Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Special Board Meeting to Discuss the Cut List

(RC 3313.16)

Notice is hereby given; there will be a SPECIAL meeting of the Board of Education of the Hilliard City School District on MONDAY, AUGUST 22, 2011 at 5:00 P.M. located at the Hilliard City School District Administration Annex, 5323 Cemetery Road, Hilliard, Ohio.  The meeting will be a work session held in regular session to discuss regular business as deemed necessary by the Board of Education and any other business that may be lawfully considered.  The regularly scheduled meeting will be held immediately following the special meeting and will begin at 7:00 P.M.

The meeting is called by Brian W. Wilson, Treasurer/CFO of the Hilliard City School District Board of Education, at the direction of the President of said Board.

August 17, 2011

Brian W. Wilson, Treasurer/CFO
Hilliard City School District
Board of Education


  1. Paul,
    Is there any concern among the board that proposing a levy every three years is unsustainable? Has anyone projected when Hilliard will surpass Dublin in taxes? I certainly believe that would would be catastrophic for Hilliard property values.

  2. I can't speak for the whole Board, but I've said said on many occasions that levy frequency is a concern for me. Not that long ago, we were on a track toward 8 mill levies every two years.

    The new three year agreements with the unions have allowed the interval to be widened to three years. This is a temporary phenomenon. What happens next depends on what the next union contracts look like, which will be influenced by the SB5 referendum, what services we decide need to maintained (e.g. busing), and what happens with State funding.

    Having the school district go to crap would also hurt property values.

    We have to understand that there is no one opinion in play in our community. Retired folks on fixed incomes (like me) have a different perspective than those who have a set of high school age kids. Folks who are confident in their employment and incomes look at things differently than those who have been out of work for a couple of years.

    Democracy doesn't try to satisfy everyone. The people elect a School Board, and the ones with the most votes are seated.

    Then the Board tries to figure out what to propose to the public. In the past couple of meetings, we've worked to come to a compromise. It's probably not fully what any of us wanted, but it was something we all could find acceptable to present to the public. Again, majority vote rules.

    Then the public has the final say, when it votes on the levy. Once more, majority rules.

    The local districts will likely leapfrog each other on local taxes forever. Hilliard and Dublin have much different economy profiles by the way. They get a lot more of their funding from commercial real estate sources that we do (which tends to keep their taxes lower), but they also get a chunk less in state funding because of it.

    Again, as I've said many times, if we want to keep our future taxes reasonable, we need to tell Mayor Schonhardt and the Hilliard City Council to not allow, if and when the housing market recovers, hundreds and thousands of new houses to be built on the Alton-Darby corridor without there being a commensurate amount of commercial development.

    The City's pro-developer policies in the 1990s played a huge part in putting us in this situation. Are we going to let it happen again?

  3. I think SB5 is fair and the only proposed solution for long term cost cuts so I'm in favor of it. With the recent legislation in Wisconsin and strike at Verizon, it’s clearer to everyone how good these union contracts are and what aggressive tactics they'll use to keep them. I don't think its asking too much for them to retire when the rest of the working world retires or to contribute a fair amount towards health care.

    I believe the recent levy failure was in response to these Cadillac benefits so if SB5 is upheld, the likelihood of a levy passing should increase. Then, it will be interesting to see if the board can keep these savings or whether the unions will demand compensation in other ways or threaten to strike.

  4. Mike stated :" I don't think its asking too much for them to retire or to contribuite a fair amount towards health care"

    Which if you did your research, you would know that is exactly what is going on!! As SB5 asked, the HEA contract is in fact paying 15% towards their benefits. On top of that, STRS is currently in the hands of the house with changes to how much is contributed and length of service. It propeses that teachers work to 35yrs AND 60yrs of age to get full retirement. Which is interesting, because in the LONG run, it will end up costing districts more/tax payers MORE as teachers are forced to work longer.
    And is it asking too much? Well, didn't we all have a CHOICE on what we wanted to do with our lives? I would luv to be paid what a lawyer, Dr and engineer make...but I live in reality and realize I won't. Just because others are suffering in this economy, doesn't mean EVERYONE has to. SB5 is not fair. There will be NO bargaining. It will be one sided because ultimately, the board gets the final say. That is NOT collective bargaining. I could go on and on..but this isn't about SB5. But some people really need to do their research and read about SB5, as well as changes going on with public employeeds retirements and benefits.

  5. Yeah, some people really do need to do their research.

    Negotiations occur between unions and who the people work for. In the case of HCSD, that's the district, not the board of education. The BoE acts as a "referee" if you like.

