Overmanwarrior's Wisdom

Official Site of Rich Hoffman. Connecting the dots in a complicated world.

Posts Tagged ‘Lebanon School Levy

Mark North is Non-Essential: What does he do to earn his money if he can’t even do public relations?

with 11 comments

What I learned today was that Mark North, superintendent of the Lebanon School System is a non-essential employee.

I write a lot about education. Within the education reform movement, I receive a lot of information from very passionate people who are doing their best to address some of the issues involving education, and today I heard from a couple of them that find themselves defending the community of Lebanon from another tax increase.

Cyd Zimmerman was on the Darryl Parks show on Saturday April 9, 2011 because the scheduled debate between Mark North and Rick McPherson was forfeited by Mark North after proclaiming that “nobody listens to 700 WLW.” In short, he didn’t have the guts to go on the air and defend his actions in the district which prompted Cyd to step in and discuss North’s absence from the debate.

After that interview I received notes from Cyd and Sandy Trugrul about Lebanon and education issues in general, that they both spent a lot of time putting together. I thought those notes deserved to be listed in their entirety below.

A Note From Cyd Zimmerman: The woman on the Darryl Parks interview below.

It’s important to preface this conversation by laying the framework as to how I got here and why I’m so angry and frustrated.
So many that are staring down the barrel of another school levy have the same feeling coursing through their veins and are confused or unorganized in how to go about change. After all, Spring now means levy season. Not good.

Radio is a tough gig and it’s easy to lose your way. So much to say, and so little time, and that happened to me.
I had caught wind of yet another school levy mid January of this year. This was on the heels of a 5.41 mill emergency levy that was passed in November of 2010. It generates 4.2 million per year. I could not believe it. I had no clue who to talk to or where to begin so I attended my first ever board meeting that following Monday. It was just an announcement that they were deciding one of three amounts to choose from in my early understanding. Nevertheless, I was alone in a sea of empty chairs. There were a couple of others and I now know one of those people was Rick McPherson filming. I left as they were just finishing up and thought to myself…I’m screwed. Where are all the people? Where are the taxpayers? I was aware of the Lakota levy last November and the great deal of press it had gotten, having moved to Lebanon from West Chester. I Googled them and was pleased to see the site still up. I contacted them through the email and asked for help. The response was immediate. I had found Rich Hoffman’s site via the NolakotaLevy.com and the journey began. I found someone commenting on the site, speaking of the levy, and contacted her. I then met Rick McPherson who was looking for others and they gave him my email.

That’s all takes, but you can’t be thin-skinned or shy. That’s not a problem if you’re mad enough to demand some answers.
On to the bigger picture and where does the money go? I went to the Lebanon School site and it was pretty well layed out. Here’s the problem. 77.6% going just for wages and benefits. I would never begrudge the salary of a great teacher. They are pillars of the community. But where is the line in the sand?? Here is where SB5 would have made a huge difference. Don’t call it a pay freeze and continue step increases not to mention the other perks still in play. This has happened and you had no say. Contracts signed before the bill. We all know it. This is all about fiscal responsibility and accountability. I have to do it in my home and I expect the same from this entity.

Broken

Someone school me on why we pay for this supers $650.00 a month car allowance, family YMCA membership which on their site is $73.00 per month, cell phone (50 bucks a month), when he makes more than the Governor of Ohio?? More than the Lieutenant Governor, more than the Secretary of State, more than the Attorney General, on and on. It’s all on the web site.
http://www.lebanonschoolfacts.com

I’m sorry, but that is borderline criminal in my book. And it’s NOT ok. And shouldn’t be with you either.

Broken

3.2% goes for supplies and materials. Hold on…3.4% is for other. What other? If it’s all about the children why is the “other” number higher? I still don’t have that answer…Do You?

I hear the phone calls have started for support of more sweaty cash. I’d like to get one of those calls. Hopefully it would not be a shallow conversation as was the one that ensued yesterday with Mr. North. He totally missed my side. Fine. He’s doing his job. Straddling the line between the unions and community must be brutal. Don’t say to me you have no intentions of having at the very least, an open Q&A or a town hall and then ask for millions. NO. Why? Because they can’t answer the tough questions on the spot. Oh sure, I can fill out the card and send it in. He said he has hundreds of cards. How much would the postage and cost be to them if I took them up on that offer? Small in the massive scope but this is the mindset I do not understand.

