Rome, NY Sucks

But At Least We're Not Utica

Friday, April 29, 2005

Tapeblogging the School Board Meeting

I was unavoidably detained from the School Board budget meeting on April 6. I finally got a chance to see the replay of it on the public access channel last night. I missed the priliminaries and started watching the parade of teachers. They managed to avoid any mention of their own pay, instead claiming that unless all 30 music teachers were kept on, students would turn stupid. In fact, there were more music teachers there than in the entire school district. There was also the pointless complaining about the 'constant change' involved in opening and closing schools. Guess what? If Gallagher could demolish the old schools, people wouldn't keep going back into them.

Time codes are from when Time Warner aired it. Five minute speaker time limit.

8:05 Teacher - Wants to keep all the schools open.
8:10 Teacher at Staley
8:15 Teachers' rep - Wants to keep all music teachers employed. And he doesn't even pay Rome taxes, living in Utica.
8:20 Teacher John Baldwin - Wants to keep all gym teachers employed. Thinks dodgeball will combat childhood obesity.
8:22 Teacher - Wants to keep all health teachers employed.
8:23 Teacher - Says teachers should write the budget. Thinks waiters are a good model for teachers.
8:29 Teacher Elizabeth Ott - 530 teahcer in the district? Hmm. That's about 12 students per teacher.
8:33 Teacher Tracy Giuliano - More class size jazz.
8:36 Teacher Paula Gratch - Doesn't want to harm children.
8:42 Teacher - Upset with unstable student popultaion. Sick of constant change. Wait til her kids grow up.
8:47 Teacher - Mentioned taxpaying. I bet that huge teacher pay really takes the bite out of those property taxes she pays for her mansion on North Madison. Wants to avoid travel.
8:52 Teacher of technology for 29 years. Did they have technology back then? Another teacher who doesn't pay Rome propererty taxes.
8:58 A non-teacher parent? - Enjoys the lavish sports programs financed by poor homeowners. Do I smell a coach in disguise?
9:03 Teacher Joan Lewis retiring at 55. She claims due to retirement package and health problems, but my source says she can't stand the kids.
9:07 Teacher of music in Utica - Graduated Rome schools and left the tax rolls.
9:09 Teacher at Strough speaking for laid off teachers. Class sizes between 25 and 28.
9:14 Teacher in Verona - Been taking Rome tax money for decades and paid VVS school taxes.
9:19 Student Amanda Martin - Let's see if she's still living at her lakefront home and paying the property taxes after college.

Break Time. Smoke 'em if You Got 'em

9:22 Teacher who made a stink about being a taxpayer in Rome. Good thing she has that high paying job. She also gets her own backup singers.
9:28 Teacher #2 of the "We Disagree" Chorus
9:33 Teacher Laurie Spoon of Holland Patent - She's proud to work in the district. Just not enough to live here.
9:38 Teacher of music from Utica - Are there any music teacher in Rome from Rome?
9:41 Student Steve Ellis - With his hair, he can only be a musician. he has a petition. Why does it smell like marijuana?
9:44 Teacher Mary Ann O'Connell at Westmoreland - Union Plant.
9:47 Teacher of Home Ec, or whatever the hell she called it. Family and Consumer Science?
9:51 Teacher Robert Hubbell, I feel so dirty. He was in my house once.
9:56 A row erupts over Hubbell going overtime.
9:57 Teacher Robert Hubbell, again. Continuing the list of people who took music here then got the hell out.
9:58 Student Jessica Haas - Standing up for band geeks everywhere.
10:01 A taxpayer and, uh, former majorette who wants to pay more taxes. Okay, pay mine.
10:04 Teacher Barbara Vacca - Attempting to bore people to death with a repair list.
10:10 A concerned parent. Interesting how the non teaching parents are shuffled of to the last hour. Wants taxpayers to spend money on her musical kids.
10:14 Student who proposes fundraisers for sports and music. Two hours and finally a sensible suggestion!
10:17 Avisory Committee member who doesn't like the consolidation plan. He's not to happy about administration salaries. How about teacher salaries? He's also against "No Child Left Behind"
10:21 Teacher Allison Beech - More music jazz.
10:25 Teacher Diane Maggio - Yet more music.
10:27 Avisory Committee member who feels slighted.
10:33 Teacher - Music program
10:36 Teacher - Mentioned 'music genocide' Please fire her first.
10:39 Teacher - Wonders how the school district paid for all the programs during the Depression. I'll tell you. Teachers were paid like employees, not managers.
10:44 Avisory Committee member - Blah blah blah
10:48 Student at RFA - Talking about drop out rate. Maybe these dropouts should go to work. The sooner you get into Wal-Mart, the better.
10:51 Back to the board meeting.

It looked like a teacher's union meeting. Luckily, the stagnation of the Board kept any more money from being pumped into the budget. But still, we are in a $600,000 deficit.


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