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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

      Dr. Donald Deering's League of Women Voters statement     Fall 2014



Question 1 (150 Words or less)
Please provide biographical information and explain why you are running for School Board and relevant qualities and skills you would bring to the position that you are running for.

Dr. Donald Deering was born on August 16,1974 and raised in Southeast Michigan by a single working mother.  During his childhood, education and work ethic were emphasized as an important ingredient to success. Dr. Deering moved to Clarkston 4 years ago with his wife Dr. Sandra Deering (doctoral prepared nurse practitioner) and two boys, Andrew 7 and Ethan 6, both of whom attend Bailey Lake Elementary (BLE).  Dr. Deering is choosing to run for the Clarkston School Board in an effort to be more active in the decisions that will impact his children and the children of his community for years to come. As an educator himself, he is well equipped to understand the dynamics involved in making these decisions.  Dr. Deering is trained as a professional counselor and psychologist. He is logical, compassionate and results oriented. More information on Dr. Deering’s qualifications are available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/donald-e-deering-ph-d/14/13b/357

Question 2 (150 Words or less)
What are the top three (3) Priority Issues facing your school district and what actions would you take to address them if elected to the school board?

As is the case for most school districts, careful consideration of the factors that result in solvency and sustainability are paramount. This is often an emotionally charged issue because the resources available to meet everyone’s needs and wants are almost always lacking. Collaborative communication, prioritized problem solving and timely results are the key to achieving success in this area.

Another issue that faces most school districts is updating, implementing and/or maintaining technology that demonstrate proven desirable outcomes. This also requires a collaborative effort due to the complexities and costs associated with such a complicated task.

Finally, people are at the core of all success achieved in our society. To that end, administrators, educators, parents and students alike are equally responsible to govern themselves accordingly toward achieving that success. As a result, fair and objective evaluation should lead to results oriented remuneration within the parameters of available resources.


I support Dr. Donald Deering and Rosalie Lieblang for Clarkston Community School Board election, November 2014

Rosalie Lieblang - League of Women Voters statement

      Rosalie Lieblang's League of Women Voters statement         Fall 2014



"Question 1 (150 Words or less)
Please provide biographical information and explain why you are running for School Board and relevant qualities and skills you would bring to the position that you are running for.

I am seeking my second term as School Board Trustee because I value education for all students and value Clarkston’s reputation as a premier district within Oakland County and the State. I am a Michigan School Board Association certified board member and take annual classes to ensure I stay current on District/Board - related issues and changes. I hold a BSA (Information Technology) from U of Michigan and have 25+ years of work experience, including 15 years in upper management. I have served on the CCS Board as President, Secretary, Treasurer, and on the Finance, Policy and Reinstatement Committees. I have also served as BLE PTA President, Treasurer for the Clarkston PTA Council, a mentor at both, SMS and CJHS, Treasurer for the Clarkston Optimists and a volunteer at many school and community events. I am married with two daughters who currently attend Clarkston Schools and have lived here for 17+ years.

Question 2 (150 Words or less)
What are the top three (3) Priority Issues facing your school district and what actions would you take to address them if elected to the school board?

Student Achievement.
Achievement and growth for students is what it’s all about!  During my term, I have focused on collaborating on a Strategic Plan where Student Achievement is a cornerstone. We are progressing in evaluating our programs and performance against internal and external measures to ensure students reach their potential and are prepared for the next phase in their life, whatever they dream it to be!

Budget
Clarkston is one of the lowest funded districts in Oakland County, making it challenging to address all needs as we would like. We should continue to be fiscally responsible, fund our educational priorities and look for alternative/additional funding such as our Shared Services Program which has provided an additional $1M for Clarkston Schools.

Class Size
Studies show lower class sizes have a significant, positive impact on student achievement. Let’s have our teachers teach in an environment that has proven to increase achievement!"


I support Rosalie Lieblang and Dr. Donald Deering for Clarkston Community School Board election, November 2014

Steve Hyer - Claimed Two Homestead Exemptions Illegally

Steve Hyer is running for re-election for the Clarkston Community Schools School Board.  This is the same person who claimed two primary homes for the Michigan Homestead Exemption at the same time while he had renters on one of the homes...  See the article below with my comments in red and bold. In my opinion, this is not the the kind of person that should be re-elected to the Clarkston School Board.

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/general-news/20120419/clarkston-school-board-treasurer-cant-legally-claim-two-primary-homes

"Clarkston school board treasurer can't legally claim two primary homes


Steve Hyer
It is illegal for a married couple to claim two homesteads, or places of residency, when they both only live in one of the homes.

