Lakota Budget Plan

Photograph taken by: (The Pulse Journal) Cox Ohio Publishing


So many people have written me, or asked me what my, or the NoLakotaLevy people suggest Lakota do about their budget situation.  I prepared the below response to a person that wrote me at and contacted me through the email there.   This is my plan, and can’t speak for everyone in the NoLakotaLevy group fully.  Now when reading this, keep in mind, I believe that union membership should be illegal in government positions, and teachers are government positions.  They are payed with tax payer funds, and therefore should not be able to participate in a union. 

Union membership is fine for private business if the product they make can be supported with the revenue they produce.  I know people in the film business that are part of a very powerful union in the Screen Actors Guild.  Writers for film are a part of the Writers Guild.  But those activities are supported with ticket sales at the box office, and more and more often, films are made outside of Hollywood in places like British Columbia, and Austrialia to avoid many of the high cost of union work.  So even in paradise, the union model is in trouble. 

In sports, there is a players union, and those unions have pushed up the price of a professional athlete to a cost that many of us bulk at.  Yet we can decide to support those athletes or not with the price of a ticket, or the purchase of a jersey. 

But government work is completley funded with tax payer money, and therefore no voting can take place.  The tax payer becomes the consumer without an option.  So when a teachers union is a part of a school system, it stands in the way of choice.  So my strategy below would be the advice I’d give any professional organization strangled by such a process.  My focus is on saving all the jobs at Lakota, particularly the 130 teachers and staff that are on the chopping block established by the retiring Superintendent, and preserving the great tradition at Lakota of being an excellent school. 

But this plan is aggressive, and would require a boldness that does not exist within the school system, otherwise, they would not be in the situation they are currently in.  It is unfortunate that the job falls on the community to help the school system understand how to solve their problems.  But I present this plan to all those who would care to read it, and may contain within themselves the valor to do what is right for not only the teachers, but the rest of the community. 


When it is reported that there is a financial crises within our local school system, it is important to study the situation.

When you sit down and look at the overall problem like a businessman would, without emotion, without politics, just the facts, you see quickly that the school system has around 78% of their resources tied up in wages and benefits.  So if you need to get that budget under control, you don’t tackle the very small costs that make up the remaining 22%, which is where busing falls.  Busing is really one of the minor costs and is something that should be addressed after you’ve tackled the issues making up the 78%.  There is only one reason to tackle busing first and that is to inconvenience parents so they vote for a levy out of their own needs. You start with wages and benefits so you can have the most impact quickly. 

  1. The first thing to deal with is the way the contract is organized with the employees.  You have to give the union credit that they created an environment for their members where they have been able to obtain wages that are above the standard for public sector positions.  The average wage for a teacher at Lakota in 2002/2003 was around $48,000.  Now, in 2010, it’s $62,000.  So they’ve more than outpaced inflation and cost of living. It should be noted that the aggressive position of the union such as what happened in April of this year, a federal mediator had to be called to bring the parties together between the board and the union.  That type of behavior has created a budget that is not sustainable over the long term as more and more tenured teachers and administrators move into the upper pay ranges. So the wages need to be brought down to a level that is more reflective of the community that is funding the budget.  If they took a 30% reduction, they could raise $27 million dollars immediately.  And the wages would still be considered good when compared to the private sector. 
  2. The other thing you look at is whether or not you need so many administrators, councilors, media professionals, and those types of positions, where many are making over $65,000 per year.  You would not cut low tenured teachers that are not making as much money, the ones making $35,000 to $45,000, and are full of ambition.  Those are the teachers you want to keep.  They are typically cheaper, and tend to statistically get the best results per employee. 
  3. As the new contract is established, the pay rates need to be established that the low end entry level pay scale is $35,000, and the top pay for an educator is $65,000.  If a teacher wants to pursue higher degrees such as a masters, or doctorate, of course they could reach that top scale faster, but could not exceed it unless they moved into administration.
  4. For administration positions, the cap should be set at $110,000.  That figure is reached by looking at what Mike Taylor is currently making which is $147,000 and reducing that figure by 30%, which is how much above average education positions are currently established at.  That would put the current superintendant at $103,000 and still provide some room for increases in supplemental years.   
  5. Taking these measures would do two things.  First the teachers and superintendants that are in education for just the money and security would leave and take positions at other schools.  This would allow us to hire ambitious personnel that is truly in education for the right reasons, and that is putting kids first.  And in turn we would pay them well, but fairly.  And they’d have the benefit of working for a good school system in a nice community where the parents care for the kids they are sending to the school.  Such a teaching environment is a benefit believe it or not and would allow us to attract the best teachers that are truly in teaching for the children.  The second thing this does is it shows that Lakota has the leadership to set up a sustainable model that the State of Ohio can copy for all the other schools in the state and finally solve its unconstitutional property tax funding model that has been broken for half a century.  Until a school system takes these steps and is the first to do so, the status quo will bankrupt our funding system.  If the choice of the union would be to strike then replacement staff could immediately be hired to replace those participating in the strike, and our wage level could be fixed quickly.  But shutting down the school system or declining the level of education is not an option. 


This plan would allow us to bring our budget under control, sort out the truly good from the truly selfish, and would improve our performance in virtually all aspects.  To not do this plan or one very similar to it is not acceptable, and will only substantiate the decline of service that is immanent.  The term union members and leaders use to identify people not of their membership that work for the school system, is “scab.”  Such terms do not belong on the tongues of those involved in education and they need to remove their philosophy from our funding obligations.  We will need individuals willing to put the community first because such individuals will be needed to work in the school system in the near future, and the community will need to support them, when the union leadership attempts to bring pain to our district.   

The goal of these measures is to find out the true heart of the employees.  And at the same time, to reduce the cost to the overall budget.  It is the least painful way to accomplish this task giving those who are unhappy with the situation a chance to leave without causing damage to the community.  And would allow us to retain the most loyal and dedicated staff for our school system.

Rich Hoffman

Lakota Levy…….But Wait, We Just Did This!

Levy Part 2, but wait, didn’t we just do this?
What short memories everyone has. It was just April when a lot of this was happening.  So lets go back and look at the events of 2010 that led up to this second attempt.  Some of the videos below have the embedding turned off, so they are links that you’ll have to click on to watch.  The point of this is to study where we came from so we can see where we’re going.
We just had a Federal Mediator coming in to help resolve a contract dispute, over pay raises and benefits. Now I’ve written a lot about Lakota’s budget being top heavy. And even though everyone knew the situation as early as April, the Union had still stiffened up to get everything they could, aware that there was a Levy coming.
While I was on the radio during the last weekend of September, Darryl Parks pressed me on that issue.

During the last levy we put up a fight. But that was only in May of this year.

But what the Pro Lakota people didn’t comprehend was that the Anti-Levy people were deeper than just a group of developers. It was a wide range of people with all different backgrounds that shared a common idea that the spending was out of control, and they remembered the events of the last levy attempt in 2005. And they didn’t appreciate the misleading statistics.

The May levy was contentious, and it was defeated handedly. After the vote I personally went to a board meeting to see how the board dealt with the issue. After all, I had read that Mike Taylor the night of the vote realizing that the levy would be defeated announced that the issue would be put back on the ballot. What I witnessed confirmed my thoughts of all the waste. I left the meeting feeling sorry for Joan Powell. I don’t believe that she or the rest of the board are bad people. They are just short sighted because they are part of a broken system.
But to avoid making the public angry, they waited till July to make the formal announcement.
And then they announced the cuts.

Yet nobody within the school system sees the problem with their budget. So they stick to the formula issued from Columbus. And immediately the press falls into place and just does their part to help the school system without pressing for any hard questions.

And with all the energy spent nobody discusses the two main issues, first that their operating budget is set too high.
The other issue is that the State of Ohio cut funds to our district, and they did so with an unconstitutional formula. And nobody wants to tackle that because it’s too hard and too big.

This is the funding model by the current governor.  See anything wrong with it?  Look where the money is going. 

So while everyone puts their energy into short term pains and gains, the union not wanting to budge.  The administrators just wanting to keep the status quo, the parents just want to keep their property values, and maintain what they thought they were getting as far as education in the community when they moved here, the real trouble gets over-looked and given a free pass.  And the media has helped make that happen. 

The Lakota School System is being crushed by an inflated funding model, and if the state won’t fund it, it’s not possible for residents to pay twice, once to the State and again to the community.  The system was broken before the state made this move in cutting back the funding.  And now, the issue needs to go back to the state to be fixed with a constitutional resolution once and for all.  And passing this levy will not make that happen. 

It’s a shame that so many important figures in this chess game, the kids, the parents, the administrators, the school board, the teachers, the union leadership, the residents find themselves in a cage fight when the real target is sitting in the press box pushing the buttons. 

It would be my advice to everyone to keep your eyes on the larger issues.  If you hang onto the status quo, you only buy a little time before the next major collapse.

