Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The clock is ticking for the Madison School Board to get on next year's ballot to again seek approval of a bond issue to rebuild its campuses and a separate operating levy to halt deficit spending.
We haven't passed any new money in 20 years, and the deficit levy has nothing to do with the school construction project
The five-member school board saw 2007 voters reject a combined $33.6 million (4.81-mill) bond issue for reconstruction and a 0.5-mill, 23-year operating levy to avoid school financing deficits
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
See the Plain Dealer article here.
Governor Strickland has BADLY,BADLY, BADLY bungled the State budget for 2010: video lottery terminals fell through, less stimulus money than bloated State Government needed came through, so now the Governor's fix is raise taxes 4.2% for the next year.
To be fair, Stickland proposed and Ohio's Legislature agreed to suspend the 4.2% income tax cut for this year that was signed into law a few years ago.
Both Loraine Fende and Mark Schneider, the State Representatives for Lake county, agreed with the Governor and voted to raise your taxes.
Ohio's Senate is NOT going along with the plan, YET.
Will Tim Grendell and other State Senator's defend our pocket books and say "no" to the tax hike?
This loyal blog, active residents, and local radio programs put the pressure on the Commissioners and the sales tax stayed the same!
The Commisoners cut the budget by a paltry 3%, and passed a temporary budget of about $15 billion. So, we are not out of the woods. Ohio Revised Code requires a permanent budget by April. That being said...we may be in for a surprise in a few months.
However, with Board President Dan Troy up for reelection in 2010 I am sure the sales tax will stay the same.
There is no buzz yet on a republican candidate for Commisoner...ahem Dale Fellows!
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) cleared Vicki Wheatley of any wrong doing that may have endangered her educator's license. A News-Herald article discusses the recent development here.
The Wickliffe Schools have been like the Wild West this year. During the past election there were political action committees operating illegally, instults traded between board members and teachers, ..., the Vicki Wheatley saga, ..., and new school board members to boot!
Anyhow, Vicki Wheatley was the principle of Wickliffe Highschool. At the end of last school year Ms. Wheately was put on paid administrative leave by the school district over an issue involving the placement of students in classes for credit that occured at the same time and possibily graduating students with enough credits according to the ODE, but not Wickliffe's School Board.
With that said...Ms Wheatley has maintained her innocence and has been vindicated as far as we are concerned. Congrats Ms. Wheately! I hope your federal law suit teaches the Wickliffe School Board and Kathleen Cintavey a lesson.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I wonder if the problem is really that Jim Brown, Port Authority Board Member and Lost Nation Fixed Based Operator (FBO), needs more time to convince fellows Port Board members that the prudent thing to do is buy the Airpot from the City of Willoughby.
Shame on Willoughby City Council for Authorizing Mayor Dave Anderson's request to enter into a contract with Jim Brown as the FBO for Lost Nation Airport.
I bet you that the report will conclude by suggesting that Lake County needs the Lost Nation Airport and that the Port Authority must make financial arrangements to buy it from Willoughby!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The Board of Lake County Commissioners has both quasi-legislative and quasi-administrative powers and through resolutions adopted during their regular weekly meeting, sets the administrative policy for county government. While the Commissioners have no power to initiate legislation, they do exercise powers granted to them by the Ohio General Assembly through state law.
The Commissioners are responsible for the appropriations of the county tax revenues through the adoption of the annual county budget. The County operates on a January 1 through December 31 fiscal year and must adopt the final budget no later than April 1 of each year. The budget includes appropriations for the numerous county offices, including those offices headed by other elected officials. The Commissioners have the power to levy taxes and to approve the placement of tax levies and bond issues on the ballot for consideration by county voters. The Commissioners also administer all federal grant monies.
The Commissioners hold title to all county owned property and are responsible for the upkeep. By law, they must provide office space for all county offices. They must build the facilities necessary to house various offices such as the Courtrooms, the Jail, Engineer's facilities and parking. The Commissioners award all contracts for purchase and construction projects.
Staffing 2009 Full-time 14 Part-time 1 Total 15
Monday, December 7, 2009
"In Fairport Harbor, the steelheads are running, but negotiations between the school employees and the board are at a standstill. Maybe the superintendent is waiting for deer season," began Fairport Harbor Education Association spokeswoman Becca Grunda Oct. 28.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The sheriff's office already has planned measures that will cut about $900,000 from its budget. They include closing the minimum security jail in Painesville Township, laying off 13 full-time corrections officers, one part-time officer, one full-time clerk and one part-time clerk. The office is eliminating the Road Patrol K-9 Program and closing the front door security post at the Lake County Court of Common Pleas. A deputy who is retiring also will not be replaced.
Sheriff Daniel Dunlap explained that the cuts are painful, unwanted but unavoidable. It would be impossible to cut more than $1 million from a $15 million budget without cutting staff.
Monday, November 23, 2009
FLASH: LAKE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO CERTIFY VOTES AT 6PM ON 11/24/09; SOME UPDATED RESULTS AVAILABLE
City Council approved purchasing the $43,936 radio system in July and plans were to be on air within a month. However, it was postponed because of a delay in receiving some of the equipment needed to relocate where the system would be mounted. Another $1,300 was needed to cover the cost of the additional equipment.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Lake County commissioners weren't pleased Tuesday to learn that sales tax collections for August were down 11.5 percent when compared with August 2008. The data reflect a time when the federal Cash for Clunkers auto program was in full swing.
