Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Way Back Wednesday

Is there such a thing? If not, I am making it one now. I came across a Lebo Citizens post from 2013,
[6.9%] 7.46% increase for Timmy 

Picture this: a school board sitting in executive session making very, very difficult decisions.

Where do we cut? We've already trimmed the fat; now we're cutting muscle. How do we pay for the remainder of the high school renovation? Do we wait for a green light from Pursuant Ketchum? Should we cut librarians? Guidance counselors? Custodians? Do we eliminate the community service coordinator? Should we charge students to park? What about increasing student parking fees? Oh, this is so hard! Shall we charge an activity fee? We need to make cuts as far away from the student as possible. How about a $30 million fundraising campaign? No...a $15 million campaign! Uh...$6 million fundraising campaign? Yes! That's it! But we still have to figure out how we are going to pay for the rest of the project. We can't have a referendum. Let's float a bond! We'll wrap it. Use capitalized interest. Don't use any money from the General Fund. It will only be $18 a month more. No, that's not right. We'll say that it is like no increase at all. No...We'll say it will be like two large pizzas. Wait a minute. There is a grievance that we need to address. If we ignore that, maybe it will go away. For sure, we won't budget for it. Uh oh, there is something else. PSERS. Darn that Corbett! It is all his fault. What to do, what to do? Let's come up with an early bird contract for our superintendent! Let's give him the same lame goals as he had in 2012-13 and 2013-14! Even better - let's give him a 6.9% 7.46% increase to kick off the 2014 contract. Perfect! But we have to do this quietly, because it will never fly if it gets out. Now what about the rifle range, the weight room, tennis courts, and Mellon Field? It should add up. We have TERC Investigations.

Here it is, Folks. Dr. Timothy J. Steinhauer's 2014-2019 Contract

We were told by Josephine Posti at Budget Time, that the school board has already trimmed the fat, now they're cutting into muscle. They cut back on guidance counselors, hacked away at the high school renovation plans, gave Timmy his sweet deal of an amended contract, handed out bonuses, and instead, decided to take almost a million dollars out of the General Fund to kick start the Century of Excellence Capital Campaign.

How does the former school board president have the audacity to come back to the school board and criticize? She got us into this mess.

Fortunately, the "Lebo Gives" and gives agenda item has been tabled to August.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

SRO and Lebo Gives and Gives


The school board was presented with a proposal from Bill Moorhead asking for another $85,000 for rebranding the million dollar fiasco formerly known as the Century of Excellence Capital  Campaign. Elaine Cappucci is livid and I am in complete agreement with her.

Founding chair of the Campaign, Larry Lebowitz is asking for his colleagues' full support of "Lebo Gives," which includes giving another $85,000 toward rebranding. It should be called, "Lebo Gives and Gives." Here is the link to the YTD May 2018 Financial Report.

Elaine will not support the rebranding, asking what is different than what they did before. The school board wants to throw more money toward the money pit. I can't believe that 1.) I agree with Elaine Cappucci, 2.) The school board is willing to throw away another $85,000, and 3.) All this was before a discussion about "The School Board will discuss the High school Resource Officer position proposed for the 2018-2019 school year."

Please take the time to, at least, watch the Lebo Gives and the SRO segments of the school board meeting. It starts at the 01:13:00 timestamp.The citizen comments, especially by news anchor Kristine Sorenson, shouldn't be missed. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Will there be a Hall of Champions for non-players?

In Mt. Lebanon, you are only considered a champion if you contribute or participate in sports.



From: Mt. Lebanon High School <noreply@mtlsd.net>
Sent: Saturday, June 9, 2018 10:00 AM
To:

Subject: Call for Nominations for Distinguished Blue Devils


Mt. Lebanon School District is accepting nominations to honor the class and excellence of players, teams, coaches, and contributors as Distinguished Blue Devils to enter as members of our Hall of Champions. Nominations for Distinguished Blue Devils must be submitted on the attached nomination form by July 12, 2018.


Selections will be honored for induction on October 6, 2018. More information about the October 6, 2018 celebration will be issued soon.


Go to http://www.mtlebanonsports.org/fan_zone/hall_of_champions for more information. Go LEBO!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Outrageous

Years ago, I called Jordan Tax Service about their excessive fee. They said that Mt. Lebanon negotiated that. When I spoke at a commission meeting, I was told that Jordan was responsible. Now that the fee has increased, check your bill and see what percentage you are paying.


