Tuesday, March 22, 2011

School Disctricts Should Look Inward on Budget Cuts

In today's difficult economic times (Ed Rendell left Pennsylvania with a $4-billion deficit), it takes leadership and courage to tackle the problem. Enter the superintendent of the Sharon City School District, John Sarandrea.

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA):
Sharon City School District Superintendent John Sarandrea announced Monday that he and business manager Tresa Templeton will voluntarily take a pay freeze for 2011-2012.

Sarandrea’s salary will remain at $117,000 and hers at $85,591.

With the state of the economy and the impending state funding cuts to education, Sarandrea said they’ll ask building principals to agree to a freeze as well.
This is a fantastic first step - but it is only one little step. A pay freeze looks good and will save several thousand dollars. But if school districts are losing millions of dollars each, it's just a start.

Here are some ways to save some serious cash:
- Have all employees contribute more to their bennies. The real world employees contribute up to 30% of the cost. If any of the "public servants" whine about moving from 3% to 5%, remind them how good they have it. Make them pay at least 15%. If they want to strike, show them the door.
- Eliminate half of the administrators. There is simply no need to have hordes of principals and vice principals. Especially when you factor in the sheer cost of these bureaucratic positions.
- Freeze pay for the next several years. The concept of "teachers aren't paid enough" simply isn't true any longer. Teacher salaries are available online in PA. Some of the salaries are appalling. And when you factor in the Mercedes Benz-benefits, it really jumps. You can easily add $25,000 to each instructor to find out what they cost each taxpayer.
- Eliminate all educational reimbursements for teachers. We should not be paying them to obtain higher degrees, then paying them jacked-up salaries when they are finished. If they want a higher education, let them pursue it like everyone else - on their own dime.
- Make sports "pay to play." This won't be fun since football is far more important than education in western PA. But you shouldn't spend millions on athletic complexes, then threaten to remove educational curricula.
- Cut wasteful spending. Private schools have been turning out better students for far less for a long time. Throwing cash at schools does not make them better - and that's been proven.
- Stop building new buildings that you don't need. Sure you want them and you can make up a million excuses why you think you need them, but you don't need a 2011 building to educate students in 2011. And if the state is throwing piles of cash at you, reject it!
- Finally (and this one SHOULD be a no-brainer) think of the taxpayers for once. You're killing them with your bloated budgets and you're making the case for school district consolidation more appealing each day. Instead of local control with a million bureaucrats, we could have regional control with a few bureaucrats. Tempting, isn't it?

The truth is that school districts have NOT been good stewards of tax dollars. There is a terrible culture of "We won the lottery!" in every school district. That money was never theirs in the first place. They did nothing to produce it or earn it. It was seized and spent without concern.

Remember that when you vote for school board members this spring.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

2011 Primary Candidates for Mercer County, PA Released

In case you were wondering who will be on the ballot this May, here you go!


Get to know these people. Find out what they believe and why they believe it. Support those who follow the Constitution and vigorously oppose those who do not. Restoring America happens at ALL level.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Upcoming Trash Mountain Hearings

We've had an interesting week of meetings dealing with the Tri-County Industries' Trash Mountain application. The biggest news is that owner Ed Vogel can't seem to find a string of building and operation permits. What this means is that TCI appears to have a bunch of illegal buildings and has been operating illegally for years. Since Pine Township doesn't have these permits on record, it seems that either TCI has been blatantly violating the law or someone has been handing out lots of wink-and-nod approvals. Either way, it doesn't look good...

Here's the upcoming hearing schedule so you can watch for yourself (all held at GCHS):

Tuesday, March 15: Canceled

March 22: 6:00pm (Pine Twp)
March 26: 10:00am (Pine Twp)
April 1: 5:00pm (Liberty Twp)

Please attend and support your community!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Save-A-Lot is Definitely Coming to Grove City

You heard it here first...

The former BiLo store WILL have a Save-A-Lot grocery store. The lease for the building was signed yesterday.

Renovations will begin immediately and the store will open in May. An exact date has not been set, but the goal is to be open by Memorial Day at the latest.

Many of the familiar faces that greeted you at BiLo will be working at the Save-A-Lot, and many of the customer-oriented policies will remain intact. Kudos to Dave Knopp, Jr. for hanging in there and treating the workers well.

This is a huge win for the residents of the borough. We'll continue to have a grocery store that serves the residents and it will be easy to get to, get in, and get out.