Norwalk schools holding levy meeting

Entire program will last about 45 minutes.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Mar 24, 2014


An explanation of the state of finances of the Norwalk City Schools will be provided at a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. April 1.

The meeting will take place in the high school's performing arts center. Members of the board of education and Superintendent Dennis Doughty will be available to answer questions and update the community members on the proposed levy that is labeled "Five for Five."

The entire program will be completed in about 45 minutes.


former local

Sure hope all the complainers on here show up to ask questions, but then, that would require them to get off the couch!


Re: "show up to ask questions,"

And unless the predictable majority "No" voting citizens can magically shoot dollars out of their arse, their reasoning for attending would be what?

Maybe if they could magically get their heads out of their arse, they would learn something if they attended.


Re: "if they attended."

Read intellectually condescending.

Point: Attendance would improve the economics of those on fixed income or low wage status how?

They would learn why the school needs money. They could voice their opinion as to why/how the school should make cuts, and not just anonymously on a message board. Everybody is on a fixed income and most of the area has "low wage status."

If you own a house, and your house is worth $100,000 you only pay $175 for the year... which breaks down to less than $15 a month. It's not asking much.


Re: "It's not asking much."

Reads like one is demeaning their financial predicament of not having any extra income to spare.


Lol! Good one Winnie!


Until they eliminate unnecessary assistant/vice positions, the position created for Duncan, and the position the double-dipping 99k a year position held by Goodsite I see no need to consider any proposal(s) offered.

How DARE they ask for more taxpayer money!


Cliff Cannon

@ VerbalKint : " the double-dipping 99k a year position held by Goodsite "

From the day it was announced Dr. Goodsite was doing this. She became the lightening rod of the levy debate, didn't she ? Of course, everyone in the education industry is eligible ( As I understand it) for this lavish send off to retirement and quite frankly, if one is not eligible for such a bonus-- they tend to hate this fringe benefit , don't they ?

Obviously, if Dr. Goodsite had worked this extra year for peanuts or better yet, for free. We wouldn't be having this discussion and the levy,quite probably would already be a winner. Do you agree ?

Yet, she did what the 'average' person would have done. Having spent her career polishing her skills, while climbing the educational ladder. She took the big send off and I won't find fault with her for doing it.

So if you want to use her 'last lap' payday as a reason for not voting for the levy. So be it. After all time and time again when we hear the phrase from people; " it's not about the money " it is.

Yet, here is what this levy is about for me. Library's and the arts for children. So I am a yes vote.

Here's hoping you go to this meeting voice your displeasure, ask your questions and come away with a different perspective ( Even if you don't change your vote )


Amazing...God forbid I mention double-dipping, I should just go ahead and vote to shell out another 250 bucks a year on top of an already bloated property tax bill? Sorry, not gonna happen.

This board and prior boards have repeatedly been told no, and they don't give a rat's behind what we who financially support them want or cannot afford. They continue to ignore and keep going back for more, regardless of the cost.

Laying a guilt trip won't work anymore, at least not for me.

Cliff Cannon

VerbalKint : Please reread, then focus on comprehending what I wrote. There was not the least bit of an attempt to try a 'guilt trip' on anyone. In fact my very last sentence says " Even if you don't change your vote " ( How could you have missed that ? )

Rather there was understanding of your concern. With an extremely pointed observation on the particular problem 'double dipping' brings to this election. Apparently,your urge to jump to conclusions, caused you to miss those critical points.


And you missed the created position for Duncan and all the assistant/vice/admin positions that could be eliminated.

See you at the polls Cliff. Even with all the teachers, their union buddies, families, etc. coming out in droves to a non-general election I predict another failure and waste of the taxpayer's time and money.

Cliff Cannon

"And you missed the created position for Duncan and all the assistant/vice/admin positions that could be eliminated " No I didn't.

Rather,since we have the most efficient school board in the county. I trust their wisdom in having these positions

No matter how you vote or how anyone vote's for that matter. I for one, am always glad to know people care enough about the events of the day to vote.

swiss family

Cliff.. just an observation or two... your comment where you hear people say "it's not about the money" kind of tells me that you are talking to people, (friends, neighbors etc)who are desperately trying to hide the facts that we are, as a country, and as a county and as a city, facing difficult financial times.Most people are not afraid or ashamed to admit that money is tight, and the money and the extra that we are afforded needs to be used in the aspect where it will do the most good... correct??

