I came as close as I hope to get this time around to NOT VOTING AT ALL in the latest round of the school budget fiasco.

“What’s the point?” I asked. It’s all a big joke.

Everyone knows when a budget gets shot down (For a gazillion good reasons) eventually they go to an awful contingency budget (Like they’re doing in Troy NY) that’s often the worst case scenario for voters.

What a crock of poo!!!

I decided to vote for two reasons.

1) Too many men and woman fought and died to preserve my right to vote.  So in honor of them, (As well as all of those maimed for life) no matter how ticked off I get, I’ll vote.

2)  We had a great new crop of school board members to vote in.  Perhaps the four that won, (Who were endorsed by a new citizens group) can bring a breath of fresh air to the foul stench overhanging Schenectady School politics.

But here’s the thing that burns me up.  All this lottery money being poured in everyday (Many from those that are poverty stricken) for education.

WHERE IS IT?

Services continue to get cut while taxes are raised.

It’s enough to make everyone want to throw their tax bills into The Mohawk River!

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Let the Games Begin!

December 24, 2009

As Mario of Nintendo fame would say,

“HERE WE GO!”

The Daily Gazette and The Albany Times Union Newspapers have filed a joint lawsuit against The Schenectady School District for withholding information regarding the investigation of former school facilities manager Steven Raucci and his alleged terrorist activities.  HT Daily Gazette.

When the school district released the report most of it was blacked out.  So now the papers are suing the district to get the full report.  Clearly the district and superintendent Eric Ely have something to hide.  They’re covering their own backsides and perhaps some others as well.

So now that the suit’s been filed, “Let the games begin!”

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Rear of City Hall of Schenectady, New York, Un...
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A new citizens group has formed in Schenectady to recruit new members to the school board.  (HT Daily Gazette)

And as anyone who follows this blog knows

THE SCHENECTADY SCHOOL DISTRICT NEEDS HELP!!!

So mega kudos to  Schenectady Citizens for Openness in Public Education

(aka SCOPE)

“One of the group’s founders, Marjorie Karowe, said the idea started from a letter to the editor she wrote, seeking a citizens’ coalition to improve the schools. She said the group, which has about 15 members currently, is looking for people who will bring transparency and integrity to the board to improve its “tarnished” reputation.

Karowe said among the issues are the arrest of former facilities director Steven Raucci in September. Raucci faces a 26-count indictment charging him with arson and terrorism for allegedly planting explosive devices at the homes of people he viewed as his enemies. Authorities say the acts were part of a pattern of intimidation. Allegations have been made that Raucci curried favor with school officials to consolidate his power in the district.

“We have to turn around what has been a downhill slide of the perception of the school board,” she said.”

You can tell she’s understating her case to be be diplomatic.  It’s more like a runaway train to perdition, but hey!  Whatever they can do to help is fine with me.

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Eliot Ness
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Things are piling up in the case of Steve Raucci and the Schenectady School District.  Now we know how much overtime he was getting.

HT Daily Gazette-and Carl Strock

Seems this guy was set for life.  He could claim all the overtime he wanted and not provide proof.  Since his position was supervisory he should have been on a salary not hourly.  And it’s one that requires a civil service test.  So to get around this they invented a working supervisor’s position just for Raucci.

Since pension is based on the last year worked the man is set for life even in prison.  Seems like quite the deal to me.  All for a man who’s accused of 26 acts of terrorism.

So who’s pulling Raucci’s strings?  Is it just the school board and Eric Ely the superintendent?  Or does it go farther than that?  This has mob and union markings all over it.

Who knows who got the proverbial “offer they couldn’t refuse?”  Unless someone goes into a witness protection program we may never know.

Where’s Elliot Ness when you need him!

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I know it sounds crazy but at first I was going to go along with the school on this one. But then I got more details on the story and it is just crazy.

What are they thinking sending a six year old to reform school!  This is cruel and unusual punishment.  A judge needs to step in.

From Fox :

Six-year-old Zachary Christie was so excited to become a Cub Scout that he brought his camping utensil to school. The tool serves as a spoon, a fork and a knife, and Zachary wanted to use it at lunch.

What Zachary didn’t know was that the gizmo violated his school’s zero-tolerance policy on weapons. And now the Christina School District in Newark, Del., has suspended the first grader and ordered him to attend the district‘s reform school for 45 days.

With children younger and younger performing violent acts it’s understandable why the school has a zero tolerance policy. And even though it seems unfair, the rules are the rules.  So perhaps a suspension is enough, but REFORM SCHOOL!  That could traumatize the boy for life!

Where’s a good ambulance chasing lawyer when you need one?

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This Should Be a Boring Post

September 10, 2009

No, really.

This is supposed to be my mandatory new school year post.

I want to take a moment and remind everyone about all our nation’s schools. Since allot of kids start school this week, (Schenectady, where our two go, started on Tuesday) it’s a good time to think about all our hard working teachers and administrators and to say a prayer for all the school boards out there since they’re the ones who determine policy.

