Bond Issue - A Better Deal?

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WWWarrior,

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?

 

 

I know your post was much longer, but I thought this kind of got to the heart of your concern.

Should an increase of $200 per year (roughly $20/month) for a $100,000 home for this bond be the death of disposable income, decreased sales, tax receipts, donations to churches and charities in the Village....then we have even bigger problems.  I don't believe that to be the case.

There has been and will continue to be a vocal "NO" crowd around any increase in taxes for whatever the cause.  That is understandable.  Frankly, from the sample size here on Junedale , the NO crowd is largely those folks who chose to send their children to other schools to begin with, never using Winton Woods, or a couple of cases no children at all.

That does not mean their opinions are meaningless, it just means they come at the entire issue differently.  For goodness sake, Christine and I have been arguing this "disband the district" idea of hers since 2004 on Junedale and you can see how productive that conversation has become.  She might even agree with that last statement....maybe not.

My two kids had a great educational experience at Winton Woods and from what I know about you that is largely the same for your kids.  You get what you put into it. We got involved, plus worked two jobs, my wife took in kids when ours were little before returning to teaching, you do what you have to do.  It wasn't easy.

But before all of that, past Greenhillian's chose to finance the school buildings we now have. They were built to answer the "baby boom" that resulted in the district reaching its highest enrollment in 1977 of over 8,000 students.  As is the case with most Hamilton County schools (including the Catholic schools) enrollment waned and WW now educates about 3,700 or so.  The buildings were built fast and furious in the 1960's, some in the 1950's to respond to that boom.  Perhaps you haven't noticed but we don't live in the 1950's or 60's.  Expectations have changed, as have needs, priorities, demographics, and what we are educating students for has changed.  A 1960-70's education (without the benefit of 40-50 years of experience) just doesn't cut it today.  That aside, somebody paid it forward for our kids.  I strongly feel it appropriate for us to pay it forward for future generations. In my present role, I also feel that it the best approach for the Village long term and the reason I started this thread.  This bond is a better deal than the previous one.

Let me close with an analogy. Back in 1959, my Dad had a beautiful, big Oldsmobile.  Some collectors probably still have them, lovingly taken care of them, driving it on summer weekends.  As kids, we would fill the floor area behind the front seats and it would be a great play area.  Heck, I would even lay on the shelf of the back window and look up at the world and sky at night.  That car had no seat belts (air bags?), only AM radio, drank gas like a drunken sailor and had very little of what we expect in today's vehicles.  If a cop saw a car with a kid laying down in the back window, that driver would be ticketed, if not highlighted on the Channel 5 news as being a bad parent.  The car would be deemed inefficient and uncomfortable for today's world and why there are so few left and rarely on the road.  Only car shows on the Commons.

Some on here seem to think, that all around us (Fairfield, Northwest, Mt. Healthy, Finneytown, Wyoming, Reading, Princeton, Lakota) are driving "shiny new buildings" that our kids somehow don't deserve, need or would appreciate having something more appropriate.  Let's just ask the 2nd graders at Beechwood that have class in modular units with no bathrooms, same at Lakeside, the Winton Forest (WW Elem) built in a swamp, or the recent orchestra director who resigned partially due to lack of physical space to even practice or hold class.  This among many issues.  Plus I value the opinion of Dale Heidotting on appropriate building requirements as noted in a recent GH Journal letter.

This has nothing to do with maintenance and everything do with.......it's time.

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Posted · Report post

Expectations have changed, as have needs, priorities, demographics, and what we are educating students for has changed.

Warrior, that is the fallacy upon which the suggested expenditure of 100+ million dollars is based. You, Paula and the rest of the lets spend it and we'll somehow construct a better educational outcome crowd are wrong. The purpose of education has not changed, the propagandists have.

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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

 

AMEN!!!

You won't hear even a current School Board Member who visits this site quite frequently discuss this issue. It's a white noise interrupted by nothing but the Board's views. Disgraceful!

