Fourth time the charm?

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New thread for the discussion.

First, while I am sorry that the levy failed, it was not entirely suprising from a statistical standpoint. Special elections are rough for new money requests, even in the best of times. At this time, it is appropriate to pay special thanks to the levy committee for doing a great job at trying to rally broad based community support for this important issue. They did a great job, but as Paula Kuhn once said (paraphrasing) "It isn't a great job if we lose".

I'd agree.

"Off year" special elections tend to weight more heavily to NO voters, particularly when new money is being asked for. ODE stats bear this out. Coupled with the economy, levies (again) had a tough time in SW Ohio as Little Miami and Forest Hills (Anderson/Turpin) both failed as well. We should note that both districts are rated "excellent".

And now we open up the thread to another enlightening interlude.

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"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. The Great and Powerful Oz has spoken." The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. wink.gif

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Very true, Dorothy. But that's the system as it is in Ohio, we aren't that unique. About 1/3 of the 613 Ohio School Districts were on the ballot yesterday. Of the 3 that passed locally, all were renewal levies, not new millage.

Let me echo Equalizer's recognition of our levy committee:

Paula (FPHS Grad) Kuhn and Jim (GHS Grad) Kuhn

Stephanie (FPHS Grad) Walker

Raymond (GHS Grad) Richard

and Jeff (FPHS Grad) Berte, Treasurer

and all parents of some really great kids. These five have poured themselves into a really difficult role (twice) and are winners to me, whether the levy passed or not. I couldn't be be more proud of them and it's been an honor to work with them.

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Yes, I am sure that we will examine this latest attempt and (soon) have another meeting about when would be the best time to go back to the ballot. It is not that much of a stretch to say that a fourth attempt would need to be much more aggressive in tone. (Not to say that this one wasn't).

We do have a great school district, but we do have challenges and we will stand together. It is also not that much of a stretch to assume that if another $2 million needs cut, many of our signature programs will be gone... as the money that we DO have will have to go to mandated services and programs.

THAT message really needs to go to the parents of students that participate in our many fine programs. It isn't a threat but a very real possibility that folks have to appreciate.

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Interesting how weather can reflect the events and moods of our lives...yesterday was a beautiful day full of promise and hope for our children's future. Yet today, the dreary, gloomy, overcast weather seems to ironically mimic the sadness and loss for this noble prospect. Let's hope this does not foreshadow the tone and direction of upcoming events for our community's future....

just pondering.....

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Interesting how weather can reflect the events and moods of our lives...yesterday was a beautiful day full of promise and hope for our children's future. Yet today, the dreary, gloomy, overcast weather seems to ironically mimic the sadness and loss for this noble prospect. Let's hope this does not foreshadow the tone and direction of upcoming events for our community's future....

just pondering.....

This is the way lots of folks around here have felt for many, many years. Sadness and loss, and the realization that our own kids will never experience what we had growing up in this village. Who knew then, it would disappear? Had we known, maybe we could have changed the direction, I don't know.

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....A light mist in the air. No wind.....Dusk arrives with a whisper and

shades of gray speak wantingly to the night.....Now a deep breath calm.

....until somebody throws a grenade into this thread. smile.gif

Seriously, Paula, I think you're the greatest.

Your passion is something I can learn from. smile.gifsmile.gif

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And you know that grenade is coming...

But instead of being gloomy, it is time for some serious analysis and, perhaps, a change in tone.

I think that a "positive" campaign has been run so far. An honorable one. This levy committee has done a lot of work and has fought the good fight. The board has tried to be diplomatic and fair about the cuts.

But that tactic may have run its course. The gloves have to come off.

I do not blame the folks on here that bash WW day in and day out. They do not have the burden of making the case. We do. I don't even think that they should have to defend themselves NOR do I think that they "hate kids".

BUT.........

How did we have 7,017 YES votes six months ago, and now we only have 1,891? This is not the levy comittee's fault, it's not the board's fault. I would suggest there was a sense of complacency out there that "someone else" was going to get this passed. Of course, when the world comes to an end, they will be the first to complain.

I won't throw logs onto the fire for the critics, but I would say that this is a very winnable issue. We will all have more to say at the upcoming meeting (that hasn't been set yet).