Rich Hoffman

WLW on Saturday, September 25th

My appearance on the Darryl Parks show on Saturday September 25, 2010 is at the end of this article.  But first a few notes:

I woke up on Saturday morning to an onslaught of email.  One of the emails is a couple of links to articles where the Ohio Education Association is stepping in and doing some damage control of issues occurring in Southwestern Ohio.  

Two of the issues were the appearance of our No Lakota Levy group on WLW radio on Monday.  The other was the bill board campaign against wasteful education spending. 

There was a lot said in these articles, but then again, not much of any real content which is normal for these types of things.  But here is a summary of the key points, and it is in these points that left me feeling completely confident that the position against school levies is absolutely needed.  And maybe we are about 15 years too late, but it’s better late than never I suppose. 

In the Cincinnati Enquirer there was an attempt to minimize the posting of several billboards around Cincinnati trying to bring to light the spending problems.  And the union attacked it with a predictable move, to minimize the activity as advocates for the Republican Party, and further commenting that these people only come out when there is a levy, and then they just go away when the levy situation passes. 

And then this article in the Hamilton Journal, told the whole story for me, everything I had been suspecting. 

Bonny McMurray of the Ohio Education Association gave the interview which was a series of questions and answers.  And for me, she said one of the most startling things I could have read.  She said in her article,

“It’s that many jobs in the current economy do not pay enough to sustain a middle class life,” she said.

In an ideal world, she said, there would be more employers with unions to ensure people earn a middle class wage and are entitled to benefits.”

Did she really say that?????

Bonnie spelled out the problem very clear. The No Levy people for the most part believe that unions have increased the cost of labor to where places like China and India are currently doing our work.

The Pro Levy people hold dear the idea that if there were more companies with unions, then more people would have the wages to support other union activity.

This is a fundamental philosophic difference.  Any right thinking human being can see that unions have driven up our labor costs in this country.  Yet, the warnings that many popular culture spokesmen are making that socialism and unions are deeply connected as a philosophy, look to be more true than fiction

In the defense of union positions they attacked the Republican Party, and attempted to minimize the commitment level of anyone that opposes them, as if they are somehow more caring because they are involved fulltime in political activity.  Funded completly by the tax payer I might add.   

Yet with all the retoric their whole philosophy is revealed in that simple statement.  And that’s what we’re dealing with.  If there were more unions, then more people would be able to afford the high cost of union business.  Where do they think the money comes from?  Check out the problems they are having in Europe.  We all know about Greece, but check out France now.   We at least still have elections here where we can bring things back under control.  It’s not too late for us…..yet.       

I had an invite to go onto WLW this morning.  I read all these articles and found myself eager to call Darryl to be a guest on his show.  Out of all the media out there, Darryl has not been afraid to tackle issues like this. 

It is a shame that bringing a political philosophy into education is even relevant.  But it is.  Unions have done that on their own.  They have attached their social goals to the sacred institution of education.  Now it’s up to those of us that have been sleeping, and blindly trusting our politicians to take the steps to fix things.  And it will be a difficult journey.  But it starts with the vote on November 2nd

Rich Hoffman

Bullwhip Consultant on Films

After the Enquire article, one of the natural questions resulting was about how do you consult for films with whips?

Unfortunately, these days there are fewer films using whips as a part of the story line than there was in the early days of cinema. That of course is directly attributable to the decline of the western in modern film and television. But occasionally, a storyline comes forth that requires them, and a decision will be made on how to go about it from the studio. Recently, Whiplash from Iron Man 2 was produced which featured whips of a sort. But their approach was to use film of how a whip moves to create the effects in CGI.

But CGI works great in some cases, but not so great in others, and whip work is something that is more dramatic in real life. And such is a recent call I received from Peter Facinelli who I met at the Indie Gathering Film Festival while I was doing some firewhip work.

This is from the actual stunt demonstration where Peter and the director Rob Gunnerson were a part of.

They approached me about a project they were doing with RealD 3D where they wanted to capture the firewhips with RealD’s new 3D camera system in HD. So I flew out to LA to help them bring that project to life, called for now tentatively, The Delivery.

Peter of course is currently busy with the Twilight franchise, so further development of The Delivery is ongoing.

Here is the trailer that we shot, which consisted of a series of test shots to test the camera equipment. I served as the whip consultant and handler in all whip action. I am particularly proud of the shot we got where I cracked the cigarette backwards using one of my 12 foot bullwhips. The director wanted to do it for real, not in CGI, and we pulled it off with just a few takes.

View the Trailer at the links:
The Delivery 3D Trailer,t=1,mt=video
The Delivery 3D | MySpace Video

More info and production stills can be found at this link.

Here are some images from the shoot:  Here Rob Gunnerson sets me up for the stand in work for Peter who is in the background. 

Here is Mat Wilig, who played the demon, standing with me.  We had the awkward issue of sharing a trailer on set since they were short one and we both had extensive makeup to do.  The very first thing I said to him was something negative about playing for the Panthers because I’m a Tampa Bay fan.  But after that, we got along well.   Matthew is recently retired from the NFL after 14 seasons. He played for 6 teams (New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers). He went to 2 Super Bowls while winning 1 and losing the other. He is steadily rising up the Acting ladder and receiving acclaim as his roles get bigger and better.

Here is Rob and Peter going through the shots with me so we can measure distance for all the equipment. 

Here are the Producers, the face paint really got on my nerves after 12 hours.

Peter and I on break. 

Test shot of how the 3D camera’s were capturing the fireball given off by the firewhip.

Rich Hoffman

An Answer to the Dust Under my Feet, (critics)


The elemental issue, and ultimate tragedy of a life lived poorly, where one finds themselves cleaving to a measly income distributed from the public sector, is that they shatter when they discover how insignificant many of the beliefs they hold dear, truly are when they witness those living outside of their accepted parameters. 

As the Cincinnati Enquirer did the piece on me, featuring my work with bullwhips and the metaphors the whips have in politics it is only natural that all my interests come together in my explanation of the crises at hand, I can anticipate the indolent comments that will emerge.

I recently received a comment from one of my many, many, many critics referring to me as wearing a tin hat, because one of my interests is in paranormal investigation.  And of course the same fringe thinking will look at my 30 years of whip work in much the same discrediting fashion.  The word they have for it is a kook.

This is because these small minded people have allowed their minds to rot, and their bodies have taken the shape of such thinking.  The new rulers of these bodies are cellulite and they control the brain function without rebellion of original thinking.  And to such cumbersome contemplation, my interests will seem foreign and even freighting to their standard patterns of accepted behavior.

And the reason this is a tragedy, is because they are content to be only a fraction of themselves.  They are content to color in the lines that someone else drew for them, and will never have the satisfaction of creating anything original, or preserving a tradition that is rooted in truth.  The cowboy arts are just such a thing, where Buffalo Bill, and Annie Oakley routinely reflected the politics of their times within the context of their shows.  And such people I admire greatly. 

But this is the age of progressivism.  And in that age, individual achievement is frowned upon.  Personal conduct is shared, and these feeble minds that have perpetuated this philosophy truly believe they are rooted in intellect.  And it is in this thinking that any individual achievements, or any science that is not endorsed by these established minds, will become the subject of ridicule. 

So it is with great pride that I listen and read the quips of my detractors.  For when the politics is done, and the lights dim around our lives, I would not want to reflect upon the lives they lead, where they traded their very souls for a half baked idea, and a half-life reflected in their broken bodies. 

Truth is sometimes revealed within established ideas, and facts sometimes come from places where established science has not yet been scouted by intelligent minds.  And truth is also in tradition, which progressivism has sought to diminish any way possible.  So to see anger from those factions, it rests my mind at ease that I am doing what is correct and true in the larger battlefield of human ideology. Even a cancer cell wants to live, even though they do so by consuming the body.  And it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference.  And such clarification allows me to see the cancer cells for what they are. 

And for the cancer to take over our society, they have to minimize the immune system of our collective body in order to take command.  So that means to encourage people to be weak, like Homer Simpson.  Let people know that it’s ok, even endorsed to be like that beloved cartoon character, that being human is laced with fault, and that is actually an enchanting quality.

To become a bit more like Homer Simpson is a good thing. It’s what they are comfortable with.

It is not surprising that similar personalities as the tricksters featured in these videos will look to anyone that displays talent or a hunger for knowledge outside of the orthodox because such types are a serious threat to their ideology.  And that ideology is an immature and shallow field of endeavor much coveted by those great equalizers dressed in sheep’s clothing yet finding it difficult to conceal their canine teeth.

So it’s fine for those demagogues to cast assertions of despair in my direction.  For to them, everyone that is not a Homer Simpson is someone that must be brought down by any means available.

But it won’t be enough………………………because I’m not a Homer.

Such thoughts are dust under my boots.

Rich Hoffman

Rich Hoffman and Dave Varney Visit the Scott Sloan Show on WLW

It is with great pleasure that I present this pod cast of the Scott Sloan Show from September 20, 2010, in which I along with Dan Varney who is the treasurer of our group, revealed a bomb of carefully hidden facts obscured by the smiling faces of Lakota’s PR efforts.  My daughter, Brooke came along to photograph in order to provide some background  images. 

