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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 8:44 pm 
How much is the proposed budget?

$291.3 Million

How much of an increase is this over last year?

Last years voter approved budget was $284 million. The BOE, without voter approval, increased it to $287 million for emergency repairs. So, this is a 2 ½ % increase of the voter approved budget.

Historically, has the district spent less than the budget or in other words is there money left over at the end of the year?

No, the district never spends the full budget. Every single year there has been a budget there has been money left over. Most years millions of dollars left over. In 2010-2011 school year there was $12 million left over. This year, 2011-2012, the district is estimating there will be $13 million left over.

So is the district saying they only spent $271 million out of the $284 million budget this year?

No, they are claiming that they will spend just under $280 million. They say they will spend $8 million less than the BOE funded $287 million budget. They say the budget will be over funded by $13 million because they spent $8 million less than the budget but had $5 million more in revenue for at total of $13 million left over for the year.

Does the $13 million surplus seem real?

No. If you look at the historical numbers, there will likely be much more money left over at the end of the year. If you take a look at how much the BOE really needs to run the district in 2010-2011 it was $261 to $263 million, after you take away one time expenses for that year. These are actually reported numbers from the district. When the final numbers are reported for this current fiscal year the actual spending will come in at about $272 million.

When will the actual numbers for this fiscal year be reported so we know how much will really be left over from this years budget?

The final actual year end numbers will not be reported until sometime in the late summer or early fall, well into the new school year.

So, is there really going to be somewhere between $13 million and $18 million left over from this years budget?

Absolutely, and the number will be a minimum of $15 million.

What will they district do with the extra money when they find out how much it is in the fall?

They have two choices. They can give it back to the residents and reduce taxes or hide to fund future budgets. They will hide it to fund future budgets.

So how much of a real increase in next years budget is the district asking for?

The district is claiming it is asking only asking for an increase of 1.3% over last years budget. However, when you look at how much the district is actually going to end up spending this current year the real increase they are asking for from the $273 real spending to the $291 proposed budget is a 5% to 6% increase.

Does the BOE really need $291 million next year to run the District?

Absolutely not! If the district held the budget at last years voter approved level of $284 they would not only enough to run the district but also have money left over to put some in reserves. The district states on its' own website that spending is only going to increase $3 million from this current year. So, if they are admitting that actual spending is under $280 million this year, why are they asking for $291 million?

If the district doesn’t need the $291 million than why are they asking for it?
The district historically will try to get as much as they can get, as opposed to how much they need. They want as much stashed away as possible to fund future budgets. Historically, budgets with a tax increase under 5% get passed in our district. Last year the budget, which was a 4.5% increase, passed with over 60% of the vote. So they feel pretty comfortable that they can get 60% this year to get the super majority they will need to get passed the tax cap.

Does the district admit that there is extra in the budget?

Officially no. Funding future budgets in a current year budget is not allowed. However, at the last BOE meeting, one board member made a slip and admitted some ‘extra’ money was in the budget but didn’t say how much.

If the budget does not pass the first time what will happen?

If the budget fails they will more than likely put it up for another vote. If they are smart they would put it up just under the 2% cap and get what they can and a passed budget. But they are counting that between a very low turnout and threats to cut programs that the budget will get passed.

What is the BOE threatening to cut if the budget doesn’t pass?

The BOE is saying if they don’t get all the money they are asking for they will make cuts. They have threatened full day kindergarten and threatened to increase class size. There are some teachers that are telling their students that all of the music programs will be cut.

If the budget fails and they only ask and get a 2% increase in the second budget vote they are still threatening to make cuts?

Yes they want it all. The 4.2% tax increase represents just over a $6.1 million tax levy increase. They are saying despite admitting to a built in surplus for next year, if taxpayers only gave them $2 million, they will still make cuts.

There really doesn’t seem to be a financial crisis this year, is that true?

There is no financial crisis. Last year the district was worried because of state aide cuts. However, this year the state aide to Sachem has increased by $8 million over last year.

If there is no financial crisis, why were teachers offered a $20,000 incentive for early retirement and how much did it cost and really save?

There were about 30 teachers that are retiring. If they all took advantage of the incentive it costs the district about $600,000. It saved the district money but was not fiscally necessary. This would seem to be an early Christmas gift to the teachers union. They union did offer givebacks this year. Do you really think other deals were made? Wait until the next contract comes due.

Mr. Gorman claims that the district ‘hides’ money and that it really has a lot more money than it let’s on, is this correct?

Absolutely. The district hides money in a number of places. First, they obviously hide money in the current year budget to fund future budgets. This year $13 million and last year $12 million. They are not supposed to do that. They also over fund reserves. For example for years the Workman’s Comp reserve had $7 million dollars in it. Why would the district keep $7 million dollars in a fund that only needs approximately $1 million a year? The answer is they hide the money. Mr. Gorman would states there is an excess of another $13 million that the district is hiding.