School bus drivers making over 16 bucks an hour? Really? Shrink wrapping the books at Little Miami because you have to be a certified librarian to hand them out? This is all just so bizarre.

Broken

This is the tip of the iceberg but some of the key points from emails I get. I understand. They ask the simplest questions. I know exactly where they come from. They are busy. It gets so deep, it will blow your mind. But I too have a life and if I had time to say on the radio what was on my mind, this touches the surface.

To those out there in our shoes…We hear you. Darryl spoke of the numerous emails last week asking him to pick your district. We never would be here without the help of those from neighboring districts, particularly Dan Varney and Rich Hoffman. These guys get it.

So reach out to us. We’re busy but you can email the lebanonschoolfacts site and we’ll respond. Keep the hate mail at bay. It won’t be tolerated and end up in spam. Our vision is clear and we won’t be bogged down with the naysayers. You had your time.

Cyd

__________________________________________________________

Note from Sandy:

I’ve been working to educate people on school funding and the effects of the “mandatory” school curriculum for over thirty years. The one and only reason I have stuck to this is because I believe that the demise of our country is at stake.

The schools, their funding, their administrators, their unions are the lowest level of government that “we the people” have any hope of effecting change. If we can’t make an impact at that level the Federal level is certainly hopeless. I have not wanted to give up on my country.

In my opinion, last night’s fiasco regarding the federal budget was a diversionary tactic for covering up other more serious issues taking place in the world. I feel sure of that. The media loved covering the situation. Another 7.++ earthquake in Japan hardly got noticed. I guess the four nuclear towers are “all better.” That’s off topic now too.

The school unions and leaders use the same tactics when going after the property owners for more money. Anyone that is against raising taxes “hates the children” and doesn’t support education. In their propaganda their job is the most important job in the country. No salary level is too high. I have heard teachers say that they should be paid at the level of doctors. Their mantra is that the future of our country depends on the great education that the children receive from the union teachers. Of course “the more it costs the better the outcomes.” Nothing could be further from the truth in that statement unless you consider the outcomes that they want to occur. These may be much different from what the average person believes should be happening.

We all notice that the cuts that the boards propose are always ones affect the children the most harshly. You have mentioned all of them quite precisely.

Many people are afraid to speak out regarding their opposition to a levy. They are afraid of retaliation to their children or to themselves. One parent told me that her child came home crying because she didn’t love him. She said, “where did you ever hear such a thing.” His answer, “My teacher said that if you weren’t voting for the levy you don’t love me.” He had heard his parent discussing that they couldn’t afford to vote for the levy. In other words, the teachers are polling the children. The teachers are working in the classroom against the parents; this for their own monetary gain. How repugnant is this?

When I checked on “who funds levies” through the years, it is always the same people with the same vested interests. In Lebanon it is highly touted and supported by LCNB. (Chip Bonny, a board member, now works for LCNB. He formerly worked for Huntington Bank. The district obtained over $1M from Huntington Bank last year to buy back the buses that they formerly turned over to Laidlaw.) (I was told by my banker that transaction was a totally irregular transaction and would not be tolerated by his bank. He also said that Bonny, no doubt, received a nice bonus for that business. It would have been the case at his bank.)
The postcard sent out by the Pro-Levy group lists Eric Meilstrup as the treasurer. He is an officer with LCNB. Steve Wilson, CEO of LCNB has served on the district finance committee and heads up the full page of endorsements listed in the local paper.

LCNB also owned (until this month) Dakin Insurance. Lebanon buys it’s insurance from Dakin.

Other special interest groups funding levies are developers, construction companies, architectural firms, lawyers and other business leaders. Small amounts are given by the teachers, who can look forward to nice raises every time a levy passes.

Over 85% of the budgets pays for salaries and benefits. Other salaries can be hidden in many areas of the financial states and could make that percentage go up.

Any cuts suggested are called “draconian” and “extreme.”
No cuts are acceptable to the schools, county, city, township, state or federal levels of government.

The costs listed to give the per pupil amount are only from the General Fund that is for the operation of the schools. They never list the huge debt owed for the costs pertaining to the buildings And other loans they get (buses, copy equipment, phones, etc.) Those projections go on for years and years into the future. Our great-grandchildren will still be paying off those debts. ironically the buildings and equipment will be considered obsolete or even trashed. By the time the final payments are made.

