Tuesday, September 19, 2017

September 18, 2017 School Board meeting


Watch the color of the cheerleader's face turn red. It is not your TV.

The most under appreciated holiday

Ahoy! Today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Who knew that an injury from a racquetball game would result in an international holiday? Arrrr!

Until recently, the school board has been saying "Aye" to everything. They have been speaking (and acting) like pirates for years. Same with the commission!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Good catch!

The following email was sent to the school board directors this evening.

From: Nicholas Meduho Jr
To: Bill Cooper ; Bill Moorhead ; Dan Remely ; Hugh Beal ; Larry Lebowitz ; Mary Birks ; Mike Riemer ; Sarah Olbrich ; Stephen Strotmeyer 
Cc: Tim Steinhauer 
Date: Sun, Sep 17, 2017 8:09 pm

Subject: feasibility study 

For as much as I appreciate the Pursuant Ketchum feasibility study (saved in Google Docs) being posted online for the public to view, there seems to be quite a few pages missing.

It appears that only odd number pages were supplied, quite a few of the recommendation steps are missing and there are references to information that is not being shown.

Can we please get the entire feasibility study posted?

Thank you,

Nicholas Meduho
Mt. Lebanon, PA

Subsequent email:

I wanted to mention too, some of the appendices are missing as well.

Thanks again.

November 2014...the district prepares to move out of the “quiet phase”

One task wrapping up includes organizing committees to work with different groups of potential donors, like alumni or faculty; the campaign also is gathering volunteers to host “awareness” events at their homes, said Superintendent Timothy Steinhauer. 
“You try to get the majority of contributors before you make a big public splash, so you can say, ‘We have this much of our $6 million campaign done, now we need your help,'” he said. He declined to say how much had been pledged so far.
So far, nobody has pointed the finger at Timmy, so  I will. I have all of Timmy's goals listed below. Where are his 2017-2018 goals?

Steinhauer's goals 2009-2010
Steinhauer's goals 2010-2011
Steinhauer's goals 2011-2012
Steinhauer's goals 2012-2013
Steinhauer's goals 2013-2014
Steinhauer's goals 2014-2015
Steinhauer's goals 2015-2016
Steinhauer's goals 2016-2017
Steinhauer's goals 2017-2018

School board meeting is set for tomorrow, September 17, 2017 at 7:30. Here is the agenda.

Bookmark this link for school board meeting videos


Friday, September 15, 2017

Mt. Lebanon capital campaign fundraising program questioned

Mt. Lebanon capital campaign fundraising program questioned
But the campaign has fallen far short of its original goal to raise $6 million and instead has been operating in the red in the past several years, board members learned during a heated meeting Monday.
 Mt. Lebanon residents have been questioning Jan Klein's creative financing for years. Nick Meduho has been following up by questioning:

Please explain the following…

Item below is from the website that was posted on Wednesday:

Item below is from a right to know that I received on Tuesday:

Fiscal year ending 6/30/2015 disbursements went from ZERO on Tuesday to $3790.00 on Wednesday.

Fiscal year ending 6/30/2017 disbursements went from $112,081.42 on Tuesday to $132,331.42 on Wednesday.

How can you go from one set of numbers to another in less than 1 day and why is wrong information being given to the taxpayers who are funding this thing?

Is it ok to change these numbers years after an audit?

So what are the correct numbers?

“Oh what a tangled web we weave”

Item below is from the website that was posted on Wednesday:

Item below is from a right to know that I received on Tuesday:

Fiscal year ending 6/30/2014 fundraising expenditures went from $234,969.57 on Tuesday to $233,569.57 on Wednesday.

Fiscal year ending 6/30/2015 fundraising expenditures went from $159,552.14 on Tuesday to $155,202.14 on Wednesday.

Fiscal year ending 6/30/2016 fundraising expenditures went from $131,241.32 on Tuesday to $130,121.32 on Wednesday.

Fiscal year ending 6/30/2017 fundraising expenditures went from $181,032.97 on Tuesday to $159,102.97 on Wednesday.

How can this be????? How can numbers change so much in 1 day? Again, what are the true numbers?

Are you folks teaching creative financing at the high school?

Thank you,

Nicholas Meduho
Mt. Lebanon, PA

Thursday, September 14, 2017

They forgot to turn it on. UPDATED 091717

Remember how I asked about the airing of the school board meeting on Tuesday? When is the focus going to be about education? I checked this morning too. Nothing on TV.

It wasn't until this afternoon, when a resident called and complained that Monday's meeting was not being televised. The answer, "We forgot to turn it on." WE. FORGOT. TO. TURN. IT. ON.

