Thursday, August 31, 2017

UNPRECEDENTED

While certainly not winning the war, the battles won by schstoobig and its supporters are unprecedented. Consider the consequences that occurred after schstoobig's efforts to educate the Scott County community regarding the shenanigans going on at Scott County Schools:

Roger Ward / Scott School Board Chair - ousted by the voters losing all 9 of his precincts;
Becky Sams / Former long time Chair - smarter than Roger and chose not to run for re-election;
Phyllis Young / School Board Chair - ousted by voters;
Luther Mason / Board Member - ousted by voters;
Patricia Putty / Superintendent - contract non-renewed;
Mike Luscher / Director of Facilities - retired one more time after losing his alliance;
Alliance Corporation / Long time SCS project construction manager with curious bid skills - victims of a change order;
Matt Thompson / ASSL (Assistant Superintendent of Student Learning) - saw the writing on the wall;
Rick Culross / ASSO - followed Matt's lead as well as his coat tails;
Roy Prince / Artistic Director of Transportation - AWOL;
Roger Kerns / Roy's Igor - fizzled after Roy went AWOL;
Mark Wickersham / Safety Director - terminated after new Super determined he had no skill set outside driving on sidewalks;
Joetta Crowe / Cardinal Academy Principal - saw the writing on the wall;
Frank Howatt / Peter Principle Human Resources Director - demoted to an Asst. of an Asst. position;
Tom "Gerrymander" McKee / State Representative and father of football coach - ousted by the very Scott County voters he gerrymandered;
Sherman, Carter, Barnhart Architects - ousted after proposing to build GCHS on a fill site;
etc, etc.

ALL HISTORY! And an ugly history it is.

Probably the most consequential battle won for the benefit of Scott County taxpayers was the school district's dis-association with Alliance Corporation. The icing on that cake was the concurrent departure of Mike Luscher from his role of Facilities Director and Alliance liason.

Probably the most consequential battle won for non-administrative district employees was the contract non-renewal of Superintendent Putty and the subsequent mass exodus of her administrative staff, although of little recompense to the many whose vocations and reputations were ruined by this malicious bunch. Most affected were the 28 transportation employees who had the gall to complain that Putty's Artistic Director of Transportation Roy Prince discussed and drew a penis for them on a flip chart during a mandatory meeting. Putty found "no violation" but soon after made working for Scott County Schools pretty miserable for the 28, and found and even fabricated reasons for some to be terminated. Yet Prince remained on the payroll (although absent from the workplace for the last year or so) until his retirement was sufficiently spiked in October 2016.  Lawsuits are pending to this day, but lawsuits will not restore the reputations of good people.

And there were other battles won, but by in large the the most consequential battle lost was Great Crossing High School (GCHS) successfully being held hostage to a tax increase. All we can say here is that it is very difficult to "fix stupid". Anyone who believes that feeding the organism that is Scott County Schools even more money as an answer for anything is simply a useful idiot. Already underway are the filling of more and more unneeded positions as well as other efforts to consume the 25% increase the recent tax increase brought to the school district's annual coffers. (see the last paragraph of GCHS on page 16 of the August 15 edition of the Georgetown News Graphic) You see, the organism must always be able to demonstrate it "needs" more, therefore it must always consume all funds provided. The extra $5 million a year now going into the bottomless pit known as the General Fund was not needed, just as the increase in bonding potential (borrowing ability) that the $5 million supports was not needed to construct GCHS.

As this blog soon retires, do not forget the "two pots of money" - the General Fund and the Construction Fund. Do not forget that the General Fund is where money is wasted and the Construction Fund is where money leaks. Both funds are ultimately the School Board's responsibility and it is here that we hope the schstoobig facebook page is wrong in its assessment that despite the battles won, it seems to be the  "same game - different players". And don't be surprised if the "second" high school becomes just a "new" high school. The News Graphic has already quietly stopped referring to GCHS as a "second" high school, preferring now to call it a "new" high school.

We thank the ten or so who in 2012 expended their time and treasure to fill the Georgetown News Graphic's abandoned role of community watchdog of its taxing entities such as the school board and the library board. We thank the anti - tax committee who successfully overcame the 2013 School Board's outrageous attempt to raise property taxes 27% and the 2017 committee, whose valiant attempt to stop this last increase failed (again - it's hard to fix stupid). We thank all those who encouraged us along the way, including the 130,000 visits to read this blog.