To date, the city's budgeted carryover balance is $8.2 million, but Malinowski said that could increase to $10.2 million if current figures hold.
Malinowski said the city aims to keep the carryover balance for 2010 at $7.6 million. The balance represents about two months of the General Fund's budgeted revenue, which is recommended by the Government Finance Officers Association.
Yet, to achieve that $7.6 million balance will require $3.5 million in cuts to the proposed General Fund, Interim City Manager Dan Llewellyn said.
Here are some of the proposal Mentor City Council is thinking about to fix the "problem:"
* 10 percent furlough or layoffs.Get ready for tax increases Mentor! Based on the lack of fiscal discpline throughout Lake County: Willoughby Eastlake School Levy, Library Levy, Eastlake Fire levy, and the likes; and, the State's inability to balance its checkbook: massive holes in the budget and various shenanigans to try and balance (video lottery terminals, suspended tax cuts) you can rest assured that Mentor will use this to justify tax increases!
* 5 percent furlough.
* defer budgeted wage increase.
* voluntary forfeiture of additional pay items.
* 10 percent overtime reduction.
* waste subsidy elimination.
* not fill four firefighter and three police officer positions.
* reduce tax credit to 75 percent.
* increase Mentor income tax rate by 0.25 percent.
* add a 1 mill property tax levy.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This is a true American. The owner stepped did something very generous despite a souring economy.
Earlier this year the Library system asked for a new levy around 1 mil and costing a homeowner around $30 per $100, 000 of valuation.
Please understand that I feel a laborer is worth his wages. However, the face of adversity in our community one noble citizen stepped up.
Now, the rest of those in Willoughby-Eastlake are saddled with two levies despite sagging wages.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Eastlake mayor's race was a lot of fun to watch. The Ugrincic Machine could not topple Mayor Andrzejewski .
However, as you can see Wickliffe's Mayor's race and Ward 1 is up for grabs! Can Councilman Levar rally?
The News-Herald chronicles the details here, but here's a quote from their article:
* The race for Wickliffe Council Ward 1 has 33 outstanding ballots left with a two-vote difference between the two candidates. James Bala received 620 votes, and Terri Jo Rotondo had 618 votes.
* The Wickliffe mayoral contest had a difference of 52 votes with 120 outstanding ballots left between the two candidates. Bill Margalis received 2,340 votes; Gordon F. Levar received 2,288 votes.
* For North Perry Village Council, voters selected four candidates with difference of four votes among three candidates vying for the fourth spot, and 11 outstanding ballots remain. Joe Stinson Jr. received 190 votes, Lorrie J. Taylor had 186 votes, and Michael Zinn had 186 votes.
* For Riverside School Board, voters selected three candidates with a difference of 37 votes between third and fifth place, with 139 outstanding ballots left in Painesville Township. Richard Radcliffe received 3,832 votes, Brian Kolkowski received 3,795 votes, and Thomas J. Trombley received 3,705 votes.
* For Madison School Board, voters selected three candidates with a 62-vote difference between third and fourth place, and 122 outstanding ballots left (92 in Madison Township and 30 in Madison Village). Duane H. Frager received 1,746 votes and Michael Legeza received 1,710 votes.
* For Kirtland School Board, 43 outstanding ballots remain. Voters selected three candidates with a difference of 11 votes between third and four place. Timothy E. Kehres received 1,194 votes and Keith A. McCrory garnered 1,183 votes.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
An age old questions asked in many forms is why a politician is willing to spend so much money campaigning to get a job that only pays a fraction. Case in point.
Matt Dolan (R, Russel Township) is said to be interested in spending $1 million of his own money to be the Cuyahoga County Executive according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer and The News-Herald. Dolan is a State Representative that comes from a family of well known businessmen. However, if Dolan spends $1 million of his own money to make $175, 000 does this sound like good business?
Several public officials told David Glaser in a News-Herald article that it ain't about the money!
The print version of Glaser's article does a much much better job detailing how much your local elected officials on city councils and boards of trustees are making. However, the comments section of the on-line article is more entertaining and honest. The comment section correctly asks the same question raised above.
So why would someone spend $12, 000 on a Mentor City Council Race to make $12, 000 a year? Sure you are making a little bit on this one.
One reason could be the vested time that a council member makes in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), and the fact that for a few thousand dollars you can by vested time! What a great deal! This is a fact the News-Herald article does not consider.
A source has told us that they recently purchased three years of time in PERS for around $4, 000! Great Deal. Our source is a council member in one of the six cities listed below; one of the smaller ones.
race. Wait a minute! Bill Margalis is also a County Administrator! That's right! Councilman
Margalisis full time county employee earning vested PERS retirement time, earning time as a
council member, and will now switch hats to become a suburban Mayor! What a great set-up!
He will be earning a handsome salary from the County, benefits, time toward a PERS
pension...and, will supplement that with income from being a Mayor.
Sign me up!
Government is the only section of the workforce that never seems to take a hit, or go long
without a pay raise. A News-Herald article describing the candidate's for Willoughby's Ward 1
race before the election reveals that Willoughby Mayor Dave Anderson will be getting a nearly
7% raise in January 2011. Anderson's $60, 755 salary will increase to $65, 275. Mayor Anderson
is also Willoughby's Safety Director, which pays $35, 017. So, Mayor Anderson's total monetary
compensation will rise from $95, 772 to $100, 292! Zoinks!