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ya Know, I am very sad that it didnt pass, but... it is very hard times right now. People just cant pull money out of their pockets that they dont have. Look around, the village has never had homes sitting waiting to be sold for months on end, or even years (Cromwell). People are losing their jobs and their homes. Lately their has been a large number of lower income families moving into the village, and we have a lot of older men and women who just basically cant find the money to give the district. People are on set incomes and budgets. People cant pay their bills as it is. They just dont have it.

How can the district expect to get money where there isnt any more to get. Some people are on Social Security. They nor can many others including myself, afford to say, "Ok I will not pay my telephone bill or I will cut back on groceries, or... because the district needs more money. I will give it to them instead."

If I could afford it, I would be the first in line to vote yes for the kids. I work in a school and our levy is coming up soon. Im feeling the pain.

Its just not a good time to expect people to fork out more money.

I dont have kids in the district any longer but will have a grand daughter in school in a few years.

Things are going to have to change and the State is going to have to give more money, because it isnt going to come from the residents. They dont have it.

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we have a lot of older men and women who just basically cant find the money to give the district.  People are on set incomes and budgets.  People cant pay their bills as it is.  They just dont have it.

Okay, I know NOS and equalizer are gonna jump my sh#t for chiming in here but I do have to note that Bobalu has a point that most of us younger folk can't consider, unless you mortgaged your home creatively during the boom like my ex did (thinking it was a good idea not to escrow taxes and insurance).

I keep hearing "It will only cost a homeowner $200 for a $100K home." Well, that sounds all nice and dandy at $30+ extra a month but think of the retirees in the community. We keep forgetting about the aging population in ALL THREE communities (remember Wal-Mart in FP DOWNSIZED because of this demographic primarily). This demographic does not have their taxes and insurance escrowed in a monthly bill when their homes are paid off. My house in the I-section is taxed at $140K rate because of an addition on the back. Now, had that levy passed, in January, I would have had to save not the $1650 I will pay to Dusty Rhodes next month but $1950. I would have adjusted and just saved $300 more (and there are many more folks like me as banks pushed that tactic a lot - mine came from Chase Bank, not some disreputable broker and all I did was refinance at a lower rate). However, a retiree on a fixed income having to scrape together more than that is going to be hurt financially. You can't expect that out of them. So, quit blaming them please.

Plus the demographic of renters in FP is not going to vote - they generally don't because they have no property to worry about and in a non-presidential election, voter turn out in that demographic is always low.

Instead of blaming neighbors all of the time, why not ask them to join your fight at the state level. The movement is starting now up there, a strong collective voice from one district that this broken system SERIOUSLY effects may do some good. I know you have to concentrate on the next levy but it will probably not pass because historically, they just don't. So, keep up your levy campaign sure but, you've got to get everyone on your side and try to fix the system because what else have you got except no extra $ for the district and extreme dislike for half your neighborhood? This yelling at neighbors tactic before and after levy failures is not proving successful now is it?

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maybe you also need to go talk to that man you all voted into office in Washington. You all think he is so wonderful, ask him to get the district (all districts) more money. Im sure he will listen and add us to the list of wonderful things he is fixing.

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I know that I typically play the curmudgeon here, and, I agree that blaming neighbors is counter productive. However, and I know I'm really going to be jumped here (!), seniors have the highest percentage of disposable income of any demographic. While Social Security is not a hugely generous income to rely on, it is one of the few that, at least, is giving COLA's. What other group do you know that can depend on a cost of living adjustment every year? Also, an analysis of their expenses shows that, unless they re-financed their home in the past few years, chances are that their home is already paid for or, their payments, relatively speaking, are low.

I am NOT, I repeat NOT, jumping on the seniors. They have financial issues just like the rest of us. However, to constantly give them a pass based on the phrase "fixed income" is not totally reflective of the truth. I know they are in a bind, but so are the young couples starting families who would love to know that they could completely depend upon a "fixed income" instead of having salaries, hours, jobs, etc. cut with the mounting expenses of supporting a family. Which other group can, by virtue of the Golden Buckeye card or the AARP card, get discounts at hundreds and hundreds of places? The one that really gets me is the discount at golf courses. Golf is an expensive hobby. If one can afford to play, even at a discount, they should pay full fare. Once in awhile I'd like to see a discount for "young, working families".

When it comes to schools I generally don't buy the seniors argument. My favorite stories when I was heading levy campaigns were the seniors who were mightily screaming about "fixed incomes", "no kids in school anymore", "we just can't afford more" arguments but they invariably had to vote absentee because they were going to their place in Florida for the winter. Or the couple who were leaving for a month vacation in Hawaii. Or the couple who.....well you get the point. Could they find the extra few bucks a month? You bet your sweet bippy - if they wanted to.

