Looters of Lebanon: Mark North and the School Board Rob the Taxpayer!


A great crime has been committed on the people of Lebanon, Ohio one that was defined by one of my favorite philosophers as “looters.” The term looters is aimed at those in government positions that seem to believe that their sole function of existence is to take from those that have, and give to those that haven’t. They are the reason government is thought to be corrupt at every level. They are the reason that congress cannot agree on the proper level of budget cuts which will most likely shut down the government on April 8th. Government in almost every category is in my mind simply looters that steal from us all in the form of taxes and mindlessly spend that money on programs that only make our nation worse and less competitive. Looters are the proper term for these types.

It is difficult to see the behavior clearly at a national or even a state level because the media does a good job of cleaning up the way information is presented. However, recently at a Lebanon School Board meeting Mark North, superintendent of the Lebanon School System and the entire School Board performed in front of the community the very kind of “looter” trick that has all but destroyed our nation, and they did it right out in open.
See it for yourself.

What happened here was the School Board during their public meeting called for a measure to go into an executive session, which was unprecedented, since this was a public meeting. Executive session means all parties involved go behind closed doors to discuss issues in secret. The reason was to approve their union contracts before the Ohio House of Representatives passes the new S.B.5 Bill and Governor Kasich signs it into law. As you can see the crowd wasn’t sure what to think of this move and this prompted Robert Waters to rise and question the board, which he had a right to do since the executive session was going to be done out of the public eye and was an extreme surprise to the audience.

When Mr. Waters asked the question, “How long will the board be in executive session,” it is the Superintendent Mr. North that says, “Sit and wait.” Then goes on to tell the board that Mr. Waters is not a member of the board and to sit down, as if Mr. Waters is simply a child in the school system.

The reason Mr. Waters needed to question the board in this way is that the Lebanon School Board under the guidance of Mark North made a deal with the education union prior this meeting to pass the contract so the terms would be grandfathered in prior to the S.B.5 passage. This was extremely irresponsible, because if the board and Mr. North had been truly representing the community of Lebanon, they would have attempted to hold off the passage of the contracts until after S.B.5 was passed so they would then have leverage to control their costs. But what they did is now guarantee that the step increases will occur which is driving the need for the levy attempt.

They openly stole money from Lebanon right in front of everyone’s faces when they didn’t need to. That is called looting, and if the people of Lebanon allow that kind of behavior to go on when it is so very obvious then our nation as a whole is doomed. You cannot expect the nation to operate right if you can’t solve problems like this in your own community.

I spent much of Saturday with the people fighting the Lebanon Levy. I was impressed with their organizational skills, and they appear poised to be able to raise the money needed to fight this levy. There are donors that are afraid of retaliation from the school system that are on the fence, but that’s normal. Courage will find them because the group I met was very good. There are several people in this group and they have many diverse skills and are very passionate about defending the taxpayers of Lebanon and truly keeping education aimed at children. I was surprised to learn that Mark North had classified these good people as “a bunch of angry parents.” It was upon hearing that comment that I decided to spend the day with them, because after seeing the video of the executive session I felt the Lebanon School Board was committing a crime against Ohio, not just the people in their district, and this is a fight that needed attention. Here’s their website.

I didn’t want to rush to judgment, I asked a man who knows Mark North, “what kind of man is he, is he a man of integrity, because what I’m hearing is that he’s not?”

The response I got was a tight-lipped one where the words were carefully selected. “Mark is a man who will do anything for the school system.”

I nodded knowingly. What that means is that Mark North sees his role as a protector of the school system, which means the unions that occupy it. Those unions are what drive up their labor costs, and it is those step increases that are making this levy in May needed, which they just passed in executive session when they didn’t have to. North like most government types is a looter looking to pad the pockets of those he’s directly responsible for at the expense of the people who pay him. In this case he’ll disguise the looting by telling the taxpayers that Lebanon was rated in the top 9.98% in achievement performance at the lowest costs per pupil. What he doesn’t say is that he could have avoided the upcoming levy by not cutting a deal with the unions, showing where his true loyalties are.

Looters only care about the taxpayer when it comes time to ask for money. They are the greediest of the greedy and are the epitome of what’s wrong with our country. I’ve seen a lot of bad conduct by public officials, but this incident is one of the worst, simply because it was done in the open with absolutely no respect for the community. They truly expected nobody to stand up and question their motives. Lucky for Lebanon, one guy did.

Anyone who votes for a levy increase in Lebanon is contributing to a crime and endorsing the behavior of looters like Mr. North. As long as those methods work, they will always disrespect you, and the bet is that the taxpayers of Lebanon will turn the other way and allow the looters to get away with a crime committed in front of everyone to see.

Rich Hoffman