The City of Saint Cloud's ruling bosses have clearly shown that not one of them know how to read their own budget! Their behavior at the Council meeting displayed complete confusion, frustration for the city's workforce, and bewilderment by the audience attending the meeting.
First, the city council, weeks ago, tried to float a fire fee (tax) past the taxpayers. When it came time for a decision, that allegedly sorely needed fire fee was scrapped! After regrouping, ALL the city council members stated the only other things to do would be: 1. to lay off close to a hundred employees 2. raise property taxes to cover the budget shortage, which every single council member agreed the shortage was there!
So, what do they do? Despite their alleged budgetary crisis, they decided, as usual, to do absolutely nothing! A typical move particularly used by this current city council. Even more concerning was the statement by current deputy mayor Rinehart who stated, "There is plenty of money in the budget". HUH? Where's this guy been? With all the frustrations of taxpayers, employers, and some council members, why the heck didn't Rinehart step up with this information before the meeting? Oh, we get it, he wants to be the 'hero' of the people who comes in at the last moment to save the day! Saving the day was done by Mighty Mouse, perhaps a distant relative? Further into the meeting it was sadly, but very obvious that no council members, including Rinehart, truly understood the city budget! We say sad because they've been allegedly working
on and reviewing this new budget for almost two months, that we are aware of. Where have they ALL been that they would embarrass themselves, as usual, without even understanding the budget? They have now made themselves look like a bunch of dopes and no one will, or should take them serious again while they remain in office(which should NOT be long!) Their scare tactics, clearly they were, by attempting to talk about layoffs, taxes rising, and who knows what else, but now, thanks to our 'hero' of the day, he now proclaims the city has "plenty of money in the budget"! Boy, what a guy! And he wants to be a Mayor? St Cloud residents should NOT, in any way, support this guy for the job. Heck, he can't even handle the deputy mayor's job! We look forward to him finding all that money, for the sake of the hard working, and dedicated employees
of the city. They truly do NOT deserve this treatment. Nor do the taxpayers who pay, and pay, every tax year just to hear 5 people talk a couple times a month just to prove they know nothing! Even Sgt. Shultz knew SOMEthing every once in awhile! We wish the taxpayers & employees the best!
Their budget is due to the state by Sept. 30 and if the numbers still show a $2 million deficit then the state may have to take over the city's operations. Don't worry, the 5 egos won't allow that to happen!
Meanwhile, the school board has been sitting on their hands and NOT acting on a request for more 'recess' time, by a mother who believes the added time would help children learn easier, and better. The school board has insisted on riding in the back seat on this one telling the mother it was up to the individual principals. That's one way to deal with her request!
Staying with the school board it looks like there may be some changes to the start times in Osceola's high schools. Based on science and some studies, researchers say high school students better when they begin school at later times. Now this makes sense! Students today have much different pressures than what we had as school kids. Start with those stupid state tests which, in our opinion, interferes with true teaching, instead of learning how to pass a test. A later start time for the high schoolers would provide them with added rest, and should improve their education. Considering how many high schoolers are now having difficulty staying awake in first period classes, it's worth a try! Allow the school board to help improve student's grades. GOOD move!
Small catch ups:
Katrina Scarborough has left the Republican Party & switched to Democrat.
We hear that Wiley Black will be Dave Sklarek's Chief Deputy if elected Sheriff.
Still no word what job Brandon will run for. (some here think he's holding out for more money!)
Finally, we thank you all for checking in. Enjoy and be safe until next time.
God bless and keep you safe!
Anyone think Wheeler may have learned a lesson yet?
The Vice-Mayor needs a visit to the nearest mental health unit. Then again maybe he has found $2 million the consultants have missed.
Isn't Arrogant in Brussels wasting more taxpayers dollars?
Rumor has it that he will run against Ferentinos in a primary
Should be interesting
I hope they have a one on one debate. My money will definitely not be on Arrogant.