BTW, sadly, I qualify for the discount cards mentioned above but refuse to use them. My sons and their families (as are thousands of others, including many in GH) are struggling and it's a travesty that I should get a discount and they don't.

If you think that going to Columbus will not impact your taxes, think again. It will just come from a different tax pot. WE ARE the government. The only place they have to raise money is from US. I agree that Columbus needs to get involved but I would first suggest that they re-prioritize their spending and ONLY fund those programs which are absolute necessities. That would include their not passing unfunded mandates with which the schools must deal. If it's such a great idea, take money out of other programs to fund the programs for education kids. I know one can make a case for nearly every program out there, but, realistically many are nice and worthwhile but not necessary. Educating our kids is.

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Go Bucks, I sure would like to sit you down and explain my situation!!! yes, I did get my extra money in my Social Security check for cost of living and I will spend my extra $2.00 plus wisely. I do not own a home in Florida, etc. and am lucky I can afford a long weekend in The Smokies. And don't worry about THE GOLDEN BUCKEYE CARD--noone accepts them anymore, even RILEY'S!!!!!

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cool.gif GoBucks - When I came on here over a year ago I shared your thinking on the seniors/anti levy thinking, but over the past year I have learned some things by using my ears a little bit more than my mouth (still not where I need to be on that!) and realize that a lot of that demographic in Greenhills are the most generous and philanthropic people in the community. Many of them choose to stay here after spouses have passed on, staying in the homes and the village they raised their families in and built their memories in. They support their churches, village programs and youth activities all while paying one of the highest property tax percentages around and seeing expenses rise.

It's not the lack of levy support from Greenhills senior voters that is preventing this levy from passing. Their numbers are statistically not significant in the big picture. The issue is a lack of participation by the voters in the voting bloc that makes up 70%+ of the base and a failure to deliver a message to that part of the district that gets their attention.

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Very good post NOS !!!!!

I'm still waiting the day that Money Bags Go Bucks makes any since! tongue.gif

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Yes, I am sure that we will examine this latest attempt and (soon) have another meeting about when would be the best time to go back to the ballot. It is not that much of a stretch to say that a fourth attempt would need to be much more aggressive in tone. (Not to say that this one wasn't).

If the district goes for a 4th attempt, I believe it to will fail. Any examination you have, you have look at not why it failed, but also look at what do we need to change to get it passed. It appears that when they brought the levy up for a vote this time, the only thing they changed was that they added budget cuts. I believe the community as a whole is looking for more systematic changes, not just cuts. They don't want to know what will happen if it fails, but what are you going to do to improve the quality of education, so that I am willing to vote yes. Most home owners, do escrow taxes, and should be able to afford an additional 20-30 a month, but I think they are saying I'm not willing to give the money up, because you haven't shown me how you are going to improve things. I hear all the time from people that WW has a discipline problem, WW scores aren't strong, WW curriculum is not meeting my child's needs. All of these plus the economy is impacting many people's decision to vote no for a levy. If they try for another levy but don't make systematic changes, I believe it will still fail.

I have the oppurtunity to meet regulary with parents that live in FP, most of them are african - american, and many hold they same dissatifaction with the district as a lot of Greenhillians. Many of the parents even pay to send their child to private school because they want their child to have a better education than WW can provide. So when you place blame on FP people for not passing the levy it not because they don't want their taxes to go up, but because they too are unhappy with the district as many here on JD are.

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K-Roman, I may have been a little harsh to Forest Park residents yesterday on my post about the levy failure and I hope I didn't offend anyone. I was just feeling frustrated because I know how hard the school district really is trying and there isn't a simple solution.

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I have read the posts on here for almost two years. As a teacher, I carry out the wishes of the community as represented by the board and it's policies. Directly, I work for the principal who works for the supt. who works for the five people that the voters elect to the school board. I don't believe that folks on here really want to see this district reduced to being the "Safe Auto" of Public Education. But when there are community meetings or school board meetings, all the critics are "too busy". Are you guys afraid that the board is going to jump off that podium and kick the crap out of you? Every month, you guys have the chance to speak truth to power. Every month, you pass.

So where are we at? A board that (I guess) doesn't listen to anybody and voters that have shot down three levy requests in 14 months. Oh yeah, we are setting ourselves up for greatness. And we sit on here and worry about the future of Greenhills?