Who is to blame? Guess. (it's Timmy. shhh)

Turn to channel 33 (on FIOS) and you can catch the discussion about the turf. Don't wait because it is only aired on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Update September 17, 2017 9:30 PM Click here to view http://multimedia.mtlsd.org/Play.asp?11982118278419844!5

Lies in 2015

By 2015, they only took in about $300,000.
"So far, Mt. Lebanon’s capital campaign has raised about $1.1 million in pledges, gifts, goods and services, according to Maggie Schmidt, the district’s campaign counsel and veteran of dozens of such efforts on behalf of nonprofit organizations."

Carol Walton and Jo Posti, Co-Chairs


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"Let the sunshine in." UPDATED 2X

Well, what do you know. The Capital Campaign website has been updated with the Feasibility Study, a fund breakdown 08-31-17, and a gift update. The brochure is gone.

Thank you to all who requested this during Monday's meeting.

Update September 13, 2017 5:54 PM Why did it take FIVE years for the Feasibility Study to show up? This should be called The Million Dollar Cover Up!
Feasibility Study
This study was conducted by Pursuant Ketchum to assess the feasibility of a capital fundraising campaign by the Mt. Lebanon School District. The study was conducted in May and June of 2012.
A Special Study and Report on the Fundraising Potential of the Mt. Lebanon School District.
Update September 13, 2017 6:45 PM How things changed drastically since Monday's meeting.

Capital Campaign Financial Report for 7-17 Loan from General Fund $910,930.02
Capital Campaign Financial Report for 8-17 Reserve from General Fund $910,930.02

Where is the paper trail? The school board directors never approved the loan or the "reserve." Finance Director Jan Klein calls this an investment, not a loan!

There was no paper trail as to why Andrew Cappucci's job posting was "altered" nine months after he was hired either. There is never a paper trail.

Mary Birks is under investigation with the PA Ethics Commission for a conflict of interest.

Elaine Cappucci is on the Capital Campaign and is running to replace herself on the school board.

Dan Remely fired off a personal attack toward Mike Riemer. Mike was asking too many questions on Monday night. Both are running for re-election.

Katie Caste is on the Capital Campaign and just changed her "About Me" reference to the Capital Campaign to now say "Nearly a million dollars has been raised." The claim originally was $1.2 million dollars has been raised. Katie Caste is running for school board on the Timmy Ticket with Mary Birks, Elaine Cappucci, and Dan Remely.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

When is the focus going to be about education?

I started following the School District in late 2009, after my last child graduated from MTL. It seems as it has always been about construction. It was about turfing the high school stadium. "Staff spent almost two months establishing what our true school blue is," Jo Posti wrote in her Center Court post, "Go Blue!" In fact, read her post Board Approves Retaining Stadium Turf Consultantand you will see names of folks who were brought back last night to speak about the new turf project.

After the color of the turf was carefully selected, then it was on to the high school renovation. Year after year, school board meetings were all about change orders, construction updates, pics of Timmy in his hard hat looking like Bob the Builder, shiny water fountains...

Here is a link to last night's school board meeting. Is it on TV yet? I can't seem to find it.

Last night's school board meeting was well attended by former school board presidents, band members and parents, sports parents and kids, all supporting the "Century of Excellence Capital Campaign." They heard that the turf at the stadium is at the end of its life and needs to be replaced. They heard about turfing the Rockpile. They heard about turfing Mellon and Jefferson fields. Four turf projects that need to be repeated every eight years or so.

We all heard about $70,000 trophy cases in the past. Currently, Timmy tweets about cool t-shirts.
Timmy's Tweets about focus are comical. What was he waiting to see on August 30th? His following Tweet was about focus. Hilarious and tragic at the same time.

What has happened to our school district? Smaller classes? Gifted program? Special needs program?

It is all about construction.  How about bringing school board meetings back to education?

Scoop on Sloane

Sloane Astorino, the Director of Advancement for the "Century of Excellence Capital Campaign," is pulling in $85,305 in salary and $51,279.21 in benefits,  according to the Capital Campaign Financial RecordsFear not. Jan Klein, Director of Finance, said those numbers include Sloane's salary for her Executive Director's position with the Mt. Lebanon Foundation for Education.

According to the MLFE website, Mt. Lebanon Foundation for Education is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It is an "independent, nonprofit organization(s) dedicated to supporting educational opportunities for children in their communities."

On to Guidestar for MLFE's 990s.

2011 990
2012 990
2013 990

That's it. So where are the most current ones? According to the IRS, they haven’t filed the 990-N postcard either.