It had been a busy week leading up to our invitation to be on Scott’s morning show. On Saturday Darryl Parks had read from my Lakota Blog on the Top Pay of the 432 Teachers at Lakota, which led to an invite to be on The Big One, Monday. It has been a relief to get some support from an aspect of the media that has given those of us against school levies a fair shake. In the past, newspapers, and television have sided without too much probing any situation where a school system asks for a levy. It is in this soft reporting that has created a system which actually threatens to bankrupt our entire education system, by letting powerful education influences run school budgets up to unsustainable amounts without the media to check them on it.

So it is with great thanks to Mr. Sloan, and to Mr. Parks for giving us a voice in a minefield of discontent. And the result was a powerful hour of radio that is compressed down to a half hour for your convenience. Basically what follows is our revelation that Lakota is asking for more money when they already have a budget that is just over 75% dedicated to wages and benefits, and it is their own mismanagement which allowed the budget to inflate to an unsustainable level.

But this is about more than just Lakota Schools. This is about tyranical government influence that is a gigantic presence in our own back yard, and if we don’t have the guts to do something about it whether at Lakota or any other school system in the United States, then we don’t have a right to demand change in the way government does business in any other fashion. If you don’t have the guts to stand up to something as easy to see as a school levy where excessive spending is so obvious, then you won’t have the backbone for the much harder problems that are facing this nation.
So with that, enjoy this groundbreaking podcast from people that understand what’s really at stake. And Scott Sloan gets it.

Rich Hoffman

My History with Bullwhips, and the Minefield of Public Perception

After my video titled, a Whip Trick to Save America a lot of questions were asked about why I work with whips, and how such an interest has sustained me for over 30 years. It occurred to me that because I’m close to the art form, which I’d associate as an American Martial Art, whip arts require a precision that is unique, and worth a deep look.

When most people think of a bullwhip, they often think of pain, or sadomasochism.  My use of the whip is far removed from such ends. But being a member of the whip community, and approached many times by members of the S&M culture, I have had a unique perspective on elements of social behavior that have led to political corruption.
Here my friend Gery Deer and I demonstrate bullwhip work while doing some promo work for our short film, The Overman.

This is the preview of The Overman, which won best experimental short film for its extensive green screen use in an independent production.

In every organization throughout history, with very few exceptions, a social hierarchy forms of which the most vicious power grabbers migrate to the top, and the more passive will settle at the bottom. Most of American society finds them on the bottom end of the power base by default, due to the fact that many people don’t wish to fight for power.

In 1997 I visited Washington DC with my family and took the White House tour like many who visit DC. While in line for the tour, my kids were caught climbing on the fence by the White House security. When security approached the children they were told to stay off the “Presidents fence.” This provoked an argument from my wife to the guards stating that she understood their concern to keep the children off the fence for safety reasons, but the guards were wrong on the other hand by proclaiming that the fence at the White House was owned by the President. It was the people’s fence.
Here is my wife in a calmer moment. Just don’t tell her that her kids can’t play on the White House fence.

Now, to me, this misstatement was completely wrong, and showed much insight to the problems suffering within the Republic of the United States. Due to a variety of deep seated psychological problems, the voter base which elects its representatives in government are unable to overcome those weaknesses to properly vote in a republic. In fact, it is evident that more energy from politicians is put into public relation campaigns to alter public opinion, than in gaining a true understanding of what the public wants. This is a fundamental problem, and is echoed in the White House guard’s mistake in believing the White House is a royal family of some such. Royalty has no place in the philosophy that founded America.

As a nation, we are discovering quickly, that many influences have been established to erode the quality of our nation and its people. Our university system has been populated by sympathizers of enemy nations and encouraged to weaken the individual spirit of the students by focusing on careers that would easily serve the emerging social order, and break down the family structure that generally is needed to produce strong social individuals. I dropped out of college three times before reaching the conclusion that success in the higher institution was not conducive to just hard work and intelligence, but to factors more accurately described by my wife, “There only needs to be one class in college taught to the students, and that’s butt-kissing 101.” Sometimes a square peg just doesn’t fit in a round hole. You can beat it with a hammer to try and deform it in some way, but ultimately, if one is to remain true to themselves, they have to find the answers alone. College offered a secure job placement. But I was always looking for answers which they didn’t seem interested in giving. So after a decade of back and forth attempts, I parted ways.

I spent the next 5 years reading this guy.

I drew comparisons to my education experience, and the people I met in the whip community, and referenced those against the social behavior of modern America. It was shocking to me that so many people seemed attracted to the idea of sadomasochism as their first reaction to the whip, which Freud did much work at the turn of the century, ironically as the progressive era thinkers were emerging with their strategy. Given that a majority of psychiatrists are calling S&M a mental disorder, how is it that so many people were willing to accept such a personal flaw without striving to correct it or overcome it?

Here is a great thinker, Carl Jung

S&M by its nature will produce citizens that will seek abuse, so it is no wonder that as factions of the government have risen to power, their respect for the people who elected them has diminished. What is understood at a subconscious level is that many people secretly crave abuse and domination by a superior power, and this is why the world and our nation find themselves in the precarious situation they are currently in.

Those craving power understand this. It is not by accident that weaknesses of character are encouraged at a social level, because such weaknesses create shame which the victim seeks to suppress, and gives power to all people who know the secret. Government has expanded at a rapid rate creating new divisions of government oversight to facilitate all the traumatic effects of human disappointment.

My use of the bullwhip is one of individual mastery. The whip is symbolic in many ways of how a small amount of force applied, can become an explosive result at the end. The sound that is created at the end of the whip is actually a sonic boom, where the whip breaks the sound barrier. So using such a flexible device as an excises tool, or a weapon makes sense. And it is in that type of thinking, that I see an opportunity to heal, not hurt the people that learn to use such a weapon with discipline.
This video is a bit blurry, it’s from one of my older cameras but it does a good job of recording whip work in slow motion.

By overcoming one’s weaknesses, a person can function from a stronger Super Ego rather than just the basic functions of Id, which the government seeks to advocate out of sheer necessity of logistics control.

The progressive movement has sought to advance mankind through a method described in Plato’s Republic, where the wisest of the wise will advance the human spirit. But in order to do that, a class system must be put in place where the wise are determined. And once they are determined, then competing classes must be put into their proper place so that they can be lead properly. This was achieved in our culture by destroying the Super Ego to use Freudian logic.

So the tendency of a majority of the people I have met that looked at the bullwhip and saw S&M practices was more of a symptom of the overall problem of a society that had its Super Ego crushed through cultural propaganda. This leads to a culture obsessed with pornography in various forms, and therefore distracted from higher concepts.
Here I am at another film festival working with students in a stunt workshop.

Mastering a weapon of any kind does two primary things; it gives one a sense of ability to protect oneself and therefore one’s own Super Ego. It also strengthens one’s individual identity by building the Super Ego up. This is the way I view the western arts, and their relative contributions to society. A republic is dependent on strong individual values pitched against its neighbors for the revelation of truth as opposed to a society of masochists inwardly seeking domination by a superior force.

The progressive movement used the knowledge gained from studies such as what Freud reveled as a grab for power. It is no wonder that families have been dismantled; taxes have increased dramatically to support a centralized government with an oversight philosophy as indicated by the welfare system, and social security, and religious influence has been stripped away. It is evident now in hind-sight that a careful strategy has been employed to give us the current state of affairs.

Although this may seem cynical, or conspiratorial, the evidence is plain to see. And with my work with bullwhips, and interaction with the S&M culture that seeks instruction in the bullwhip arts, I drew some of these conclusions from observation.

So using a bullwhip as a political symbol is meaningful in that its very nature is defiance against systems of control because mastering it is mastery of control. It is a flexible weapon that can constantly adapt to a situation, and it can deliver explosive results with the simple flick of the wrist with pin point accuracy. Without doubt, progressive thinking will seek to shape the use of the bullwhip as a weapon of a slave holder, and attempt to discredit it the way I use it, but remember that their goal is to erase our past and to marginalize any memory of it. They also seek to diminish the role John Wayne played in American Society as well. Wayne truly believed in the work he did, and the preservation of the western culture. But such statements are only born out of public relations brain storming, and appeal to the Id nature of people. Anyone that looks beyond the bullet point statements of PR executives can see the manipulation of concepts that threaten the power base of progressive thinking.
Here is John Wayne from the great film, The Cowboys. When I was a kid, this was what becoming a man was about.

Such comments have been leveled toward gun owners for years, as though the need to own a gun somehow is affiliated with a subversive element. It is in the very Bill of Rights of our Constitution and should be the law of the land without question. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” There is nothing in the Constitution that says the definition of Militia means only an organized state run entity. It is a government of the people for the people. Yet when such clear language is translated as openly as this Second Amendment has been, it is clear that subversion of the Constitution is the intention of those that attempt to twist the meanings to suit their political agenda. And likewise, any weapon used by a thinking person, such as a bullwhip in this case, will be seen as a threat to the established order, and will attempt to paint that weapon into a negative light in historical context.
Here I am firing one of the finest handguns on the face of this planet, the Smith and Weston .500 Magnum.