Another little factoid: Mt. Lebanon School District's budget is $98.9M. Upper St. Clair School District's budget is $83.6M.


Mt. Lebanon Superintendent's 2017 Annual Report

Monday, June 4, 2018

Burning Bridges

This is what Foster School looked like for the Primary 2018.


The infamous Republican bulletin board has nothing on it. You may remember, if you have been a Lebo Citizens reader since 2011, Jim Cannon and I were not permitted to hang any signage on that board during the May Primary in 2011. How embarrassing...for Republicans. 

Last night, there was a fundraiser for Keith Rothfus and Guy Reschenthaler. How do I know this? 
Matt Kluck sent this email to a bunch of Republicans and me.

Sent: Sat, May 19, 2018 4:02 pm
Subject: Republican Committee of Mt. Lebanon-Spring into Summer Party

Dear Committee and Associates of the RCML,

It is getting close to the biggest fundraiser that the RCML will hold this
year and we need to have your support at the event. Keith Rothfus and Guy
Reschenthaler will be in attendance so we will have some great guests who
will be running for a couple of important seats that we must do everything
in our power to prevail! 

Please extend this information to your friends, neighbor, family and I
encourage you to attend. It is at a great venue and will be an outstanding
party.

Please see all the information below or give me a call with any questions
you have regarding any issue.

Warm regards,
Matt Kluck
RCML Chair


Spring Into Summer Party
June 3 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm $100.00
Please join the Republican Committee of Mt. Lebanon for our Spring Into
Summer party!
St. Clair Country Club, Crossroads Room
2300 Old Washington Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15241
Sunday, June 3, 2018, 6-9 p.m.
Heavy hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, beverages.
Elected officials invited.

Please RSVP by May 26, 2018 with the following information to:
Republican Committee of Mt. Lebanon
PO Box 14525
Pittsburgh, PA 15234
Please make checks payable to RCML
$100 per person
Name(s) ____________________________________
Email Address ________________________________
How many people will be attending_________
I am unable to attend; here is my contribution_______

I just had to reply, sent on May 20, 2018 replying to all.

Matt,

How I wish I would have gotten some communication from you back in October when you were inviting folks to the MLRC meeting. I was working so hard on my blog, lebocitizens.blogspot.com to sway voters away from Democratic candidates vying for seats on the commission, and never even got a hello on the night of the General Election to attend the very dismal after party. My eyes were opened.

I have been a Republican since 1972. I am a super voter.  I have been active in the community since 2010. I was abandoned by my party in 2011, when you all were supporting the guy with the For Sale sign in his yard and had told the press that he was moving far away from Mt. Lebanon. I supported you when you were on the Commission, Matt. I supported you when you ran for school board. In fact, I supported all but one of you on this list who ran for office, and that one was because of the ticket she ran on.

The photo below is from the May 2018 Primary at Foster School. It shows the very board I was not permitted to use in 2011 by your predecessor. It has nothing on it. That is pathetic.


If you had been reading my blog, which is the longest active blog in Mt. Lebanon, bringing the TRUTH to the community, you would know that I am now an official card carrying Democrat. That still gives me chills when I write that, since I have been a Republican for 46 years. But as one very active Democrat said to me, "I guess pigs can fly." We both laughed.

This email serves as my Dear John letter to the MLRC. Please remove me from your email list.

Elaine Gillen

Oops! I see that I was supposed to extend this information to my family, friends, and neighbors. I guess I forgot. 


Saturday, June 2, 2018

Oh Joy.

Today's mail




Remember how Mt. Lebanon wouldn't allow Mt. Lebanon residents to pre-pay our taxes for that one, final tax break? Yeah.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Warning From a Lebo Citizens Reader

7 tickets given at No.Meadowcroft/Newburn in one month!

I was told about this page on the Mount Lebanon website yesterday (thanks for the tip) - Wow!
If you pass by this intersection, wave to the young cop who is camped near there lying in wait! And be sure to come to a COMPLETE 🛑 STOP!
Big and QUICK money maker! $142.00 for each unsuspecting Sucker - approximately $1000 this past month alone - at ONE intersection!
Look too, and caution at the other highly ticketed corner on Beverly! >9 (actually 15) at the corner of Beverly/Overlook (crossing guard area)!



Thursday, May 31, 2018

A message from the Mellon Principal

This also happened last week in the second floor bathroom.