To Roger Ward, whose conniptions we so enjoyed each time we weren't stupid enough to acquiesce to his elitist demand that we allow ourselves to be marginalized by giving up our anonymity - just ask Tish, Rog. She knows us by our middle name - Resolve.



P.S. - The folks at the schstoobig facebook page have committed to continue alerting you to the community goings on that the News Graphic avoids. Become a friend there if not already. They will watch the two pots and have also committed to keep an eye on Scott United's tax returns to see how Toyota's gift of $2 million gets accounted for by this Chamber of Commerce look-alike. And if needed we will resurrect the blog. Just watch the facebook page,




Thursday, April 20, 2017

"PRIVATE AGENCY" - SCOTT UNITED

What is the Georgetown/Scott County Chamber of Commerce if not a "local private agency that focuses on economic development efforts that will benefit Georgetown, Scott County and the surrounding region"?

That description however was ascribed to Scott County United in the April 11, 2017 Georgetown News Graphic's coverage of Toyota's re-investment in its facility AND its generous $2 million gift to Scott United. What exactly is the role of this curious little "private agency" (as characterized by the GNG article) with zero web presence and tax returns that reflect upwards of 70% of their revenues are spent on "administrative costs" and whose stated purpose mirrors that of the local Chamber of Commerce?

It's a legitimate question, especially considering that Jack Conner, the Executive Director of the Georgetown/ Scott County Chamber of Commerce also participates as a principal of Scott United. And this quote from the same GNG article from local property appraiser and current President of Scott United, Mike Hockensmith - "From the standpoint of Scott County United, this (the $2 mil) puts us on a level to be competitive with the other communities and what kind of expenditures they have for economic development." Hmmm? This statement implies that Jack Conner and his Chamber of Commerce aren't getting the job done for Georgetown and Scott County. We don't think that is the case however.

We think if Scott County United were truly about its stated mission, it would minimally host a web site, don't you think? As of this writing it hasn't, but probably will now, lol. No, we think Scott County United serves some other purpose. Nothing else makes sense.

What could that other purpose be? Well, first consider what Scott United has contributed to the "economic development of Georgetown, Scott County and the surrounding region" all these years - other than its sponsorship of "Leadership Scott County", an effort that hardly consumes the amount of revenue that the "agency's" tax returns reflect passing through? Were this "private agency" performing any works, significant or otherwise, you can bet you would be reading about it ad nauseam in Scott United's pawn publication - the Georgetown News Graphic. But you don't. So we can only speculate, based on what little is known and what is observable from this little "private agency". Here's what we know and what we have observed.

We know that members of this group lay very low, but do show up whenever the Superintendency of Scott County Public Schools is up for grabs. Remember that the Scott County School Superintendent commands a budget ($60 million annually), second only to Toyota locally and commands almost $300 million of bonding capacity.

Recall next that the 2008 Scott Schools Superintendent search generated  applications from 26 qualified candidates, but produced as Superintendent one Patricia Putty, who did not even apply for the position. We also know that soon after her arrival, Patricia Putty served on a community committee to consider a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) arrangement that would have financed the interstate 75 interchange that was first proposed just before her appointment as Superintendent. Had the recession not derailed the TIF, Putty could well have helped the approval of the TIF.

We mention this because concurrent to the TIF effort, Superintendent Putty appointed influential Frankfort lobbyist, Scott County resident and influencer for hire John Cooper to Chair the 2010 Scott County Schools Local Planning Committee and populated the committee with Scott United principal Mike Hockensmith and other Scott United "agents". That very John Cooper chaired and Scott United populated LPC replaced the Scott School's District Facility Plan's next up second high school with an unneeded Lemons Mill Elementary, the outlandish elementary school now replete with lighted tennis courts and ball fields and commonly called "Putty Palace" (especially on Sundays). And we mention THIS because influencer for hire John Cooper was at the time representing the private developer needing an interstate exchange to develop a regional shopping center that would rival Hamburg just east of the Toyota plant. The project was contingent on the interstate exchange being provided by the TIF.