Is the district lying to residents about the ‘hidden’ reserves?

The district would say no. They say everything is very legal. I would say they simply are not presenting the finances of the district in a transparent manner to residents. I call that a lie. The bottom line is they do lie to residents about the real fiscal shape of the district and they do threaten to cut programs unnecessarily to get a budget passed.


Does a 4.2% budget that exceeds the cap by double have a real chance of passing?

The district thinks so. They are counting on several factors. First a low voter turnout like last year. Second, district officials are making the rounds to PTA and threatening cuts if the budget is not passed. Third, they are keeping the tax increase below the magic 4.5% number that has always passed in the past. Fourth, the teachers union is supporting the budget and some teachers are telling students, tell your parents to vote for the budget or all music programs will be cut. Fifth, the district has a friend in the Newsday reporter that covers education on Long Island. The reporter didn’t include Sachem in the list of Suffolk schools that are exceeding the tax cap when he reported on it. It will be hard to defeat this budget with the barrage of misinformation and threats put out by this district.


What else can I do to display my opposition to the budget and the tactics they are using to pass it?
Vote out of office the only incumbent BOE member that has someone running against him. D. Duncan is the only BOE member that is not running unopposed. He has also been the most vocal voice on the BOE to slash programs if the the budget fails by one penny. If you want to make a statement to the BOE vote him out. Even if you vote for the budget because you are afraid of cuts, you can make a statement to the BOE by voting him out of office.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:35 pm 
I did read on Sachem Patach that the Board member whose name starts with an I did say there was extra money or fluff in the budget. he said it at the last board meeting.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:20 pm 
Last night at one of the elementary schools our board and super/business mgr said that with the proposed 4.2% increase we will have $240k left in the bank. I wonder why the hand out doesn't show the actual spend for last year. Seems like something hokey is going on.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:35 pm 
You are the one who is hokey. How many times do they have to tell you the left over went into reserves and is being used for next years taxes.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:44 am 
Having $240,000 left in all of the reserves is a fairy tale.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:13 am 
guest445` wrote:
You are the one who is hokey. How many times do they have to tell you the left over went into reserves and is being used for next years taxes.



All the time they say left over funds are being held to reduce next years taxes or for unfunded mandates. We are "entitled" to $12m in reserves.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:34 pm 
The es0K is only one type of reserve. The other more restrive reserves are still filled with millions and millions of dollars. Ask the question during the next budget presentation.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:43 pm 
Can someone please tell me the following information:

What was last year's actual spend for 2010-2011:
What was the associated budget that was voted/approved for 2010-2011:

Thank You


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:20 pm 
Guest wrote:
Can someone please tell me the following information:

What was last year's actual spend for 2010-2011:
What was the associated budget that was voted/approved for 2010-2011:

Thank You


The approved budget was 282 mil for the 2010-2011 year, and then raised by the BOE after the vote to 287 mil for emergency repairs to I believe the east roof....Now what did they spend that year 270 mil, so again there was a built in 12-15 mil surplus....Then ask why they cut 500k from the kids when we actually had a surplus..Get involved people this is your money they are taking from you and putting the dollars in their bank they don't need BUILDING SURPLUSES WHEN THE MONEY SHOULD BE IN OUR POCKETS..


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:40 pm 
Guest wrote:
Can someone please tell me the following information:

What was last year's actual spend for 2010-2011:
What was the associated budget that was voted/approved for 2010-2011:

Thank You


Here is the information for the last 2 years. Just to make sure everyone understands, the current fiscal year we are in is 2011-2012.


Last year the 2010-2011 approved budet was $282 million. Accordind to the district financial statements the acutal spening was $269.8. This represents a $13 million surplus. However, approximately 7 million of the budget representing 'one time or none reoccurring costs. This means the district actually carried over an extra $20 million into the next fiscal year.

In the curreint fiscal year, 2011-2012, the voter approved budget is $284 million. The board increased the budget on their own without voter approval to $287 million. They did this for emergency repairs. The business manager has said in a board meeting that the district will have $13 million left over from this year. The $13 million he says is because costs will be under budget by $8 million and they will have an addtional $5 million extra on the revenue side.

The real story is the business manager is low balling the amount that will be leftover from this year. Real spending from last year to this year did not increase from $261 million to $284 million. Based upon historical trends, the real spending number for this fisacal year will end up closer to $272 million. This would mean the district real surplus will be closer to $18 to $20 million as it was last year.

Final numbers for this fiscal year will not be admitted to until the late summer or early fall. In the fall the district will have the choice of returning the money to taxpayers or keeping the money. They will keep the money. They claim reserves are down. Garbage. Just being hidden in different places. By the way the same thing also happenen in the 2009-2010 year. In that year there was $13 million left over.

The district lies. They reason if they just don't say the truth than it is not a lie. That is why they say nothing. But withholding and distortion of facts is a lie.

So, can anyone say why the district is claiming if it doesn't get every penny they are asking for they will make cuts?


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