From: Mellon Middle School <noreply@mtlsd.net>
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2018 2:34:13 PM
To: Parent/Guardian
Subject: A Message from the Principal
 


Dear Parent/Guardian:

On Thursday afternoon, May 31, 2018, a student reported to a Mellon Middle School staff member they found the message, “I’m going to bomb the school” on a third floor restroom wall. The incident was immediately referred to the Mt. Lebanon Police Department.

After the initial threat assessment by the MLPD and school administration, it was deemed as non-specific and not to be a credible threat. Cooperation will continue with the Mt. Lebanon Police Department as they investigate this situation. The school intends to prosecute the responsible party to the fullest extent possible with school consequences and criminal charges.

I informed school staff, asked them to be aware of the situation and to immediately report any information they may receive in regard to the incident. Staff members have been asked to be extra visible and vigilant in the hallways and restrooms.

Student and staff safety is our number one priority. Should you hear any information that you feel may be relevant to our investigation, please contact me.

Sincerely,

Christopher Wolfson

Principal

Friday, May 25, 2018

Thanks UPDATED 5/31/18

It's been fun, but I'm done.


This was the only public, anonymous Mt. Lebanon forum that I am aware of. In order to be a member of one of the many closed Mt. Lebanon Facebook groups, you have to send in a request. If the administrators like you, or you are a member of the Mt. Lebanon clique, you will be approved. Bullies are approved, but those who expose them are banned. Good luck! 

Update May 31, 2018 3:25 PM For those of you who are not good enough to be in one of the many closed Mt. Lebanon Facebook Groups, I have decided to keep the blog going on a part-time basis. 
#undesirables, #deplorables already taken

Winners of the Golden Quill Award

Jennifer Rignani won for Finn's Bow. Jennifer was the only winner from Mt. Lebanon Magazine this year.  http://www.westernpapressclub.org/pdf/2018%20Quill%20winners.pdf

You read it here first.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

I knew it was wrong!

Oh the crap I have had to deal with in this community by public officials! To be told over and over to file a Right To Know for answers and then receive "anonymous" comments from school board members saying that I have wasted thousands of dollars on Right To Know Requests, is just part of it. The eblasts to encourage folks to vote for the other two finalists in the Best of the 'Burgh contest was really messed up. At least the honor of being a finalist couldn't be taken away from me. Remember how my poor husband was brought up? Despicable. A former commissioner joked about igniting me, and also claimed that I was going through her garbage at 6 AM, and then resigned because she was "dying." Being taken to court all because I had PTSD and wanted to know which areas to avoid when the deer killing was taking place. Uninvited visitors at my door. The police calls. The threats. All the BS from former school board presidents for EIGHT years. Don't forget all the cease and desists from the municipality And then there was this. Can you get away with this in your District? A federal court ruled yesterday that public officials, from President Trump down to Tim Steinhauer, cannot block people from following their Twitter accounts. I knew it was wrong!!!

Tim, I knew that what you were doing to me was wrong. Nobody would listen to me. Many have been harassed for years in this "community with character."

As late as Monday, a resident wants to file a class action suit against me. I was within my rights to go the PA Ethics Commission for a decision. If it had been a frivolous complaint, it would have been tossed out. But. It. Wasn't. I went through all the proper steps before, during, and after filing my complaint.

With all this and more, I am the one who is constantly being labeled as the one with the problem. I was raised to stand up for what I believed in. I raised my kids that way too. I am revisiting that philosophy, because this really sucks.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Final Order is now public UPDATED

I received a copy of the PA Ethics Commission's final order and what Mary Birks received and spoke of at the last school board meeting is what is posted here on the State Ethics Commission website.

Mary spoke of 41 pages, but it was printed on one side, while what I received and what is on the website is printed on both sides of paper.

I spoke with the executive director of the Ethics Commission and he assured me that all interviews by the State Ethics Commission remain confidential.

Update 6:01 PM School board meeting at 01:46:00 time stamp May I remind you that this blog is a "taxpayer freebie." I have put in more than a 1,000 hours per year since 2010. I also want to remind you that you are now treading upon my Constitutional Rights. I am a private citizen, a taxpayer of Mt. Lebanon, and at the time, Mary Birks was president of the Mt. Lebanon school board. For all of her term, we were told to file Right To Knows for answers. How she treated Nick Meduho, who died just a few days later, didn't help her at the polls.  Yes, it is a harassment issue. If anyone is guilty of harassment, it is Mary and her minions.

