Monday, May 11, 2015

Petulant Candidate Doubles Down on Lottery Scheme

Joe Lombardo has things to say about the lottery. Let's examine. 
Since the people who incessantly ask for more taxes don't understand what happens with NYS Lottery money, I will briefly explain.
They're not asking for "more taxes" from you. You don't pay any to begin with. You live with mommy and daddy in their $500,000 property. 

Even more importantly, how disgusting and vile is it that funding of the schools is, in part, dependent on the lottery. Nevertheless, the NYS Lottery has raised over $35 billion for education in the state since its inception in 1967
#1- The lottery has decreased its revenue contribution to education from 55%, when it was founded, to 33% today.
#2- The lottery spends a larger portion on its own marketing and administration than ever before.
#3- The lottery has grown the size of its payouts considerably over the years. This allows the State to collect more income tax on the winnings which go directly into the coffers of Albany instead of to the schools.
So, Joe, why not run for NYS Comptroller? Assembly? Senate? Governor? Perhaps use your father's Republican connections to get yourself an appointment to the NYS Gaming Commission
The reallocation of how the lottery spends its money is pretty far outside the jurisdiction of a local school board trustee. "Pretty far outside" being a euphemism for "not at all within". 
We could also look at the most recent internal audit from the Lottery and determine that revenue in 2014 was $9.226 billion, and net proceeds for aid to education were at $3.173 billion in FY 2014. The 2014 revenue figures were up 3.3% over 2013, and aid to education was up 4.2% over the previous year. 
Why, Clarence is asking to increase its levy (not the tax rate) by 3.8% versus a cap of 4.8%. 
The NYS lottery has grown every year since its its inception in revenue, payouts, aid to education, and also in administrative fees. This is sort of what happens when things grow and become bigger. They cost more to operate. That's not necessarily indicative of failure or of being spendthrift. It just is. 
Furthermore, if you factor in federal aid, lottery money makes up a whopping 5% of total NYS school spending in a given year. Of its 2012 state aid, Clarence received about $5.7 million from the lottery. 
The decisions that affect how the lottery doles out education money versus how much it spends on overhead are ones that are not made within the halls of the Clarence Central School District, and Joe Lombardo would be as effective on that issue as, say, a housecat.
I do enjoy the "ulterior motives" in #3 - it's almost like reading Infowars! 
It's more likely that New York State increased the size of payouts to make the lottery more attractive to the poor schmucks who play it. It's also true that New York has joined some multistate games that have huge payouts. How New York State will generate more income tax from a Megamillions or Powerball winner in California or Michigan is anyone's guess, but our newest NYS Comptroller / School Board candidate has the answer, I'm sure!
A school board that claims to be fiscally responsible would pursue the exploitation of lottery funds instead of asking the local taxpayers for more and more. Those who cry that these are State issues and nothing can be done either don’t know what a school board is elected to do, or don’t want the system changed because it’s benefiting them.
Are you calling Mssrs. Showalter and Lahti fiscally irresponsible for failing to go after this lottery inefficiency!? 
Now, as far as what a school board does, let's ask the NYS School Board Association
Commitment to Public Education
A school board member takes on one of the most important citizen responsibilities: overseeing the education of the community’s youth. In these challenging times for public education, school boards are seeking men and women who find excitement and satisfaction in confronting tough challenges and working collegially to rise above them and help students in their communities succeed.
Responsibilities of a Board Member
With schoolchildren always their ultimate focus, school board members act officially at the board table, working with other board members to serve students and accomplish the following:
  • Create a shared vision for the future of education
  • Set the direction of the school district to achieve the highest student performance
  • Provide rigorous accountability for student  achievement results
  • Develop a budget and present it to the community, aligning district resources to improve achievement
  • Support a healthy school district culture for work and learning
  • Create strategic partnerships with the community stakeholders
  • Build the district’s progress through continuous improvement
  • Adopt and maintain current policies
  • Hire and evaluate the superintendent
  • Ratify collective bargaining agreements
  • Maintain strong ethical standards
Did you see the part about, "go after the state lottery and the gaming authority?" No - hell, I don't even see anything beyond making sure the schools are as good as they can be. 
How much hard earned income or retirement you give up in taxes is just a joke to some people.
The joke is that a guy who doesn't pay a cent in property taxes would lecture schoolparents about how we need to fail the budget and elect him so that we can get more of our 1/670th of a share of lottery proceeds. Those of us who don't live a lifestyle that's subsidized by mommy and daddy; those of us who have actual responsibilities and care about the decline in the schools over the past 10 years are aghast at the sort of semi-informed and factually tangential manipulations of which this anti-schools crowd is capable. 
There's a joke, alright, and for the 3rd year in a row, the same crowd is trying out the same, tired joke on schoolkids. 
You know what else is a joke? 
That the people who want to fail the budget are too cowardly to come out and say so on their own signs and lit. They know how idiotic they'd look trying to fail a budget that's 1% under the cap, that they just left it out. 
Of course, it's more likely that they left it out to create confusion in the minds of people who pay scant attention, and to ensure that Joe Lombardo and Jacob Kerksiek aren't automatically associated with an ask for a "no" vote. 
That, my friends, is pretty much the dictionary illustration of coward
Michael Fuchs and Dennis Priore, on the other hand, are proud of their backing of a "yes" vote, and have allowed their names to be used on signage and literature asking for a "yes" vote. Michael Fuchs and Dennis Priore are not cowards - they are not embarrassed of their support for next year's budget. 
That's one of the many reasons why Michael Fuchs and Dennis Priore are the only acceptable choices for Clarence school board in 2015. 
They're the only candidates who actually own their own homes and have a legal obligation to pay school taxes. 

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