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Posted · Report post

WWWarrior,

First of all, your figures are wrong - you said it would be $200 a year for a property worth $100,000, but that's not true.  According to the Hamilton County Auditor, it would be $200 for a property worth about $80,000.  So that makes me have some doubts about your information.  And you can't say I'm wrong, unless you are also saying Dusty Rhodes is wrong and that the auditor's site has the bond figures all wrong.  I looked up a property worth $79,000, and the Hamilton County website said the Winton Woods bond issue would cost an additional $217.19 for that property.  That's approximately $27.50 per each $10,000 of valuation which would mean that a $100,000 property would pay more like $275 a year rather than the $200 you mentioned - that figure is almost 40% higher than the figure you stated. 

Are your other figures off by that much?  And why was your figure off by that much to begin with?  It makes me very uneasy.  (Just to be clear, I am not at all accusing you of being misleading - I know you to be an honest man - but I am worried that you have been misled by someone else since you are quoting figures that are off by almost 40%.)

Secondly, it is rather elitist to think that $275 a year is nothing to people and will not affect their discretionary spending.  Thirdly, a realtor told me that the average home value in Greenhills is higher than $100,000, so the actual cost of the bond would be higher than $275 a year.  And that could mean six less meals out per Greenhills family, and that could definitely affect the Village Troubadour or the Butt Shack (or whatever restaurant goes in its place.) 

Lastly, the bond would cost the Greenhills Shopping Center about $3,000 a year, and that cost would be passed along to the tenants in the form of higher rent, which may cause current businesses to leave or may deter new businesses from leasing.

These potential consequences are just speculation on my part, just as the potential consequences you cite are speculation on your part, but at least my numbers on which my speculations are based are correct.  But you have a point that there is more than just economics involved, and there are some intangibles - such as happy students - that you can't boil down to economics.  However, in this case, I was just looking at the economic side of it, and would still like to hear from an expert on it, such as the village manager or mayor.

And on a separate topic - I also think you have been misled if you believe the orchestra director left over lack of physical space.  He never said any such thing.

 

 

      

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

For the life of me I can't understand why people would vote no on this issue while kids are the ones suffering.  Maybe you should come and see for yourselves how bad these buildings really are.

Edited by Warriors in Peril

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GG,

I was speaking in rough terms and certainly was not my intend to mislead anyone.  It was directed at your wrong suggestion of dire financial results due to $200, $220, or even $275 a year.  I still don't believe that to be the case.

While I appreciate your statement of me being an honest man, you seemed to spend a lot of time and words suggesting otherwise.  I'll try to overlook that.

What other figures do you have doubts about while you are questioning me, Counselor?

The new shopping center owner seems to be somewhat intent on clearing the center of tenants anyway.  The raising of rents and trying to collect back "fees" has led to a seemingly exodus of folks. Sad.  The schools have nothing to do with that.  However, I doubt the few pennies per square foot  ($3,000 a year spread over the number square feet of the rental space) will not make or break his lease rates. Frankly, when the previous owner didn't even pay his taxes how did that help the situation?  At least taxes are current now.

 

 

 

 

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WIP,

Couldn't agree with you more that Dani Ashbrook is absolutely fabulous, as I said in another post. 

As to Felipe Morales' resignation, all I know is what was told to me, and I never heard anyone - him or other teachers/administrators - say anything about his leaving having to do with lack of physical space until WWWarrior threw it out there.  I've heard Felipe and those on his side say he felt he was restricted in doing what he needed to do to be the best teacher he could be, and I've heard those not on his side say he wanted more money.  I don't want to go into details on the specifics that were said, but suffice it to say that the topic of space was not brought up until WWWarrior did and it sounded like he was using it to push an agenda, and I felt the need to set the record straight on that.

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Posted · Report post

His words, not mine, from your own post GG.  And I have heard for years from both the band director and choir director that there just isn't enough room.  If I remember correctly the orchestra was holding class in the cafeteria....great acoustics in there?  If that has magically changed, I stand corrected.

Felipe:

The Cincinnati Business Courier recently ran a headline that read, "It's not the buildings; it's the spaces they create." With new spaces comes the opportunity for more conversations and more change. Use your vote for good, not to retaliate on mine or anyone's behalf.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Yeah, we are off topic.. but......