We call the whole debacle - "TIF for TAT". Tat being LME.

The same John Cooper, a long time principal (maybe founder) of Scott County United, was witnessed huddled at Logan's Restaurant in Frankfort with then Scott County Board of Education Chairman Haley Conway; Scott County United's current President Mike Hockensmith (who appraised those years ago the 100 plus acres where ECS sits and Great Crossing High is to be built at $21,000 an acre); Scott County Chamber of Commerce's Executive Director and Scott County United principal Jack Conner; and Toyota's Manager of Community and Government Relations and Scott County United principal Kim Menke. This delicious dinner with Haley Conway and Scott United's big four occurred during the period of time the Scott School Board was considering their choice to replace non-renewed Superintendent Patricia Putty. We are confident that the Scott United contingent called the meeting to "focus on economic development".

Toyota's Menke was also conspicuously witnessed in attendance at several Scott School Board meetings during the same period. Mr. Menke has not attended meetings since the appointment of tax raising Superintendent Kevin Hub nor before the School Board began its Superintendent search. Guess it all falls under his duties as Toyota's Manager of Community and Government Relations. Or whatever his duties are at Scott United.

Toyota's April 10 announcement of the $2 million gift to Scott United came shortly after the deadline for a petition effort that would have required Superintendent Kevin Hub's (or somebody's ) 11% property tax increase to be placed on a ballot had the petition effort been successful. From the same News Graphic article - "the company (Toyota) has been discussing the donations with local government leaders for some months". Hmmm? Wonder if they were waiting for the school's tax increase to pass before passing on $2 million to Scott United? Otherwise the gift may have been seen as a slap in the face to a school district claiming near destitution. Remember that the Scott County School Board was poised to begin construction of a second high school in the spring of 2016 but balked for a lack of $2 million to complete the proposed facility's library.

Where was Scott United, the Chamber of Commerce and Toyota all these years high school students have been packed like sardines in the single SCHS? Nary a word from the Chamber of Commerce or its mirror Scott United concerning a high school situation that surely negatively affected "economic development". It's hard to know where the $4 plus million per year school tax increase will filter, but its clear that all parties are now fat and happy. And it remains curious that Fayette County School's Superintendent Tom Shelton got the boot for a mere $20 million gone missing, yet no one, not even Scott County School's Director of Finance was held accountable for the suppressed $27 million that otherwise would be opening a second high school this August.

And this - in the same edition of the GNG, Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather praised the $2 million gift to Scott County United stating - "(the gift) will allow the agency to perform market research and target specific industries and companies to recruit to the county". Wonder what this leaves the local Chamber of Commerce to do, Mr. Mayor? It will be well after the fact but you can count on us to watch and report on Scott United's tax returns to see if the $2 million gift is spent as the Mayor claims it will.

If you think your elected officials are running Scott County, you are probably paying more attention to Camping World's flag than the fiscal affairs of Scott's public AND private agencies. Nonetheless, it's a legitimate question - why do we need a Chamber of Commerce when Toyota finds its money better spent with "private agency" Scott United?

Happy taxpaying!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

STAND DOWN SCOTT UNITED.....

....you've had your Superintendents. The current one came with the cooperation of the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA).

                                             Installment #2    Feb 12

Scott County United, or Scott United's 501(c)(6) IRS tax exempt status claims the group's program service is to promote "Economic Development and Coordinate Private and Public Efforts To Stimulate Economic Growth". That sounds plenty high minded, but what explains a non-profit with such a haughty purpose having zero web presence? Hmmm? Non-profits are tax exempt under the presumption they are agents of good. So why, do tell, in the year 2016, would an agent of good not have a website to promote the good they wish to do? What explains a stealth non-profit?

Recall our February 22, 2015 post asking the question "Who is the Scott Education and Community Foundation?". We asked that after this separate non-profit went silent, having no 501(c)(3) 990 tax return recorded on guidestar.com since the year 2010, then sprang to life 5 years later last January to sponsor a $1,300 billboard promoting Scott County Schools. How expending funds to promote the local school district aligned with the Foundation's tax exempt program service to promote the Yuko-En, KY-Japan Friendship Garden is beyond us and frankly quite a stretch, particularly considering the organization's ending fund balance of $387,403 was last reported for the tax year 2010. Where did the $387,403 go and where did the $1300 come from?

