Tuesday, October 28, 2014
The Journal News - Monday, October 27, 2014
By Lawrence Budd
"Warren County voters are considering replacement of a continuing 3.5-mill operating levy sought by the the Warren County Career Center in the Nov. 4 election.
"Approval of the replacement would nearly double annual revenue to $13.1 million and more than double the cost to property owners. Fore each $100,000 in valuation, property owners would pay $122.00 - $69 more total than under the existing continuing levy, according to the auditor."
"The revenue raised from the 3.5-mill operating levy . . . . . is $6.6 million a year."
"School officials say the new tax money would be used to pay for facility, equipment and technology needs, safety and security upgrades and to offer new programming, including courses for students starting in the 7th grade."
"The building needs an estimated $50 million in upgrades, including fire suppression, electrical, plumbing, and heating and air conditioning improvements, according to Hess."
"The Ohio School Facilities Commission found classrooms and labs were undersized during a review in 2007."
Earlier this year the WCCC sent out a colorful and expensive handbook advertising the courses offered in the Summer/Fall of 2014. It is listed as "adult education and workforce development." The book was mass mailed apparently to every address in the county. Imagine the cost of this mailing.
The following paragraph is a quote from that handbook.
"WELCOME to Warren County Career Centers Adult and Community Education Workforce Training Programs. The Warren County Career Centers Adult Division is one of Ohios Full-Service Centers. To receive this designation, a school must offer comprehensive training programs with advanced technological capabilities, modern equipment, facilities and skilled instructors. We are fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and by the Ohio Department of Education, Division of Career-Technical Education. We are part of the University System Of Ohio, Board of Regents. We are pleased to offer a wide range of diversified training programs and customized services at our two campuses. We welcome you and challenge you to join us in lifelong learning."
The book also states that they have "state of the art labs." Note that Ms. Hess stated that the labs were not up to par. Which answer is true? They also state that they will help with financial aid for the students. If they are being paid then it is not my responsibility to pay more and more to run that "school."
Offered in this handbook are courses for fire departments cosmetology management at a cost of $17,030, heavy equipment and site construction technician at a cost of $13,789, medical assistant at a cost of $10,450, medical billing and coding at a cost of $8,250. The school also offers "customized training" for companies. They will send staff directly to the business to train employees. They also offer an administrative assistant program at a cost of $5,500.
The school also sends teachers directly to the various schools in the county. This may be so that they get credit for teaching many more students and the districts maintain the state subsidy. Their hope seems to be directed to 7th graders and beyond. Recently when attending a board meeting a group of older men came in with their banjos. On the same night they were serving dinner to over 250 people as a "thank you for their support." I was told that a much larger dinner would be served in a couple of weeks.
It is great that they are able to use the building for a variety of purposes. The objection most people have is that the property owners are asked over and over again to fund the hopes and dreams of the educational establishment. If the WCCC wants to take over the jobs of well established community colleges - let them say so. If that is their aim then the property owners should not be forced to pay for these career choices by anyone with a GED and beyond. That portion of the WCCC should be self sufficient and paid by the people who take advantage of the courses offered.
The same is true for the local police and fire departments. If they want to train their people at the WCCC then they should pay the full cost of that training. If a business owner or hospital wants to have people trained for positions in their business they should pay the full cost. The property owners are the scapegoat for too many projects. Most people have no idea that they are paying for all of these projects far beyond high school. The career center has become a free training center for the people who should be paying for that training.
It is time to stop this abuse. It is time for the taxpayers to be told exactly what our schools are planning and doing with our money. The secrecy has been prevalent for far too long. I don't believe that I am responsible for paying for everyones "lifelong learning."
Vote NO on issue 1.
Let the leaders of the WCCC come out with all of the facts.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Stay Alert Voters!!!
"Did you know that Issue One for a 3.5 mil Replacement Levy for Warren County
Career Center will INCREASE your taxes?
Have you taken time to look at your Tax bill lately; and have you noticed we have some of the highest mileage rates in the state?
Did you know that Clearcreek Township was listed as Number Three highest taxed township in the county in a DDN article during last May 2013 promotion of a failed CCFD 93% fire levy tax increase?
Do you believe that our local government leaders should be held accountable for providing good services without overtaxing its citizens?