I am going to slightly disagree that he threw a "Temper tantrum" over money.

The truth is, that WW has a bad habit of "cutting deals" with people all of the time.  The problem is that the staff pays close attention to who is hired for what and for how much.  It's not like a private organization where you often have to cut deals that aren't entirely fair.  The contract, when it comes to pay, is really only a base suggestion.  The district can obviously pay whatever they like as long as it is above the supplemental pay table as established. 

Two years ago, they had this English teacher that taught the ACT full-time.  She was beloved by the brass.  You swore this woman walked on water.  This woman basically set her own terms on class size (no more than 10) and conditions (she had an assistant) and even convinced the board to award her a $7,000 supplemental for Saturday tutoring.. which was approved in December of 2014.  $7,000+.. at the then hourly home instruction rate of $27 worked out to 259 hours over the course of the rest of the year... again.. for Saturday tutoring for the ACT.  She originally stipulated that she was only tutoring students in HER class... until she relented on that condition.  Every other staff member was expected to tutor their students for free.  

"We are here to save lives" was what we were told.

Sweet deal though.  Good for her.  Those 14 hour days had to be hell though :)     Again, I was impressed.  I wish she negotiated my contract... but I digress.

Don't think that F M-T didn't see that sweet deal (or hear of other people getting what they wanted) and attempt to stage his own personal negotiations for more money or space or whatever.  So while I disagree with his tactic to resign and  put himself on a moral pedestal,  I don't fault him for ATTEMPTING to get the same deal.  

Having dealt with the high command, I have no doubt he was called "greedy" and worse. Even the Equalizer has been called greedy.   One time an administrator tried to shame the AGS teachers (going on a trip) from asking the district to pay for their lunch and dinner. "THIS COULD COST US ANOTHER 2 GRAND!" 

I don't know that I thanked ole Pennycuff for that Whopper with cheese.  Mmmm.

The problem, however, highlights a huge human resources problem with the district.. which leads to hard feelings.. which leads to people (not even connected to the wheeling and dealing) to disassociate themselves from the district.    So now you have a bunch of upset parents.... seven weeks before a very critical bond issue election.
 

Edited by equalizer

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Posted · Report post

All I can say is no to any new taxes. I just refinanced my house to get a lower payment. Now you want to jack it up higher than it was before. It's time for you and all the rest of the politicians to stop spending other people's money. Live with what you have.

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WWWarrior:

Here are Felipe’s exact words on why he is resigning:

I will be vacating my position at the end of the semester because of professional disagreements that I believe have compromised my effectiveness to continue creating positive change for my students.”

In another e-mail, Felipe says this:

“It has been difficult, however, persuading the district that our growth and evolution has continued to overburden orchestra students and staff, even as our team grew. What was once a flailing program is now on equal footing, but inconsistencies remain in funding, scheduling, staffing, and compensation within our department. As a member of two minority groups, inequality is not something I tolerate, and so I have been vocal in my advocacy for better conditions for both your children and ourselves, the teaching team.

To this end I have held frank conversations and attempted to hold district staff and liaisons accountable. In return, it was implied that I am ungrateful and greedy, that I have been dishonest in my work, and that it has not all been for the good of students or the community. This is an insult I cannot accept.”

There is not one word from him saying anything about leaving due to lack of space - he clearly states why he is leaving, and that is not it.  After he was kind enough to advocate for the bond for new buildings (in the quote you cited), you are now taking advantage of that kindness by trying to spin that into that he left because he wants more space.  I’m not buying it.

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Kris Danvers,

Some food for thought.  It is my understanding that Superintendent Smith wishes to address the Greenhills Council, and that the Greenhills Council accepted the request.  That would be interesting if a whole Council Chambers would be full.  I do not know if he would entertain a Q and A afterwards, but even if he does not it would be interesting if we could have Council Chambers filled with citizens, and at least have questions in a piece of paper and ready,  and/or during the period that the citizens have to address Council perhaps if you have questions or comments the citizens could state those and perhaps we could get answers?  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  At least we would have given the old college try.