Clarkston Board of Education Treasurer Steve Hyer found this out the hard way.

Springfield Township Deputy Treasurer Karen Binasio said the township sent Hyer a letter informing Hyer that he cannot claim two homesteads. Hyer then rescinded the homestead status on his Bluewater condo on Feb. 6 of this year.

Binasio said, "If you own and occupy your home, you have a homestead exemption. And that forgoes them paying 18 mills to the school operation. By law, you can only have one. Some people just don't rescind the homestead; they try to keep both homes homesteaded."

Hyer said he did not intentionally forego his taxes.

"If there are taxes I owe, I will pay them. I'm not trying to get out of any property taxes," he said.
Hyer and his wife lived in a condominium on Bluewater Drive in Springfield Township from 2003 to 2011. Hyer said he purchased the condo before he was married.

 In 2011, his wife Kelly purchased a second home on Lost Pines Drive about two miles away from their first home. Hyer said he is listed on the deed. In 2011, they claimed both of these homes as their homestead, although they lived on Lost Pines Drive and rented out the condominium, according to the Springfield Township Assessing Department."  They have been married since 2003.  They both moved into the Lost Pines Dr address and began renting out the Bluewater Dr condo.  However, his wife, Kelly Hyer, solely bought the Lost Pines Dr home and they kept the homestead exemptions for both homes?  Sounds like there was intent there...  
 
"Binansio said that's not legal. "There's not many tax breaks for married people. This is one of them," she said.

A resident contacted The Oakland Press because he was concerned that Hyer was not paying this school operating tax while the board of education was, at the same time, proposing a $20 million bond, or 1 mill property tax increase, in an upcoming special election.

Hyer said, "We were informed (by Springfield Township) I had to change the filing on my current condo, which I did. I don't know why there's an issue. If there are any taxes I owe or have ever owed, I will pay and have always paid. The way my taxes are paid is a personal thing. I don't owe any back taxes, and if I owe something that I get billed for, I pay it."

Non-homestead residencies or businesses are charged an additional school operating tax that primary residencies are not charged.

If the condo was listed as non-homestead in 2011, Hyer's summer taxes would have gone up by $462.60, according to Springfield Township's property records. The condo was the least expensive of the two homes.

"That's money that goes to the school. That doesn't come here to the township," said Binasio. "Oakland County has to send him a bill for the difference now."

Binasio explained that even people who own one house in state and one out-of-state, like Florida, only have one homestead. The home lived in for the majority of the year, six months and one day, is considered the homestead.

"It's the address you file your income taxes under or what your driver's license says. Those are ways to check," she said. "The way they find this stuff is by running same names to addresses."

Deputy Assessor for Springfield Township Arlene Badgley said the only exemption to this increase in taxes is if one of the houses is for sale.

"It's called a conditional rescind. If they bought another house, and they moved in and occupied it, they're allowed to get a homestead on that. The house that they're trying to sell, if they want a homestead on that, it has to be listed for sale and vacant. They have to apply for that every year," said Badgley. "But because it's a rental, (Hyer) wouldn't qualify for that."

Contact Monica Drake at 248-745-4687 or email her at monica.drake@oakpress.com. Find her on Twitter at monica_adele.

Dr. Donald Deering, candidate for Clarkston Community Schools School Board




Clarkston PTA Council's Question: "Why do you support our school district's vision and direction?"
In an effort to best provide an overall answer to this question, I have prepared the following information about myself and my thoughts on this matter.


Dr. Deering is running for the Clarkston School Board to be more active in the decisions that will impact his children and the children of his community for years to come. As an educator himself, he is well equipped to understand the dynamics involved in making these decisions.


Careful consideration of the factors that result in solvency and sustainability are paramount. This is often an emotionally charged issue because the resources available to meet everyone’s needs and wants are almost always lacking. Collaborative communication, prioritized problem solving and timely results are critical to achieving success in this area.


Children are our future and we have an obligation to prepare them for success in this world. CCS is an outstanding example of this.


Dr. Deering is trained as a professional counselor and psychologist. He is logical, compassionate and result oriented. More information on Dr. Deering’s qualifications are available at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/donald-e-deering-ph-d/14/13b/357

Monday, October 13, 2014

Support for Rosalie Lieblang and Dr. Donald Deering for Clarkston School Board



I would like to publicly support current school board president, Rosalie Lieblang, and candidate, Dr. Donald Deering, for the Clarkston school board election in November.   

During Rosalie Lieblang’s leadership, the school board has been able, not only remain solvent during the drop in school funding from the state, but to rebuild the district’s cash reserves.  This has prevented the district’s credit rating from being lowered and kept the district from being considered ‘distressed’ by the state.   

