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Rochester School Board Real-Time Results

Refresh your browser; these results are coming to you live from the Oakland County Elections office.

These are the real-time results from the Oakland County Elections office for the Rochester Board of Education race.

JustACitizen1 November 09, 2011 at 11:30 AM
Well the people have spoken: First off I want to thank Jeremy Nielson , and Tom Malysz, for running for BOE, I hope this isn’t the last we see of you two on this issue. With that being said: it's a good day for the REA, and a sad day for the residents of the RCS. The REA has elected their slate of union endorsed members which doesn't bode well for the rest of us. I hope we don't get 6 more years of the failed policies of the past, some of which included: “hopping for a change” while complaining about Lansing funding. raising our taxes on the bonds issued by more than 30%, (due to the boards miss management of money), and still giving raises to teachers, while laying off support staff, spending $70,000 on new video equipment for board meetings, after gaining concessions from non REA union staff. No Bidding, $500,000,000 on school projects, and on and on ……….. Me I’m not hopeful. However the people have spoken, and in a Democratic Republic, this is the way it works. In this case GOD help us all, because I fear a sinking fund will be the BOE’s next attempt to appease the REA’s demands, while telling us “BUT IT’S FOR THE KIDS”. Just A Citizen
Clara T November 09, 2011 at 03:18 PM
"The REA has elected their slate of union endorsed members which doesn't bode well for the rest of us." You're right Citizen. Who will hold the public union and its newly-minted trustees accountable for their actions? The union and the PTA that elected them? Or the largely uninformed public which ignores the long-term impact of contracts awarded to the unions by a union-picked school board? An excellent summary explaining why electing union-backed politicians is so bad and so wrong for our country: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2011/11/09/State-Crisis-How-Unions-Hijacked-the-Ohio-Economy.aspx#page1
Clara T November 09, 2011 at 03:20 PM
"...Watching the ongoing destruction of the Greek economy, we marvel at the depth of the country’s financial chasm, smugly secure that it couldn’t happen here. Surely, our citizens would prevent the soaring government spending and impossible promises to public workers that lie at the root of Greece’s collapse. Athens, Ohio, meet Athens, Greece – a cautionary tale. Near-termism is not confined to the public sector of course; GM is an excellent example of the same willful disregard for the future. ..."
Clara T November 09, 2011 at 03:23 PM
"The union juggernaut is a tragedy -- not yet a tragedy on the scale of Greece – but a scene from the same script. At the heart of the debt problems confronting Greece and other EU countries, and challenging the governments of Ohio and many other states, is the aging of our populations combined with the generous pensions and healthcare packages awarded to public sector workers. Seeking campaign support from unions, politicians for decades have paid to play. Strapped for cash to grant pay hikes, municipal and state officials have instead proffered generous benefits packages, confident they would no longer be around when the bills came due. Because of the financial crisis, the budget problems of tomorrow for many cities, states and countries became the problems of today. ..."
Peter Adair November 09, 2011 at 07:12 PM
"The REA has elected their slate of union endorsed members which doesn't bode well for the rest of us." Talbert was endorsed by the elected Rochester officials.
Ben Giovanelli, CPA November 09, 2011 at 07:24 PM
Which ones?
Peter Adair November 09, 2011 at 07:38 PM
To clarify, Rochester Hills and Rochester, Bryan Barnett, Greg Hooper, Vern Pixley, Michael Webber, Ravi Yalamanchi, Kim Russell, Tim Greimel. They are listed on her website.
Clara T November 09, 2011 at 10:48 PM
Hardly surprising that aspiring politicians would approve of the powerful teachers union's unanimous pick for school board, particularly since she's a public union member herself. The die is cast. What counts now are Talbert's future votes on behalf of local school children. Or not. Stay tuned. Referring once again to the above post: "Seeking campaign support from unions, politicians for decades have paid to play. Strapped for cash to grant pay hikes, municipal and state officials have instead proffered generous benefits packages, confident they would no longer be around when the bills came due. Because of the financial crisis, the budget problems of tomorrow for many cities, states and countries became the problems of today."
Scott Schuster November 11, 2011 at 02:22 AM
I've read in several places that the school board has"raised taxes by 30%" and I'd really like to know how the School Board got the legistrative power to raise taxes? I thought the people of this community voted to approve a millage increase a few years back (to pay for nicer football fields and help maintain school buildings) and I think the way millages work is that they are tied to property values -- so when our property values fell because of the economic crisis, the rates automatically adjusted (per the terms of the bond that we the voters approved). The school board could not raise taxes if they wanted to-- I don't think even the local goverment can just haul off and raise taxes -- those measures/millages must be voted on by the people. Could somebody clarify this for me? Where did this "factoid" originate?