What does one non-profit have to do with the other, besides a special interest in the Scott County School District? A similar cast of characters, that's what. One John P. Cooper in particular.

                                                 Installment #3     Feb 19

If you don't know the most influential man in Scott County, you might count your blessings. But rest assured each and every connected individual here does, regardless of John P.'s stealthiness. John Cooper founded and is managing partner of Capital Links Consultants, a Frankfort lobbying firm and owns and runs John P. Cooper and Associates from his Quail Run Circle home here in Georgetown. And he peddles his influence on almost every going on of any importance in Scott County.

It was John Cooper that Scott School's Superintendent Patricia Putty appointed as Chairman of the school district's 2010 iteration of its Local Planning Committee (LPC). Mr. Cooper promptly executed Mrs. Putty's plan to remove a second high school as the district's #1 priority on its District Facility Plan (DFP) and replace it with Lemons Mill Elementary. Why do the dirty deed? Most likely a "tit for tat" arrangement for Mrs. Putty's vote on the local Tax Increment Financing (TIF) board on which he had her appointed. Her vote would help secure TIF financing of the I75 interchange to be constructed out by Toyota that would allow Mr. Cooper's client to develop a regional shopping center there. Maybe that arrangement would have more appropriately been called a "tit for tif". Whatever, it was certainly a tit for something.


Turns out Mr. Cooper is a principal on both Scott County United (Vice-President) and the Scott Education and Community Foundation (President), whose other principals include Patricia Putty as a Director.


What's most curious about Scott United, whose other principals and members include the Chamber of Commerce's Jack Conner, local insurance man and appraiser Mike Hockensmith and Toyota's Kim Menke, is that of the approximate $70,000 the non-profit expends each year, about $55,000 is recorded on its tax form as a "management fee".  Hmmm?  Almost 80% of its revenue is spent managing itself. Now there's a non-profit doing some kind of good indeed. Good for itself! But what else does Scott United involve itself in? 


                                                      Installment #4  February 23

Tonight our School Board receives 5 recommendations from the Superintendent Selection Committee, an effort facilitated by the KY School Boards Association. The 5 applicants are those the committee thinks warrants the Board's consideration, winnowed from a pool of 21. We won't be privy to who those 5 applicants are, but the 5 presented will be the Board's first indication whether outside influence got to the Committee. 

While we have been calling for Scott United to stand down, we have also been calling for certain other individuals to STAND UP.  By these individuals not standing up and rebuking influence attempts publicly during this period leaves open a charge of taint. 

These individual's silence will be something they will have to live with regardless of the final selection of a Superintendent, and it won't be until that final selection that will we know whether outside influence was effective. Our hope is the Board's final selection will ultimately make moot the taint so we can all move forward with cleansing our school district. 

We will come back to this as we wait, but let's in the meantime revisit in our next installment what happened in 2008, when our school district last sought a new Superintendent with the help of the KY School Boards Association.


                                                  Installment #5   February 26

This week-end your School Board attends the 80th annual Kentucky School Boards Association gala at the Galt House in Louisville. And they do so on your dime.

And that's ok. KSBA will provide valuable training. But KSBA will also provide an agenda. As long as our Board absorbs KSBA's training through an agenda filter, they may well bring some good info home. It is a shame though that this "conference" is only a thinly veiled facade to bring those in command of a community's school district coffers together with those with their eyes on those coffers. KSBA promotes this week-end's event stating "nearly 1000 board members, superintendents, exhibitors and speakers" will show for the shindig. Yes, there will be the requisite training sessions and such, but the real goings on will be in the private suites upstairs, hosted by everyone from janitorial suppliers to architects. Stay downstairs Scott Board!!! School business is big business folks, and much of it occurs at this annual event sponsored by the KSBA. 