Brandy is in Brussels on a "business" trip alleged to be seeking connections to help Osceola's economy. No idea what we'd be a benefit to Brussels since they grow their own sprouts and have our only one sprout already there!
St Cloud is in big trouble. The vice mayor says he crunched all the numbers and says the city has a surplus! This from the guy who complained only weeks ago that he did not understand how to read the budget. And he now wants to be mayor? The guy is nuts and all five of them need to be tossed out of office.
You liberal idiots are staff right Doug, Ghost
do not work, and never ever worked for the city. Why the name calling?
I look for the property tax increase. Staff says it will be an an average
increase of $60.00 per home.
The city is looking for companies to bring employees to the city. Who would want to locate in a city that can hardly manage its budget and now wants to send 100 people to the unemployment line?
$60 a year increase I can handle, but we need a whole new city council since not one of them can read, or even understand OUR budget! Get rid of them all!
What do you expect from a council or school board when you elect people that have zero expertise in economics, engineering, infrastructure and municipal planning,or no degree in education (some not even a college degree), have never been a teacher of been in real classroom situations.....
Individual principals have FAR too much power and some are micromanaging (and haven't been in classrooms or hiring friends or clowns as AP''s and these pathetic coaches (WASTE OF MONEY FOR THEM).
as for the late start lololol so kids will now just stay up later--who are we kidding. Yeah an extra few minutes of sleep--that's what the problem is--not absent parents, kids who are homeless or those that dont care (and homes that put little value in education)
BTW read a note that the sb agendas are filled with travel requests-- while teachers got squat for a raise AND... the clinic that no-0ne wanted, and claimed to be a benefit of some $270/ employee, isn't going to be open this school year....so why aren't the teachers getting that money?????
There are no education requirements to run for the BOCC,School Board or both cities in the county. You do have to be a registered voter and meet living in Osceola for city jobs.
Elected officials provide money to hire educated people to manage the county and cities. They appoint educated managers and attorneys.
Teachers are not getting the money because the Union didn't ask for it. All expected travel expense was approved at 2 public hearings for the Board. There is money approved for county staff. Of course Wheeler travels more than anyone on the Board.
Our county has almost 2 times the student population as other counties our size.
Looking at the City of St Cloud data from the elections office is somewhere between concerning and horrifying. In the 2014 election, an average of 45.23% of the registered voters participated. That is a pretty sorry turnout.
Then, if you look at the results from the 2012 runoff in which Mr. Holmes was elected, the "winning" precinct is #420 with 11%; precinct 470 had a whopping 2% voter turnout. An average of all of the city's precincts was a 5% turnout for this election. The media reported that there were about 200 people at the big meeting to discuss the fire fee; statistically, only about 10 of these folks voted.
If citizens are truly interested in improving the city, they need to do more than gripe - they need to turn their anger in to action and vote for the person/people who can run the place and understand a budget.
Sorry jipper, your count is way off.
"The fire fee looked to have an early death at last week’s meeting, in which 500 attendees filled the chambers and flooded into nearby hallways, a balcony and back down to the street below."
Chambers full, hallway full, over a hundred came and went outside.
Looks like Tom Hurt still trying to bend the facts.
ALways interesting when people chime in as if they are INforming, when they are MISSING the point.
@Haney We ALL know there are no requirements for any elected post--hence what we have!!!!!!! from sucker or lazy voters.
@ Roach--- THe teachers union has been after a DECENT raise and is constantly being told there is no money. I KNOW the waste of what is IN the classrooms, workshops that are pay for crap people to come in and then needs subs for classrooms. If people KNEW the facts of what happens IN the classrooms FROM teachers...they'd puke and PS there would be more money.
Seems the Union needs another Rep to show where all the waste is that could go towards teacher pay.