So for many reasons, the bullwhip is the weapon of choice for me.  I came to first use bullwhips from my grandfather, who learned to use it from his father when they were runners of White Lightning during the prohibition era. Back then, in the deep foothills of Appalachia, my great grandfather used to crack flies off his porch with pin point accuracy in between moonshine runs as a way to pass the time. With the whip, it was more fun than a fly swatter, and less expensive than ammunition for a gun. So it became something of a family heritage from there on.
Yes, I’m proud of my family heritage and the colorful characters produced from resisting the prohibition law initiated by progressive thinking. And my great grandfather was one of those men.

Undoubtedly there are progressive minded people who will read the above and contemplate the primitive, unsophisticated embrace of such a concept as using a whip to swat flies off a porch as backward and ignorant. Yet, to me, the opposite is true, that people who follow without question, and seek the lazy path of socialism because of the shared burden nature of that philosophy, are not just unsophisticated, and lethargic, they are far less superior to a mountain man in logic and skill. It is in mountain men that echoes of those that settled this country can be heard.

And the frontiersman and western settlers that braved all the perils of a new land, and wished to escape the repressive grip of Europe deserve to be celebrated, and preserved through western arts. It is a shame that the very people they fled from in Europe in the 1700’s turned out to follow them here and settle like a disease with their occidental logic which is the same that created the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, the English Empire, and several hundred other regimes of corruption and power over a 1500 year span of time. Now those people think they are in power now in the United States, and seek to erase our American History. So to me, the bullwhip is a symbol of defiance against that progressive philosophy.

And the website here is now  This was some promotional work done for my book, The Symposium of Justice several years ago.

America is not occidental. It is a melting pot of many cultures and was settled by the bravest and boldest the world had to offer. And that is what makes the Constitution such a unique document. And in the western arts, the Native American has their place along with the cowboy and frontiersman. All played their part in forging an ideology that is unique to the world stage. And the bullwhip is a symbol of frontier values and great efficiency that has its roots in American culture, and the golden age of Hollywood cinema.
One of my favorite Republic Serials, Zorro’s Fighting Legion, Zorro saves the day

So the whip has a long history with me and a longer history in American culture. And I feel a responsibility to preserve its heritage for future generations. Although the message has been perverted in the failed progressive experiment of the last quarter of century, my work with bullwhips is in the spirit of undoing much of the twisted rhetoric espoused by the misguided emergence, and decline of the intellectual class.

Rich Hoffman

Pay Rates for top 434 teachers at Lakota Schools

Lakota Levy, by the numbers Blog:  NOTICE--Since this list came out in mid-2010, these numbers have increased dramatically. How much?  Well, there are 625 people in this category just one year later in a bad economy when teachers told the public they took a pay freeze.  So they mislead the public greatly.  Yet, step increases made this number grow when lay-offs and busing cuts have hurt parents all over the district.  Click here to see the new numbers. 

At the bottom of this post are the salaries of all teachers and administrators making over $65.000 per year working at Lakota Schools in Butler County, Ohio.  Why is this important?  Because those wages have moved out of the community’s ability to sustain them, as those same wages have more in common with government positions than the wages of the community. 

Education jobs are now government jobs in practice, and we have to admit this to ourselves first before a community can take action to fix it. This is an ad from Federal, and shows how government advertises positions.

“Are you considering a government job? The federal government employs approximately 2 million federal workers plus 700,000 Postal workers and hires hundreds of thousands each year to replace civil service workers that transfer to other federal government jobs, retire, or leave for other reasons. Average annual salary for full-time federal government jobs now exceeds $79,197.”

Kind of makes you want to get a government job doesn’t it.

Just before writing this I received a message from Darryl Parks of WLW Radio. He wanted me to post something on here for you, “If you vote for a school levy, you’re stupid!”

Because it’s a scam, where you pay a government agency at a wage greater than your own pay rate, for a service you could in almost every circumstance, do yourself.  Government doesn’t make anything, so they completely rely on tax dollars to supply their income.  So when government jobs pay in the ranges that are higher than private sector jobs, as Mr. Parks says in his statement, you’re stupid.  Your stupid because you are taking your job as a tax payer for granted and not performing to the task of a much-needed regulator within the community.  Did you know that government workers make 45% more than private sector jobs?  Isn’t that stupid?  Yet we’re all responsible for saying yes at some point in the past. 

The U.S. Government is the largest employer in the United States, hiring about 2.0 percent of the nation’s work force and the workforce is expanding significantly due to health care reform, in-sourcing, and many new regulatory programs. Federal government jobs can be found in every state and large metropolitan area, including overseas in over 200 countries. The average annual federal workers compensation, including pay plus benefits, now exceeds $119,982 compared to just $59,909 for the private sector according to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Isn’t that stupid?  How did the American people allow that to happen? 

Unfortunately, school systems are no longer community run, but are still community funded for the most part. Like everything in the government these days, whether it’s Social Security, Medicare, Health Care, you name the government program; you’ll find that universally the same philosophy is at play, a government job will pay more than a private sector job. That’s dangerous, because it actually disrupts the conduct of a republic. After all, who would vote themselves out of a job, so politicians that give out jobs like candy, tend to get re-elected.  And it’s even more foolish to allow education positions to migrate into the ranges of government paid workers, because those are people in our own back yards, not in some far away place like a state capital, or federal government.  We should have noticed it, and done something about it early on. 

Such irresponsible behavior will destroy everything we hold dear as a way of life both locally and nationally.  It’s all coming down as we look around. The cracks are forming everywhere, and where do we see it first, our schools.

The chart below shows that a majority of Lakota’s budget is going to wages and benefits, which is a recipe for disaster. The ratio here is not even something that can be discussed in any sort of business appraisal.  But this type of ratio is not uncommon in government work, which is why to them, it seems perfectly reasonable.  So school board meetings and community events to discuss how bad it is are pointless, because they aren’t even close to a reasonable ratio.  My solutions, and the solutions of the type of people I know in the business community would suggest radical things that the school administrators couldn’t even fathom as cuts.  However, they aren’t alone in this. Most school systems are operating this way. But so is the rest of the government.

These numbers come from Lakota Online. The only difference with this chart and the ones they have are I combined the salaries and benefits together, to show just how much money is going to those activities.  The point of the chart is this, all that blue is bad.  It’s too much for a local community to support, more than $120 million where the real number should be closer to $60 million based on the size of the school district.   If you’d like to see the real numbers of the Lakota School System, see them here.  Click on the pictures of the balance sheets to zoom in on the Excel Docs. 

Why is it so high?  Well, years ago, we heard that teachers were a group that was working too hard and not getting paid enough.  But not anymore.  As you look at the wages below, there are 434 administrators and teachers that make more than $65,000. Just those 434 employees represent more than $31 million dollars.  So that proves how quickly things can get out of control if people aren’t paying attention.  Lakota, like all government, have painted themselves into a financial corner and can’t get out unless they either redo their contracts at a lesser wage and benefits, or the LEA (teachers union) lobbies Columbus and picks up the 21 million they are trying to raise in the levy, from the state.  The community doesn’t have it, and even if they did, it would be irresponsible to spend the money on this levy when the labor cost is so extraordinarily high.

As you can see the people below make up 35% of the salary budget. It is a sad situation that because these people in these positions know there is no place else that they could make this kind of money, they resort to misleading the community into believing that everything will just be ok if they approve one levy after another and continue to throw money at the situation.  They would rather extort the money from the community to preserve their extremely lucrative incomes.  But government does that to us as well.  And when it comes time to cut, they’ll most likely cut teachers out of the 65%, leaving the 35% pretty much alone and protected.  The 35% has the most seniority, and in a union, that means just about everything.  So the people who will be cut will also be the people who are least costly.  So you’d have to cut more people of less seniority to equate the value reached if the desired savings was a 30% to 50% reduction. 

This information is public record, and it’s that way for this very reason, so the public can see what they are spending their tax money on and decide if enough is enough.  So look it over and decide for yourself.  For my own opinion, I’m with Darryl Parks.  Don’t be stupid. 

