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Keeping an Eye on Grandview

This is a now defunct blog covering the politics and policies of the school board and city council in Grandview Hts., Ohio. There are still lots of good content in these pages, so I'm going to leave it up for a while.

I've moved on to a new Wordpress blog called Watching Grandview Hts.

If you are looking for something specific here try reading Finding stuff on Grandview Watch.

Goodbye, hello
News about this Website I realized that there may be a few people who still have this blog sitting in their RSS feeds who don't come here any more, but might see the new post. You might have noticed things were a little slow for the last couple years. It's dead, officially and with no sorrow, Jim.

This blog will probably remain up as an archive for some undermined length of time.

I'm starting out fresh with my new blog, Watching Grandview Heights. I'm using a wordpress.com site because I just don't need the hassle of a self hosted website any more. I may come to regret that decision, but for now it seems good.

Back in 2003 when I started this blog, self hosting was the only option that was available for a serious blog (free sites like Geocities and Angelfire had their uses but were not so good, and Blogger and Wordpress were just starting). PHP Nuke and its variants were the best free software for content management systems, and as far as I know they are still being developed. When I wasn't poking around in the PHP code and patching holes that let hackers bring the whole site down it was great fun.

The web is different now. Most people find sites with a search engine, a special domain like "yourname.com" is just not a big factor in getting noticed. I may be getting myself into a uncomfortable relationship with wordpress, but it is so easy and neat to use their service.

So long, It's been a good run, it's time to move to new adventures!
Posted by Admin on Wednesday, November 23 @ 16:07:46 EST (3590 reads)
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Boring election
News from the small city Justice writes "

There are no pending issues of importance for the city council or the school board, so this election has been restricted to bland political posturing by the candidates. I didn't see anything in the material they have been handing out that sets any of them in any unique positions. It's all “Maintain a fiscally sound and responsible school (and city council)”, “Improve communication with the community”, “Create long term vision”. Blah.

They didn't even have a "Meet the candidate" night at the HS. Not sure who organizes those, and given the restrictions they set on questions it is not a loss for the community.

Clifford had an ad in the TVN that listed the names of her supporters. Judging from the names on that list, I am guessing that she is the candidate of the old McLeod cabal, which had a philosophy consisting of “rubberstamp anything the superintendent proposes”, and act as shields, preventing any parent from having their issues brought before and acted on by the board. But McLeod is gone, so I don't know if that group has any relevance now.

Douglass has numerous slick flyers out and a big half page ad in the TWG. I guess he is the “buy your way into office” candidate. It will be interesting to see his campaign expenditure filing, will he break the record $8K spent by Joanne Peters in her election?

Steve Von Jasinski had a surprising letter to the ed in the TVN, he gave a glowing recommendation for "Arron Bowman" for the City Council. Given that he is a big D and Bowman is a teabagging R, you wonder what caused that letter (although the standard R and D positions have little effect on local votes, no candidate for the city or school have asked for county backing from the R and D central committees). Rumor is that V.J. has plans for taking the presidency of the council, and with no possibility of changing the minds of the current fellow council members he wants a new member who will be his vassal. Good luck with that, V.J.

(I just noticed, V.J. misspelled his name in the paper, it's Aaron, not Arron.)

Posted by Admin on Monday, November 02 @ 15:58:33 EST (3987 reads)
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School Board Meeting September 10, 2009
Board meeting notes, etc.

Important content:

The District achieved the rating of “Excellent with Distinction” meeting 30 out of 30 indicators with a performance index of 104.7.

Home Schooled Students: Mr. O’Reilly presented issues to be decided regarding home schooled students. The issues are 1) Access to course offerings. 2) Access to extracurricular activities. 3) Access to co-curricular activities. He said that no home schooled students are currently requesting access to any of these items. Comments from board members. The matter will be considered further at the next meeting.

Not posted – Sept. 30 special board meeting notes.

Posted by Admin on Thursday, October 15 @ 22:37:21 EDT (7453 reads)
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School Board Meeting August 11, 2009
Board meeting notes, etc.

Important content:

Online coursework: Mr. Truett reported on the possibility of offering some online coursework as a one-year pilot program. This would be for extended coursework that is not already offered in the District in grades 6 through 12.

