New York State Educational Budgeting 101

At the "budget workshop" otherwise known as the school board meeting under another name, there was some confused looks around the room when John Quinn told board members that the money indicated in the 2009-10 column of the budget is not what the district is planning to spend in 2009-10 but rather what the district was in the midst of spending this year. Quinn said this approach was standard accounting. I cannot imagine that even the New Rochelle School District would not follow standard accounting practice.

To try to understand this, I called the folks at NYSED to get clarification and they pointed me to this page

Office of Educational Management/Grants Services > Budgeting

I am not an accountant and this sort of stuff makes my head hurt so maybe some bright, motivated reader will take a look and see if they help the rest of us understand why the school district presents its budget this way.

In either case, how do we find out what we thought we were learning by reading the budget -- how much is the district going to be spending during 2009-10 on salaries and benefits (and everything else)? In my day of learning about school budgets -- reading, interviews with government officials in New Rochelle and Albany, etc. -- I came away with two initial conclusions.

Read More

Mystery Solved: Noam Bramson a Part-Time Mayor

We reported two weeks ago on how Noam Bramson was passing himself off to the public and media as a "full-time" Mayor, New Rochelle's "Full-Time" Mayor Moonlights His Way to Six-Figure Income.

Mayor "Moonlight" Bramson
Read More

Liveblogging School Budget Workshop on General Support Expenses

image262219001.jpgThis meeting is being videotaped so I am not going to provide a transcript just a few comments.

John Quinn is reviewing pages 2-32 and 95-106

Confusion at page 13 over what colums for 2008-09 and 2009-10 budget actually mean. Some board members seem confused. Me too.

The City Council except for the Mayor and Stowe all just showed up - Lou Trangucci, Richard St. Paul, Barry Fertel, Marianne Sussman, Al Tarantino.

Peg Pecunia takes over at page 95 on transportation.

Quinn jumps in at page 99.

[from my iPhone]

Read More

Columbus Principal Yigal Joseph Caught Up in Mount Vernon Federal Corruption Trial

EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Joseph issued a public statement on his personal web site stating that the Journal News article inaccurately reported on his testimony in the case and that concerns expressed by Talk of the Sound were unfounded. Readers may also wish to read: Farewell, Dr. Joseph -- New Rochelle Says Goodbye to a Principal Who Made a Difference in Many Lives

Tim O'Connor of The Journal News is reporting that Columbus Elementary School Principal Yigal Joseph testified as a witness for the prosecution in the federal corruption trial of Wayne Charles and former Mount Vernon Planning Commissioner Constance Post.

Prosecutors allege that the two set up a shell company, "Micros Only", and used Joseph as a front man for their allegedly illegal operation which was used to defraud the Mount Vernon City government of $2.3 million.

Read More

New Rochelle School District Offers Budget Long on Pay Increases and Short on Realistic Revenue Assumptions

FD6B9BB8-E643-4997-9470-DEB5DB4BA80E.jpgTonight (Tuesday) is Round Two of the Epic $230,000,000 School District Budget Battle. The tone-deaf district leadership has chosen the worst economic decline in three generations to propose the biggest school budget in the history of New Rochelle.

Because the District refused to provide the public with copies of the budget prior to the first meeting last Tuesday there was no opportunity for voters to to run the numbers and fact-check the budget as presented by Superintendents Richard Organisciak and John Quinn. As you will see, they have good reason to want prevent the public from getting a good look at the bloated monstrosity of a budget they are attempting to foist an apathetic public. Sadly, of the 46 people who attended the first budget meeting, 38 were District insiders. Just five members of the pubic came forward to ask a question during the paltry 3 minutes offered for public Q & A.

Read More

Tonight: Superintendent of Schools to Address Parents at Trinity Elementary School

The Superintendent of the City School District of New Rochelle, Richard Organisciak will be on hand at the Trinity Elementary School PTA meeting this evening.

Trinity School Library
Monday, March 9th, 2009
7:00 PM

Read More

Who Will Be Stimulated By The Stimulus Money?

Free money ! It's enough to get anyone salivating just thinking about how it could be spent. What would you do ? A new car, A house, maybe that yacht you envisioned, sailing the Bahamas, carefree and casual. Sounds pretty sweet. The only problem in this scenario is the fact that there is no such thing as free money. If you were down on your luck and your neighbors chipped in with some financial assistance would you be comfortable spending it on the yacht, or would you get some clothes for your kids, fix that sewer that keeps backing up, or generally take care of some of those things that have been in need of attention but you just haven't had the money ? All this money, if it ever materializes, comes from our neighbors (taxpayers) and with it, you would think, comes some sort of responsibility to use it to help the citizen's quality of life.

Read More

Confusion Reigns over New Rochelle's Stimulus Wish List

ABFE5817-4270-4A55-BD33-42C21AA8F5C8.jpgCity Councilman Richard St. Paul set off a chain reaction two weeks ago that has resulted in the City of New Rochelle having to withdraw millions of dollars in proposed stimulus package spending after a devastating report in Talk of the Sound found that 20% of the proposed $97.775 million in spending was ineligible or submitted improperly. The after effects of St. Paul's remarks are still reverberating around City Hall with the City now preparing a revised project list for lawmakers in Albany.

On Thursday February 26, 2009 three members of the City Council told a meeting of New Rochelle's Confederation of Neighborhood Associations that council members had no input into the list of projects submitted to Albany as part of the City's request for funds under the recently signed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Read More