When they speak to the people they try to use terminology that most people don’t understand. (I call it educationese.) This way they speak “down” to you, as though you are a child. They are the “professional” and you are insignificant in the scheme of things. They are taught how to “handle” the public a part of their college curriculum. It is part of the “Training for Change Agents” text. They study how to change your beliefs and those of your children. How to change your values from Christian to Secular Humanism.
The fact is that last year the board hired at least two new administrators.

Krista Foley (from Piqua – Student Services and Mason, Kindergarten Supervisor.) She is listed as administrator of various student programs
at a salary of $95,626.

Bill Lautar, former student services director in Kettering (where he retired)
Director of Human Resources at $98,343. (double-dipper)

July 15, 2010, Western Star: Lautar said he is in the process of filling
other certified and classified positions before the next school year, including
a secretary for the transportation office, coaching and extracurricular positions and teaching positions in special education, language arts and science.”

Schools are divided in this totally ridiculous configuration.

Louisa Wright – Early Childhood, Principal, secretary, 17 teachers
Bowman – First and Second Grades, two principals, two secretaries,
53 teachers.
Donovan – Third and Fourth Grades, two principals, two secretaries,
53 teachers.
Berry – Fifth and Sixth Grades, two principals, 2 secretaries

Jr. H. S. – (Former H.S.) Seventh and Eighth Grades, two principals,
two counselors,

High School – Three principals, 1466 total students 9-12

The total enrollment is around 5,000. I see plenty of room for cuts.

There are several people listed in the salaries listed on the blog as receiving “Retirement Incentive” payments.

Many “Teacher Assistants” listed for our overworked teachers. Many substitutes listed. I am told they have a higher absentee rate than the students.

We pay the entire retirement costs for the administrators (pickup on the pickup), we pay the entire health benefits for North and other admin. I admit that I haven’t read all of the contracts. Mark North is given unlimited time off to attend meetings and to consult. (I can’t imagine him consulting at anything.) There are numerous meeting held all over the country and world. I am going to request who traveled where in the past five years. It won’t help this time around, but good to have on hand for the future. I assure you that the Lakota people travel all the time. There is a NSBA conference in San Francisco this weekend. Most of them go with their “significant other.” After all, the room is paid for.

____________________________________________________________

All the issues discussed above are out of sheer frustration. It is obvious to anyone that cares to look, that there are many things wrong with how tax money is collected and spent. The people who grab this money from taxpayers are called by society as “trusted officials” or even “leaders.” But to those who look into things as they actually are, those trusted officials are just simple looters. These looters give the appearance that they are doing something beneficial for the community, but it’s all a smoke screen. What’s really going on is a lot of nothing and the tax payer is paying for things they don’t need to pay for.

Prior to Cyd’s interview on the radio Darryl spoke about the “non-essential” personnel in government. With that said, everyone in government that got a letter from the government on Friday April 8, 2011 stating that they are non-essential personnel shouldn’t be working in those positions, because they are wasting taxpayer money. It would also appear Mark North, superintendent of Lebanon is one of those “non essential” personnel. He didn’t have the guts to go on the radio today and debate the levy. He doesn’t know how to work with the community and answer questions. And he caves under the union pressure at the beginning of negotiations. So what good is he? He’s non-essential personnel and he could save the tax payers a lot of money if he wasn’t employed.

How many non-essential personnel is Lebanon employing if the superintendent isn’t doing anything? That’s the kind of question you have to ask before any levy should ever be put on a ballot. And the fact that the question wasn’t ask should insult every person in Lebanon that pays taxes.

Rich Hoffman

http://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior
www.overmanwarrior.com

Mark North is Challenged to a Debate: April 9th on the Darryl Parks Show

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Rick McPherson did the unthinkable. He went on the sacred airwaves of 700 WLW during the Darryl Parks show and challenged Mark North, superintendent of the Lebanon School System to an on-the-air debate over the actions taken by the Lebanon School Board to approve union contracts prior to Governor Kasich signing the S.B.5 bill which would eliminate collective bargaining agreements. If North had held tight he could have used S.B.5 to drive down the costs of his district and avoid a school levy.

