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Why Levies Fail

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adamwlewis View Drop Down
MUSA Official
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Joined: Apr 23 2007
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    Posted: Oct 29 2007 at 10:13am
I read the following letter to the editor in the Middletown Journal, and thought so highly of it I wanted to share it with others. This is a letter from Monsigner Paul Metzger on why the school levies are failing and how to help:
I would like to give you some thoughts as to why the levies failed and may fail again. What inspired this letter was reading (that) they could not give the students paper with lines to practice writing the alphabet because (the paper is) too expensive, so they will give them plain paper.

The enclosed statements were sent to all the board members. The (board) president did call me and was clear in some of his explanations. Basically, he said they will see what other schools are doing.

This is what I requested:

1. Do not let the grade-school children walk to school, across railroad tracks, busy streets and places where there are no sidewalks, but bus them. High school students have cars or let them walk a reasonable distance.

2. Since the school is the lowest academically in the county and you want to shorten the class day by two hours, you should be thinking of adding more time than the old schedule. Those who plan the bus route have found, by letting all schools dismiss at 1:30 p.m., they are saving a sum of money. So what is the difference if it is 1:30 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.?

3. Everything has been taken away from the children. You say you cannot buy paper, text books or school supplies because the levy failed. I will show you the reason for Middletown's school problems.

I think the board members are intelligent people and generally do a good job, but they have gone wild on positions in the school. There is a position called "superintendent" a very important position. Many people cannot understand the salary of $121,000, which is reasonable. But add the retirement (14 percent) of $16,940, and health, $6,000, for a total of $143,940.

This would be a normal amount if he did all the work of a superintendent. However, he has an assistant superintendent whose salary is $115,781 plus retirement (14 percent) of $16,209, plus $6,000 in health insurance, for a total of $137,990. Therefore, the position of superintendent is costing the board $281,930.

I am not counting the assistant's secretary's salary. Schools twice as large as ours do not have assistant superintendents. Don't change the name to keep her. Her contract should be canceled immediately.

You have three "directors." What are they doing for $380,250? Dismiss two and save $253,500. Cancel contracts immediately.

You have 10 "principals" for the buildings and this is OK. But you have 10 "assistant principals." Never heard of such a thing. High and middle schools may need an assistant, but surely not grade school.

The assistants are costing ... a total of $946,365. Dismiss seven and save $641,388.

Finally, we have eight psychologists (according to the newspaper, they had nine at one time), which is greater than Lakota (a highly rated school) that has only two. Our psychologists are costing $688,266. Keep three and save $429,118.

All salaries are taken from the March 18, 2007, Middletown Journal. Board members, if these are wrong, please let me know what is wrong and I will certainly try to listen to your explanations. However, if I am right, then you have a problem to explain.

I will tell you that I do know a little about schools and businesses. I have served on public school boards for about 20 years, Catholic school boards, and, as a priest, served as superintendent of a public school district for some years. I served on boards for our four military academies for interview and qualification of applicants for 15 years. As far as business, I was bank director for two banks, retired to come to Middletown; board of director of Blue Cross/Blue Shield for 14 years; then on community insurance<

Adam Lewis' Blog
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Tom Sawyer View Drop Down
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Joined: Oct 29 2007
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Sawyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 29 2007 at 11:19am
Monsignor Paul Metzger is a wise man of 80 years. To summarize, the school could educate our children more and cut $1.5 Million form spending which would negate the need for the additional school levy.
"The savings I quoted would be a savings of $1,461,996. Plenty for school utilities for two more hours of school days, text books, supplies and paper with lines. The savings should settle some of the turmoil for the students and schools.
He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it--namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.
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John Beagle View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 29 2007 at 7:41pm
Monsignor Paul Metzger makes some valid points. Why were these not raised at any of the public discussions with the school board?
John Beagle

Middletown USA

News of, for and by the people of Middletown, Ohio.
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.308 View Drop Down
MUSA Resident
MUSA Resident

Joined: Aug 17 2007
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote .308 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 30 2007 at 10:18am
Great letter: I wonder if it will get a reply from the board.
I think how, and or if , they reply will tell us whose best interest they are looking out for.
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