Lakota Salaries 2010

1 Taylor William Superintendent $ 147,505.00
2 Jones Craig A Treasurer $ 121,571.00
3 Hamilton Richard Principal $ 111,370.00
4 Stettler Lon Assistant Superintendent $ 109,603.00
5 Kline Keith Principal $ 107,844.00
6 Passarge Christopher Director $ 107,844.00
7 Spurlock Ronald Assistant Superintendent $ 106,134.00
8 Pike David Principal $ 104,648.00
9 Linda French Principal $ 100,598.00
10 Laws John Edward Director $ 98,340.00
11 Holbrook Michael V Principal $ 98,131.00
12 Kelly Georgetta Director $ 97,928.00
13 Diblasi Kathy Administrator $ 97,416.00
14 Pangallo Marco Principal $ 97,416.00
15 Spurlock Elizabeth Principal $ 97,416.00
16 Mcglothin Robert Teacher $ 95,374.00
17 Moats Cheryl Teacher $ 94,591.00
18 Ash H. Clayton Principal $ 94,336.00
19 Snyder Gregory Teacher $ 94,147.00
20 Smith Derek Administrator $ 93,504.00
21 Berry Mary A. Media Specialist $ 92,665.00
22 Buschle Judith E Other Educator $ 92,388.00
23 Gendreau Andre Denis Principal $ 92,024.00
24 Weisgerber Gerry Assistant principal $ 91,544.00
25 Simmons Ericka Renee Principal $ 91,354.00
26 Petro Jeri Psychologist $ 90,946.00
27 Scroggins Roger Psychologist $ 90,946.00
28 Bailie Gregory H Teacher $ 90,772.00
29 Malone Scott Psychologist $ 90,510.00
30 Wittich John Psychologist $ 90,510.00
31 Finke Greg E Principal $ 90,197.00
32 Kriner Helene Counselor $ 89,540.00
33 Howard Thomas Teacher $ 89,327.00
34 Shaffer Timothy Assistant principal $ 88,652.00
35 Drumm Christopher E. Teacher $ 78,674.00
36 Burns Amy E Tutor $ 78,600.00
37 Yauss Roger Teacher $ 78,557.00
38 Hackman Pamela Teacher $ 78,426.00
39 Skeldon Elaine Teacher $ 78,426.00
40 Wadl C. Jeffery Teacher $ 78,406.00
41 Reid Jennifer Teacher $ 78,395.00
42 Van Sickle Cheryl Media Specialist $ 78,382.00
43 Stiver Lisa Teacher $ 78,339.00
44 Dunaway Honey L Teacher $ 78,323.00
45 Morrical Kimberly Teacher $ 78,288.00
46 Brumback Kathleen A Teacher $ 78,215.00
47 Saunders Karen Teacher $ 78,215.00
48 Kornau Tracey Teacher $ 78,105.00
49 Combs Lori A Teacher $ 78,043.00
50 Gelter Robert E Counselor $ 77,976.00
51 Hemsworth Ginger Teacher $ 77,949.00
52 Ryan Carol Psychologist $ 77,923.00
53 Cooper Fredrick C Teacher $ 77,829.00
54 Ritz Anne Teacher $ 77,804.00
55 Harvey Kristen Teacher $ 77,761.00
56 Fuchs Beth Marie Teacher $ 77,728.00
57 Folta Mark A Teacher $ 77,684.00
58 Woody Marsha Teacher $ 77,666.00
59 Cornett Brigitte B Teacher $ 77,476.00
60 Beck Dennis E Teacher $ 77,467.00
61 Martin Dana Administrator $ 77,410.00
62 Preston Philip Teacher $ 77,383.00
63 Theimann Carol Teacher $ 77,358.00
64 Gorman Catherine P Teacher $ 77,315.00
65 Popplewell Theresa Speech Therapist $ 77,142.00
66 Teller Frances Occupational Therapist $ 77,142.00
67 Mullins Jewelyn Speech Therapist $ 77,132.00
68 Colliver Tamelaj Tutor $ 77,114.00
69 Landvatter Sandra Teacher $ 77,109.00
70 Andres Stephen E Teacher $ 77,107.00
71 Ray Elizabeth Teacher $ 77,099.00
72 Adams Marilyn C Teacher $ 77,076.00
73 Riffle Angela Teacher $ 76,910.00
74 Davis Julia E Curriculum Specialist $ 76,803.00
75 Berberich Nancy Teacher $ 76,681.00
76 Floyd Michael C Teacher $ 76,680.00
77 Slomsky Scott Teacher $ 76,650.00
78 Osterling Emily Tutor $ 76,619.00
79 Lehman James Teacher $ 76,569.00
80 Heaton Sharon Teacher $ 76,528.00
81 Schallip Jacquelyn Teacher $ 76,499.00
82 Barnes Lori A Teacher $ 76,495.00
83 Anthony Elaine M Teacher $ 76,472.00
84 Supringer Christine Teacher $ 76,373.00
85 Swanson Paricia Marie Psychologist $ 76,304.00
86 Scott Carol Teacher $ 76,300.00
87 Denton Sandra M Teacher $ 76,300.00
88 Latessa Robert Teacher $ 76,179.00
89 Snider Kimberly Teacher $ 76,176.00
90 Fugate David W Teacher $ 76,149.00
91 Jacobson Robin Teacher $ 76,119.00
92 Alford Sharon A Counselor $ 76,114.00
93 Bateman Sue W Teacher $ 76,114.00
94 Gorman John S Teacher $ 76,114.00
95 Montgomery Carrie B Assistant Principal $ 75,986.00
96 Jones Anthony Teacher $ 75,974.00
97 Wiles Randall Teacher $ 75,930.00
98 Dagenbach P. Damian Teacher $ 75,814.00
99 Griffiths Laura Lynn Assistant Principal $ 75,794.00
100 Berry Darryl A Teacher $ 75,750.00
101 Piontek Ana Teacher $ 75,701.00
102 Wernersbach Margaret Baker Speech Therapist $ 75,632.00
103 Kehm Janice Teacher $ 75,629.00
104 Smallwood Lisa Teacher $ 75,629.00
105 Tompkins rebecca Curriculum Specialist $ 75,593.00
106 Derossett Shari H Teacher $ 75,588.00
107 Boerke Margaret L Nurse $ 75,569.00
108 Walls Toni Teacher $ 75,555.00
109 Bauer Susan A. Teacher $ 75,442.00
110 Muia Jennifer Teacher $ 75,375.00
111 Turner Debra Teacher $ 75,326.00
112 Pinder Joanne Teacher $ 75,270.00
113 Klus Richard Adam Teacher $ 75,251.00
114 Valdini Michael Teacher $ 75,246.00
115 Smith Scott Teacher $ 75,126.00
116 Henrich Ronald T.A. Teacher $ 75,037.00
117 Hammond Michelle Teacher $ 75,037.00
118 Alexander Melissa K Assistant Principal $ 74,969.00
119 Brown Benjamin W Assistant Principal $ 74,969.00
120 Wesley Todd Administrator $ 74,969.00
121 Knueven Kathryn Teacher $ 74,955.00
122 Luan-Miller Patricia D Teacher $ 74,942.00
123 Ruder Pamela Teacher $ 74,987.00
124 Meyer Steven Teacher $ 74,872.00
125 Gfroerer Beverly A Teacher $ 74,860.00
126 Szul Jill Teacher $ 74,849.00
127 Mitchell Drews Counselor $ 74,820.00
128 Ebbing Juith A Teacher $ 74,819.00
129 Copeland Sherri Sue Psychologist $ 74,675.00
130 Stamp Audrey Teacher $ 74,670.00
131 Peck Doreen Teacher $ 74,646.00
132 Mcdowell Linda Teacher $ 74,638.00
133 Redden-Jenkins Michelle S. Teacher $ 74,591.00
134 Eldridge Kimberly D Teacher $ 74,591.00
135 Combs Jeffrey A Teacher $ 74,587.00
136 Bugg Ledral A Teacher $ 74,581.00
137 Cantrell Cladia Teacher $ 74,581.00
138 Fisher Carmela A Teacher $ 74,581.00
139 Schnittger Mary Nurse $ 74,560.00
140 Prohaska Melissa Curriculum Specialist $ 74,544.00
141 Dolloff Paula M Teacher $ 74,492.00
142 Senne Julia Teacher $ 74,458.00
143 Lange Gail Speech Therapist $ 74,431.00
144 Girard Connie S Teacher $ 74,422.00
145 Coffman Alyson R Teacher $ 74,328.00
146 Mccracken Nancy Media Specialist $ 74,307.00
147 Hofferberth Mary Teacher $ 74,216.00
148 Dickerson Kathleen S Nurse $ 74,191.00
149 Williams Christina Teacher $ 74,125.00
150 Redman Margaret Teacher $ 74,113.00
151 Shapro Sharon Teacher $ 74,061.00
152 Mays Sharon Teacher $ 74,054.00
153 Schey Janet Teacher $ 73,982.00
154 Farnell Susan K Speech Therapist $ 73,962.00
155 Vanover Lori Teacher $ 73,942.00
156 Gibbs Loris S Speech Therapist $ 73,935.00
157 Draper Ralph A Teacher $ 73,923.00
158 Whiles Lisa Media Specialist $ 73,856.00
159 Tubb Sharon Other Educator $ 73,788.00
160 Rubin Bradley Counselor $ 73,765.00
161 Williams Pamela Teacher $ 73,724.00
162 Smith Rebecca Teacher $ 73,680.00
163 Janusz Diane Teacher $ 73,633.00
164 Darpel Kathleen M Teacher $ 73,628.00
165 Hicks Jeffrey Elliot Assistant Principal $ 73,591.00
166 Davis David L Teacher $ 73,556.00
167 Tipton Sandra Teacher $ 73,519.00
168 Klingelhoffer Sharon Teacher $ 73,496.00
169 Loman Kathryn Teacher $ 73,494.00
170 Durerler Cathy C Teacher $ 73,483.00
171 O’Keefe Marilyn Teacher $ 73,456.00
172 Powers Tamara S Teacher $ 73,456.00
173 Stewart Penny Lynn Teacher $ 73,456.00
174 Tabben Sarah Teacher $ 73,456.00
175 Blaylock Heather A Teacher $ 73,250.00
176 Staley Leanne Cirriculum Specialst $ 73,150.00
177 Weber Angela Teacher $ 73,140.00
178 Hundemer Lorraine Teacher $ 73,117.00
179 Silverglade Lisa Wackler Teacher $ 73,105.00
180 Brewer Troy G Teacher $ 73,096.00
181 Boling Janet Ann Counselor $ 73,039.00
182 Brown Laura C Teacher $ 73,010.00
183 Anderson Judith Ann Other Educator $ 72,987.00
184 Authur Paul E Teacher $ 72,966.00
185 Krayick Amy Teacher $ 72,963.00
186 Corris Ryan Anderw Teacher $ 72,939.00
187 Smith Mary L Teacher $ 72,919.00
188 Vincent William James Teacher $ 72,916.00
189 Long Annette Teacher $ 72,916.00
190 Jenkins Holly Teacher $ 72,879.00
191 Rouff Jeffrey Assistant Principal $ 72,806.00
192 Mckain David Teacher $ 72,806.00
193 Batdorf Brian Ray Teacher $ 72,799.00
194 Hathaway Staci D Teacher $ 72,721.00
195 Carlberg Douglas E Teacher $ 72,628.00
196 Weber Tonya M Tutor $ 72,628.00
197 Grady S. Paulette Assistant Principle $ 72,606.00
198 Klein Jennifer Antoninette Assistant Principle $ 72,606.00
199 Cooper John C Teacher $ 72,599.00
200 Gallagher Linda J Teacher $ 72,531.00
201 Buckenmyer Michael J Teacher $ 72,518.00
202 Alsip Janet Ann Teacher $ 72,486.00
203 Wullenweber Tracy Teacher $ 72,486.00
204 Lvers Susan Teacher $ 72,486.00
205 Kunkel Laura Teacher $ 72,454.00
206 Lidman Monica Teacher $ 72,330.00
207 Spotts Connie Media Specialist $ 72,285.00
208 Tuskey-Woods Karen Teacher $ 72,246.00
209 Fakes Robin D Teacher $ 72,208.00
210 Augutis Linda J Teacher $ 72,168.00
211 Connett Jennifer L Teacher $ 72,168.00
212 Hart Deborah Ann Teacher $ 72,168.00
213 Williams Darmen Teacher $ 72,168.00
214 Thomas Katherine Teacher $ 72,164.00
215 Yaw Jeffrey Alan Teacher $ 72,091.00