That is Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. We also have a hearing for changes in the Zoning Code.  I think this an opportunity that will never be repeated before the November vote.  If a period of Q and A is not allowed, at least you will know for sure that a Dialogue will not be possible, and even perhaps arrive to the conclusion that we don't matter.  No opinion needed just our money.

The Mad Botanist

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

For the life of me I can't understand why people would vote no on this issue while kids are the ones suffering.  Maybe you should come and see for yourselves how bad these buildings really are.

The kids aren't "suffering" and the same offer is extended to you to come visit some of the local Catholic schools.  Now, I'm certain the schools aren't being properly "maintained" (this I do know from visiting the high school two years ago), but you can always develop a student work program -- like most other private schools do.  Ex.  every night St. X is cleaned up by a crew of students -- not maintenance people.

Honestly, Warriors in Peril, many of the people you are addressing on this board are the same people who put on the rubber gloves and scrub the cafeteria floors of their kid's school once a month, or put on their tool belts and make sure every screw is screwed in tight at all time -- so their kids have a nice clean safe environment where they can get educated.  You're simply not going to get much traction on "the kids are suffering" and "maybe you should come see for yourselves how bad these buildings really are". 

Edited by Christine

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Kris Danvers,

Some food for thought.  It is my understanding that Superintendent Smith wishes to address the Greenhills Council, and that the Greenhills Council accepted the request.  That would be interesting if a whole Council Chambers would be full.  I do not know if he would entertain a Q and A afterwards, but even if he does not it would be interesting if we could have Council Chambers filled with citizens, and at least have questions in a piece of paper and ready,  and/or during the period that the citizens have to address Council perhaps if you have questions or comments the citizens could state those and perhaps we could get answers?  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  At least we would have given the old college try.

That is Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. We also have a hearing for changes in the Zoning Code.  I think this an opportunity that will never be repeated before the November vote.  If a period of Q and A is not allowed, at least you will know for sure that a Dialogue will not be possible, and even perhaps arrive to the conclusion that we don't matter.  No opinion needed just our money.

The Mad Botanist

 

Personally, I have  no issue with another body of "government" coming to talk with the Village Council. However, keep this is in mind if you hear your elected officials speak as if THEY were instrumental in ANYthing the School Board has come together and agreed upon: In years past, incumbent council persons and people running for elected office often ran on a platform of "working cooperatively with the Winton Woods School Board to effectuate change for the good of Greenhills citizens". I've read it before on this site, heard before by others, and have witnessed this type of political nonsense in the past and none of this type of speak could be further from the truth - that an elected official could persuade a school board to do what a municipality's wishes are.

But, to your point, it would be refreshing to know EXACTLY how each Council member feels regarding this Bond Issue. It would be interesting to hear straight from the "horse's" mouth how each member intends to vote on the issue. It is important to note that whether you agree or disagree with a Council member's intention - you don't have to be DISAGREEABLE.

I don't think it's necessary for citizens that decide to show up for the meeting have a chance to talk. And here is why. Each citizen will have their chance to speak at the ballot box. Other than that, we have been afforded to speak through many means; 1) This board, 2) To our neighbors and friends and relatives, 3) You can write on other forums through the newspaper, 4) You can write your favorite elected council person with your opinion. My belief is that the best way the citizens of Greenhills can effectively make a choice (whether or not they are still on the fence of this issue) is to come to the meeting with an open mind, open ears; not with a laundry list of items he/she wants to discuss. Having a laundry list of items with you might only put you in the mode of "Waiting to talk" instead of "Actively listening". A good friend  of mine once told me after I had interrupted him several times during a discussion, "Are you listening or just waiting to talk?" I think about that phrase every time I'm having a discussion with someone.

Edited by Kris Danvers

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Posted · Report post

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.

