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Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Missed the Bus
It is pretty easy to understand Hamburg finances: the administration has no idea what it is doing, the school board "rubber stamps" everything, and when they continually make mistakes they both look to New York State for bailouts. Despite the title, this post will not be about the exorbitant contract to use Fisher Bus and instead it will be devoted to the District's untimely filing for a $1.3 million reimbursement in transportation funds. Although this issue dates back to Mark Crawford, it does not predate many of the Board members and it attests to the incompetent nature of the administration. It also appears to be unresolved. Dr. Crawford wrote to The Sun:
“The matter that you are referring to goes back to 2005-2006 and involves a report that the school district filed about transportation.
The report was filed in a timely manner, but State Ed claimed that they did not receive it by the due date.
At that time, the district resubmitted the report, and has a copy of the original submission of the report. The penalty would be a retroactive loss of $1.3 million.
However, I learned about this matter when I was new to the district in November of 2007. At that time, I met with Senator Stachowski and Assemblyman Quinn, who said that they had submitted legislation in order to absolve this district of State Ed's penalty.
So, the matter has rolled forward up into September of 2009 when both the Senate and the House passed a Bill which included the Hamburg Central School District, along with some 30 other school districts [click here to see bill].
The legislation was intended to remove any penalty being imposed on the Hamburg School District by State Ed and the other school districts. Shortly after that, Governor Patterson vetoed the legislation.
At the moment, nothing is occurring regarding the matter. We have received no claim from the state and furthermore, Senator Bill Stachowski, with whom I spoke yesterday, stated that he and Assemblyman Quinn are co-sponsoring legislation once again to remove State Ed's financial penalties for reports that they claim were not received in a timely manner.
Again, what you need to understand is that no one here did anything wrong. The report was filed on time, but State Ed at the end of the 2005-06 school year indicated that because the report was not received by the due date, they would impose this penalty."
Despite possibly losing $1.3 million in state reimbursements, Dr. Crawford insists they did nothing wrong, big surprise. Anyways, I've been doing research and all I can find are transportation contract penalties removed for other other districts [click here for article on Paterson's passed Bills in August 2010]. I have yet to find that Hamburg's penalty was removed, so can anyone please explain how Hamburg missed the bus and how it was/will be resolved?