provides opportunities that can be marketed to a higher end demographic
  • does not increase taxes, or keeps taxes in check 
  • strengthens and adds value to all three communities

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