It was a bold challenge given by a man who knows that the Lebanon Superintendent is guilty of subverting the confidence of the taxpayers in the school district while at the same time encouraging them to pass a levy on the May ballot. Listen to that interview and challenge here. Darryl Parks upon hearing this information declared his support toward defeating the Lebanon School Levy with the very powerful 50,000 Watts of The Big One radio station, one of the most powerful radio stations in the country.

Mark North has two choices. He can ignore the challenge and attempt to point his finger at those opposed to the increase in taxes as simple “bomb throwers.” He’ll do that because he doesn’t have the guts to face McPherson on WLW during the Darryl Parks show of April 9th. North knows he’s wrong and has been caught doing the unspeakable, making deals with the union prior to passage of a controversial bill and proving his loyalty to the unions, and not the tax payers of the district. He also knows that he and the school board members are guilty of violating the “sunshine law” which prohibits discussions and deals such as what transpired prior to the last Lebanon School Board meeting.

If Mr. North were innocent of such allegations, he’ll gladly be prepared to go on the Big One to defend the reputation of his district under his leadership. Because in the court of public opinion, silence means your guilty. The branch of truth has officially been extended for him to defend these actions for all to hear and to settle any misconceptions the public may have about the situation.

But, the video of the meeting speaks otherwise. Unless he can prove otherwise in a debate with McPherson on Darryl Parks show the proof of the despicable acts committed under his leadership will be confirmed in his silence.

Stay tuned, because we’re just getting started.

This isn’t a witch hunt to those of you that wish to think so. This is a demand of honesty, and for the system to work as it is supposed to. This is a demand to not perform illegal activity behind closed doors, and then ask tax payers to pay for incompetence. That’s all it is. If it’s painful, well……too bad. Your public officials and your boss want to know why you behaved the way you have, and you owe an explanation. Why not provide that explanation on the 50,000 Watt FLAME THROWER, 700 WLW for all to hear?

Declare your innocence…..if you can. After all, anyone that makes $149,937 a year should have no problem talking to half a million people over 38 states and part of Canada. Show up on April 9th and the debate will occur without a representative from the Lebanon School System.

The choice is yours…………………

Rich Hoffman

http://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior
www.overmanwarrior.com

We Get Paid To Ask For More Money: With education, it’s all about marketing and spin

with 9 comments

The day after the Lakota School Board chose to take a bit more time to analyze the deep cuts that must be met there was an article in the Enquirer about unions rushing to get contracts passed before S.B.5 becomes law. Listen to Doc Thompson discussing this issue on 700 WLW in the video below. It is good that Lakota did not get into a hurry to buckle under the union pressure. That would have been very irresponsible. However, most school districts, such as Lebanon went ahead and made deals with the unions. In Lebanon, Mark North, who makes $149,937 a year showed why he’s paid so much. He twisted the wording of his real intentions to proclaim that it was to the districts advantage to lock down their costs because S.B.5 would be challenged in court anyway. He gets paid to spin information like that so voters don’t see the real intentions, which is to secure their union contracts. But his actions, like a lot of other districts looking to pad the pockets of their union friends are revealed. Isn’t it nice to know where the loyalties of your elected administrators are? After all, it’s not their money. It’s yours………and before you say that Mark North is not an elected official, he is appointed by the school board who is elected by the public.

Here is the Enquirer article:

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110328/NEWS0108/103290330/Unions-employers-fearing-SB5-rush-contracts?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Under the comments section of that article there were a couple of the comments by the clueless types of people who inhabit the extraordinary costs of those collective bargaining agreements.

office1698
7:38 PM on March 28, 2011
Can’t wait for the referendum to begin! Gov Kasich and his Tea Party supporters have yet to see the power of unions.

ucfcltymbr
7:41 PM on March 28, 2011

Enjoy your Tea Bag Party reign. It will not take long for the public to come to their sense and run you and your pals out of Columbus and DC.

What we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks is that the unions and administrators have been most certainly in bed with each other. In casual talk we all make jokes about it to ease the tension, but in the back of our minds we want to believe that the administrators, whether it is a school board, or a city council, that they are acting in our best interests. With the rush lately to pass all these contracts before S.B.5 becomes law, the villains reveal themselves.

Villains? Is that the right word? Is that too harsh?