All of the remaining candidates, Steve Hyer, Elizabeth Egan, and Kelli Horst, were the ringleaders for the failed school bond request in 2012.  I believe that if the 2012 bond had passed, it would have bankrupted the school district with the extra expenses related to the bond that would not have been covered by the bond. 

Please show the district that you support fiscal responsibility by voting for Rosalie Lieblang and Dr. Donald Deering for the Clarkston Community School Board.  There will be three openings, but please ONLY vote for Rosalie Lieblang and Dr. Donald Deering to show your support for intelligent, fiscally responsible school management.

Thanks!

Monday, April 22, 2013

"Stealth" Community Hearing 4/22/13 at 6 PM at CJHS - Clarkston Schools



The district finally sent out the following notice on Thursday, 4/18/13, via the "e-blast" system, but I am not sure under which notice system because I am signed up for all of the CCS e-blasts and I only received one copy of it (normally, if it were dispatched under each e-blast forum, I would receive each copy). I will guess that few people received this.  The district also did not post it as an event that will occur on Monday on the Clarkstoncalendar.org website.  As I suspected, the district doesn’t want people to see this notice nor show up to this meeting…  Please attend to express your opinion.

Clarkston Community Schools
Friends of CCS:
On Monday, April 22 at 6:00 p.m. at the Clarkston Junior High's Performing Arts Center, the Board of Education will host a community hearing on next year's budget. As you are likely aware, the School District faces a $3.8 million deficit due to a number of factors, including decreasing state and federal revenues, decreased enrollment, and increased costs. As we develop the budget, our focus is on achieving our district’s vision, mission, and learner profile for every child we serve.
The Administration has recommended to the Board a number of budget reductions and revenue enhancements designed to meet the budget parameters established by the Board. In response, the Board has asked the Administration to consider additional items. Here is a partial list of potential revenue enhancements and budget reductions:
Limited open enrollment in grades K-2 (Administrative Recommendation, no transportation provided, limited by space available) (Open school of choice)
Operating a charter school offsite (Administrative Recommendation)
Increased sharing of staff with private schools (Administrative Recommendation)
Privatizing some services (Board inquiry)
Cutting or reducing transportation (Board inquiry)
At Monday’s hearing, the Administration will provide a brief overview of the budget and suggested changes. Following this, community members are invited to share with the Board and Administration their thoughts on the Budget. Board members and administrators will not respond at the meeting to comments from community members. Each community member will have two minutes to speak.
Community members are also welcome to send questions or suggestions via email directly to me (rdrock@clarkston.k12.mi.us).
As the superintendent of schools and as an advocate for public education, local control, our children, and our community, I encourage you to contact lawmakers in Lansing and ask them to carefully reconsider the cuts they have recommended in next year’s budget for public schools. Your opinions matter.
Thanks for your time,

Rod Rock, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

rdrock@clarkston.k12.mi.us
248-623-5400
http://www.clarkston.k12.mi.us"

Cheryl McGinnis "spin" of concerns about her behavior at the 4/8/13 board meeting

See below for an email exchange between Cheryl McGinnis, president of the Clarkston Community School Board, and me (Dawn Schaller).  Please read it completely.  As of Monday, 4/22/13 at 3:30 AM, she has not yet responded to the email from Friday.

From: Dawn Schaller
To: "Cheryl McGinnis" <cmcginnis@clarkston.k12.mi.us>
Cc: hyers@clarkston.k12.mi.us, eganee@clarkston.k12.mi.us, chamilton@clarkston.k12.mi.us, pattersonj@clarkston.k12.mi.us, boatmans@clarkston.k12.mi.us, lieblangr@clarkston.k12.mi.us,  "Dr. Rod Rock" <rdrock@clarkston.k12.mi.us>, "Heidi McClain" <mcclaihs@clarkston.k12.mi.us>
Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 6:28 PM
Subject: April 8, 2013 CCS School Board Meeting

Mrs. McGinnis,

I watched the 4/8/13 CCS School Board Meeting on UStream and was shocked to see the kind of behavior I saw at that meeting.

I found Mrs. Egan's comments to Phil Custodio, the Editor of the Clarkston News, to be totally out of line.  I think that she insinuated that the editor of the local newspaper must have needed an invitation from the board or administration to attend a board meeting...  Really?

I also feel that Mrs. Egan's comments directed to Craig Hamilton were accusations/insinuations that Craig Hamilton had conspired with other board members and Phil Custodio in regard to his request for information on the security badging system.