The truth is, it IS about the money.. it is about OUR money.. it is about the LIES we are being told, it IS about misspending of the money that we give to the school board and the way that they are NOT using it to the best of their ability, and the repetitive habit of foolish spending, then turning back to the tax payers and saying "we need more please"...

Cliff, with all due respect... please go into a school library... I will use South Central's school library as an example.. you will find , maybe 100 book... maybe, but you will see row after row of the libraries that you talk about are becoming extinct.It is time that we need to be as progressive and changing as the times are .Living in the past, is using up money that we do not have.

I think that it IS about money, and it IS about how our money is being spent, and I think citizens are growing tired of shelling out more and more with unparalleled results in education. I will throw out a suggestion to anyone looking to start their own business... I would say that once the levy fails, and the usual cuts are made as a form of punishment to the tax payers, which will be busing, of course and pay for pay sports programs. Someone would do well to buy some used buses , right now, and privatize their own busing system, and back door-ing the "hurt" that the school board is waiting to put into play..just an idea....

Cliff Cannon

@ swiss family : Totally agree. This levy is " about the money " for most.Whether your the asst. superintendent ( And I am not picking on her ) who did what the " average " person would do and took the lavish pay out the 'last lap ' benefit provides rather than volunteering her services like so many retiree's do or your the tax payer with money shortages, who doesn't want to fund such extravagances.

Your right. It is 'about the money'. Yet for me, who no doubt like you, hears the non-stop comments from almost everyone our age, that they want to " get their social security before it's not there ". We understand what they are actually saying, don't we ?

For truth be told. If social security is 'not there' then neither will welfare be nor will money be there for our military or roads or..... Indeed, truthfully, the entire monetary system would collapse, would you agree. ?

Which leaves what ? Civil war ? So, in spite of the cataclysmical implications of what people are really saying. I wholeheartedly believe the song that says "there has to be a morning after "

So where will those leaders of tomorrow turn in the face of this unbelievable crisis, when " money " will mean virtually nothing ? " Books " is my answer.

Even though your correct,that currently, library's are stacked with computers & " modernisms ". What will still be there in library's no matter what happens ? Books.

So my friend, in spite of the fact that this levy will hit my family's business---rental homes--- smack square in their affordable housing teeth. ( I can assure you, I see just how tight money is in my customers lives on a daily basis )

I will vote for the library's & arts( even though, I believe whole heartedly in pay & bennie cuts for every government employee everywhere )Simply because there has 'to be a morning after ' in any great crisis where it will take books & wisdom to lead the way out.

Besides, who could lie peacefully in their grave in such an hour of calamity knowing that in life, they valued money more than they valued the minds of the children who will be left with the mess, we have helped create ?

P.S. There is an educational adage that says " A world class education can be had from a shelf of books 5 foot long " You believe that ? If so, for fun, just think of which of the master thinkers of human history you would put on that shelf

swiss family

Sorry Cliff I respectfully still disagree.. You focus on one particular retired and back to work school employee.. I am not qualified or equipped to discuss her, or her responsibilities or finances.. I like to talk in the broader sense and will say that I , personally do not think that every elementary school in town needs their own Principal, or Vice Principal and the entire staff that supports them, when statistically , kids fully co-operate and do not cause trouble until their teen years.. at that point I think we need a full staff, but I certainly believe that in the lower grades, cuts could be made saving lots of money.

Then your comment about people our age wanting to get their social security before it runs out...Every worker, past and present and future pays into the social security system.. so the people who are getting their social security are collect on money that they have put into the "kitty" and the people working now and in the future are paying for the future recipients, so theoretically it should not run out, and even if it does get tight, it really is NOT connected to the "welfare, or military money etc.. they are all funded separately, as far as I know...I also do not agree with your solution to what will survive after a total collapse of the monetary system.. you say it will be books.. in truth it is knowledge, and the ability to find the source of knowledge, and trust me when I tell you, that if you were to go into ma school's library, you will see fewer and fewer books and more and more computers.

