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Tax drop approved by city school district

August 15, 2014

The upcoming repowering of NRG Energy Inc. seems to be the gift that keeps on giving for the city of Dunkirk....

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(25)

Captain

Aug-17-14 12:18 PM

Jack Kemp (the king of evasive answers) would be proud of you.

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PhilJulian

Aug-16-14 10:41 PM

That's "maybe the difference".

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PhilJulian

Aug-16-14 10:37 PM

Spending per student in Dunkirk was excessive even before Cerne came on board and before the building improvements. May the difference is that under Militello schools 4and 5 would have been closed and the full value tax rate would have increased by $1.06 per thousand. Under Cerne we saved all 4 elementary buildings and did it holding the line on tax rates.

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Captain

Aug-16-14 6:41 PM

Phil: you can't deny you've been one of the biggest and loudest critics regarding how much it cost to teach EACH student in Dunkirk. When you go off on your regular rants against public unions, especially teachers, you've repeatedly said it costs OVER $20,000 per student, but now you imply that's not necessarily true b/c capital improvement costs are included in the annual budget, and those costs are "canceled out" by state aid. Does this about sum it up, and that you've deliberately misled people?

One more thing; if the district WON'T approve any capital improvement project UNLESS the state promises to pay for it, how can the state then turn around and reduce aid at their discretion?

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PhilJulian

Aug-16-14 6:03 PM

Captain - the 2014 budget includes all capital expenditures, most of which are covered by state aid. We have seen massive renovations and additions at the high school, middle school and all four grade schools. All of this was accomplished with no increase in tax rates. In my opinion Mr. Militello was a poor administrator. Mr. Cerne gets the job done in a very difficult economic environment.

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Captain

Aug-16-14 4:56 PM

The best I could find was an article stating the 2003 budget (just under $30M) was passed. In fact, it listed you, Phil, as the leader of an informal group that submitted a petition challenging the results of that vote, claiming improprieties occurred, so I assume you remember it well.

So, if the budget was just under $30M in '03 (proposed by Militello, who was eventually replaced by Cerne in '06), and the 2014 budget has now grown to what, OVER $41M under Cerne, how can you praise a $12M/40% annual increase in spending from '03 to '14?

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PhilJulian

Aug-16-14 12:40 PM

CAPTAIN - I AM NOT GOING TO DO YOUR REASEARCH FOR YOU. It's a documentable fact that the district has held the line on taxes for the past eight years. The total budget has increased due to the capital projects to improve facilities but that spending is reimbursed by the state. If you do your homework (I will not do it for you) you will find that there has been substantial spending reductions resulting from retirement incentive programs.

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Captain

Aug-16-14 10:16 AM

Phil- you praised Cerne & Thief for holding the line on taxes during the last 8 yrs they've been "running the show," but when I asked you: "Can you please tell us how much (in percentages) they've reduced labor costs (or any costs for that matter) over this same time period," you ignore it. Why? Was the question unreasonable or unfair?

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PhilJulian

Aug-15-14 5:54 PM

Tjefson - I agree Captain - it is people with your attitude and mentality that are causing the demise of our area but I do respect your right to an opinion.

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Captain

Aug-15-14 4:27 PM

Phil: what it PROVES is what I said is true: "you don't need a union if your employer treats its workers fairly," after all, why start a fight with someone who treats you good? Why you insist on blaming the wrong people for Dunkirk's decline is beyond me, but regardless of who's fault it is, it's clear that your selfish concerns, (ie; YOUR tax bill) is all you care about, otherwise, you wouldn't automatically take sides with greedy owners and say they're "entitled" to it, or that workers should be grateful to have a job and not complain about mistreatment. Purina & Cott understand the value & importance of treating its workers fairly, and have prospered as a result. The only thing that your pro company mentality has accomplished is helped ruin this city and country.

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commentor

Aug-15-14 3:16 PM

It is what it is and be grateful it isn't asking for an increase. They need to give some lessons to DiBonzo and Forbes. I agree they get more money because of minorities, however, that doesn't mean they can't still spend so as to cause increases. That is usually the way it goes. The more they get the more they spend. These two don't seem to be going in that direction.