From a tactical standpoint, if we had convinced a slightly higher fraction of those that voted in November to come out and vote for the issue, it would have passed. I don't blame the naysayers for this, I do blame apathy ACROSS the ENTIRE district. Sorry, I know we should not point fingers, but apathy is a huge problem. Sure, the economy is lousy but levies fail in good times and in the best of districts. But they can and do pass as well.

Looked at another way, we are on the verge of operating at state minimums in every regard. Good bye spring musicals. Good bye concert choirs. State doesn't mandate that we have a top notch fine arts program or AP classes. Everyone is fine with cuts UNTIL it affects them. Then what are your taxes paying for? Not much. You are going to get a lower return on your dollar. What you are paying for is just what the state mandates.... which get first claim on the dollar.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Where do we go from here?

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Looked at another way, we are on the verge of operating at state minimums in every regard. Good bye spring musicals. Good bye concert choirs. State doesn't mandate that we have a top notch fine arts program or AP classes. Everyone is fine with cuts UNTIL it affects them.

cool.gif That won't happen. Those are the only YES votes the district has. They won't kill the geese that lay the golden eggs and see them all head to private schooling. It may sound arrogant, but the parents whose kids are in AP and the music department in many cases are the ones with options. They also tend to make up the top of each class from an academic standpoint as well. The BOE is not suicidal.

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AP classes will continue. The districts are now required to identify those students who are advanced, and are now required to offer instruction geared towards those students. If a district doesn't they are at risk of losing title and special ed funding. A district will continue to offer programs, if the alternative means they will loose more money.

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If WW cuts the AP classes, it is definitely going to be suicide. Many have stated on here before that they would pull their kids if the AP courses weren't offered and their kids weren't part of them. These are the kids that keep the rating from being lower than it is. According to the flyer in my door (which was a "sampling" of opportunities availabe at WWCS), I see room to cut extras to get to the basics of education. Actually, the only opporunity listed as "required," was the Foreign Language Classes. It's great to see lots of extras available at the local public school, but cutting the basics of educating these kids instead of the fluff is and would be ridiculous.

As a parent of a private school student, grades K-8 there is no: choir, rain garden, Lego Robotics Program, GTE art, science lab, Mad Science, character counts, recycling club, cheerleading, dance class, DC trips, Power of the Pen, accelerated readers program or sprinters club. I wish we had it all and more. That's just the reality of it.

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Very good post NOS !!!!!

I'm still waiting the day that Money Bags Go Bucks makes any since! tongue.gif

And I'm still waiting for the day when you and others read my posts thoroughly.

I did not and do not blame seniors and recognize that they have financial worries. My concern is that young families often have even more concerns and that is infrequently recognized.

NO ONE addressed that part of my post. Only, through incomplete reading, concluded something which was not in the post leading to comments about my character.

The fact that young families are struggling mightily now - which was the true point of my post - has no relationship to my financial status. Again, you've made a judgement about which you know nothing for not only do you not know how much money I have, or don't have, you know nothing about what I do with my money.

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Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Where do we go from here?

Equalizer - After listening to your whining and bashing of Greenhills here is where I would go if I were interested in my students future -

Roger Bacon

St.Xavier

Ursuline

Mt. Notre Dame

Cincinnati Christian

LaSalle

Etc

If you are an example of the best that WWSD has to offer, I would definitely send my kid elsewhere!

You are a great arguement for the voucher system. Everytime you post, WWSD loses another vote.

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Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

blink.gif

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They don't want to know what will happen if it fails, but what are you going to do to improve the quality of education, so that I am willing to vote yes.

This is exactly how I feel. I want to see our school district improve but the levies seem to only be to maintain. I do understand that the schools are looking for money to maintain before improve.

I know Christine has been very active with coming up with ideas that could improve or attract more families to the district and it seems like she is ignored. So this doesn't make me feel my being at a meeting will help. I know that's a wrong attitude but it is how I feel. I'm very busy with my childrens school. I put my time into a school that welcomes and appreciates my efforts. Also it is one of my pet peeves that people post if you care you would be at the meeting. Some of us are the younger families. I am a stay at home mom. My husband works a lot so we can afford our lifestyle. He does not have a 9-5 job he works 24 or more hour shifts. When he's home he is often on call for the village fire department so unlike others I often can't leave my children at home with their father and go to meetings. So the little time I get away I try to make it to village council meetings where I feel my voice is heard.

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