Have you tried to by a set of encyclopedias lately?? they are hard to find because all of the knowledge that they hold is now loaded into computers..I also do not see the point of keeping public libraries alive in every small surrounding town.We have progressed, it is no longer a buggy ride and a need to pack a lunch and get your traveling clothes and get a warm blanket to visit relatives in Milan, or Monroeville or New London.. so do we really need to keep all of these libraries open, except for nostalgic purposes?? I don't think so.. To me it would be like keeping the pot belly stoves stoked in all of these buildings, when we have already installed a complete heating and cooling system in them. I know I , for one will rest peacefully in my grave, knowing that we closed libraries and got rid of physical books, because I know that we have kept up with the modern times and provided computers for the kids minds to not only be equipped to contain and provide more information in them, than in an entire library of books..

Cliff Cannon

@swiss family : "You focus on one particular retired and back to work school employee.. I am not qualified or equipped to discuss her, or her responsibilities or finances.."

Neither am I equipped for that. Because what I know of her is that she an extremely talented driven person who cares deeply about children and is very good at what she does. So it pains me to even mention her.

Yet, it my belief that her coming back at a 'reduced rate ' is something that made her a lightening rod for 'no' votes in this election. ( No matter how much money it truly saved the district.) Further,my point was to agree with you that it is " about the money " to everyone, on every side of this issue.

And if you don't believe she is a lightening rod in this levy. Consider what you wrote on the day she made her comeback: " how can this happen?? on the same day that the newspaper announces that the meeting of the school's sad economic condition is so bad, that the Superintendent announces that there will be drastic cuts, because that bad, bad, citizens are not doing as they are told, and passing levies, and then on the same day,, announce that they are bringing back someone who was retired and is now going to work as a "Assistant Superintendent" at $99,000.00 a year???? " See what I mean about 'lightening rod ' ? ( Or check out 'VerbalKints' comments here for another example)

As to social security failing or not failing. I believe that the current economic path in our country is not sustainable. So if it is social security that triggers an economic meltdown or a terrorist attack or the overburdened pension programs both public & private or what ever scary thing one can think of. One thing seems for sure our debt load is not sustainable long term. ( See Spain,Greece or Italy for others battling the same problems )

Hopefully, you are correct and I am wrong that nothing catastrophic happens. Still, I would not bet on it.

As for library's I love your analogy's of changes man has seen and continues to see. Still, I rather enjoy being a dinosaur when it comes to books and seriously doubt that will ever change.

Bottom line's we can agree on. Every point has 360 degree's around it. Which means that many opinions can be correct and one is not 'wrong' if they disagree with another person.

Then I hope like hades you are correct on most of your points and that I am wrong for I see an extremely scary future for children.

P.S. Almost forgot; I have several sets of encyclopedia's ( Because they weren't wanted by the prior owners) Told you I am a dinosaur. :)

swiss family

Again.. I will repeat.. I am NOT qualified to discuss any one person who has retired and was rehired... I do not know why you continue to try to discuss one employee, when I continue to tell you clearly that I am not qualified to judge her worth to the school system. What I have said and continue to believe is that there are NO "Vice" positions that I think are worthwhile.. If the actual person can not get the amount of work done on their own, without having a "Vice" to back them up, then I feel the original person is NOT doing their job to the best of their ability..

Now, as for you quoting me on the day that the school board announced that they would need lots more money to operate.. First, thank you for journaling everything I write and being able to bring it back so quickly, you must be a bigger fan than I first though, of my writings.Second, what I was commenting on was on the blatant misguiding our school board is giving us. it has not as much to do with whom they rehire or whatever, as much as it has to do with them refusing to eliminate a position that they seemed to indicate was expendable to us, to show us their good faith to make meaningful cuts.I am also NOT saying that something catastrophic is NOT right around the corner.. what I am saying though, is that in these troubling times with the economy so tight , we need to spend our money wisely, trust the people we have in charge,and not get suckered in by their pulls on our heart strings and emotions, like threatening to do away with our school libraries... which in reality are now just computer rooms with few books..Oh, and please note that you threw in the "for the kids" guilt trip... and I understand why, but it should NOT negate all common sense... perhaps spending money more wisely, and making sure that the people we hire to run our schools, are actually working within their means, and are not constantly begging for more and more.. and if they don't get it, or refuse to try, then we need to replace them for the good of the kids as well


btw, how much does it cost the taxpayer every single time they put their wishes on the ballot?