Exactly. A good friend of mine lives in Northwest and they passed their levy to take advantage of this program. We compared the level of community involvement in the planning process for each. Northwest didn't just "talk at" district members after presenting a grand plan created by the designer and demand it be paid for without discussion. (Many friends and I feel we get talked at and accused of being awful things when we don't agree with the district.) Northwest involved parents, teachers, business owners, retirees and other stakeholders. They started with the architectural grand plan and worked down from there.  WWCS needs to think about it from the ENTIRE community point of view. A media lounge is a hard sell to retirees who went to school with no technology. WWCS needs to compromise if they want others to compromise for them. You cannot present an "all or nothing" plan to an aging community where money is limited. It's not realistic.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Cicero, your last two posts were the most insightful posts I've seen from you in awhile. We finally get to take a look around in that head of yours. :o:D

Edited by Blight Reporter

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The following are the Official figures for the Bond Issue supplied by the Treasurer of Winton Woods School District:

1. Total Amount of Bond Issue: $61, 500.000.00.

2. Millage:.95 mills for 37 years.

3. Specific Items of construction "improvements":  PK-6 building  $: 43,070,637.90.

                                                                                7-12 building $ 51,452,502.49

4.Locally Funded Items (Items which State will not reimburse) : $10,629,105.00 ) (this includes about  $5,223,712.52 for demolition and removal of hazardous material.)

5. Breakdown of what State will pay for and what local taxpayers will be responsible for:

    State Contribution: $48, 875,958.00

   Local Contribution:  (District Taxpayers Responsibility) $ 61,500,000.00.

6. Estimated Cost per year for owner of home valued at $100,000.00: $243.25 (this is an annual cost that must be paid each year for 37 years and constitutes a lien on the property t somewhat like a mortgage)

 

General Comment: It appears that approximately $5,000.000.00 that is not funded partially by the State will be going for frills, and bells and whistles that will be spend at the whim of the Board of Education. The total project including State contribution appears to be $110,435,958.00.  There does not appear to be any allowance for cost overruns that are inevitable in projects of this magnitude. I doubt that the State will reimburse for any overruns and local taxpayers must pick up the tab or parts of the project cut back.

 

Cicero

 

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Blight Reporter

I had a computer glitch and what was sent was blank.

 

Thanks for the insult, it was quite original. Just remember, Pay Backs are Hell.

 

Cicero

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Blight Reporter

I had a computer glitch and what was sent was blank.

 

Thanks for the insult, it was quite original. Just remember, Pay Backs are Hell.

 

Cicero

Just having fun, Sissy-Ro. :ph34r:

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Posted (edited) · Report post

To be fair I think that WIP was speaking to the mold issues in the school as well as the other environmental hazards that are causing people to get sick.  The district's needs are well beyond a Habitat for Humanity type project.  

That being said... the administration seems to believe that guilt tripping the community is going to be the strategy....as opposed to getting down off the high horse when someone questions them. Last time around they really guilt trip this staff into working on the campaign... one administrator was very vocal and I think it had an opposite effect.  People dont like to br voluntold. 

There really is a need for big fixes and new construction may be the most cost effective way to do that... but it may never get done if they keep going back to the iron fisted approach they have used...too often...with the staff.  

Edited by equalizer

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Equalizer,

Your post is very on the mark.  I am torn, because I would love for the students to have new schools, but I am worried about it happening under this administration.  If they would "get down off their high horse" as you put it and actually be willing to have an open conversation when someone questions them, then I could get behind them, or if a new administration takes over that is more open, transparent, and willing to truly engage with the public rather than just talk at them.  I am leaning toward holding off my yes vote until I see a change in how the district higher-ups engage the voting public and truly include them in the conversation.

I know many parents of WW students who share this view, which doesn't bode well for the bond, because most of the voters who don't have students attending WW schools are voting no, so the yes votes from all the students' families are really needed.  I hope the administration doesn't blow this by being too prideful to talk with (not at) us lowly voters.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

They have very little margin for error with the parents.   I think they are so used to taking a hard-line stance with their staff they but they do not know how to switch that off when dealing with the community.  

Edited by equalizer

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EQ,

Where are you?  Have not heard from you in a long time.

The Mad Botanist

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