It is always 6-15 people "who are out there." Where these numbers come from, is beyond me. I do know that there are at least 6-15 people who have consistently been harassing me. Most, not all, are serving the public in some capacity or have in the past.

So to talk about filing a class action lawsuit to recoup her legal fees is just a waste of more money, not to mention, harassment. I am a retired, 64 year old widow on Social Security. Knock yourself out.

I needed this.

Student Protect App

Dear Mt. Lebanon School District Parents,

In our continuing efforts to enhance student and staff safety, the Mt. Lebanon School District, in partnership with the Mt. Lebanon Police Department, has launched the MTLSD Student Protect app, a new mobile alert and suspicious activity reporting app.
The app is free and now available for both Android and iOS phones at the App Store or Google Play. Search for MTLSD Student Protect. You may also visit www.mtlsd.org/app for links to the MTLSD Student Protect app at both app stores.

The MTLSD Student Protect app is another tool to use in our layered approach to school safety. It allows students, parents and community members to send tips to report: Threats to schools or individuals; firearms or weapons concerns; suspicious activities or bullying. Once submitted, the tips  go immediately to Mt. Lebanon School District administrators and the Mt. Lebanon Police Department. Reports will be monitored at all times. Appropriate action will be taken.

The MTLSD Student Protect app will also have a direct connection to 911.

Tips may be sent anonymously or you may leave contact information for follow-up.  When you first open the app, you will be asked to select a school to receive emergency alerts from the District.

The MTLSD Student Protect app is easy to use and accessible anywhere. We ask that when you see something suspicious:
·         Select a school and a category from the dropdown list
·         Enter the description
·         Enter Contact Information or leave blank for an anonymous tip
·         Snap a photo or video if possible
·         Hit Submit

Our number one priority in this District is keeping our students and staff safe.  Please download the MTLSD Student Protect app today to help us with this very important mission.

Sincerely,

Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools



Monday, May 21, 2018

Tax increase for approval tonight

2018-2019 Final Budget: RESOLVED, That the Board approves a final budget for the 2018-2019 school year in the amount of $98,933,314 setting the millage rate at 24.32, a .39 mill increase over the 2017-2018 millage rate, utilizing $750,000 of the Fund Balance to balance revenues with expenditures and continuing in force all other taxes levied for school purposes as per the formal budget resolution. (Formal Resolution to be appended to the minutes.)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Every PERSON...

I completely disagree with Kelly Fraasch's commissioner's column 

Nationally, we have seen a greater interest in women running for office. It has been inspiring for me to witness my daughter’s potential and encourage her responsibility as the next
generation. It’s just as important to see my son support women’s and men’s equal opportunity to run for office.

However, as a community leader and the only woman serving as a Commissioner, I have concerns that Mt. Lebanon is missing out on this progress if we don’t take an active role in ensuring more women are able to run for elected position within our municipal government.

One of the top reasons I ran for office in 2011 was my concern that a woman hadn’t served as a Commissioner since Barbara Logan completed her three terms in 2007. For the last three of my six years on the Commission, a majority of my time serving, I have been the sole female. That concerns me in many ways for our community’s future, as I begin finishing up my eight years.
In 2011, I made the decision to run after speaking to my husband and recognizing I had the time and we had the financial resources to serve. At that time, I did not fully understand the privilege afforded to me so I could run.

Within the first two months, I realized the 20 hours a month I estimated the job would take was an underestimate. Thank goodness I had a spouse to assist with child care and running kids around, and we had the financial means to pay for the expenses that go with this role.

In 2013 to 2015, my spouse traveled an extraordinary amount and then soon after I became a single parent. Through my transition of being married to divorced, I could see more clearly the potential struggles for women to run for office or maintain their elected position. I understood the privilege I had in 2011.
I felt this new perspective afforded me the opportunity to speak out.

We should all demand changes big and small to give every woman the opportunity to consider a run for office in our local government.

I have brought value to this Commission in many perspectives, but here are a few things I am certain my male colleagues haven’t provided to this community. I’ve assisted women have needed help in domestic situations from all wards, not just the ward I serve. I’ve talked with numerous young women and men to discuss the importance of a gender-diverse leadership. Not to mention, in discussions with my colleagues, I have added to a conversation with my “particular lens” to address or resolve a situation.
Between 1988 and 1991, women made up the majority on our Commission. I hope and expect this community develops a conscious effort to ensure that women continue to serve our municipality and the residents of Mt. Lebanon.