April 23, 2014

Mostly clear

‘Draconian’ cuts for Cloverleaf expected if pair of tax issues fail

LODI — Cloverleaf again is going to the voters for more money.

This time the school board plans to place a combination issue on the May 6 primary ballot that includes a 3.5-mill property tax and a 0.75 percent earned income tax for 10 years.

Superintendent Daryl Kubilus said the income tax is expected to produce more than $3 million annually. The 3.5-mill property tax would take effect Jan. 1, 2015, and immediately produce more than $1.6 million annually for 10 years.

The school board passed a resolution Monday asking that the tax be placed on the ballot.

A state-appointed fiscal oversight commission was expected to consider the resolution Tuesday night.

The five-member commission was appointed 1½ years ago to oversee the financially strapped school district.

Kubilus said the board has cut more than $7 million from the budget in last five years. But even with spending more than $2 million less this year than last year, the district remains in financial distress.

Fiscal Oversight Commission Chairman Paul Marshall previously said that although Cloverleaf can make it through this school year, the district will run a deficit again next year.

The district has projected a $5.8 million deficit by 2017 if a new levy is not approved.

Marshall said the district’s recovery plan assumed passage of a levy.

“If a levy is not approved, and fairly quickly, we’re going to have to make some other decisions,” he said.

Voters last year rejected a 10-year, 8.3-mill levy in November and a 7.9-mill, 10-year levy in May. A 6.9-mill, 10-year levy was rejected in November 2011.

If the district can’t generate more money soon, Marshall warned “draconian” cuts may be needed.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.

  • Fatheroffour

    keep your filthy mitts off my income.I hope all the retired people in the school district realize this new income tax and the existing one they already saddled us with is killing the working poor. Find another way to finance your indoctrination center.

  • Reaistic

    WOW!!!! What in the world are
    they thinking by going for an ADDITIONAL .75% income tax???? This means that
    Cloverleaf residents that work would now pay a TOTAL of 1.25% income tax!!!
    Please be very clear with this… if this levy passes, Cloverleaf workers will
    have 1.25% of their paycheck removed. This is all on top of the actual property
    tax you are paying. This is RIDICULOUS!!

    In other news, the levy committee who solicited community input has blatantly
    disregarded the voice of the community. This levy committee / board /
    superintendent are all blind… they do not have the CHILDREN’S best interest
    in mind. They refuse to make some sacrifices that would send this district in
    the right direction. They refuse to focus on CORE education and would rather
    sacrifice the education for all so that they can provide extra’s for a few.
    Does that make sense??

    Advice to Cloverleaf – CUT THE

    Cloverleaf’s reaction to this is
    that they feel they need the extras, and they are afraid of losing students.
    Guess what… the district still gets their property tax and income tax! Also,
    guess what, the real world does not care about what extras a kid had in high
    school. The focus is that they got a core education and that they graduated. What
    colleges/military/employers look for is COMMUNITY involvement. They want to see
    that the person went out of their way and is involved in church, Boy/Girl
    Scouts, Explorers (fire dept. and police), club sports (like what you find at
    Pinnacle, or NC Soccer), etc. With that said, I currently have recent grads
    from Cloverleaf working for me and I can tell the core education is DEFINITELY lacking
    there. These kids are missing fundamental things that the school should have
    provided. Cloverleaf failed the kids, and failed the employers in the area that
    have to deal with the uneducated students it creates. If the focus was on
    EDUCATION ONLY, we would be so much better off.

    time until Cloverleaf gets the clue to CUT THE EXTRAS!!!! How many years will
    they waste and drown in debt when this could all be avoided?????????

  • lookingallaroundme

    I have posted these things many times, but here I go again.cloverleaf administrators all get an extra (approximately) $10,000 each in addition to their contracted salaries. This is because we, the taxpayer, pay for all of their retirement. The state board had a fiscal report done that pointed out the administration was paid too highly when compared to other schools. The local board’s solution? Stop paying any NEW hires this benefit. That leaves 16 or 17 people still getting a great deal. Now, they have hired one new principal under this new policy. If we compare this new principal’s salary to the salary of the principal he replaced, we find the new principal is making about $10,000 dollars more than the previous guy in straight salary. Still overpaid? Yes. Looks like a solution on paper? Yes, sort of. Savings to the district? 0. Benefits to students? 0.