    In the case of an impass, the board gets to select one of the final two offers. However, and this is REALLY important for all those who think the system is unfair:

    IF one side disagrees with the board's choice, and if they can gather the requisite number of signatures, the final decision goes to a referendum where the TAX PAYERS make the final choice.

    Now, sorry GoBucks, but as a TAX PAYER, who ultimately pays for all of this, I am OK with that.

    Moreover, even before getting to that board decision, the process is opened to discussions and debate in a PUBLIC forum.

    The current system is all BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

    Again, sorry GoBucks, but as a TAX PAYER I'd like to know what the heck is going on with my money!

    Now, stop listening to the media, and the Democrat Party, and go read the actual law!

  6. I wouldn't use the "referee" to describe the Board's role in new union contracts under current law and custom. Our role can range from personal engagement in the negotiations to ratifying an agreement negotiated on our behalf by the management or hired negotiators. The signers of the negotiated agreement are the union president, by authority of a ratifying vote by the union members, and the school board president, by authority of a resolution by the school board.

  7. This is the language from the official bill analysis regarding dispute resolution:

    Dispute resolution
    • Eliminates the ability of the parties to submit disputes to an agreed‐upon dispute
    resolution procedure.
    • Extends the timelines involved in the dispute resolution process.
    • Expands the list of factors a fact‐finder must consider in resolving disputes, and
    requires the fact‐finder to consider as the primary factor the interests and welfare of
    the public and the ability of the public employer to finance and administer the issues
    • Eliminates the final offer settlement procedure.
    • Requires the legislative body of the public employer to be the final decision‐maker
    with respect to any dispute that is unresolved during the fact‐finding process, and
    prescribes procedures and requirements for the legislative body to make a
    • Requires any agreement determined by the legislative body to be in effect for three
    • Requires, if the legislative body fails to select a last best offer, the public employerʹs
    last best offer to become the agreement between the parties.
    Allows, for certain public employers, if the legislative body selects the last best offer
    that costs more and the chief financial officer of the legislative body determines
    insufficient funds exist or refuses to determine whether sufficient funds exist to
    cover the agreement, the last best offers to be submitted to the voters for selection.

    • Prescribes procedures to place the last best offers on the ballot and for that election

  8. GoBucks said, "it will end up costing districts more/tax payers MORE as teachers are forced to work longer"

    I'd like to see the research on this. How is paying retirement AND a salary to backfill that position cheaper than just paying a single salary? Granted, if you are "forced" :D to work 5 more years, compensation should be adjusted to account for the added pension contributions.

    Sorry GoBucks, as crazy as it might seem, I don't want to pay for you to boat on Lake Michigan a decade before I do.

  9. What follows is a slightly edited version of a comment made by an anonymous poster. I'll publish any viewpoint as long as respectful decorum is maintained. There are other forums for vile, anonymous comments..... pl

    It's odd that everyone gets all sidetracked with adjacent issues. The core of the problem is how the mountain of money HSD receives is spent. I think most people just believe with good intentions that it's all for the kids. Just take a look at Buckeye Institute. And that's just salary". Do we even need to get into the whole total compensation and retirement. The Unions are eating up over 80% of the cash. deleted
    We are sick to death of it!!!
    Busing must be separated from the control of the union.
    Vote this November to uphold issue #5 deleted

  10. Paul -

    Regarding this:

    Then the public has the final say, when it votes on the levy. Once more, majority rules.

    As you know, this simply isn't true. The public does not get the final say. The algorithm goes something like this:

    STEP1: Board Proposes Levy

    STEP2: Establish Cut List (first time through loop) or implement existing cut list and reestablish new cut list with new programmatic reductions.

    STEP3: If Levy Successful, Goto ENDOFPROCESS


    ENDOFPROCESS: Business as Usual for 2-3 years, than go to STEP1.

    In other words, since the district chooses to prioritize salaries/benefits over every other possible expense, the real choices are to pass the levy or watch the district disintegrate.

  11. Of course the public has the final say. If you don't like the algorithm - and I don't argue with your psuedo-code - then change the composition of the school board!

    Two seats are up for election this November, and you have five good folks with a range of philosophies from which to choose. Don't complain if you let that opportunity pass without supporting the two that think most like you.

  12. Paul is 100% correct.

    Even if you support the levy, if you recognize that we have a fundamental problem that needs to be fixed, voting to re-elect people who've been part of the problem for two decades is not the answer...