Ah...the Kentucky School Boards Association. It would be easy to confuse this quasi-governmental organization with an actual government agency, but it is what its name states - an "association". No School Board is required to participate and spend their taxpayer's money to do so. Mostly it is an association of like minded ex-school district administrators and school board members whose main goal (much like the Kentucky Department of Education's, an actual government agency), is to perpetuate a system that provides them all a very comfortable living. To that end their goal is to keep the ugly as quiet as possible, keep the "right" individuals in influential positions (such as local Superintendents), maintain the status quo, and by so doing, keep the money flowing. What do you bet that every KY school district crying about recently proposed state budget cuts belongs to KSBA?

The KSBA provides many services to paid member school districts such as Scott County Schools, and even provides the KDE with some contract work. One of those services is to "facilitate" a local school district's search for a new Superintendent.

We can't remember if the KSBA assisted the Scott County School Board when it hired Dallas Blankenship in the early 1990's, but suspect they did. That School Board's Chairman, Ron Wilhite,  was a big-wig at Kentucky Utilities at the time, promoting their energy programs. It came as no surprise back then to those paying attention that Superintendent Blankenship would soon create a new position and hire his daughter's father in law to fill it and then use the School District to promote KU's energy programs. And now Ron, retired from KU, finds himself on KSBA's payroll as their "Energy Grant Project Director".  Funny how these things work out, huh? And funny how Scott County Schools will be awarded yet another energy award soon in Washingon, D.C.

It's understandable that most taxpayers, what with their busy lives and all, pay little attention to school district affairs. It is after all "the school district", that wholesome "all about the kids" agency that only has the best interest of the children at heart. While that may be true for the rank and file teachers and employees of a district, keep in mind that your local school district administrators and Scott School Board command an annual budget the size of your city and county government combined ($58,000,000) and a construction bonding capacity of an additional $100 million.

Those kind of numbers place a big target on a school district, particularly one with as complacent a school board as Scott County had during the entire tenure of the Board Chair who replaced Mr. Wilhite, Becky Sams. "But not to worry" thinks the average citizen, "should anything really be up, our local newspaper will let us know".  Yeah, right. The goings on all these years at the administrative and Board level at Scott County Schools could not have occurred without our newspaper's silence.

Recall the 2008 KSBA "facilitated" Superintendent search process in Scott County. That search produced 26 viable candidates who all completed the extensive application process and presented their applications to the Board before the Board's imposed "deadline". The KSBA "facilitated" Superintendent Screening Committee winnowed those 26 down to a worthy 5 to present to the School Board (some with PHd's and Superintendent experience) just as occurred last Tuesday for the current search.

It has yet to be explained, and certainly not reported by the Georgetown News Graphic, what happened next back in 2008. After failing to name a Superintendent by its own imposed deadline, and after the school year had completed in 2008, School Board Chair Becky Sams introduced Mrs. Patricia Putty as Scott County School's new Superintendent at a June 2008 School Board meeting. Georgetown News Graphic publisher Mike Scogin gushed in his editorials about what an excellent pick the Board had made. Never did he tell this dirty little secret.

Mrs. Patricia Putty did NOT submit an application to be Superintendent at Scott County Schools, unlike the 26 who did and who met the deadline to do so. No, rather Becky Sams installed Patricia Putty, who turned out to be the KSBA's search facilitator Mike Oder's colleague from when he was Superintendent at Woodford County Schools. How about that? We hired the buddy of the guy we hired to conduct a search process, the buddy whose name never came up in that search process! Just as Becky Sams doubled down on her disasterious mistake by extending Patricia Putty's contract for 4 more years in 2012, (and soon to follow, a 15% raise)  the KSBA retains Mr. Oder's services to this day. But they aren't stupid. They didn't dare send Mr. Oder back to facilitate Scott's search this time.

But now there is reason to believe there have been attempts to influence KSBA's current facilitator and his screening committee, and that they both chose to keep quiet about it. And this week-end they all wine and dine in Louisville at the KSBA'a annual gala. Convenient that we armed our Board members with the names presented by the selection committee just in time for the KSBA gala. We bet that not only will Ron be in attendance, but that he will be seen chatting up Scott United's John Cooper. It's so comforting to know that "it's all about the kids".


                                             Final Installment   March 7

And in walked Scott United's emissary - Kim Menke. And before you could say boo, he was sidled up by Patricia Putty.