Also let’s remember everyone who works at all the Christian and private schools out there where allot of us send our kids to. And I can’t forget all the parents blessed enough to home school their children either.

Then I want to list all our local school board members like the ones at my old alma mater in Ballston Spa NY. (Go Scotties!)

So here they are. (And since a few of the kids in my Sunday School class go there this is a good idea anyway)

Please feel free in the comment section to list all the members of your local school board as well.

Ballston Spa Central Schools

http://www.bscsd.org/

Dr. Joseph P. Dragone Superintendent

Board Members

Kathy Jarvis, President,

Jeanne Obermayer Vice President,

Keith Stewart,

Nancy Fodera,

Daniel Cramer,

Kevin Schaefer,

Frank Townley.

“May all those responsible for our children’s education, fear God and seek His wisdom. May they realize it’s the people they serve (Not the other way around) and to put aside politics and self serving agendas. In Jesus Name AMEN!”

There! That’s how this post was supposed to look. Nice and boring. But no.

I don’t live in Ballston Spa anymore. I live in Schenectady.

Now please don’t get me wrong. My family is very blessed. We live in a nice house in a quiet neighborhood. Our kids are thriving in one of the cities magnet schools.

But there are issues. ISSUES!

They could make a reality series about The city of Schenectady NY. First there’s all the corruption in the police department. Then there’s the out of control drug and prostitution crime of the inner city. There’s the love/hate relationship between the city and The General Electric Corporation. And of course there’s taxes. (and MORE taxes)

If that’s not enough there’s all the scandals in the school board.

If someone were to look at my blog on a click and run they’d see me ranting on and on about my school board. So to then see a list of board members appear they might think I’ve got a vendetta against them. They might want to alert the city about a nutty blogger! 🙂

So let’s set the record straight. This is supposed to be a boring post about our school board members. So let’s start over . .

******************************************

Even though our heads are still spinning from Obama’s speech last night I want to take a moment and remind everyone about all our nation’s schools. Since allot of kids start school this week, (Our two started on Tuesday) it’s a good time to think about all our hard working teachers and administrators and to say a prayer for all the school boards out there since they’re the ones who determine policy.

Also let’s remember everyone who works at all the Christian and private schools out there where allot of us send our kids to. And I can’t forget all the parents blessed enough to home school their children either.

Please feel free in the comment section to list all the members of your local school board as well.

Schenectady City Schools

Superintendent Eric D. Ely

http://www.schenectady.k12.ny.us/BoardofEducation.htm

The Board of Education
2009 – 2010

Maxine Brisport
President
Diane Herrmann
Vice President
Linda Bellick
James Casino
Gary Farkas
Jeff Janiszewski
Lisa Russo

Central Park International Magnet School K-8
Tonya Federico, Principal
421 Elm Street, Schenectady, NY 12304

“May all those responsible for our children’s education, fear God and seek His wisdom. May they realize it’s the people they serve (Not the other way around) and to put aside politics and self serving agendas. In Jesus Name AMEN!”

Have a great school year everyone!

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It’s amazing how your view of things can change with just a little inside information. That’s true with national politics and it’s also true with something as mundane as a local school board election.

My wife is very active in our school’s PTO and as a result she became friends with the PTO president, Denise DellaVilla.  When Denise decided to run for the school board my wife said she’d help out any way she could.

Then along came a neighborhood activist (No!  Not THAT one) named Joyce Wachala.  She made quite a name for herself by spreading false rumors about the school district closing an area school.  She had the whole area stirred up with this false rumor, even organizing a petition drive over an issue that just wasn’t true.

Then lo and behold Joyce Wachala decided to run against my wife’s friend Denise Della Villa.  To make matters worse the local fish wrapper, (aka The Daily Gazette) endorsed Wachala and made Denise the villain!  (What the flaming fruitcake!)

You might think a letter to the editor would be called for at this point.  I tried that along with a few others.  The paper responded by sending us harassing phone calls!  (I kid you not!)

With only the “Drive By Media” to go on,  you can guess who won the election.  However the story doesn’t end there.

Just this week Joyce Wachala announced she is stepping down from the school board citing family health reasons.

Chances are she has her own behind the scenes story she could share.  At this point the best thing we can do is pray for Ms. Wachala that all goes well for her and her family.

But how ironic!  The very person we were trying so hard to keep off the board winds up resigning after attending only two meetings as a member.

Of course the real lesson here is with the media.  I now know more than ever how easy it is for public opinion to be swayed by the media’s bias.  In reporting her resignation The Daily Fish Wrapper couldn’t resist yet another chance to demean Della Villa and elevate Wachala to sainthood.

Perhaps The Capital District needs it’s own version of “The No Spin Zone”.  Or how about someone calling out the area’s “WORST PERSON in the worrrrrld!”

Some internet gurus have predicted that a well organized agregate area based web site could eventualy render  local newspapers obsolete.  That time for the people in my city couldn’t come fast enough.

One things for sure.  This has been one wild ride into local Schenectady politics.

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