Have you noticed there are so many weasel words used to emotionally blackmail citizens into thinking we are "making a difference" doing good works in the community simply by voting to INCREASE taxes on every homeowner and business in our community; promoting FEAR (false evidence appearing real) that we will suffer loss of educational and public safety services if we fail to vote ourselves INCREASED taxes; every time and any time the local government leaders decide that the time has now come to INCREASE our taxes; simply because it has been some time since an increased levy has passed?
It is my belief that our Tax laws should be transparent enough for all citizens to clearly understand, with no emotionally blackmailing voters already suffering from continuous levy fatigue. But for average citizens, like me, it is an uphill battle to stay on top of these important issues that can cause financial instability in my own household budget; when local various government agencies promote Tax increases on my home so that the government has more of my hard earned dollars to spread out among others ever-increasing "needs" for more government services." Clearcreek Township Resident
REMEMBER: Issue One is a REPLACEMENT Levy and Issue One will INCREASE your taxes! It is a permanent increase in your property taxes.
The following is from a former WCCC board member. This information should open your eyes to just how the so-called educators fleece the property owners. I am thankful for this information.
"The Warren County Career Center (WCCC) is projecting a $18 million cash carry over. The WCCC annual operating budget is only $14+ million. They collect far more $'s than they need to operate every year so will accumulate more every year. Last year they had $2 million more cash then they used so increased their cash carryover. It is impossible to believe that collecting more than they need could in any world be considered fiscally fair. Since they are over collecting and accumulating cash of $18 million + that is enough to remodel and add space, if it is necessary.The original goal was to raise $46 million through a .75 mill levy, when the board determined that this .75 would not be enough to make people vote for it they decided to raise it to 1.5 then they decided to add it to a renewal so that people would not understand the difference between a renewal and replacement and would accidentally support it. Now they want $50 million. Plus an enormous amount extra to operate. Operate what, they already have excess money every year.The architectural firm came to the WCCC and interviewed everyone and said issue issue, what would you like to see added to the career center?"
So, of course, everyone there gave their "want list" "if money were not an issue." Enormous ideas were put forth to them and they took all suggestions and made a $46 million plan with no cuts, no efficiencies, no restraints were used that I could tell. Everyone's wish list is incorporated in this $46 million.
They do not need the money tell them to use what they already have.Now to have $46 million now they have decided that $50 million is better could build the taj mahal of facilities.
The teachers at the career center have never had a pay freeze. They have had from 4-6% raises every year and 85% paid health, dental, vision and 100% paid life and 15 paid sick days, 5 snow days 4 personal days off with pay. By the contract they may only have to work 161 days.
The WCCC only has 800-900 students so take $14+ million and divide it by 800+ students and you get $15,000 - $22,000 0er pupil. This is two to three times what Springboro educates its students for. The WCCC has a very generous budget already this levy would allow them to swim in cash at our expense.
By the way, do all Warren County residents know that their taxes going to the WCCC are supplementing the adult education at WCCC? So places that have adult ed like Sinclair can't compete in pricing because we pay part of the adult ed at WCCC.
We are told that the levy is for the children, but it is not just for the children it is to make adult ed programs that should be self funded - they are not and in fact, the adult ed programs take from the kids, WCCC budget. Tell them to charge the adult-ed for rent, administration and all other services that other adult ed programs have to pay for."
This is the levy as it is on the ballot. Note that this is a continuing levy. It states that it is for "current expenses" which means that they can use our money as they please. After passing this levy you will not have any say in how those millions and millions of dollars are spent. It doesn't even say for new facilities. Just remember that the school made major construction additions very recently. They do own huge acreage around this building. They do not answer any questions at their board meetings. The board consists of members of surrounding school districts. They have the same attitude there as they have at their home school board meetings. Be sure to turn over your ballot. This issue is on the back and could easily be missed. Many people do forget to turn over their ballot.
1 PROPOSED TAX LEVY
WARREN COUNTY JOINT
VOCATIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
A majority affirmative vote is
necessary for passage.
A replacement of a tax for the benefit of
the Warren County Joint Vocational
School District, (Warren County Career
Center) Counties of Warren, Clermont,
Greene and Montgomery, for the
purpose of current expenses at a rate
not exceeding 3.5 mills for each one
dollar of valuation, which amounts to
$0.35 for each one hundred dollars of
valuation, for a continuing period of time,
commencing in 2014, first due in
calendar year 2015.
For the Tax Levy
Against the Tax Levy