216 Baroch Terri L Teacher $ 72,091.00
217 Bodden James F Teacher $ 72,075.00
218 Chapman Dana L Teacher $ 72,035.00
219 Noxsel Douglas W Teacher $ 71,955.00
220 Purcell Pamela Teacher $ 71,946.00
221 Murray Carrie Lynn Teacher $ 71,944.00
222 Kelly Ann Teacher $ 71,818.00
223 Fugate Amy M Assistant Principle $ 71,690.00
224 Akers Jennifer R Teacher $ 71,688.00
225 Jerome Shelly Mary Teacher $ 71,631.00
226 Niebling Marla Administrator $ 71,563.00
227 Alexander Andrew G Teacher $ 71,539.00
228 Banet Peggy M Teacher $ 71,538.00
229 Plymale Jodi Teacher $ 71,457.00
230 Dinsmore Barbara Teacher $ 71,438.00
231 Vidourek Kevin Teacher $ 71,438.00
232 Williamson Terrie Teacher $ 71,438.00
233 Wilson Sara Glynette Teacher $ 71,438.00
234 Kessler Tim Teacher $ 71,389.00
235 Hatterschide Mary Beth Teacher $ 71,362.00
236 Copley Victoria L Teacher $ 71,348.00
237 Allshaouse Gail D Assistant Principal $ 71,272.00
238 Montgomery Valerie Assistant Principal $ 71,272.00
239 Brophy Mary L Assistant Principal $ 71,272.00
240 Reder David Administrator $ 71,264.00
241 Binggeli Janet Terese Tutor $ 71,258.00
242 Martin Karen Teacher $ 71,244.00
243 Berleman Kelly Lynn Counselor $ 71,217.00
244 Terndrup Tamera Teacher $ 71,204.00
245 Anslinger N. Jean Media Specialist $ 70,986.00
246 Kornau Joseph Teacher $ 70,955.00
247 Mahlerwein Gregory Teacher $ 70,819.00
248 Bateman Joann H Teacher $ 70,812.00
249 Tegarden Catherine S Teacher $ 70,773.00
250 Dyer Colleen S Teacher $ 70,772.00
251 Mclinden Denise M Counselor $ 70,766.00
252 Vernile-Fuller Valerie each Teacher $ 70,716.00
253 Klein Edward Teacher $ 70,559.00
254 Sorrell Michelle Teacher $ 70,559.00
255 Tomes Deana Maria Bowling Teacher $ 70,559.00
256 Powell Patricia Teacher $ 70,510.00
257 Aprahamian Ann M Teacher $ 70,480.00
258 Adams Heidi L Teacher $ 70,409.00
259 Meyer Diane Teacher $ 70,390.00
260 Siniger Shirley Teacher $ 70,350.00
261 Degennaro Debra M Teacher $ 70,319.00
262 Hudson Pamela Assistant Principal $ 70,319.00
263 Cox Lawrence J Teacher $ 70,217.00
264 Riley Judi Lynne Speech Therapist $ 70,172.00
265 Alexander Amy G Teacher $ 70,119.00
266 Morrison Lawrence Curriculum Specialist $ 70,055.00
267 Gohmann Kelly L Teacher $ 70,030.00
268 Reed Valerie Media Specialist $ 70,028.00
269 Mcgowan Renee Teacher $ 70,019.00
270 Lofton Gabriel E Principal $ 69,955.00
271 Sizemore Julie Teacher $ 69,796.00
272 Austin Arnie A Teacher $ 69,791.00
273 Helsinger Cheryl Teacher $ 69,775.00
274 Landers Lisa Rene Media Specialist $ 69,775.00
275 Adkins Jason B Teacher $ 69,749.00
276 Hunter Joyce Teacher $ 69,742.00
277 Phipps Michael Teacher $ 69,742.00
278 Scarbrough Kelly Teacher $ 69,705.00
279 Egbers Julie A Teacher $ 69,642.00
280 Moody Mark Teacher $ 69,574.00
281 Hallgarth Dana Michelle Counselor $ 69,536.00
282 Terndrup Glenn Teacher $ 69,507.00
283 Hummer Todd Teacher $ 69,490.00
284 Castner Gary e Teacher $ 69,484.00
285 Perry Donna M Teacher $ 69,464.00
286 Fahrenkamp Ryan B Teacher $ 69,456.00
287 Wittich Tamra Teacher $ 69,422.00
288 Hively Judy Ann Teacher $ 69,416.00
289 Marshall Matt Teacher $ 69,394.00
290 Coats Haan Sande J Teacher $ 69,378.00
291 Bush Margaret R Teacher $ 69,377.00
292 Pease Tiffany Teacher $ 69,366.00
293 Deak Julie A Teacher $ 69,358.00
294 Sylor Cassandra Teacher $ 69,344.00
295 Zugelter Lori Teacher $ 69,333.00
296 Dreisbach George W Teacher $ 69,332.00
297 Abbott Linda L Teacher $ 69,247.00
298 Parks Tracey Teacher $ 69,219.00
299 Emig, Robert Edward Counselor $ 69,202.00
300 Anderson Monica R Teacher $ 69,180.00
301 Peters Michael Teacher $ 69,167.00
302 Thomas David Teacher $ 69,167.00
303 Day Michelle Teacher $ 69,141.00
304 Baxter Katherine A Counselor $ 69,141.00
305 Ralph Donald Teacher $ 69,138.00
306 Davis Cheryl Teal Teacher $ 69,070.00
307 Underwood Trudy Teacher $ 69,023.00
308 Littig John Teacher $ 69,021.00
309 Barnes Melissa R Teacher $ 68,988.00
310 Berry Chris L Nurse $ 68,961.00
311 Koger David Teacher $ 68,875.00
312 Cagle Bryant P Athletic $ 68,832.00
313 Wisser Robert Teacher $ 68,832.00
314 Prior Fredrick J. Teacher $ 68,820.00
315 Simpkins Sandra Teacher $ 68,818.00
316 Nunley John Teacher $ 68,758.00
317 Peipmeier Christine Other Educator $ 68,746.00
318 Mayer Amy r Teacher $ 68,681.00
319 Hattersley Mark Teacher $ 68,658.00
320 Shields Rosemary Teacher $ 68,644.00
321 Nation Tricia Teacher $ 68,505.00
322 Kettler Karen Teacher $ 68,503.00
323 Yost David Teacher $ 68,391.00
324 Jones Pamela W Teacher $ 68,375.00
325 Mickle Martha Ellen Teacher $ 68,366.00
326 Reining Kimberly Sue Teacher $ 68,363.00
327 Den Herder Janet M Nurse $ 68,312.00
328 Waugh Carrie R Teacher $ 68,304.00
329 Tobergte Sarah Teacher $ 68,272.00
330 Prohaska Thomas Teacher $ 68,149.00
331 Lamb Mary Elizabeth Teacher $ 68,123.00
332 Flaig Anna L Teacher $ 68,117.00
333 Cronk Jason B Teacher $ 68,113.00
334 Schultz Terri Teacher $ 68,069.00
335 Trimbell Cindy D Teacher $ 68,050.00
336 Sawyer Tiffany Teacher $ 68,030.00
337 Combs Karla Teacher $ 68,002.00
338 Anderson Ellein Teacher $ 68,000.00
339 Raulin Janet Teacher $ 67,945.00
340 Baird Lara Maria Teacher $ 67,907.00
341 Lamas Patricia Teacher $ 67,811.00
342 Wise Neil Teacher $ 67,774.00
343 Glunt Katherine Media Specialist $ 67,727.00
344 Chumley Phillip Eugene Teacher $ 67,670.00
345 Schotte Tracy Teacher $ 67,650.00
346 Farmer James Teacher $ 67,548.00
347 Garriga Tracey Teacher $ 67,519.00
348 Taylor Stephen Teacher $ 67,467.00
349 Kitchen Deborra Teacher $ 67,384.00
350 Redwine Jeffrey Teacher $ 67,352.00
351 Junderson Julie Lynn Teacher $ 67,336.00
352 Fulmer Stephanie Stein Teacher $ 67,334.00
353 Muir Jo Anne Teacher $ 67,271.00
354 Hart Sean Teacher $ 67,213.00
355 Haar Linda Teacher $ 67,201.00
356 Bodden Debra Teacher $ 67,175.00
357 Minton Amy Counselor $ 67,175.00
358 Richardson Laura Teacher $ 67,175.00
359 Murphy Laura Teacher $ 67,073.00
360 Castner Kieth Teacher $ 67,034.00
361 Inniger Priscilla Other Educator $ 66,981.00
362 Kolbinsky Michael Teacher $ 66,959.00
363 Vanicek Tamea Teacher $ 66,938.00
364 Frentzel Sharon Nurse $ 66,898.00
365 Kelly Anna Marie Media Specialist $ 66,894.00
366 Fortman Michael Teacher $ 66,884.00
367 Peters Linda Teacher $ 66,882.00
368 Parfitt Jane Teacher $ 66,833.00
369 Turull Carmen Teacher $ 66,799.00
370 Nordyke Alan Teacher $ 66,769.00
371 Falato Elizabeth Teacher $ 66,737.00
372 Mueller Michael Teacher $ 66,719.00
373 Marqua Amy Teacher $ 66,716.00
374 Orlando Stephen Teacher $ 66,768.00
375 Snyder Susan Teacher $ 66,638.00
376 Severns John Teacher $ 66,638.00
377 Kirchner Regina Teacher $ 66,623.00
378 Dietsch Jennifer Lynn Teacher $ 66,618.00
379 Conway John Teacher $ 66,595.00
380 Statt Kristen Brenna Teacher $ 66,570.00
381 Heitz Gail Teacher $ 66,535.00
382 Carlin Kevin Teacher $ 66,510.00
383 Siemers Jennifer Teacher $ 66,418.00
384 Castner Kathy Teacher $ 66,389.00
385 Duff Larry Teacher $ 66,322.00
386 Lewis Jared Teacher $ 66,297.00
387 Yates Janine Rudolph Nurse $ 66,271.00
388 Flavin-Harp Faye Curriculum Specialist $ 66,270.00
389 Ash Susan Teacher Teacher $ 66,236.00
390 Ballinger Gerald Teacher $ 66,236.00
391 Dorsey Joellen Teacher $ 66,236.00
392 Joy Gwyn Teacher $ 66,236.00
393 Rosel Mary Teacher $ 66,236.00
394 Stoffer Sherri Teacher $ 66,236.00
395 Hensley Sally Teacher $ 66,236.00
396 Geroni Patricia Teacher $ 66,191.00
397 Smith Nicole Media Specialist $ 66,155.00
398 Jackson Alyce Teacher $ 66,135.00
399 Black Stephen Michael Teacher $ 66,058.00
400 Brockman Theresa Ann Social Worker $ 66,056.00
401 Waits Matthew Teacher $ 66,055.00
402 Lafferty Jennifer Teacher $ 66,033.00
403 Sample Marianne Hunter Teacher $ 65,954.00
404 Zachry Cheryl Teacher $ 65,931.00
405 Fuertges Cheryl Teacher $ 65,903.00
406 Wilkerson Michelle Teacher $ 65,868.00
407 Walsh Melissa Teacher $ 65,778.00
408 Fitzwater Marcie Therese Teacher $ 65,705.00
409 Cruse Teresa Lynn Teacher $ 65,697.00
410 Simpson Sheri Ann Tutor $ 65,653.00
411 Chapman Molly Teacher $ 65,639.00
412 Clevidence Mark Teacher $ 65,611.00
413 Johns Amy Teacher $ 65,549.00
414 St. John Wendy Michelle Teacher $ 65,509.00
415 McGuire Melissa Alma Teacher $ 65,503.00
416 Chaney Heather Teacher $ 65,467.00
417 Wahl Jack Teacher $ 65,457.00
418 Lerman Sandra Teacher $ 65,328.00
419 McDonell Tara Teacher $ 65,316.00
420 Peters Debra Teacher $ 65,314.00
421 Honhart David Frederick Teacher $ 65,309.00
422 Hoctor Krista Teacher $ 65,301.00
423 Nation Jeffrey Teacher $ 65,253.00
424 Bowmann Elen Beth Teacher $ 65,185.00
425 Barrow Jeffrey Teacher $ 65,131.00
426 Winkle Amy Teacher $ 65,131.00
427 Singer Kathleen Nurse $ 65,114.00
428 Revelette Vickie Scott Speech Therapist $ 65,053.00
429 Scott Cathleen Speech Therapist $ 65,053.00
430 Peters Tammy Lee Ann Teacher $ 65,013.00
431 Dupps Gregg Teacher $ 65,011.00
432 Gerhardstein Lynda Teacher $ 65,011.00
433 Waldfogel Elizabeth Ann Teacher $ 65,005.00
434 Hoeting Tanya Teacher $ 65,004.00