However, I found your comments about Craig Hamilton's legitimate request for information extremely unflattering and unprofessional.  He is a brand new board member.  Although his knowledge about board procedures may have been lacking in regard to proper protocol, I felt that your responses were of an "attack" nature and did not "fit the crime" of a simple lack of knowledge of protocol to be expected in a new board member, and certainly unprofessional.  Craig did not air dirty laundry about why he wanted the information he asked for, he just asked for it.  It was obvious from your comments that Craig had a security badge that was suddenly shut off.  I am not aware of why Craig would have had a security badge in the first place, but when he was given the responses he was given (as discussed in the meeting) from both Dr. Rod Rock and you, I can see why he would be wondering what was going on...  I feel that both you and Elizabeth aired a great deal of very dirty laundry and I believe that was very unprofessional as well.  

Then, when you invited the public to report Craig's request being put forward as an action item as a violation of the Open Meetings Act because it had not been announced at least 18 hours before the meeting, right after you had announced that others had told you about their requests right before the meetings and you had accommodated THEIR requests, it makes me feel that you were inviting significant fines and/or legal trouble to the district/board.  Besides, I believe that you have allowed Dr. Rock to add action items and discussion items to the board agenda (as posted to the district website and the outside door of the district Administration Building) with less than 18 hours notice in the past also.  You know the saying, "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones"?  You should really live by that.             

I would like to know if you believe that what you and Elizabeth Egan said at the 4/8/13 board meeting was appropriate.  I would also like to know what will be done about it.

Thank you.

Dawn Schaller


From: "Cheryl McGinnis" 
To: "Dawn Schaller"
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2013 12:36:39 PM
Subject: Re: April 8, 2013 CCS School Board Meeting


Thank you for contacting the Board of Education,
All board members have access to Board Operating Procedures and Bylaws 24/7 along with professional development training from Michigan School Board Association.  Additionally, in my tenure as President, new board members have been provided a board member mentor to assist in their learning curve of becoming an effective board member.
Board Bylaws and Operating Procedures have been approved by the board and provide a clear process so that we can operate as an efficient board of education.  Additionally, any member may request an item be put on the agenda for discussion with prior knowledge to the board president that follows our Board Bylaws and Operating Procedures.  Therefore, it is unclear as to why a board member would need to spring a “surprise” Action Item on the board.  As President, I have worked very hard to establish meeting norms so that all board members can anticipate how we commence the business of the district.
As always, this board values the input of our citizens.  The board’s number one objective is our students and any waver from this objective naturally takes away from our effectiveness.   To that end, I will continue to encourage board members to become knowledgeable of these norms so that we can continue to provide excellent policy governance for our district.
--
Cheryl McGinnis
President, Clarkston Community School Board of Education
Home of Inaugural National Green Ribbon School 2012, Clarkston High School
“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” – Win Borden
______________________________________________________________________________
From: Dawn Schaller
To: "Cheryl McGinnis" <cmcginnis@clarkston.k12.mi.us>
Cc: hyers@clarkston.k12.mi.us, eganee@clarkston.k12.mi.us, chamilton@clarkston.k12.mi.us, pattersonj@clarkston.k12.mi.us, boatmans@clarkston.k12.mi.us, lieblangr@clarkston.k12.mi.us,  "Dr. Rod Rock" <rdrock@clarkston.k12.mi.us>, "Heidi McClain" <mcclaihs@clarkston.k12.mi.us>
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2013 3:44:17 PM
Subject: Re: April 8, 2013 CCS School Board Meeting

Mrs. McGinnis,

You did not even remotely answer ANY of my questions/concerns.

Also, there was only one e-blast notice sent out to the public, although there are 31 separate CCS Groups that each should have received the notice.  That does not exude "transparency". 

The district's website has no reference to the 6 PM meeting start except on the agenda. 

The scheduled meeting information on the Board's web page says the meeting starts at 7 PM. 

The agenda for the 4/22/13 meeting is on the website, but the board packet is suspiciously absent.  Please ensure that Dr. Rock has Heidi load the board packet today.

I am tremendously disappointed in the district's poor communication to the public.   

I still invite your response to my comments below.

Thank you.

Dawn Schaller

__
I will say that sometime after my last email to Mrs. McGinnis at 3:44 PM on Friday, 4/19/13, and before Saturday evening, the district FINALLY loaded the board packet and corrected the board meeting time of 6 PM on the district website.  However, there were to be no further notifications to the public about the meeting.  So much for the "transparency" Dr. Rock claimed he would have on this subject.  Shame on Dr. Rock.