NO argument there--- The irony is union leaders are like lots of administration, losing touch of exactly what is going on IN classrooms. They need to specifically point out to the public the number of kids scoring several grade levels below the grade they are entering, (EVEN already in elementary), as well as the insanity of one size fits all instruction, ridiculous workshops that waste time and money, bullsh--about things that must be hung on wallS. Add the farcical pathetic district class visits that they have the gall to judge a teacher without knowing the make-up of the class...on and on and on. Imagine giving an entire grade of teachers, a mandate to teach to a class of kids in 3rd, 4th, 5th, who are on pre-k, k, 1st 2nd grade levels (and not talking just a couple), to teach curriculum of the grade level they are in when they cant read or do simple math or understand English. ADD- you are told to teach the exact same plans, at the same amount of time (dont go another minute if the kids are getting a concept)--or if you have a class of kids labeled with all kinds of issues....If parents knew how many of their kids were sitting in a class with kids who had behavioral problems and are a danger to their kid---or have problems that has a kid that does things (due to medical/mental problems) that distract constantly from teaching their would be an uprising. (anything from making involuntary sounds constantly or relieving themselves at their desk).
And it was not better with when ignorant people tried to put as many kids in AP classes to say "we have lots of kids in AP," even though they were totally unqualified to learn. It goes on and on.
And so you don't think I avoided the $$$ waste. "coaches" - often filled by those who have spent little time in classrooms, are hired as nepotism or friend jobs, who generally do not anywhere close to what would be better served if they were filling teaching positions-- are a waste of a LOT of money. Add workshops that are mind-numbing and take teachers out of classrooms (ie subs needed to fill), and add nothing to alter what the teacher in the classroom Knows or can teach due to the circumstances of what they are dealing with. Not enough time to detail all the insanity and harm done by those who aren't IN the classroom every hour -every day-and after hours-- People -have no clue...and others who know, just shift blame to teachers.
Why is Osceola county behind the 8 ball when it comes to a lack of money for schools .
Teachers are on strike in Seattle that is keeping 55,000 students home.
Teachers in Osceola county welcomed 62,000 children to schools this morning.
Osceola population: 213,000 est.
blame the republicrap legislature and governors for how they fund (or better said-dont fund)and their hard on for charter and private school vouchers. ie for profit and religious ideology.
I agree with you ugot that right but until a majority of people get out to vote the idiots who are there now, out, what's a taxpayer to do (short of moving)?
Leon county has a population of 281,000.
They have 35,000 students. We have 62,000 students. See the problem? Nothing to do with Charter schools. With all the houses on the way where will be in 2020?
@Matt - You keep making a point that is wrong. State funding comes based on the number of students, and the legislature is supposed to adjust funding for the differences such as the number of nes, esol, (put in any combo of identifiers).
Yes the property tax is a part, but when public funds are diverted to private and charter schools that dont provide near the services the public schools have to, that is hurting the schools as well. It is a DISGRACE how many NES and ESOL and a massive number of very mentally and behaviorally (more than) challenged kids in "regular classrooms"with no materials for them,no assistants and paras to handle the numbers, and they make teachers the scapegoat.
PLUS -again-the money so badly misappropriated. But no matter the money-- ifyou have pre-k and k level kids--often 25-50% or more in 3rd grade, they are not going to pass the FCAT and they aren't going to progress if you make teachers teach 3rd grade curriculum. THEY are PRE-K and K and maybe 1st grade level--and this plays itself out over and over throughout Osceola.
It would appear that the whole system is ready to implode with the strain of having 30,000 plus students not found in a like county. What if we only had 35,000 students?
Do we not have Charter schools that you state are sucking the life out of every school system in the State? If the Charter schools closed we would have to put them in schools by law so what would be the gain?
ESOL has been around in some form since 1979. The courts have pretty well established the rules for the Legislature.
Matt - perhaps you should KNOW some facts. ESOL may have been around, but get a clue--- the population of that has grown exponentially and takes STATE funding to address.