No. It’s not. Villains, looters, feeders, predators, are all words that can be accurately used to describe what the pubic worker has become to the American economy. They are those things because they have become too greedy, demanded too much, and are now in a position to make demands to the people who pay them. They have become corrupt to the point of treason if the word treason was used in a traditional capacity.

What are the definitions of treason?
treason
n
1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) violation or betrayal of the allegiance that a person owes his sovereign or his country, esp by attempting to overthrow the government; high treason
2. any treachery or betrayal

The unions, their strikes, their political manipulation, their raw extortion of the public tax dollar have engaged in treason, and they do it openly without fear of prosecution.

In the Pulse Journal report of the Lakota meeting of Monday, March 28, 2011 Lakota Education Association President Sharon Mays proclaimed that teachers have “stepped up” in these times of financial crises. She said, “We’re taking on more teaching responsibility-more class preps-in order to give students more opportunities. Delaying a decision is not fair to teachers or students.”

What does any of that mean? How have the teachers “stepped up?” Everything she stated is undefined, actually it’s expected. As employees of the district, everything she said is expected. Sharon makes $81,156 per year and at that pay rate, everything she stated is expected from someone in that pay scale. Everything and more! Yet she phrases it as though she were actually doing the district a favor of some kind that teachers are working longer than 7.75 hours per day.

Everyone I know that makes over 50K per year, including executives, company presidents, plant managers, sales managers etc, put in approximately 10.5 hours per day. They may spend 7 to 8 hours at the office and another 2 to 3 hours at home. Teachers take home papers to grade and do some class prep work as would be expected. And for Sharon to make $81K per year, I’d expect her to be on call 24 hours a day and do at least 4 to 5 hours of work per day at home. That is the value of that type of salary.

Yet that’s not what’s happening. Teachers are being paid extraordinary amounts of money to teach, which I’ve said should be in a range of pay between 40K to 70K. Any more than that is taking advantage of the tax payer. And the manipulation that union leaders commit against the community is a form of treachery, especially in the face of the last two weeks leading up to the S.B.5 passage.

The plan of these unions is to push hard to get their contracts signed, buy time, and then get their signatures for a referendum into the state by July 7th so they can freeze the bill and get it overturned in the November election. They truly believe that the public will be just as naive as they’ve been in the past, that holding babies and campaigns of “it’s for the kids” will work. They are counting on the same old strong-arm tactics to.

But what is the aim of those tactics. Are they protecting our children? Are they working on behalf of the greater good of the community? Are they working on behalf of a school system that is facing major layoffs?

No. They want their money. They want their money even if it costs their fellow union members their jobs.

I am proud that the Lakota School Board took some extra time to cut their costs. I would hope that once S.B.5 comes into play that they make full use of it to drive their costs down before the July 7th freeze, due to the referendum attempt.

For those union members at the top of the pay scale protecting your inflated salaries, you should be ashamed of yourselves letting others suffer so that you can continue a wage level you know is outrageous, and to hide such a fact behind children is despicable. If I were on the school board I’d set a cap on teaching salaries and for those that didn’t want to live under that cap I’d point to the door. You’re lucky I’m not on the school board. I hope the people we have there now can muster up a similar level of responsibility to protect the community. Teachers that put money before kids are not the type of people I want in my district anyway. We’ll pay you well, but not foolishly, and it is that foolish level of pay that causes the deficit.

It might be wondered or even considered malicious for me to include these wages in this article. The reason is that I know of no other way to balance a budget. How can you balance a budget without looking at the money you spend? Then you have to consider what that money buys you and assess whether or not you are getting the value for what you spend. And I don’t see it. I don’t think the money we spend on government is worth it. I don’t think the money we spend on education is worth it, because I see very little light on behind the eyes of our youth. And I get the sense that public education is simply an organized crime-like syndicate and they are charging the tax payer for protection of services the public values. If lightweights in the mind think my view is extreme, too bad. Everybody thinks it. They just don’t talk about it in order to maintain the status-quo. When people like Ms. Mays, and Mr. North, who makes a lot more money than the average taxpayer, says we need to increase taxes in order to continue to pay their salaries, I say to them, you’re not doing your jobs if all you can do is ask for more money. North as a superintendent should have put the community in front of the union. Mays as head of her own union should have brought her members to the table to take a pay reduction to save the teachers at the bottom of the totem pole and fit into the community’s budget. That would have been the responsible thing, but they didn’t do those things.