  • Sevillefather

    You people must be kidding! “indoctrination center”, focus on a “core education”? What world do you people live in? Does Cloverleaf do things that are not perfect? Yes. Do you? Yes. The Cloverleaf schools have done MORE with LESS than any other district in this area! Despite misinformed people like these who make speecious claims, Cloverleaf has scored highly on state and national tests and standards and has produced numerous successful graduates all with little support from voters and none from the state. The author of the post that states he has employees that lack a “core education” that are Cloverleaf graduates only makes a clear point that HE has poor interviewing and hiring practices! If these kids are so awful and you hired them, what does that say about YOU?

    I am a father of two Cloverleaf graduates. My family is middle class, not wealthy, and we have always supported the school. When the BoE has made choices I’ve not agreed with, I do not act like a selfish fool and punish the kids and the teachers who do wonders with so little resources. My two Cloverleaf grads were VERY well prepared for college, graduated, and have prospered, all with the CORE education and EXTRAS like AP and honors classes Cloverleaf has. People should support a school like this.

  • really?

    The school needs to figure out how to balance their books, with what they have to work with just like we have to balance our bills with what money we bring home. We cannot afford any more money coming out of our paychecks, we now have healthcare cost that has doubled and covers less. Where is all the money being spent on from the lottery and the casinos?I am sick and tired of the teachers forcing the levy on our kids in school and threatening the kids if it is not passed. Cloverleaf got greedy and now wants everyone else to fix their mess.

  • Joseph Doty

    Cut the extras? Wow, my sons attend Cloverleaf and I am unaware of any extras!! I guess I should pay better attention to all these extras.
    The idea you save money by cutting extras is just plain wrong. You cut sports and kids LEAVE and take their state money with them.
    Example: Cloverleaf pays about $80,000 a year for middle school sports. About $30,000 is paid through Pay to Participate, so the schools share is $50,000 for MS sports. The school receives approx. $5,000 from the state for each student. So, you cut MS sports and 20 kids transfer (there would be more than 20!!). You have “saved” $50,000 but you have lost $100,000 in state funding so it is a negative $50,000. That is just the dollar and cents loss. Cutting sports and extracurricular activities harm a school in so many ways beyond losing money to transfers.
    There are no extras to cut at Cloverleaf. We cannot cut our way out of this problem. The truth is the voters have ran this school on a shoe string budget for over 50 years.
    Pay now or pay more later but sooner or later you will pay.

  • Joseph Doty

    I don’t think the state audit said Cloverleaf’s administrators are overpaid. Simply not true.

  • Joseph Doty

    Do any of you have the courage to post stuff without hiding behind a screen name? Spineless wonders get on here, bad mouth the school and do it from a nice safe anonymous place. Should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • Reaistic

    These extras are not part of the core education. These extras do cost money because there are people paid to handle them (sports = athletic director; etc.). I am not saying that cutting these solves the financial problem. HOWEVER, my point is that these are unecessary spends that the taxpayers see and question. If the money spent on extras was in turn spent on education, the students would be that much further ahead. The voters want to see fiscal responsibility with 100% of their dollars going towards core education.
    So what if the kids leave – which I do not think they will. Regardless, you are getting the property tax AND current income tax from that household. Do not forget that.
    You are right – you cannot cut your way out of the this. The current thinking at Cloverleaf is to cut everything (core education), except the extras. This is WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!
    I will also further explain my case that these kids have been hurt by the lack of focus on core education. The graduates we use are good at their trade (learned from the JVS). However, they lack the basic fundamentals of math/english. These are tough subjects for them compared to kids from other districts/areas. I spend time working through reports correcting grammar mistakes that should not have been made. However, they have the skill set to accomplish the job (thanks to the JVS).
    All Cloverleaf has to do is think outside of the box and show the voters that they will prioritize a kids education over all else. Currently, that is not the case.