Cliff Cannon

" their reasoning for attending would be what? "

Contango : I have a hunch, if you went to a meeting or if a vast number current " No " voters went to this meeting ( Or attended the last round of informational meetings ) There would be a lot of people changing their minds to " yes " on the levy. Would you agree ?

So here's hoping this meeting is packed with people who all come armed with questions.

Besides, since you already dismissed my,er,ah, 'great ' idea of having every public employee (Most of all cut the dang welfare down so it is no longer a 'career' for people ) in America take pay & bennie cuts as a " non-starter ". How else, are we going to maintain such critical needs for the kids like library's with out passing this levy ?


@ CC:

An article I'm reading. Scary sh*t!

"The Fourteen Year Recession"

"A critical thinking individual might wonder how the government can proclaim inflation of 32% to 37% over the last fourteen years, when the true cost of living has grown by 50% to 100% for most daily living expenses."

Locally: Growing fixed income population, lack of quality jobs, declining industrial and retail employment, rising public and private expenses and debt?

Not a good scenario for economic growth and increased taxation.

Cliff Cannon

" Not a good scenario for economic growth and increased taxation. "

Very true. Which makes me think, it would be helpful, for anyone to attend this meeting with questions. Because that would give us what everyone who ever thought about it wants---- an informed electorate.

P.S. Going to read that story,thanks for the tip.

Cliff Cannon

" "

This essay is mind boggling ! Thanks for pointing it out to me.


Re: "Would you agree ?"


A study from a couple yrs. ago showed seniors making up 25% of the local pop. by 2020.

Fixed incomes and rising expenses IMO will again have this revised levy going down in flames.

Cut welfare, public ee. pay cuts,?

"If wishes were horses all beggars would ride."

Cliff Cannon

" "If wishes were horses all beggars would ride." Ain't that the truth ?

Point blank question : How would ----YOU---- solve this funding crisis ?


Re: "solve,"

Ain't no 'solution' per say.

Austerity. Reduce overhead and expenditures - triage.

Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

Of course Mr. Doughty has to ask 'again.' What else short of the above can he do?

Cliff Cannon

"What else short of the above can he do? " Agreed.

That is exactly why I am so for this levy. Because the next wave of austerity takes out 3 library's and quite a lot of the arts. So, I for one, would vote twice to keep these intact for the kids.


Re: "3 library's and quite a lot of the arts."

Question: Are those the best places to cut, or are they being used as scare tactics?

Just to be a smart *ss, I have to ask you:

So if the levy fails, will you calculate the increase and send the Norwalk Schools a check for the appropriate amt.?

BTW: Since I fully intend to once again join the Diaspora, I don't vote in locally oriented elections. It’s YOUR problem.

Cliff Cannon

" Question: Are those the best places to cut, or are they being used as scare tactics? "

I do not have that answer. Which is why, I believe that folks, who have not attended one of these educational meetings in the past. Should attend this one armed with questions.

I also remind : We have --- THE most efficient school board in the county. Which is to say. I'll bet, any and all questions will get answered frankly, by people of great skill.

Which again, will give this levy what all elections needs most--- an informed electorate


Re: "all questions will get answered frankly, by people of great skill."

It all seems commonsensical.

Like going to a "free" investment seminar; one already knows the purpose of the presentation.

Justification and rationale doesn't change the intended result.

Another socio-economic issue:

May I also remind you that Huron Co. has the 6th worst unemployment rate in the State.

IMO, 'true' unemployment is closer to more than 20% - economic depression levels.

The school system has overbuilt and over promised during the 'good times.'

Austerity is the only "answer."

Like the Feds: It's NOT an income problem, it's a spending problem.

"The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing"

- Jean-Baptiste Colbert