This is a fight that is just starting. We’ll see how much courage each side has when the smoke clears. One thing is for sure, I will be reporting every detail of it, because only one side is right. There is no left or right here. There is only right or wrong.

Rich Hoffman

http://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior
www.overmanwarrior.com

Looters of Lebanon: Mark North and the School Board Rob the Taxpayer!

with 27 comments

CAUTION! THE VIDEO YOU SEE BELOW WILL MAKE YOU FURIOUS.

A great crime has been committed on the people of Lebanon, Ohio one that was defined by one of my favorite philosophers as “looters.” The term looters is aimed at those in government positions that seem to believe that their sole function of existence is to take from those that have, and give to those that haven’t. They are the reason government is thought to be corrupt at every level. They are the reason that congress cannot agree on the proper level of budget cuts which will most likely shut down the government on April 8th. Government in almost every category is in my mind simply looters that steal from us all in the form of taxes and mindlessly spend that money on programs that only make our nation worse and less competitive. Looters are the proper term for these types.

It is difficult to see the behavior clearly at a national or even a state level because the media does a good job of cleaning up the way information is presented. However, recently at a Lebanon School Board meeting Mark North, superintendent of the Lebanon School System and the entire School Board performed in front of the community the very kind of “looter” trick that has all but destroyed our nation, and they did it right out in open.
See it for yourself.

What happened here was the School Board during their public meeting called for a measure to go into an executive session, which was unprecedented, since this was a public meeting. Executive session means all parties involved go behind closed doors to discuss issues in secret. The reason was to approve their union contracts before the Ohio House of Representatives passes the new S.B.5 Bill and Governor Kasich signs it into law. As you can see the crowd wasn’t sure what to think of this move and this prompted Robert Waters to rise and question the board, which he had a right to do since the executive session was going to be done out of the public eye and was an extreme surprise to the audience.

When Mr. Waters asked the question, “How long will the board be in executive session,” it is the Superintendent Mr. North that says, “Sit and wait.” Then goes on to tell the board that Mr. Waters is not a member of the board and to sit down, as if Mr. Waters is simply a child in the school system.

The reason Mr. Waters needed to question the board in this way is that the Lebanon School Board under the guidance of Mark North made a deal with the education union prior this meeting to pass the contract so the terms would be grandfathered in prior to the S.B.5 passage. This was extremely irresponsible, because if the board and Mr. North had been truly representing the community of Lebanon, they would have attempted to hold off the passage of the contracts until after S.B.5 was passed so they would then have leverage to control their costs. But what they did is now guarantee that the step increases will occur which is driving the need for the levy attempt.

They openly stole money from Lebanon right in front of everyone’s faces when they didn’t need to. That is called looting, and if the people of Lebanon allow that kind of behavior to go on when it is so very obvious then our nation as a whole is doomed. You cannot expect the nation to operate right if you can’t solve problems like this in your own community.

I spent much of Saturday with the people fighting the Lebanon Levy. I was impressed with their organizational skills, and they appear poised to be able to raise the money needed to fight this levy. There are donors that are afraid of retaliation from the school system that are on the fence, but that’s normal. Courage will find them because the group I met was very good. There are several people in this group and they have many diverse skills and are very passionate about defending the taxpayers of Lebanon and truly keeping education aimed at children. I was surprised to learn that Mark North had classified these good people as “a bunch of angry parents.” It was upon hearing that comment that I decided to spend the day with them, because after seeing the video of the executive session I felt the Lebanon School Board was committing a crime against Ohio, not just the people in their district, and this is a fight that needed attention. Here’s their website.
http://www.lebanonschoolfacts.com/

I didn’t want to rush to judgment, I asked a man who knows Mark North, “what kind of man is he, is he a man of integrity, because what I’m hearing is that he’s not?”

The response I got was a tight-lipped one where the words were carefully selected. “Mark is a man who will do anything for the school system.”

I nodded knowingly. What that means is that Mark North sees his role as a protector of the school system, which means the unions that occupy it. Those unions are what drive up their labor costs, and it is those step increases that are making this levy in May needed, which they just passed in executive session when they didn’t have to. North like most government types is a looter looking to pad the pockets of those he’s directly responsible for at the expense of the people who pay him. In this case he’ll disguise the looting by telling the taxpayers that Lebanon was rated in the top 9.98% in achievement performance at the lowest costs per pupil. What he doesn’t say is that he could have avoided the upcoming levy by not cutting a deal with the unions, showing where his true loyalties are.