  • mark bergman

    Fatheroffour = Mark Bergman
    look it up tough guy

  • Joseph Doty

    Good Marc. I have nothing but respect for people who are willing to stand up for what they believe in.
    Was not trying to be a “tough guy”!

  • lookingallaroundme

    It is a public document. The findings did not use my exact words but it amounts to the same thing.

  • lookingallaroundme

    Why? Is there a desire to kill the messenger? Besides, what if I am a board member’s spouse with profound differences of opinion with my significant other?

  • Joseph Doty

    How about standing up for what you believe in??? Also, if you are using your real name you might think twice about posting total BS. I don’t always agree with “letters to the editor” but I do respect their willingness to state their opinion and put their name on it.
    It also gives people the benefit of considering the source.
    Just keep on hiding. Spineless wonder!

  • Joseph Doty

    It’s not your exact words because the audit does not say that.
    Your screen name should be “imakestuffup”.

  • lookingallaroundme

    I can only say that I stand behind what I write and anyone who wants the documents can request them. Weren’t you on the board when $346,000 was handed out to one man
    In retirement benefits? Or is that BS? Weren’t you on the board when the decision was made to buy the house across the street? You know the one where the taxpayer could be paying all costs for the lifelong resident for the next 40 or 50 years? Weren’t you on the board when the personal family friend of the super was hired as head bean counter? I know, all of that is wrong and you really won that last election you were in in a landslide.

  • Joseph Doty

    Further proof that you are full of crap. I was NOT on the board when any of those decisions were made. So, yes, you are not only a coward but are also completely ignorant. Keep on hiding!

  • lookingallaroundme

    Interesting that even though my assertions are “crap” you confirm them as having been board actions. I am sorry that I was wrong about your involvement in those decisions. I thought you were elected in 07
    And Brucey retired in 08 so I just assumed.

  • Joseph Doty

    Therein lies the problem. You assume and then based on your assumptions make grand statements hiding behind your screen name.
    I came on board in Jan., 2008. Bruce retired 3 months later. I never voted on anything involving Bruce’s contract or any money he received. If you really knew what you were talking about you would know that I actually tried to stop those payments to Bruce. None of the people involved are even on the board anymore. Bruce was a horrible super. You and I probably agree on that. Bruce is the one responsible for the house across the street deal. He was a lousy negotiator when it came to the unions.
    He and Daryl Kubilus are like night and day. Completely different. In fact, a lot of what Daryl has done should have been done by Bruce years ago but he always wanted to be the “nice guy”.
    If you want to keep blaming the schools for mistakes made years ago, go ahead. But the truth is, Cloverleaf has NEVER been run better than it is right now. Go talk to Kubilus, he will answer any question you have and you will leave the meeting a believer. Or keep on assuming and be deliberately ignorant.
    I learned in 3rd grade what happens when you assume.
    Keep on assuming and keep on hiding!

  • Joseph Doty

    Kids will leave. Some already have left.

  • lookingallaroundme

    Wait, so you were part of the Board when Bruce got the big payday, but you tried to stop it. that is a little different than what you stated above. As for talking to the current guy–been there a lot, done that a lot. Now, how about the 100% pick up of retirement. You say that is BS, but I say it is done. I say that 16 or 17 people get this and it adds @ 12,000 extra dollars to tax payer expense to pay these people. Some administrators get it by contract, like Daryl. Others just have it through board action. The board stopped that action for new hires but grandfathered all the others. If you look at the previous MS principal’s salary @ $ 56,000 plus pick up equals @ 65,000. Now look at the current asst salary and it is @ 65,000..
    Now your business thrives on you getting your name out and waving it around. Mine does not. I prefer anonymity.. The opinions of a man like you matter very little to me. What matters is your inability to refute anything I have written. Would you like to move on to the incredible request to enter state receivership versus waiting for the state to come in on its own?

