About Timothy Alexander

Entrepreneur, Marketer, and Blogger ~ Proud Dad, Coffee Junkie, Whovian, Bacon Evangelist ~ Klout Ranked Digital Marketing and Social Media Expert

Octorara School Board Prepares for 2.25% Property Tax Hike Vote

Octorara School Board Prepares for 2.25% Property Tax Hike Vote

The Octorara Board of Directors held their Facilities and Policy Committee Meetings, and the Work Session Meeting on Monday, June 12, 2017. All nine Board Members were in attendance.

With the exception of two items of note, Monday’s Committee and Board Meetings were generally unremarkable. The Facilities and Policy Committees are dealing with rather routine issues. While it is important work, most of it is also not very newsworthy.

Octorara SD’s 2.25% Property Tax Increase

During the Work Session Meeting, Board Members reviewed the changes made to the 2017-2018 Budget since the initial Draft Presentation back in December. Most can easily be described as minor and peripheral. The one major change that many people are concerned with is the lowering of the property tax increase from 3.2 percent to 2.25 percent. Next week, Board Members will vote to increase the real estate property tax millage rate in Chester County to 39.49 and in Lancaster County to 29.45.

I will be voting against both the budget and the tax increase, and here is why. First, with as high as the tax rate already is, I believe any tax increase is too much. Over the last 15 years, property taxes have grown at a much faster rate than incomes. Additionally, our retirees have it the hardest. Since 2010, their social security cost-of-living increases have been small or nonexistent. In many respects, the Board wants you to be grateful that they only punched you in the face rather than kicked you in the groin, as they originally intended. Continue reading

Octorara’s School Director Projected Winners… Plus, a Budget Update

Octorara's School Director Projected Winners... Plus, a Budget Update

Republican
Parkesburg-South Londonderry Twp Highland Twp Total
Charlie Koennecker Jr 75 85 80 240
Rocco Pirozzi Jr 60 31 17 108
Robert Matthew Hurley 74 71 77 222
Timothy Alexander 51 31 21 103
Democrats
Parkesburg-South Londonderry Twp Highland Twp Total
Timothy Alexander 28 11 7 46
Robert Matthew Hurley 60 49 20 129
Rocco Pirozzi Jr 32 29 8 69
Charlie Koennecker Jr 56 51 20 127

I would like to congratulate the winners on their victory, and their supporters. At this time, the Octorara Area School District has many challenges ahead, and, for the sake of our students and the community as a whole, I wish them success. Continue reading

Discover How to Stop Octorara’s Property Tax Increases 

Discover How to Stop Octorara's Property Tax Increases 

The Primary Election is tomorrow, May 16th. In less than 24 hours, you have the power to send a strong message to the Octorara Area School District about the things that are important to you: property taxes, academic performance, closing the achievement gap, accountability, and transparency. Before adding my final thoughts, I want to thank all those who will go out and vote tomorrow, and all those who have encouraged, supported, and helped to inform me over the years. I also what to thank all those who follow my blog, whether we agree or disagree.

I suspect that most voters already know who they are voting for as Octorara Area School Directors in Region 3, and why. However, if you are still undecided, I would have you consider the fact that the School Board is not an innocuous government body. The decisions made by the Octorara Area School Board of Directors will affect everyone. The decisions impact a retiree’s ability to stay in their home, whether a young family chooses to live here, and the children we are charged with educating. A School Director must work for the entire community and in the best interest of all students, not just a few.

Critically Important Issues

Issues that are critically important to the Octorara Area School District include property taxes, debt, labor costs, academic performance, the achievement gap, and transparency. The decisions made by our School Directors not only affects the education of our area’s children, but also our local economic development, home values, local job creation, and more. Our school district, both directly and indirectly, impacts our community’s prosperity and economic development. Continue reading

This Final 2017-2018 Budget Showdown Is About to Begin

Octorara Property Tax Increase

The Octorara Board of Directors held their Facilities and Policy Committee Meetings, and the Work Session Meeting on Monday, May 8, 2017. Seven Board members were in attendance. Hank Oleyniczak and Nelson Stoltzfus were both absent.

Final 2017-2018 Budget Vote Countdown

Typically, by this point of the process, there is a level of certainty with the budget. The Octorara Area School Board has already voted to present to the public a 2017-2018 Budget that includes $54 million in expenditures, a 3.2% property tax increase, and a $563,000 expected use of fund balance. In years past, with the exception of some minor updates, that would be the Budget the Board would vote on come June.

However, the very evident public anger over another property tax increase calls this into question. Regardless, the proposed cure may cause more problems than it fixes. We have all seen those pharmaceutical commercials trying to sell you a drug to cure some affliction. But, then comes the list of side effects at the end… may cause insomnia, suicidal thoughts, kidney failure, problems with memory, tremors, nausea, increased appetite and weight gain, fatigue, high blood pressure, and risk of heart attack. Is a cure for toenail fungus really worth all that?

Taxing Less and Spending More

Well, the idea placed into the discussion last month by Brian Norris, and supported by Lisa Bowman, is to have a 2 percent property tax increase, rather than the full Act 1 limit increase of 3.2 percent. The change in the Budget would cause an increase in deficit spending from $563,000 to over $940,000. Moreover, the decrease in revenue, without corresponding budget cuts, will have a compounding effect going into future budgets. This could dramatically impact the financial health of the District. We will start the next budget process with a large revenue deficit before even one new dollar is added for just regular and predictable cost increases. Continue reading

Recapping the Parkesburg Borough Council Candidate Meet & Greet

Recapping the Parkesburg Borough Council Candidate Meet & Greet

On May 3rd, the Parkesburg Action Committee sponsored a Parkesburg Borough Council Candidate Meet & Greet at the Octorara Jr. High Multipurpose Room. Roughly 25 citizens listened to 5-minute speeches given by each of the candidates in attendance, and then had the opportunity personally ask questions.

Firstly, I would like to encourage people to vote for the Parkesburg Borough Council candidates who actually showed up. Two of the candidates, Joseph W Dynesko Jr and Willard J Marsh did not show up, but were invited. Moreover, I was the only Octorara Area School Director and/or candidate who made an appearance to listen and engage with the Parkesburg Borough Council candidates.

We have a total of 6 Octorara Area School Director candidates, across two Regions, asking for Parkesburg residents to vote for them. Only I showed up interested in what is going on with the Borough Council. What does that say about the other Octorara Area School Director candidates? You decide.

Each of the attending candidates made their speeches. There are only Republicans running for Parkesburg Borough Council, and these names will only appear on the Republican ballot on May 16th, These are my takeaways:

1. Kathleen M. Rick (Incumbent) – Kathy Rick talked about how she moved to Parkesburg in 1978, how she loves and cares about the community, and how active she has been over the years. However, what she did not talk about was her vision, goals, or any real issues facing the Borough. It was the same old “community service” and “giving back” rhetoric that we hear from many local establishment types elected looking to maintain the status quo. Continue reading