Total $ 31,900,416.00

Total spent on saleries $ 92,258,928.00

Total Lakota spends on salery (Benefits excluded) $ 92,258,928.00
Total spent on top 434 teachers making over $65,000 per year $ 31,900,416.00

Total left for the rest of the teachers $ 60,358,512.00

The information provided came from Cox Publishing, March 18th 2010

For more info about the Lakota Levy check out these links as well:

Here, I explain how to remove politics from public need without hurting the public:

A Whip Trick to Save America

And of course our home site.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

The Lakota School Levy and the Infamy of Bad Decisions.

I have said a lot about education, and the danger of institutional behavior.  But this is not intended to further analyze that issue.  This is to cover the Lakota School Levy which is on its second attempt in 6 months and promises to be a particularly bloody fight this time around. 

So let me set the stage:

The teachers have just agreed to a pay freeze under a union contract that took months to arrive at.  The districts developers are looking at a tanked economy where many, many properties are left without tenants to support the tax requirements.  The public in general are also feeling the heat of the recession, which after the smoke clears in historical context, is probably a legitimate depression, and many are barely hanging on to their homes as they are victims of the housing bubble.  Lakota has been around a while, so there are a large number of senior citizens in the district that are on fixed incomes and without children in the district, and their charity is strained to a breaking point.  There is a governor in Strickland that is a big government guy, who is tight with labor unions as his base support, and is very close to the president of the United States, who shares much in common with Ohio’s governor.  To both men, Ohio is a battle ground state where much is at stake politically and the nation is watching closely.  And in that context, Lakota is the 7th largest school system in the state.  It is Ohio’s largest “Excellent” district nine years running with distinction two years in a row. 

I contemplated this heavily while practicing in my back yard.

And it really is that simple if you take the emotion away.

The opponents of the levy have joined together, with myself being in that category.  We’re against it for all different reasons.  Mine are that I see the school system displaying the same types of problems we have in government, where accountability is hard to come by, and everything is fixed by spending more money.  And the school government is so big; it’s folding over its own weight financially.         

The Pro Levy people are typically residents that have children in the school system, and many of them moved to the district because of the schools.  And they are threatening to move if the levy fails to a district that supports levies.  The rest of the supporters are employees of the school system in some way and of course they are concerned about the passage of the levy for their own financial stability. 

I listen to the values of the school system and the things they are proud of, like a 90% college attendance rate, a graduation rate of 94.7%.  A student attendance rate of 96.5%.  During 2009-2010 there were 11 National Merit Semi-Finalists.  There was 1 Presidential Scholar in 2008.  They operate at a spending rate per pupil of $9,503 while the State average is $10,253, so on paper, everything sounds profitable. 