Code of Conduct: Amend the Grandview Heights City School District Activity Code of Conduct as it is contained as an addendum item to these minutes.

Posted by Admin on Thursday, October 15 @ 22:34:01 EDT (7537 reads)
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City Council meeting minutes August 3, 2009
Council meeting docs, etc.

Important content:

Mayor DeGraw requested the confirmation of City Council of the appointment of Steve Shaner as the City’s Fire Chief.

Res. 2009-08: A Resolution approving the Grant of Job Creation Tax Credit for Businesses within the Grandview Yard Site. This was the big ord. that set the tax rates for the G.Y. developers (the number of this ord. was later substituted to 2009-29).

…Gladman stated that throughout the process he has expressed his concern about the use of income tax to pay any debt service that the City might have. He is especially concerned that the City is giving a substantial subsidy to the developer, which he thinks is not needed and could better be used for debt service. Gladman commended the Economic Development Committee Chair and members for making this into a much better form that what it was originally but he is still not supportive of it.

Vote on approval: Hastie – yes, Jagers – yes, Koelker – yes, Panzera – yes, Von Jasinski – yes, Gladman – no, President Reynolds – yes. LEGISLATION PASSED – ORDINANCE 2009-29.

Ord. 2009-24: An Ordinance authorizing Real Property Tax Exemption with respect to Certain Real Property within the Grandview Yard Site. This was the second large ord. needed to finalize the G.Y. project. All voted yes.

Following the passage of these the council members joined the NRI bigshots in a toast to the completion of the G.Y. negotiations.

Chicken Ord. - Koelker requested that this particular version of the proposed legislation be withdrawn. She stated that it is not in a form that is workable.

Posted by Admin on Thursday, October 01 @ 21:31:34 EDT (6035 reads)
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City Council meeting minutes July 6, 2009
Council meeting docs, etc.

Important content:

Director Bowman reported that the City received an Industrial Site Improvement Fund Grant of $750,000 from the Ohio Department of Development.

Posted by Admin on Thursday, October 01 @ 21:28:10 EDT (4399 reads)
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School Board Meeting July 14, 2009
Board meeting notes, etc.

Important content:

State aid for schools is expected to be reduced by 1% in FY-10 and 2% in FY-11. All-day kindergarten is being mandated beginning FY-11.

Steve Grassbaugh provided the Board with information regarding the TIF agreements associated with the Grandview Yard development … The poor national economy has also added an element of challenge and concern that the development may have more residential units than were originally conceived.

Posted by Admin on Monday, September 07 @ 23:35:36 EDT (5852 reads)
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The President's Speech
News from the small schools Justice writes "

Apparently there was a news item on Channel 10 that said the Grandview schools would not be showing the the President's speech. This email was sent on the school's listserve.

Tomorrow at noon, the President of the United States will be addressing students throughout the country. As you are aware by now, this speech has caused a great deal of controversy throughout the United States. Grandview is no different. I have received phone calls and e-mails from parents on both sides of this issue. Unfortunately, Channel 10 aired a false report that stated we have chosen to not air the president’s speech. Because of the confusion created by the media, I wanted to clarify our stance on the president’s speech.

At noon on Tuesday, the majority of our students will be at lunch or recess. We do not plan to change our regular schedule. Teachers in classrooms at noon have the discretion to show the presentation as it occurs. All other teachers are aware that there will be access to the speech via the Internet after the speech and are welcome to show the speech as they see fit. As with all presentations that occur in classrooms, teachers need to ensure that the material presented is appropriate for their students and that material presented does not violate school board policy. All staff members have been reminded of the school board policy. Our board policy clearly forbids the distribution of political material, states that no employee shall engage in political activities on school property, and finally indicates that school time may not be used for political purposes.

The text of the speech will be posted at www.whitehouse.gov today. I will review the text, as I am sure many of our teachers will as well.

On a personal note, it is unfortunate that in this day and age we have become skeptical of the motives of our leaders. When we were growing up, it would have been considered a treat and an honor to have our president address students during the school day. Trust is a huge issue in this country. Hopefully, you and I will see a change in this as our children grow up.

