Retired teacher gives Norwalk officials the business for non support of school levy

"Where are the rest of you?"
Scott Seitz2
May 2, 2014

A retired Norwalk school teacher gave officials a piece of his mind at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

"Five weeks ago a friend and I appeared before you requesting that you issue a resolution indicating your support of the upcoming Norwalk City Schools levy on the May ballot," Scott Ford told city officials.

Ford said only council members Stephen Schumm, Kelly Beck and Deb Lucal along with Mayor Rob Duncan have come out publicly in support of the levy.

"They are to be commended for their action," Ford said. "However, where are the rest of you?

 

A story about this subject was published Wednesday in the Norwalk Reflector. So you don't miss stories such as this one, you can subscribe to the Norwalk Reflector to receive home delivery and/or the e-paper, which is a complete digital replica of each issue. For more information, call (419) 668-3771 or click HERE.

 

Comments

earlduck

maybe they just don't agree with you Mister Ford,after all we are a city of people with opinions of their own,not supporting a levy is has nothing to do with supporting kids, as you use to lay guilt on citizens,its more about schools tightening the belt and some folks just don't want to pay more taxes to people that they cannot trust

Fibber Mcgee

Well stated, I thought along the same lines. If council wanted, they could ask for a motion for the resolution, and see who votes for it .

A Marine Mom

+1 and then some!

Fairlybadboy

Earlduck is now my "go to" post of reason.
They are always succinct, persuasive and absent of bias.

Plus, they generally offset the mindless pablum that I am inclined to post.

JACKEL

How about your retirement ? I am sure it won't put any more burden on you, but many others !

fedup2

The rest of us are voting NO Mr. Ford...that's where we are.

Blaze

Speak for yourself fed up, I'll be voting yes!

A Marine Mom

And there is nothing wrong with voting "Yes"...just don't whine and complain and bully those who do not, like Mr Ford has done.
Increase in a tax that one does not even pay?!? How easy is THAT to support?
Calling a person who truly cares "gutless and cowardly" in a public forum, especially one who most recently donated money to fund a NORWALK HIGH SCHOOL student in need, is a real shame.

earlduck

and why should city councilmen need to make a statement on a school levy?

A Marine Mom

Because Mr Scott Ford wants them to! Is not that reason enough? :)

NO NEW TAX

I simply can not understand why any city councilman would publicly speak out in support of the new school levy. I don't know about anyone else, but I would like my councilman to do what they were elected for, and keep quiet about things that don't relate to their job. When it comes time for city councilmen to be re-elected, I really hope voters remember how their councilman supported increasing their taxes!

JACKEL

Totally agree !

A Marine Mom

I suggest that everyone visit the Huron County Auditor's website @ www.huroncountyauditor.org and see who owns real estate in this fine community. Often times the loudest voice has no skin in the game. Once you are finished there visit www.buckeyeinstitute.org and see if anyone you know has a HUGE pension, funded by taxpayer funds, already under their belt.
Go on, it is worth the time to see with your very own eyes. Happy reading, folks.
Watch who you call gutless then.

Blaze

A good city to build a business in usually has a good school system. That is the reason the city should support the levy. The state has cut millions of dollars from schools and local governments in the past several years. If we want to keep a top notch school system then we must help offset the state cuts. Norwalk City Schools currently is one of the most fiscally responsible districts around as evidenced by the cost to educate a single student being lower than pretty much every other school district in north central Ohio. You can look at the buckeye institute website all you want but until you stop focusing on just how much Norwalk teachers make and start comparisons of other districts you won't see that Norwalk really is taking good care of taxpayers' money. Believe me, no Norwalk teachers are getting rich from teaching, unless you consider middle class rich. Instead of being so set in your ways do some actual research with an open mind. We need to pass this levy. Go Truckers!

A Marine Mom

To be honest, you could not ever pay me enough to be a teacher. The things they have to do and put up with is beyond my comprehension, and if that makes me dumb then so be it. I do know they work tirelessly trying to do jobs that PARENTS should be doing, ie: teaching manners, self-control and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Spending their own money on supplies, staying late, coming in early, I get that but to what extent, I know I don't nor do I pretend to.
What this article is about is REAL ESTATE TAXES folks.....and do ALL teachers even pay it? Especially the ones crying because not everyone is in 100% support of an increase?
A MILLION DOLLAR PENSION FUNDED BY TAXPAYERS IS NOT RICH?!? Well, then what the heck is?????

Blaze

It appears that you may be misunderstanding something. You are looking at lifetime pension liability numbers. Do a web search and you should be able to understand it better. Remember that workers also pay into their pensions.

bleushell4

Honk em Blue honk em!! Well said you old dog you!!

swiss family

Mr Ford... maybe you are being a little over Dramatic??? when you say the school will come apart brick by brick if the levy fails...lolol I would love to hear your enthusiastic rhetoric though, I am still voting against it... why can't the school board show us a list of these jobs that were actually cut??? they keep saying that so many were cut, like they are doing their part.. so if they want me to believe them.. SHOW ME...and show me too that it was not retirements.. and show me that it was not chopping them here but creating a job for them there.. that is NOT a cut..Please come on here and rant though.. Mr Ford...I do NOT agree with anything you say.. not even closely.. but I do appreciate your passion and commitment, and enthusiasm...as misguided as it might be in my opinion...