  • Joseph Doty

    The board had approved the retirement incentive plan before I was a member. The law regarding these type of incentive plans gave the board one chance to change it’s mind. After Bruce announced his intention to retire, I made the motion to stop the plan, no one on the board seconded my motion so my motion died.
    In regards to pick up ion the pick up, this is standard practice all across the state for administrators. Cloverleaf is not the only district that does it. In fact, Medina has a partial pick up for it’s teachers.
    You also do not understand the law when it comes to declaring a fiscal emergency.
    I use my name cause I am not a coward. You clearly are. In fact, I think I know who you are. The best word to describe you would be “disgruntled”.
    Keep on hiding – COWARD!!!!!

  • lookingallaroundme

    I wonder how many districts in fiscal emergency provide the pick up and for so many administrators. Maybe I don’t understand fiscal emergency. I thought the state watched the district and came in as a reluctant last resort. I do recall some acquaintances on Buckeye’s board being rather surprised that we requested it. I know the decision has hurt my property values and an attempt to sell my house has not been pleasant. It may have been inevitable but what was the benefit to rushing into something that is so hard to get out of? And do you think it is a conflict of interest to have a member on the state board who also sits on the recreation center board? If you have figured me, then you should be happy with yourself. It seems that you hold all of your opinions as infallible. Do you realize how many names you have cast at me? All because we disagree about the running of a place that is supposed to do good things. By your angry words, you seem rather disgruntled yourself. I do Agee with you and have written it before. The time to pass a levy was before the rollback because once the state got into the game, the outcome was decided, it is just a matter of time.

  • Common Sense

    As a recent alumnus of Cloverleaf, I can no longer sit back and stay quiet about the running of this school district. Cloverleaf is in a serious mess and has not sufficiently corrected the problems that need to be addressed. The first issue is the school’s budgeting problems. Beginning in 2008, this nation experienced a major recession, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Millions of people lost their jobs through layoffs, had to take pay or benefit cuts, or had their hours cuts. So why have Cloverleaf employees, especially certified, had substantial salary increases from 2008 to the present. Some teachers now make over $6,000 more per year in salary than they did in 2008. This is during a time when my family, neighbors, and friends who live in the district have lost their jobs, taken substantial pay or benefit reductions, or had their hours cut. The salary figures of Cloverleaf employees are public record at The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions and can be viewed online at (http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/teacher-salary). You just look up Cloverleaf Local School District under the “District Name” drop down bar to view them.

    The second issue is Cloverleaf certified employees’ contributions to their own healthcare costs. According to John Gladden, the Cloverleaf Local Schools Community Information Coordinator, Cloverleaf raised their healthcare percentage costs from 2.84% to 15% only when the school district began experiencing a fiscal emergency (http://mediatrackers.org/ohio/2012/05/09/local-school-district-defends-controversial-state-bailout). This means that Cloverleaf certified staff was only paying 2.84% towards their healthcare before the district began experiencing a fiscal emergency. The teachers, school board, and superintendent have said that they have corrected this problem by now paying 15% towards their healthcare. However, according to a comprehensive study conducted by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (directly related to Kaiser Permanente), the average American pays about 29% towards their healthcare premium under a family plan (http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2013/August/20/family-premiums-rise-4-percent-second-year-in-row.aspx). So Cloverleaf certified employees are paying half of the average American for their family healthcare plan. I know my family, neighbors, and friends pay around 29%, if not more, and some of them work for healthcare institutions. If Cloverleaf certified employees would just pay the healthcare costs of an average American, it would save the district hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars per year. By voting for this levy, you are essentially supporting and paying for Cloverleaf certified employees’ healthcare when many residents in this district struggle or cannot afford to pay for their own healthcare.