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tjefson

Aug-15-14 3:00 PM

Mr. Julian, the primary difference between the public sector and private corporations is the the private sector is competing against the world in a global economy. The public sector is monopolistic and despise any competition. Thus we see the teachers union not endorse Gov. Cuomo because he went to bat for the successful charter school program in NYC. Its really sad when this selfish group puts their own self interest ahead of a childs opportunity to succeeed in this world. In my book, this is about as low as a person can go.

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PhilJulian

Aug-15-14 2:46 PM

Captain - thanks for helping to make my point. The fact that Cott and Purina pay excellent wages in a non-union environment are proof that you don't have to belong to a union to make good wages. Maybe that explains why 94 percent of the private sector is non-union.

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Captain

Aug-15-14 12:50 PM

Phil- You consistently oppose labor unions and workers that usually earn higher wages, but you've never criticized DK Purina, a local employer who PAYS MORE than most union plants? Why is that? Cott (formerly CliffStar) is another local employer you've never condemned, which has also been here a very long time. BOTH plants are non-union AND have long offered its employees standard raises (for doing the same work). Isn't this your main complaint?

As a lifetime union worker, I've ALWAYS said you don't need a union if the employer treats its workers fairly. I chose the word "selfish" carefully, b/c the issue ISN'T about unions and/or the unfair treatment of workers, it's about YOUR "selfish" concern that YOUR tax bill might rise if greedy companies won't share their growing profits with its union workers, or when profitable employers make poor decisions (ie; mismanage) and force workers to pay the price.

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tjefson

Aug-15-14 12:43 PM

The city will tolerate this inherently evil corporation since they are contributing 40% of taxes. By golly, they are not going to have a say in anything though. Imagine, a corporation getting away with paying so little. (Sarcasm)

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PhilJulian

Aug-15-14 11:40 AM

CAPTAIN - the "selfish" people you refer to are the same people who are concerned about our rapidly decaying local economy. They are the same "selfish" people who are concerned about our loss of population and loss of industry and loss of jobs. They are the same "selfish" people who are tired of seeing our young people leave the area for lack of opportunity. If you want to complain about rising costs you should direct your complaints to local unions both private and public sector. If anyone has a right to complain it's NRG officials who are forced to cough up $8.2 million each year to support bloated government.

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Captain

Aug-15-14 11:18 AM

If school enrollment dropped enough to eliminate of a few paid positions, yet the budget remains the same (due to previously negotiated issues), should we really be praising this style of managing?

If PRIVATE workers (union or not), complain (BMH), most local residents view it as a threat to THEIR tax bill and immediately side w/the employer. Not surprising, the same people would rather postpone paying for necessary repairs to publicly-owned bldgs and equipment. Apparently, the ONLY concern these selfish people have is THEIR tax bill, NOT how workers are treated, the condition of public assets, or what's in the best interest of the community.

Welcome to Dunkirk!

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Christopher

Aug-15-14 10:19 AM

I MUST point out, that Dunkirk gets funding other local districts can only dream of based on their large population of welfare recipients, their large population of non-English speaking residents, and the fact that they're a City Government. Take that away, and they'd be in the same shape as everyone else.

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Captain

Aug-15-14 10:08 AM

"Mr. Verne and Mr. Thief have held the line on taxes for the 8 yrs that they have been running the show."

Really Phil? Can you please tell us how much (in percentages) they've reduced labor costs (or any costs for that matter) over this same time period, or is it all related to cuts in services? More importantly, what needed repairs are being consistently ignored to achieve the same objective? In this respect, my guess is we won't be praising Cerne AFTER a new Supt is hired to replace him.

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Captain

Aug-15-14 9:29 AM

Thief, how appropriate is that?

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PhilJulian

Aug-15-14 8:59 AM

Thiel (computer malfunction)

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PhilJulian

Aug-15-14 8:57 AM

That's Mr Cerne and Mr. Thief.

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PhilJulian

Aug-15-14 8:56 AM

Give credit where credit is due. Mr. Verne and Mr. Thief have held the line on taxes for the eight years that they have been running the show. It certainly is a dramatic difference from their predecessor. Let's also give credit to NRG for picking up 40 percent of the tab.

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rumblefish

Aug-15-14 7:54 AM

we can't help being "suspicious",it reminds of the age old warning "Greeks bearing gifts"

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Captain

Aug-15-14 7:13 AM

I'm surprised, very surprised!

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