Also, Jan Klein says that the loan to the Century of Excellence Capital Campaign isn't a "loan," but an "investment." I see it as a scam with the executive director being the sole benefactor.

It's like (Dead) Groundhog Day.

Update: Municipal Deer Management Program

From: Dr. Timothy Steinhauer [mailto:noreply@mtlsd.net]
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 11:13 AM
To: MTLSD Families
Subject: Update: Municipal Deer Management Program

Dear Mt. Lebanon School District Families,
In our ongoing effort to keep you apprised of local issues, I am sending you information that I received from the Mt. Lebanon Municipality concerning the controlled archery hunt they will conduct from September 16 through January 27 with a break between November 25 and December 25.  I have attached a letter from Municipal Manger Keith McGill with details about the program and a link to more extensive information on the Municipal website at http://www.mtlebanon.org/2114/Deer-Management-Information. This same information is also being shared with all of our principals, teachers, and support staff. Please do not hesitate to contact the Mt. Lebanon Municipality or Mt. Lebanon Police Department should you have any questions.
Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Mt. Lebanon School District

Monday, September 11, 2017

I know. We hate kids. UPDATED

I'm sure that will be brought up. Whenever a resident challenges the school board, that person is chastised for hating kids. Well, think about this tonight, School Board Members, when you bring up toxic turf. The following photos were taken this summer on a hot day using a Fluke Thermal Imager – TiR32.  Self-explanatory.

So the turf is "for the kids." Same with the "Century* of Excellence Capital Campaign." Tonight's school board meeting should be interesting, or at least contentious.

*Is that how long it will take to raise $6 million?

Update September 11, 2017 8:54 PM Bits and pieces of the meeting.

  • $910,000 is what is in the account now...big loss.
  • Steinhauer is trying to put a positive spin on this.
  • Timmy admits that $6 million was a stretch.
  • Now there is infighting. Riemer and Remely are fighting. Remely making personal attacks toward Riemer.
  • Regulation size football field for Rockpile...113.3 yards! Five options available.
  • Riemer is being excluded from emails. (He replaced Cappucci on the Building Committee!)
  • Jo Posti is back! She is selling the campaign. She wants to stop using the term, "Loan." She wants a reset. She is also over her five minutes.
  • Lisa Dorn is begging for turf. She represented Kristen Linfante when I challenged her nomination petition.
  • Elaine Cappucci is now selling the campaign. She is scolding the board members who voted no for the disbursements, while looking at Riemer. I'm guessing it didn't pass since the vote was 4-3. The solicitor said that there had to be five votes, but was going to look into it.
  • Of course Dave Franklin had to say something. He supports the capital campaign. Did someone say turf? By the way, he wants turf on the Rockpile.
  • Apparently, the contractor does not have to restore the Rockpile to its original condition. The contract had been amended.
  • Even though the Capital Campaign financial records show a loan from the General Fund for $923,530.02, Jan Klein insists that it isn't a loan. Capital Campaign Financial Records

Friday, September 8, 2017

Ward 4 Democratic Candidate and his many interests UPDATED 091417

Some people have multiple hobbies and interests. Craig Grella, on the other hand, seems to have multiple conflicts of interest. Here are just a few. Perhaps his recent arrest and citation is only the tip of the iceberg.

Besides running for commissioner in Ward 4 on the Democratic ticket, Craig is a paid staffer for the PA Democratic Party. See Is this odd or what? So why is he involved with the Democratic Primary Race in the 18th Congressional District, which includes Mt. Lebanon and most of the South Hills? Mr. Grella is deeply involved with the PA-18 Campaign Coalition  - an association of grassroots activist groups tasked, all transparently of course, to find, select and support the winner of the Democratic Primary in the challenge to unseat incumbent Tim Murphy (R).

In fact, apart from his other roles with the Coalition, it's well known that he helped to design their website. The Coalition is supposedly neutral and claims to be run by "volunteer residents" of the District. By implication, the "volunteers" are not presumed to have a formal role with any political party or candidate. Aside from the flagrant disregard of neutrality and transparency, the notion of "paid volunteers" is absurd.

Does anybody else see a problem with this? Additionally, since Mr. Grella's activities on behalf of the Coalition are hardly a secret (he has been boasting about his "leadership" role with the Coalition at public and private functions for months), why aren't Democratic officials speaking out over these potential conflicts of interest?

Update September 10, 2017 11:00 PM Castle Shannon Police Blotter

Update September 14, 2017 6:20 PM Summary Trial is set for September 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM in front of Magisterial District Judge David J. Barton Docket