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Date Posted: 15:35:33 03/20/10 Sat
Author: Donald F. Valtman
Subject: Re: What's up?
In reply to: Donald F. Valtman 's message, "Re: What's up?" on 10:16:26 03/13/10 Sat

The 'what's up' question looms LARGER THAN EVER after last Thursday's 03/18/10 BoE Oversight meeting.

How many CPOG readers knew or were remotely aware of the FACT that GCPSS was "walking [a] financial tightrope"? Apparently GCPSS's CHIEF Financial Officer had reason to be concerned at least NINE (9) months ago -- around the FIRST MONTH of the FY2009-10 budget! Did he so advise the BoE? Don't know; but what we know for sure is that he subsequently reported that GCPSS is giving up an estimated $20 Million in local property tax revenues to participate in County CIDs -- but not to worry; that $20 Million will be made up in spades starting some 25 YEARS DOWN-THE-ROAD (no guarantees of course, just believe the CFO's SWAGs). But even more galling is that this CFO did so fully well knowing that (1) virtually every other Metro Area public school system was experiencing major financial problems for the past couple years, (2) Gwinnett County's property tax digest was in meltdown mode, and (3) Georgia's serious budget problems can and most likely will result in less state QBE and equalization grant funds to GCPSS.
Assuming that the CFO did apprise the BoE of a very real financial crisis, what did the BoE do? Why at the 03/18/10 Oversight meeting, one BoE member said (paraphrased) "the [staff] numbers are fairly absolute." Translation: we're running as tight a ship as we can run right now. We don't have any 'fat' to cut. Another BoE member inquired of Superintendent Wilbanks (paraphrased) "has GCPSS made any headway in explaining our financial predicament to those people at the Capitol?" Translation: we can't do anything unless those jerks come up with more money." And Wilbanks -- the Superintendent who's supposed to propose the solutions to all problems GCPSS encounters -- responded (paraphrased) "staff are having conference calls with local legislators. I'll report back to you when I have some results to report." Translation: I don't want to publicly offer any specific recommendations at this time (even though preparations for the FY2010-11 GCPSS budget start next month).

This kind of forward-thinking, problem-solving, action-oriented, and transparent GCPSS team is even more FUBAR than the Gwinnett County BoC!

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