Another Batch of Budget Slop from the BOE

07Feb17

voodooeconomists-futurama

Ah yes, the proposed BOE 2017-18 budget. Time to invoke that familiar refrain from our BOE elected officials, “It’s all about the children.” Last year it was a $7 million increase, now they want $5.2 million more for a grand total of $111, 981,480 or a $4.86% increase in your property taxes. How do you say, “Est pas extraordinaire?” Here is the budget: 2017-18 Proposed BOE Budget

With the 15 or so highest paid employees on the town payroll (who are not teachers), how do BOE officials and Mademoiselle Robinson present his budget with a straight face and say there is no fat? You would think that someone would ask where the performance metrics are to justify two large increases in successive years. You would think someone would invoke the “A” word – accountable, or is that being unfair to “the children”?

Fortunately, from a quick perusal of the Facebook page Stratford Get Answers, it does appear that one of the newbies on the Town Council, Greg Cann, is asking some interesting questions. Probably the biggest would be to have COO Clarence Zachary provide explanations to just about everything in the budget. Monsieur Jezebel was always asking those types of questions, but could never quite get an answer.

All I can say is that it sure seems that we are extremely generous to our administrators and to a large number of part-time consultants making over $75,000. It would be interesting for someone to show us a study showing the correlation between large admin salaries and test scores. We have not found one as of yet, but your never know what Google will find. We now have a few weeks to dissect this budget before we see how Monsieur Johnny plans to pull a rabbit out of his hat with the municipal budget to keep taxes in check in this big election year.

Where is the illusionist when you need him? We think Johnny, Feehan, Daponte and the rest of the crew of BOE and Town Council members will need a large team of them to keep the tax bill in check.

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11 Responses to “Another Batch of Budget Slop from the BOE”

  1. 1 RockAnnand

    Oh goodie goodie goodie, BOE budget time. Too bad Jezebel retired as this was always his favorite time of year to rant about it. I haven’t attended any of the budget presentation meetings (there is one tonight about SPED spending), but I have seen the initial presentation and dissected the detailed budget. Seems Greg Cann has made headway in uncovering lots of things that don’t add up. Thank god some one is taking the time to question what’s been going on the past few years. I am curious about the Madame’s point about how accountability is unfair to the children. Are we just suppose to receive the budget with the very large increases and say “yes sir I’ll have another?”. If the BOE wants 5% more, what will Harkins ask for? It is an election year and some were speculating that we would see at least a zero increase of even a slight decrease. Can’t was too see what comes next.

  2. Tell me again. What is it that Feehan and Petruccelli do at the BOE? We know it’s not caring about our money. You have to wonder if this isn’t the first time they’ve seen the budget too.

  3. 3 RockAnnand

    Now now Kild, that’a bit harsh, but true. Seems though Greg Cann has uncovered that the SPED program 2-3 years ago that was expanded so that the BOE could bring the entire population of special ed students back in-house with the promise of annual savings approaching $1mm is not realizing those savings. Why you ask, well we have the teaching capacity to do it now with all the teachers hired, but seems we don’t have the space now. And why don’t we have the space? Because Mr. Feehan gave into pressure from Harkins and gave up the Center School. That is where the special ed students were suppose to go, but with Feehan’s guidance and the 4-3 RTC majority, they voted to give up the capacity needed to support the expanded SPED program.

    So instead of saving close to $1mm from outsourced tuition and transportation we went from 1 to 4 coordinators at $120K per without bringing many of the students in-house. They no longer have the Center School and no plans to increase capacity to support the expanded program, but another $500k in expense.

    And this just ONE area of fat discovered. So how is that Finance Committee, also chaired Kild by your good buddy Lenny P going to deal with this waste of money? That Finance Committee also has Ben Proto, Bob David and Mr. Kennedy on it. I attended the Finance Meeting this week along with Greg and it was interesting to watch Clarence and Feehan tape dance around the questions from Mr. Kennedy and Greg. They were now trying to sell their expanded program as cost avoidance, but how can that be if we have NO excess capacity to take in more students?

    And why did Feehan really knuckle under to pressure from Harkins to abandon the Center School? So many questions and few if any questions. What good is a Finance Committee and BOE if all they do is cover up their mistakes and keep asking for more money?

  4. Tell me again. What is it that Feehan and Petruccelli do at the BOE? We know it’s not caring about our money.

    Mai Oui Monsieur Kild, always with the bon questionne. Given how long those two have been involved with the BOE, it is safe to say “Pas beaucoup”. They all seem to have the same answer to question difficile like Monsieur Ralph Kramden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGprRpuXFj0

  5. Where are the actuals? How was our $7 million increase spent last year? Was every penny of every amount spent on every line item? it is astounding that in a $106 million budget you can be that precise and yet still make gigantic mistakes. What luck, huh? If they need another $6 million on top of the $106 million to educate the same number of students then, of course, it must be accurate and true. Why wouldn’t you believe someone who budgets their own salary and benefits?

    Has anybody ever asked the person in charge of BOE Finance or his boss for a receipt?

    And before we go there, administrator salaries are no indication that is all “about the children”. Show me the grades.

  6. According to the Stratford Star, Len Petruccelli is upset because someone proposed a BOE budget that is 1.9% less than the dream budget proposed by Janet Robinson. 1.9% is not an amount that anyone would consider being “railroaded” through. What does Petruccelli want to run for again? I hope it doesn’t involve anything to do with our money.

    It also seems that, besides being posted here, Andrea Veilleux has pointed out that in this entire $111 million fantasy there are no credible actuals from last year. It is as if…no wait. Strike that. It is the Superintendent telling us that we have no right to know how she spent our money. It is not “as if”, it is exactly that.

    While it may be an acceptable practice to continually raise administrator salaries, waste tax money and then cry that “it is all about the children”, the fact remains that it is not the BOE’s money. It is our money and we have a right to know what happens to it and to have an accounting of it. Down to the penny.

  7. View 2015 budget – AndreaVeilleux@AndreaVeilleux3 to view
    2015 approved/actual and differences.

  8. So where is our $1.8 million refund check?

  9. 10 RockAnnand

    Ah yes Kildbytaxes where does the excess money go? The never ending FOI question and answer process that the public must go through to get answers. The Finance Committee lead by Mayor wannabe Lenny P gets no answers, but feels railroaded by us inquiring citizens who put the much needed screws to the BOE elected officials. He sits on endless committees and boards in this town but gets nothing done that helps anyone but himself. He was clustered along with Feehan that they had to table a decision about the budget.

    Mind boggling to think they wanted to vote to approve the proposed budget with little reductions. They want to be responsible for increasing our budget another full mill to bring it over 40. What bubble and planet do why live in and on?

    The data we keep extracting points to mismanagement and abuse of the taxpayer and “the children”. I say no increasebover current yer until we see all of the detail behind the budget and see how theyvare spending the windfall they got last year.

  10. So nice of your to post this content. I have been reading your posts and comments on the Facebook. Please keep our readers here informed by continuing your posts. There are many who come here who do not like the Facebook and prefer to be anonymous as readers and commenters. We get tid-bits from “les gens dans le savoir”. That means people in the know for those of you non-francos.


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