Only time will tell if Kim Menke and his Scott United have their man in Scott County School's Superintendent-Elect Dr. Kevin Hub. We simply can't know, but odds are (if no fix is in) Dr. Hub heard from Toyota's Kim boy before bedtime tonight. You see, tonight the Scott County Board announced they were entering into contract negotiations with Dr. Hub, with an official public vote to come soon.

Scott United has attempted inappropriate contact with those engaged in the search for a new Scott Schools Superintendent throughout the search process. And Scott United knew their attempts were inappropriate. They cared not that their contact could easily have compromised the process and even those contacted. They simply didn't care. And it is that demonstrated desperation that gives us hope that Scott United neither had a plant to survive the Search Committee's due diligence or that they were able to learn who did survive. Hence Kim boy's presence at tonight's announcement. But again, only time will tell.

In the meantime, we want to give benefit of doubt and celebrate tonight's announcement. It has been an exhausting process and an exhausting wait, and we appreciate the Board not dilly-dallying with the announcement. Let's all cross our fingers that the contract negotiations go well.

We also want to applaud what appears an excellent effort from the Superintendent Selection Committee. The accolades bestowed on this hard working group of six from their KSBA facilitator and from Board Chair Haley Conway seem validated in what the Board described as 4 excellent candidates from which they could make their choice. 

Good luck and godspeed Dr. Hub. You've got your work cut out for you. No one expects that you can avoid the influence attempts from our community's string pullers, but the community will delight if you are in fact the "real deal" and you focus on what's best for the school district, its students, and employees. If that is truly where your heart is, prepare it for the next four months of what are sure to be "the wrath of Patricia Putty".  And her buddies, like Kim tonight?  Don't be surprised if they attempt to upset this apple cart.

STAND DOWN SCOTT UNITED. We are watching your actions, your tax returns, and those pesky "management fees". 


    

Monday, September 28, 2015

"PUBLIC SCRUTINY" the 2014-15 Salary List


Suspicion anyone who criticizes our release of this salary list. Remember this is public sector, not private. That is why KY law requires school districts provide for "public scrutiny" of the salary list for each fiscal year just ended. Shame your local newspaper to whom the list must be provided will not publish it.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recommends school districts spend no more than 73% of their annual operating budget on salaries.  Scott County Schools spends 83% of its $54 million budget. According to KDE's recommendation, Scott County should spend NO MORE than 73% of $54,000,000 or $39,420,000, but in fact spends 83% of $54,000,000 or $44,820,000.  $44,820,000 minus $39,420,00 means Scott County Schools spends $5,400,000 more than the maximum recommendation on salaries EACH AND EVERY YEAR!!!

No one, least of all us, begrudges any of the teachers and necessary support personnel in the list below their well deserved salaries.  But there's plenty of names on this list whose efforts have little or nothing to do with students in the classroom.  Over five million dollars each and every year is spent on employees whose activities lie outside the classroom, explaining all those bimmers and such choking the parking lot outside Central Office during school hours many school days. Who knows where they are when not at Central Office? And we wonder why we haven't the money to build a proper second high school.

Remember, there are two piles of money in school districts - the General Fund and the Construction Fund. The General Fund funds the operating budget, and the Construction Fund builds our schools.  Scott County Schools robs its Construction Fund regularly to satiate its salary appetite, yet never provides its Construction Fund any General Funds money, which is entirely allowable and even encouraged by law. The salary list below is where  $44,820,00 of the General Fund is spent each year, leaving just $9 million dollars to operate all other facets of the district. No wonder we could never (and still can't) afford all day kindergarten.

Each year in early September your duly elected School Board raises your school taxes 4%, just as they did a few weeks ago again this year.  Just a couple of years ago the Roger Ward led School Board approved an outrageous 27% school tax increase, but rescinded it only when a citizen petition forced it to be placed for a public vote. Our current School Board can not snap its fingers and undo the years of previous Board's complacency (or complicity), but contribute to our salary burden by not scrutinizing new hiring and new positions.  Analysis of the list below shows that in the last two years alone, non-school bus driving personnel costs in Scott's Transportation Department have increased over $200,000 dollars. Well over $200 thousand in fact, just in administrative positions in this one department. Where's the value added?  Take your 4% if you must School Board, but don't expect the taxpayers of this county to ante up any more to cover the excesses.