Looters only care about the taxpayer when it comes time to ask for money. They are the greediest of the greedy and are the epitome of what’s wrong with our country. I’ve seen a lot of bad conduct by public officials, but this incident is one of the worst, simply because it was done in the open with absolutely no respect for the community. They truly expected nobody to stand up and question their motives. Lucky for Lebanon, one guy did.

Anyone who votes for a levy increase in Lebanon is contributing to a crime and endorsing the behavior of looters like Mr. North. As long as those methods work, they will always disrespect you, and the bet is that the taxpayers of Lebanon will turn the other way and allow the looters to get away with a crime committed in front of everyone to see.

Rich Hoffman

http://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior
www.overmanwarrior.com

Lebanon Warriors rise up to Fight: Taking back their district

with 8 comments

Here is an exciting announcement. The Lebanon School System has elected to place a levy on the ballot for the May elections.

That’s not the exciting part. Actually, it’s deplorable that the system is exploring a levy in this economic climate. But we all know now, and this is one of the benefits of Senate Bill 5 introduced by Senator Shannon Jones, is that it seeks to eliminate step increases as a state law, which will give school boards much more control over their local finances, because as things stand today expanding school budgets are more or less out of our control. Thank the teachers union for that.

When S.B.5 is passed, it will help enormously with the type of budget problems that give districts an excuse to put levies on a ballot. So until a bill like S.B.5 is passed, we have to stop the growth of this entitlement culture by turning off the money supply through tax revenue. So Lebanon is a levy that must be defeated in May.

But, as is typically the case in any institution that is built upon the foundations of entitlement, there are dark secrets. Deep, dark, illustrious soap opera type secrets that lead to massive amounts of corruption, at the tax payer’s expense.

Back when I first entered the arena of battling school levies, having web sites that functioned as whistle blowers of the type of corruption that drives up costs within school districts were virtually unknown. But I set one up with my daughter serving as the lead designer and it was a marvelous success. In fact, this blog site was born as a kind of newspaper that connected directly to our home site of www.NoLakotaLevy.com. It was needed so daily updates could be quickly added and spread virally through the community. It was so effective that it went a long way to defeating the Lakota Levy on it’s own merit, because it allowed people to learn exactly what the truth was by people in the community that really cared about the fate of the district, not just hired officials trying to justify their jobs and amount of pay. This is important because as tax payers we are the employers of these officials, so we need information that is accurate and cuts through the smoke screens to the truth.

The No Lakota Levy campaign worked very closely with Mason, and still does as a matter of fact. Mason employed their own web site to great effect, and as history now shows, their levy went down to defeat also.

So to defeat a school levy, a good web site is very important and that’s why I am very proud to announce the creation of Lebanon Schools Facts.com http://lebanonschoolfacts.com/ that was created to bring the Lebanon Levy down in flaming defeat!

Their site is very impressive. It looks like they took what they liked from other web sites like the Mason site and the Lakota site and dramatically improved them for their own use. It’s packed with information and appears to be only the tip of the ice berg for what will prove to be an entertaining and informative election season. I have some preliminary information that has been sent to me, and once the information can be confirmed, that web site will be the place to break the info, and it will be very beneficial to helping the voters of Warren County decide if they want to support all this activity with a larger imposition on their property taxes.

When launched earlier in the week, the website had over 400 hits in its first 24 hours. Oddly within hours of the launch Joe Roberts resigned from his athletic director position. And before the election in May, there will be a lot more drama as the layers of hidden information gets peeled back to reveal what’s really at the core of this issue.

And be it known that I am fully behind the Anti-Levy effort of Lebanon. My goal at this point is reform at the state level and I believe throwing more money at public education in its current form is no different than paying off mob bosses in a Las Vegas Casino.

So trust me Lebanon Warriors, I dedicate this song to your cause and the lyrics of that song will be yours. It’s a song I listen to almost every day and I think it’s appropriate for you Lebanon Warriors. Listen to the words and enjoy the battle cry!

Rich Hoffman

http://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior
www.overmanwarrior.com

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