Charter schools-- DO you want to know how disorganized and poorly they are run? The take the per child money but dont have to provide the same services-- WHen you have a charter school IT is siphoning off funds from the public schools. If a charter school takes 16-- at lets use 6k per student--that is $96k that easily would cover a teacher and a para. THAT is the gain! PLUS- because ofthe outrageous promises/lies of charter schools, they take better kids,leaving those that need the most services behind.KNOW THE FACTS
Also,dont give me that about the courts have pretty well....when you have the Jeb Bushits of the world who did the "If the class size passes, I have a devious plan..." That is the legislature at every turn with education.... let alone other areas.
74% of the students our county school system qualify for free meals.
As the school population has grown since 1980 so has the number of ESOL students. Happened in every growth county.
I do know about the Kissimmee Charter school that is married to the City of Kissimmee and it is run well. If you can past your anti Republican bias maybe you will be able to paint a true picture of the defects of each Charter school in Osceola county and what can be done to close them. Maybe you can gain support from the Democrat county commission to start the ball rolling.
You keep putting out stats that EVERYONE KNOWS--DUH- and I point to the fact that as it has grown,MORE-SO here than other counties, the STATE republicant legislature has the ability to adjust funding for poor or counties with excessive special needs. Scott ripped funding and pushes voucher and charter for ideology and $$$$, NOT that they do a better job than public schools--FACT.
As for charters, I can tell you of direct reports from present and past teachers, admin, parents that see the most disorganized and lacking schools they were ever in. OFTEN many kids start in the charter and are pulled by parents due to this and then they are off to a bad start -catching up in their zoned school. Oh yes before you tell me anecdotal individ stories of how someONE likes their charter school, that doesn't make it so AND more importantly you again go off on numbers when confronted with the fact of how that ciphers off money from public schools THAT PROVIDE SERVICES THE PRIVATE AND CHARTER SCHOOLS DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT.
The Democrats with a overwhelming majority of registered voters in Florida failed again to win the Governors House. Why?
If Charter schools in the county are so bad why are 100% of the available seats filled. Based on your comments they all should be closed as they are not providing at least the same education a child would get in public school.
You want to read about the poor school counties? Pick a county in the Panhandle. Osceola is not a poor county when it comes to school funding. Sure we could use more state and Federal money yet 67 counties have problems thanks to the great recession that you must have missed. Osceola lost almost 30% of its revenue tax base when the housing bubble burst. It's still off by 30%. Maybe a Democrat in the Tax Appraisers office can juice the numbers upward after the 2016 election?
One Kissimmee area Charter school has been closed with having 2 "F" scores in a row the past 2 years.
There are 24 private non-charter schools in the county with 4500 students.
The good business news is that the Kissimmee-Osceola Chamber has crept over the 900 member mark hopefully headed back to the 1300 they had in 2006.
You made some good points about Charter schools. For the most part people that wail on our teachers in government schools mirror most of your rants against Charters.
https://player.vimeo.com/video/104651109 A press conference that ACCURATELY points out exactly what public schools provide, and that charters DON'T have to adhere to the same standards- DON'T have to give the same tests- DON'T have to hire certified teachers!! and on and on...... SPEAKS VOLUMES!!!
Charter school teachers have be certified.
Administrators do not have to be certified.
The St Cloud manager started the cutting of the budget by cancelling movie night at the pool tonight-19th.
The is the same manger that issued a phony state of the budget to the council July 24th,
The city of saint cloud doesn't even have a city manager. They do have one trying to act like one but he's getting directions from a couple council members and they're screwing him up!
You are right that the city manager is the "Acting City Manager". If councilmen are giving him direction outside of the meetings there is a process to remove them from office spelled out in the city charter.
Peking Mike Harford's wage bill ended up in the trash can even with the help of outside Union help. He had no idea how much it would have impacted the county. Sorta like the $135,000 that was budgeted for his Wage Recovery Plan. 7 people filed a complaint. 3 got a settlement. Harford said there was 100's of people in the tourist industry that would file complaints. Maybe this year will be better.
The St Cloud Council voted to deplete their reserves to balance the budget. A statement was made that new companies and construction coming to St Cloud will save the day. Remarkable illusion.
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