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Copyright (c) 2009 Ginny Maziarka. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Letter to Lynn Corazzi

Posted on "Save West Bend Schools" Facebook page.  Someone else just doing their homework.  This should raise a few eyebrows.  Methinks LYNN CORAZZI has some 'splainin' to do.  Nice info going into the election!

Good morning Lynn,

I am listing out the most obvious/egregious financial issues that I have identified via District documents. To be absolutely clear, none of the data below is from my sources and is purely and unequivocably extracted from District data and FOIA requested data.

A few points of information to insure that you are clear on my standpoint:

(1) If the Board intends to have "transparency", then my FOIA requests should be unnecessary and a clear red flag to you that transparency is not happening. I have documented emails from myself to Adminstration staff requesting specific data and explanations and have received no responses. That is unacceptable as a community member and should be unacceptable to you as a representative of the community. I have alerted both yourself and Kris Beaver to this situation and continue to await a response and action. Failure to hold anyone in the Administration accountable for public responses is silent approval on your part.

(2) You stated that the District is a business. Then it should be run like a business. Of the 1 1/2 years of sitting on the CFAC committee, not once did we ever review the prior years actual financial performance to the budgeted numbers. Failure to hold department heads accountable to their budgets relegates the budget to be a moot point and useless. In other words, why spend months putting together a budget that nobody follows and nobody is held accountable? in business, an employee(s) get fired for failure to achieve their budgeted numbers. Again, lack of accountability is very apparent.

(3) Responsibility. Per the District charter, your "job description" as a Board member, and per the District Attorney, you have a responsibility to hold the Administration accountable for "use and disbursement of all public funds". As you stated at the Jackson PTO meeting, "spending $50000 is easy" which makes me question your financial mindset. You took the job, you are accountable for doing the job. As the District Attorney reminded me, "ignorance is no defense in the eyes of the law". As you will see below, there are multiple financial issues and now that you are being duly informed via this email, you can no longer claim ignorance.

(4) The files that are attached illustrate key points. The first one was published by the Milwaukee Journal in early December, 2009 (file name "tasr"). Other than listing the West Bend School District alphabetically, the true ranking of the District when it comes to average teacher pay and lack of tenure puts the West Bend District in the TOP 10% of the State Districts. This third party data clearly contradicts your mantra of being the lowest spending District in Wisconsin when in fact it clearly shows that we are paying more inexperienced teachers a higher average salary than the compared districts.

The other file is the recommended 2010-2011 capital projects requested by Dave Ross, District construction guy. As you can see, it totals $1,080,000 for all the projects listed. Going into the 2010-2011 school year with you telling us that we should be expecting another "tax to the max" tax levy coupled by a $2 million deficit makes me question the disconnect between the Administration (represented by Dave Ross in this example) and the financial realities of the District. I am not questioning the worthiness of the projects and have no knowledge about their impact, however, it is glaringly obvious that anyone who is blinded by the financial realities of the District and holds this type of leadership position should be removed from office. The logic of spending ourselves out of a growing deficit is contrary to every economic model and you, as a Board member, should be counseling Dr. Pat about the inappropriateness of these collective recommendations. Either she is disconnected or she is not actively managing this guy. Either way, the buck stops with her and that is your job to hold her accountable.

(5) Upon review of the 2008-2009 actual vs budgeted financial performance report provided via FOIA request (403 page document), I want to commend Mr. Heimark for being one of 3 principals who actually held to their budgets. The previous sentence should make you wonder....that means that ALL of the other department heads DID NOT. If you are running a business, 3 of roughly 20 managers hit their numbers and 17 did not. I would keep the 3 and fire the 17, including the General Manager (in this case, superintendent). As much as Mr. Heimark has cut services, decresed expenses, and run a comparatively stable expense rate for last year, his peers are spending money like it is going out of style. Since the District is not providing the date of actual expenses on this report, I can only go off when the journal entries are made and it is glaringly obvious that when the last entries in each sub section are massive dollar expenditures that those expenses are coming at the end of the school year and the person doing the spending is trying to use up all the money left in their budget because they have a "use it or lose it mindset". That forces you, The Board, to give them the same amount or more the next school year because it makes it look like they really needed the money. Again, the problem is that there is zero accountability for this kind of spending.

Here are some obvious expenditures that should be questioned:

2008 - $674000 spent on land in Village of Jackson. Per your logic, if services drop, property values decline, families relocate to other districts, then we wont need the land to build a new school. SELL the land for $500000 and return the money to the general fund.