KY State Law requires school districts to provide the list below to their local newspaper.  Your newspaper's publisher, Mike Scogin, receives but chooses to not publish the list, claiming it too expensive to do so.  He also refused to provide a copy of the list this year (see previous post) and refused to quote a price for others to pay him to publish the list.  But his heart is truly revealed in his not posting it on his newspaper's website. There, it costs him nothing, save perhaps his wife's job in the school district and his paper's propping up.

Remember the list below is for what each listed employee was paid for the entire fiscal year ended this past June 30.  Low salaries may be explained by an employee not working the entire year. Oh, and understand there are many different contract terms - such as Mike Luscher's 100 day a year contract, all the way up to "full time" 260 day contracts that the list doesn't specify. Should you wish to compare to the 2013-14 list we posted last year, you must search the "older posts"  and go to the September 24, 2014 post "Public Trough".  The random nature of the list is Superintendent Putty's signature. Wonder who it is she has purposely randomize it.

While this list doesn't explain where the construction money goes, it does show why we can't fix Garth's AC.




















Wednesday, September 24, 2014

THE PUBLIC TROUGH


Can you remember when there was an element of sacrifice to work in a local school system?  The pay was not much but the benefits and the hours helped offset the sacrifice. Well, it’s still that way for the lower paid classified employees such as cafeteria workers, custodial staff and bus drivers, but the pay for the rest way outpaces private sector jobs. You will find the proof below. Yes, and all with job schedules unlike anywhere else! Just choose – do you want to work 100 days a year? 185 days? 240 days or a full contract of 260 days? Your choice and the excellent benefits remain. Plus there’s double, even triple dipping on retirement, meaning you can retire and draw your retirement check, all the while going back to work at your same previous high rate of pay, and the school system contributes money to your second or even third retirement account.

And now we know why so many keep quiet. These high salaries buy a lot of silence. So it’s no surprise that most of the complaints that come to the schstoobig confidential email account are from the lower paid employees. But most interesting is that none – zero – of those complaints have been about pay.  Rather, the complaints are all about either wrong doing or mistreatment they suffer at the hands of the high salaried.

Below you will find the purposely randomized, raw data the Scott County School Board provided the reluctant Georgetown News Graphic to minimally satisfy the latest state law we have called them on. The law does not require the News Graphic to print it.  But you should. A big "THANK YOU" to Carole Landry for acquiring this copy of the list from the News Graphic. Let us know if you need your own copy.

Some notes : the district went to pains to randomize the data. It is not organized either alphabetically, numerically, vocationally or otherwise - it is random to make it difficult to analyze. This alone should tell you more than you need to know.

It's not alphabetical for a couple of reasons. First, it prevents easily finding an individual's or a peer's salary. But more importantly, it prevents the community from seeing how many high paid administrators have spouses and children feeding well at the same trough.

The dollar amounts do not necessarily reflect a salary. The dollar amounts reflect what the Board paid out to each individual listed over the course of the 2013-14 school year - not necessarily that individual's salary. For example - newly hired Director of Safety Mark Wikersham worked only a couple of months after being hired before taking a leave of absence for the balance of the year after his DUI arrest (he was welcomed back by Board Member Becky Sams at the September 9th board meeting). His amount therefore is low as are others such as newly hired Director of Transportation Roy Prince, etc.

Another reason a salary may appear low is because no information is provided as to what position each individual holds nor, and more importantly - how many days their contract requires they work a year. While a typical full time job is a 260 day contract, many of these dollar amounts reflect greatly reduced days. For example - Director of Facilities Mike Luscher is a 100 day employee. Not bad pay for 100 days. Especially for a double dipper!
We intend soon to have some OCR software that will allow us to enter this list into a spreadsheet. Then some meaningful analysis can begin. We will also explore the hundreds of thousands of dollars Scott County taxpayers are spending yearly on employees who work not for Scott County Schools but rather for the KDE under an arrangement called – Memorandum of Agreement. Certainly notice the over $100,000 salaries but the big news here is the proliferation of $60 to $90,000 salaries. And remember, this data is for the last school year.  Those $90,000 salaries are now likely $100,000.  Enjoy.