Alan Furey

Swiss,

A position cut is a position cut, regardless of how the position was eliminated. What I believe you are having trouble understanding is when these cuts took place it was not all over the newspaper as someone being laid off. Most of these cuts were positions that had someone retire and no one was rehired to fill their spot.

Here are the positions that have been eliminated since 2008:

Custodians - 4, Matrons - 2, Cooks Helpers - 4, Bus Drivers - 2, Mechanic - 1, Secretary - 2, Administration - 1.5, Music/Art - 1.5, Social Studies at High School - 1, Social Studies at Middle School - 1, CBI (HS) cut to ½ - .5, Intervention Specialists (HS) - 2, Intervention Specialist (MS) - 1, Intervention Specialists (Elementary) - 2, Elementary Teachers - 3, Language Arts (MS) - 1, Secretaries at Central Office - 1.4, Extended time - 8 staff reduced or eliminated - 1 (Cuts equaled one full-time position, Elementary Librarians - 2, Business Technology (HS) -1, Full-time substitute - 1, Math Teacher (MS) - 1, Math Teacher (Main St.) - 1, Building Aides - 8, World Lang (MS) - 1, Science (HS) - 1, Science (MS) - 1.

As you can see Swiss this Administration and School Board has made the necessary cuts over the past six years to be as frugal as possible while still providing ample opportunities for students to graduate as well-rounded and prepared for the future. Again, these are positions that once had staff members in them that are no longer being filled in the district.

I hope this helps!

Contango

Re: "Most of these cuts were positions that had someone retire and no one was rehired to fill their spot."

Though the salaries stop, the taxpayer portion of the costs associated with the retiree's health and welfare benefits are ongoing.

betrump

So you want good teachers for the youth of Norwalk, but don't want to pay them well (they're only part time, after all!), they can't collectively bargain, the can't have any benefits, and they can't have any retirement. As always, you're libertarian comic relief is hilarious.

NO NEW TAX

.

Contango

Re: "providing ample opportunities for students to graduate as well-rounded and prepared for the future."

A worthy enough goal.

However, paying to educate them and then seeing them graduate and leave for elsewhere due to a lack of local employment and career opportunities is an unsustainable socio-economic dynamic.

NO NEW TAX

@ Alan Furey, Since you're so well informed about the cuts that have been made, can you please TELL US WHERE THE ADDITIONAL MONEY FOR THE NEW SPORTS COMPLEX is going to come from??? I'm referring to all the operating costs ---> utilities, insurance, staffing, etc.. Is the additional money going to just fall from the sky? Everyone seems to be dodging the question.

A Marine Mom

All that I hear is crickets. Not a peep from Alan Furey or anyone else on the subject. Come on, Mr Furey, please finish what you started on 'cuts'....all while explaining away the operating costs of the new facility. These days not much is going unnoticed, from Help Wanted ads to Scott Ford not owning one parcel of real estate in the city of Norwalk. Voters are becoming more educated then ever, get used to it. :)

Alan Furey

Marine Mom and Tax,

First, my apologies for not responding sooner. I chose to run a 5k race this morning with my family and friends, then I came home and had lunch. I'm sorry I wasn't sitting at my computer awaiting your questions.

Second, as for the Privately-Funded All-Sports Complex that the Athletic Boosters are raising money for, the last conversation I had with a Booster Member was that their group was planning on raising money for the building and were going to continue to raise money for the upkeep of the building, i.e. - a door needs replaced, etc. As for the cleaning, heating, and electricity, I am sure those minuscule costs will become the responsibility of the school district. I bet, however, those costs are not going to be as high as you want to make them out to be.

I hope this answers your questions about the complex. I would check with a Booster's Club member for more information. Again, sorry for the delay in my response, and I can't promise I'll respond again today as I have other plans.

Enjoy your day!

Alan

A Marine Mom

Mr Furey,
Thank you for the reply. I know the sports complex will be privately funded and admire all who are making that I happen. I apologize for even chiming in since it is the current Real Estate tax increase that is the topic of this article.
Have a wonderful weekend. :)
MM

NO NEW TAX

Please don't be apologizing to anyone for chiming in. When someone has an opinion, they should express it.

Contango

Re: "I am sure those minuscule costs will become the responsibility of the school district."

To paraphrase the late Sen. Dirksen:

A thousand here, a thousand there, pretty soon, you're talking real money.

Let us hope that in the future that the Booster Club remains fully committed to maintaining the complex and that they're flush with cash.

JACKEL

Where is this going to be built and what is it ?

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