Jeremy Nielson November 11, 2011 at 12:17 PM
Hi Scott - . You did great work on Jane's campaign during the election. I think it would've been great to have more discussions like this before the election. . This issue came up in 2010, and is nicely documented at my webpage: http://www.jeremynielson.com/issue-taxes.html . In summary: Most voters believed that Debt millage tax rate couldn't change without a vote of the citizens. Naturally, it was shocking to us when the district's consultant informed the community that wasn't the case - that voters "are not voting on that millage [tax rate], though, it's for information purposes only, and so it's literally an unlimited tax [rate], technically" . It was also a surprise for many taxpayers that the consultants based the repayments on property values continuing to rise at 6% every year - indefinitely. . So when the millage rate - the rate paid per $1,000 of the assessed, taxable value of a home - went from 5.17 mills to 6.7 mills (a 30% tax increase), many residents were understandably angry. As has been discussed in other areas, some homeowners have seen their debt payments go up - while others, who have taken their properties to a tax tribunal may have seen them go down. . Here are the two meetings where this was discussed: June 14, 2010: http://rochester.ezstream.com/play/index.cfm?fuseaction=embstay&id=1825CE3F80 April 19, 2010: http://rochester.ezstream.com/play/index.cfm?fuseaction=embstay&id=1721147EAF . Best regards, Jeremy Nielson
Scott Schuster November 11, 2011 at 03:03 PM
I'm not representing anyone else, I'm just a concerned homeowner like you. I watched the video you referenced (board meeting in July of 2010), and what I took away from from it was that voters agreed to the debt repayment terms of a bond. When the taxable value of our properties fell, the only way to maintain the debt repayment schedule and honor the terms of the bond that voters approved was to adjust the millage rate -- which makes total sense. I did some more reading and this seems to be how millage works in communities all over the US. I never knew that. I felt better after watching the video because this showed the fact that school board did not create any new taxes or treat the community unfairly. They are good people working very hard on a volunteer basis. I also appreciate your vigilance in tracking these issues and bringing them to light. Our community would be stronger if more people took an interest like you have. As a footnote, while the millage rate when up 30% I think the actual taxes paid by most people may have dropped because of the decrease in the taxable value of our homes (not great news, really) I know mine did, and I could not figure out how my taxes were supposed to be up by 30%.
Jeremy Nielson November 11, 2011 at 03:43 PM
Not necessarily. The debt repayment schedule wasn't voted on, just whether voters agreed to pay off the debt. So, when the debt repayment schedule required $27.5 million this year (instead of $23 or $25 million just a few years ago), the district needed to make up that additional money from a shrinking tax base. . If I told you that your income tax rate had to necessarily go up, because your income went down 30-50%... you'd gladly call that a tax increase, regardless if you're paying the same amount (or slightly less) than last year. Similarly, when property values fall - but the rate at which that property is taxed increases 30%, we call it a 30% tax increase. . Even the school board acknowledges it as a tax increase. In the district's news flyer sent out for "Summer 2011", the front-page headline read "School Board holds the line on new taxes". The original expectation was that, due to falling revenue that taxes would have to be raised another 10-15%. Luckily, we were spared. . It's not a matter of whether it was "fair" or not, or whether the folks making the decision were "nice enough". Some poor decisions were made over the years, a second opinion wasn't sought, and the taxpayers end up paying more than their property is worth to meet the obligations for this debt. . It may have been the only option. But let's at least explore ways to prevent soaking taxpayers in the process.
Jeremy Nielson November 11, 2011 at 03:48 PM
The repayment schedule gets much better over the next 10 years - and as property values begin to climb after 2013, we'll likely see a tax decrease. . But what concerns me is the school board's discussions about keeping those tax rates high by proposing a new debt millage or a sinking fund. . We might even hear the argument that a 6.0 mill tax rate would be "less" than what residents are paying now, which you can imagine would be incredibly disingenuous. . While we may end up agreeing to disagree, I'm saddened that we never got the opportunity to explore the issue with the other candidates and find out about this issue that'll surely rear it's head in the next six years. . Best regards, Jeremy Nielson

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