Insurance on the Village Land. Not disclosed. Guess $10000 annually

$100000 (salary, taxes, benefits) 2008 hired a marketing guy from Midwest Express to market the referendum. Referendum is done with. Why are we still employing a marketing director for a school district?

+ $301000 VOIP phone system. District notes clearly show an expected ROI in 2010. Who made the purchase recommendation? Why havent they come forward to show the ROI? If there is no ROI, they should be fired.

+ $55000 Missing gasoline expenses in the Facilities Department. How many lawnmowers do we power with $55k in gasoline? If the District isn't powering its own fleet of school buses, how is it that $55k was spent on gas and nobody knows for what?

+ $20000/month (240000 annual) spent on DELL computers. I called Dell. At that monthly expense, we would be spending identical to 3M corporate headquarters in Minnesota! What the heck are we paying for? I put in a FOIA request to find out....and the District says they have no record. How is that even possible?

+ $65000/month (320000 annual) spent on school buses. When I asked for copies of the competitive bids, it turns out there are none. How is it that the District does not bid out the school bus service annually? If there is no bid, I would like to submit one for 2010-2011 that will be $64999/month. I will be the winning bidder. Please send the checks to my house. Also, this is a year round contract. Then why did the District spend $25735 on a "summer school fleet" last summer?

+ ???? Valley Elliehausen Florida Trip to a conference a month ago. I stumbled upon a website advertising her as one of the speakers at a conference in Orlando, Florida. Her topic was along the lines of "How to do more with less". So, I want to know if we the taxpayers paid for ANY part of her trip all the way down to candy bars and parking. If we are going into a $2 million deficit and the District paid for her (and who knows whom else) to go to Florida for 4 days, it will be a glaringly obvious example of the disconnect between Dr. Pat and the taxpayer. I can see the headlines now...."District going bankrupt yet pays for all expense paid trip to Florida"....as a Board member, you should be all over this one because it will land in your lap.

+ 14000 Middle School Crowd Control.

+ 7000 Fair Park Elementary -undifferentiated curriculum
+ 1900 Green Tree elementary employee travel
+5500 badger science equipment
+ 8317 Badger employee dues and fees
+6017 silverbrook field trips - why arent the students paying?
+21013 Central Office High School equipment
+4890 Combined High School foreign language equipment
+ 8919 combined high school property services
+5210 combined high school field trips - again, why arent the students paying?
+2345 spartan sun community program field trips - yet again
+6344 Vocational Education high school equipment
+1265 Vocational education high school drafting software
+7290 Vocational education high school equipment (yes, more equipment!)
+3676 Vocational education high school property services
+9210 Vocational education high school equipment (yes, a 3rd round of equipment)
+25000 Personal Services....account 253200
+24000 Property Services "other"....account 254490
+30000 Athletic Equipment ...account 162000

+600000 (yes, $600k) early retirement benefits cost $600k more than budget....thats not even in the realm of a "ballpark" ....whomever figured out that budget should be fired
+19000 Operations Services equipment
+7475 Eisenhower Personal services
+536 AODA Employee Travel
+280000 (280k) OVERspent on account 122111
+280000 (280k) OVERspent on account 215000

+43000 District subsection -employee relations

Total OVER $2.1 MILLION dollars in either OVERspent dollars or money spent on items that have no clear explanation.

***The above list is not conclusive and ALL data other than the one for insurance on the jackson land and the salary/taxes/benefits for the Marketing Director are ALL based from District provided data.

As a taxpayer, I want to see a list of all the "equipment" purchased per school. I want to specifically know what "personal services" we are paying for and why. I want to know if the $43000 spent on employee relations is being spent on making staff feel good about doing a job at which financially they are failing to do.

In conclusion, I am highly confident that you will not be asking me further details of the Districts expenditures nor solicting my input going forward on how the District spends our money since it would entail a degree of uncomfortability on your part and tacit acknowledgement that all of my data is accurate and correct. I hope that I am incorrect in my assumption, however, past history is indicative of future results.

As a taxpayer, voter, and father of three children in the District, the lack of leadership at the Board level is disappointing and there are many of us who believe that the Board has and continues to fail in its' civic duties.

I will be publishing this email and circulating it to my friends and neighbors who are highly supportive of a significant overhaul within the leadership ranks of the District.


Gordon Goggin
Father, Taxpayer and Voter 

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