You are welcome to e-mail me at eoreilly@grandviewschools.org if you have further questions. I do appreciate those of you that have already contacted me to hear directly from the district regarding this issue. Enjoy the holiday.
Ed O'Reilly, Superintendent
This is a good, non-political response by O'Reilly to the crapstorm the Republicans have made out of this issue. And since it is a unbiased and sane response, expect right-wingers to show up at the next board meeting and complain about it. "
Posted by Admin on Monday, September 07 @ 11:21:19 EDT (3123 reads)
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Council candidates
News from the small city Justice writes "

Four seats on the city council are on the ballot Nov. 3 and no big news in this election. The incumbents are all running, council Pres Steve Reynolds, Anthony Panzera, Susan Jagers and Elizabeth Koelker. A quick Google shows no new info on these council members (but I was surprised to find that Anthony Panzera had a write-in campaign in winning his seat for the first time in November 2001).

Aaron Bowman, a newish resident of Grandview, is also running. He is a VP of sales at Century Resources, a company that provides school-related funding programs (food and candy etc, used in fund raisers for schools). His Facebook page shows he went to Columbus Academy and University of Dayton, and has a preference for Michigan football. He goes by the name “acbo47” on twitter but hasn't posted a tweet yet.

There is an Aaron Bowman of Columbus listed as a participant on an organizing page for a “tea party” (the people who protest against President Obama and government in general). This list was on a website called AR15.com, a website for firearm enthusiasts.

(later) Interesting. When I posted a link to the tea party page with Aaron Bowman's name, the post on AR15.com disappeared from the website. Let's see if this copy of the same list  on another website remains up.

Posted by Admin on Friday, August 28 @ 00:46:51 EDT (3491 reads)
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School board candidates in the running
News from the small schools Justice writes "

The three open seats on the Grandview school board will result in five candidates banging on your doors and asking for your vote. This list may change as signatures are verified.

John Kessler is a Deputy Chief at the Ohio DNR. He was appointed to the board in January 2009 and now must run to retain his seat.

Dan Headapohl was a former city council member and council president. He works as a Real Estate Asset Manager for the City of Columbus.

Mary-Kathleen Clifford is a lawyer with ten years experience, not much about her on the net.

Thomas F. Hayes is another lawyer, specializing in criminal defense. He defends all kinds of criminal charges, and is listed on the website sbsdefense.com as an experienced defender for those charged with the crime of "Shaken Baby Syndrome".

Grant Douglass is the President of Hanlin Rainaldi Construction. This was the firm that did the construction on the artificial turf for the high school. He is a former GH Touchdown Club president. In 2003 he was chairman of the Ohio Historical Society board. In 2008 when the school board was considering changes to the Code of Conduct Mr. Douglass spoke in opposition to the rule that penalizes students who attend (but don't drink) at parties where alcohol is used.

This will be the first school board election in decades without a long term incumbent. Gary Heydinger and Anita Keller chose not to run, Kessler was appointed to fill in for McLeod after her mid-term resignation.

Posted by Admin on Saturday, August 22 @ 15:48:49 EDT (7149 reads)
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Old Articles
Thursday, August 13
· School super O'Reilly in the Tri-Village News
Monday, August 10
· How Grandview Yard could fail and bring down the schools
Sunday, August 09
· School Board Meeting June 9, 2009
Tuesday, August 04
· Newspaper spamming slime buckets
· Council passes Grandview Yard deal
Friday, July 24
· O'Reilly on the NRI deal
Tuesday, July 21
· Grandview Yard first phase
· City Council meeting minutes June 1, 2008
· City Council meeting minutes May 4, 2008
Thursday, June 25
· School Board Meeting May 12, 2009
· School Board Meeting April 14, 2009
Tuesday, June 09
· Watch out for snails
Thursday, May 28
· Rebooting Hardware on Goodale
Tuesday, May 19
· School Board Meeting March 3, 2009
· City Council meeting minutes April 6, 2008
· City Council meeting minutes March 2, 2008
Sunday, April 26
· No on City Issue 3
Saturday, April 25
· Baaak! Baaak!
Tuesday, March 31
· Columbus pushes for money from Yard
· School Board Meeting February 10, 2009

Older Articles


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