But to my thinking, all those statistics are a smoke screen.  All the attendance stats are to the credit of the parents, who obviously care enough about their children to buy a home in a great school district, so naturally, those kids will go to college, attendance will be great, and there will be national honors in a group that has parents that takes education seriously.  And while it is commendable that the school district does operate under the average, it does not question whether or not $9,000 per child actually translates to true excellence.  It doesn’t take much to poke holes in the aspects of their public service that they take pride in; because most of the merit is simply items they are taking credit for.  In fact, I think it is cowardly, to ride on the back of exceptional students, and caring parents, in order to secure funding for an institutional giant that serves as a catalyst for a powerful union. 

That is the beginning of the problem.  Over the years, the Lakota Education Association has grown in power and influence, and this of course leads to the overall problem of political backing of the National Teachers Union which is an organization that I don’t wish to endorse, because the money given to this organization often goes to political agenda’s that I do not support.  Judy Buschle, who just recently announced she was stepping down as the LEA President, has served as the Ohio Education Association board of directors and the National Education Association Resolutions Committee and is a particularly powerful influence locally, and has successfully negotiated many contracts with a bewildered Lakota board of education committee and lap dog superintendants obviously intimidated by the power of the LEA.  In fact, Buschle has been so successful, that the average wage for a teacher at Lakota is $59,000 without any further benefits considered.  And I make that assessment by attending a school board meeting.   I did so after the last levy failure to see if my opinion of the whole situation had been wrong.  I left that June meeting utterly disgusted.  The board was completely outmatched by the union presence.  Don’t believe me, watch the tape.  They film it and have it available for you to judge.  The union people including Mrs. Buschle sat right behind me and were absolutely disrespectful during the meeting.  It was so bad that a parent took the podium and shouted down the union people, blaming them for the anger from the community as to why the levy failed in May.  I left that meeting realizing that everyone in the administration was over their head with the size of the problems they were trying to solve, and the union controlled everything.  So there wasn’t anything they could tell me that would earn my vote until they made serious changes to their leadership structure and outside influence.   

If you’re like me, a person that loves traditional American values, small government, and is suspicious of institutional influence, it is not an option to indirectly supply money to an organization that will then support a governor like Ted Strickland, or a President like Obama.  Even if I did want to give money to the school, because I don’t want my money indirectly converted to union support for a politician that will then in turn come after the way of life that I personally value.  The presence of the powerful union creates a barrier between a person like me, and the school system that I value because I disagree with the philosophy of that union and the politics they represent.  They certainly have a right to exist, but not from the funding of my tax dollars.    

The indirect nature of course comes from the union dues of the teachers, which are paid with our tax dollars.  And because their contracts make them very secure, and keep the highest paid workers the longest, letting go of the teachers with less tenure when they must, those union dues are then funneled to political activity.  Not the kids.  Nothing against Mrs. Buschle, but my political affiliation is much different than her’s, and I don’t wish to support her activity with my money.  So for me, that is the number one reason for not voting for the levy.  No matter how many presentations they present to plead to the public, they still have a costly union that stands between the school system and the public.  As long as that exists, it prevents my full support in a school system.

This isn’t new for me.  I’ve been against union activity for many, many years.  I worked for one once, and it was very contentious and filled with many stories that will be told around water coolers for years.  Many of those stories involve conflict.  I have no tolerance for thug like behavior that comes from pack mentality that often comes out in strikes and threatened union stewards.  I personally blame that type of organization for making America less competitive and responding slowly to changing economic conditions which have resulted in exporting jobs to China, and India.  And such an organization even locally migrates influence up the ladder to large global affiliations that conduct political movement that by-passes our ability to vote.  I can see a time when unions did some good, but as they’ve evolved, they just kept growing to where they became as bad as the companies they originally sought to protect people from.    

But many dissenters to the levy are voting strictly on cost.  They may have been generous in the past, but can no longer say yes because now they are hanging on in a tough economy.  And while many would love to pay the levy, they simply can’t because the taxes are just too high.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a business, or a residential property, the taxes have reached a place where too much is just too much. 

In response the school system is doing the predictable thing; they are making threats, by passing out on the first day of school literature for kids to send home to their parents lobbying for the levy.  Such literature professes that the school system will have to cut an additional $12 million to the $13 million that have been made already.  There will be increases in class size, cuts to two thirds of the athletic budget including elimination of junior high athletics, the termination of 130+ additional teachers and staff, and many other issues.  Superintendent Mike Taylor made the comment that people can’t expect to see the same good school system if all these cuts are made. 

The reality is that the State and Lakota are pointing to one another.  The state needs Lakota and its success.  And Lakota blames the state for unfunded mandates as a rationale for funding.  And they count on the naïveté of the public to not look closely at the shell game.  The confusion has essentially created a revenue stream that is very lucrative to those who work in education.  And because of the union contract, most of the district’s funding is locked up.  So they can only be minimally efficient. 

Stories like we’ve heard of Butler Country Auditor Roger Reynolds who just refunded $502,186 back to the community, won’t happen in Lakota.  In fact, Lakota is getting back $120,600 from Roger’s office.  Roger achieved this savings by reducing overhead and administrative costs by 35% or otherwise $2.1 million since he took office in 2008.  When Lakota cuts, they say we are losing services.  When Roger does it, he is giving money back to the community.  That’s the philosophic difference.  The cuts Mr. Reynolds did were true, efficient cuts and quite extraordinary taking into account that the size of the Auditor’s office doesn’t come close to the enormous size of the Lakota school system.  The cuts Lakota did are cosmetic cuts that should have been done all along. 

For my support, Lakota would have to separate itself from a teachers union.  There is nothing about that relationship that I feel good about.  I simply don’t want my hard earned money going to union support that will be used against me politically.  That would be foolish.  But I suspect that the rest of the community would require a business manager that could come into the school system and dramatically cut costs in a way that Jack Welsh did for GE, and similar personalities have done when costs migrate to unsustainable levels in large organizations.  The community just doesn’t have the money to support levies the way they have in the past, and now we’ve reached a diminishing return.  The growth was caused by aggressive development, and the school system grew because the people moving to the district came here for the schools.  The funding problem comes from the fact that wages migrated out of a zone that a community can fund, and the school system, and the rest of public education is guilty as well, did not stay within a reasonable budget, but allowed things to get out of control.  Dramatic restructuring of their funding practices and revenue stream will have to be implemented, and they’ll have to do it while still performing at a high level.  And the state of Ohio has to properly fund our schools, because we also pay taxes to the state and expect that money to be used where we need it.  And our schools need it.    

If the levy fails, and the pro levy people leave, like they threaten I know the district will survive.  I lived in the district back in the days when Lakota was rural.  Lakota was a good school then, and it will always be, because a school reflects the community, and the community has good people in it.  If the new comers move out, they’ll just overload another district the way they have Lakota, in search of quick and easy answers which never come.

It is naive to even consider that throwing money at Lakota’s problem will solve anything. The solution to the problem will be tough, but starts with understanding that the school system is not the community.  The community will always be good if the people in it are excellent.  It is only natural that kids that come from good people will make a school system good too. 
But the teachers and administrators don’t make good kids or good people.  Parents do that.  Don’t let them take credit for the things you’ve done as a parent.

Rich Hoffman

What Keeps America Free?

What keeps America free?

Two things:

First, it’s an educated and thoughtful public. Obviously, Americans have become lazy over the years, and this has opened the door for propaganda to penetrate our culture.

The second thing is journalism. For my money Bill O’Reilly is the best reporter of our modern age. He’s really the only one I can think of in mainstream media that does the job the way it’s designed to be done. There’s a reason he’s so popular. It’s because he’s done the work and people know he’s doing the job with his heart behind it.

Who could say that Bill O’Reilly doesn’t work hard or care?

A journalist or reporter isn’t supposed to be friendly, or even liked. They are supposed to be the watchdogs of our society. Not instruments of propaganda.

Those that say Fox News is the right hand of the Republican Party are part of that first point; they are lazy in that they just buy into what people tell them because they are too lethargic to find things out for themselves.

Reporters are supposed to be confrontational. They are supposed to dig out the truth.

More and more however, in this non-confrontational society, reporters are afraid that they’ll miss the scoop if they tick off those in powerful positions. That too is because they are lazy. They are waiting for someone to tell them something, instead of doing the digging themselves. Again, this is why Bill O’Reilly does such a great job.

I’ve watched local newspaper reporters totally fold to school board members because they spend so much time with the elements of the stories they write, that they form friendships and become lap dogs. So inadvertently, they don’t do their jobs correctly either because they are closer to the story than the people they are presenting the story to.

So before proclaiming that one network or one reporter or another is part of an agenda, just look at their work ethic. Reporters that work hard for the news are not likely to be a lap dog for powerful interest. And I’ll trust a hard working reporter every time, because I value what they tell me no matter what the material they worked hard to get, says.

I think a lot of you Bill. Keep up the great work!

Rich Hoffman