    The third issue is Cloverleaf’s lack of priority management. Lets be clear. Cloverleaf and all school districts’ sole goal is to educate students. Anything outside of that goal is non-essential. The first problem is cutting funding or completely eliminating programs that actually enhance the educational purpose of the district. The music and art programs enhance the educational purpose of the school. Numerous studies have shown that music and art improve the learning ability of students and help increase test scores. Furthermore, the Cloverleaf High School band program has been a phenomenal asset to the school by winning numerous competitions and representing the school in the state competition for decades. Secondly, cutting funding from the Principal’s Fund to Academic Challenge, an educational competition program, is absolutely ridiculous. Academic Challenge has been one of the few bright spots for the school, even during this difficult time. It has represented and won for the school on local television (WEWS Newschannel 5 Academic Challenge show) and state television (10-TV Brain Game show) numerous times, and in state and national competitions. Why would Cloverleaf cut funding to programs that have actually garnered positive attention for the school, been extremely
    successful, and are actually educationally-based? It isn’t like the sports at
    the school are doing anything. The baseball team has not had a winning season in who knows how long, the basketball team keeps losing to conference opponents by over 50 points a game, and the football team can only beat Buckeye. Yet this school district keeps pumping in money to consistently losing programs and builds new sporting facilities/fields. Even if the sporting facilities/fields were built through funding from the sports boosters, the taxpayers and the school district are still on the hook for maintaining them. If the school district was really serious about education, start asking people willing to contribute money outside of their taxes to the school to support its educational mission rather than the sports programs.

    The fourth issue is the treatment of teachers in the district who are actually doing their jobs and going above and beyond what they are required to do. The district has consistently rewarded teachers who do less and punished the ones who do more. In the high school, for example, most of the Honors or Advanced Placement (AP) teachers who go above and beyond to teach those courses make significantly less than the ones who teach basic classes or fail to do their jobs. Teachers who take on the added responsibility of upper level courses by going to additional trainings, writing class plans during the summer, and teaching substantially more in a school year than the average teacher should be rewarded for that. On the other end of the spectrum, the district does nothing to get rid of teachers who do not conduct themselves with professionalism. When I was at the high school, the district did nothing to remove a teacher who had received multiple complaints every single year for
    over six years straight. Another teacher painted her nails, did her eyelashes, and took conversations on the phone during class, and just gave us worksheets so she would not have to teach. Finally, another teacher missed almost half of the school year with random excuses, and we learned absolutely nothing with the different substitutes we would have every day in her absence. The leadership in the school district needs to actually hire and retain the best teachers possible, and remove the problem ones.

    Finally, the leadership of Cloverleaf has just been completely incompetent and blatantly lies to the students and taxpayers. Cloverleaf is one of the only school districts in the state that receives property, income, and sales taxes, and still cannot manage to run the district effectively. First, the leadership screwed up the construction of the new Cloverleaf Elementary by building it too small when there was plenty of money left from the county sales tax fund for permanent improvements. Consequently, sixth grade had to be added to an already cramped middle school, and there was talk for a few years to build an extension to the middle school. Since the school botched its original planning and it would cost much more to extend the middle school than to have built the new elementary school correctly, the students at the middle school now suffer the consequences. Secondly, when I was a student in 2009 after the income tax had passed several years earlier, the teachers, principals, and administrators in the high school promised students like me that we would receive new textbooks and technology from that money to enhance our learning experience. The textbooks used in my political science class at the time were falling apart and had President Bill Clinton’s inauguration as the last event in it, which happened almost 20 years earlier. When the income tax money was disbursed, the students got no new textbooks or technology, but instead that money went into the teachers and administrators’ pockets. Finally, when I recently visited Cloverleaf High School, the names of former valedictorians and salutatorians listed in the display case on the cafeteria stage had not even been updated since the 2009 graduating class. I asked some teachers and administrators why my former classmates had not had their names updated on it since 2009, and they said there was no money to do that. It would cost the district maybe $75 to properly put all of those names in the display case, but yet certified employees continue to receive yearly raises in the thousands.

    With these problems, lack of priority management, and incompetence, there is no way I can ever support and vote for a Cloverleaf Schools levy again until the district gets its act together. I urge everyone who can vote within the Cloverleaf Local School District to stand up and vote “NO” for any future levy!