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


27 thoughts on “Looters of Lebanon: Mark North and the School Board Rob the Taxpayer!

  1. You are an ignorant fool. I can’t even begin to tell you how many things are wrong with the statements you have made so I will just lieave it at that.


    1. I’m neither ignorant, or a fool, much as you’d like to believe. You should watch what you do when you think nobody is looking. And not everyone can be bullied, pal.


  2. you are not a fool. keep up the good work.
    i witnessed this abomination. i was there.
    some random thoughts…
    abraham lincoln recieved a classic education in a one room school house.
    most scholars agree that his formal education ended after 6 years.
    he then taught himself. he was driven. no one drove him. he is one of the intellectual giants the modern world has known. teachers unions and contracts were as incomprehensible to him as moon landings.
    all of this, is window dressing and fear mongering from the left. it is predictable. we are on the side of truth. when north claims they are broke and needs more money, is he telling the truth? of course. but that is not the point. all the money in the world could never fix what’s broken in our public schools.
    they need to be starved to change. true competition is the answer.
    cheers, chris


    1. I know who that guy is. And my response to his comment is this.


      Nothing makes me more angry than a bully. Especially the kind that ask for money.

      And dude……….feel free to elaborate on how my article is wrong. And any of you people that want a public debate, it can be arranged. As a matter of fact the debate will occur with or without your participation. So get your facts ready.


    2. As you said, “[Lincoln] was driven. [N]o one drove him. [H]e is one of the intellectual giants,” and if that were true about every student, then most of the world’s problems wouldn’t exist.

      The union’s collective bargaining right is a problem-solving process that allows educational employees to fight for what they know is best for the students.

      To summarize your “random thoughts,” North was telling the truth but that is not the point. (Are you suggesting we should forget about the times he tells the truth? Is that because his truthfulness is inconvenient for your argument?) Also, to summarize you, good education is not about the amount of money we spend on it, so let’s take all the money away and hope that all the students are like Abraham Lincoln.


      1. The trouble is, if the situation weren’t about money, there wouldn’t be threats of strikes from teachers, or union contracts pushed through quickly. If it wasn’t about money, there wouldn’t be levy attempts every six months. If it wasn’t about money, union employees would settle on more reasonable contacts that weren’t 30% higher than the tax payers that pay the wages.

        Abraham Lincoln was a self-made man, the highest type of man a man can be. Not everyone can be, but thank goodness Honest Abe was who he was. He, a Republican, ended slavery. If he wasn’t a self-made man, he may not have had the ability to see beyond the lobby attempting to keep slavery. I think we should give every student the ability to discover if they are, or can be as good as President Lincoln. Many children have the ability to be intellectual giants, but unfortunately it is taught out of them.

        Nice comments. It’s good to have some “other” opinions here even if we don’t agree.


  3. I, too, attended the board meeting. It was perfectly evident that the board had met previously. They had to have agreed on the contract in advance.

    They sat there and blatantly voted to pay out more money after the treasurer had just stated that they were going have a $20 million deficit in the near future. Just how do you predict a deficit in the millions if you don’t intend to keep raising salaries? Salaries take up the largest portion of the budget. Lebanon also uses up a lot of money in a category called “Purchased Services.” Get them to explain that one. Maybe some of that money is going to SWOCA where the usual president of the board is employed. She miraculously ascended from a clerical worker in the Lebanon board office to the Assistant Director of SWOCA. It pays to have friends in all the right places. (I guess Yellow Springs (the Communist college of the north) grooms a lot of school administrators. Isn’t that the college that was going to close down for lack of students. Just wondering!)

    I also noticed that the board borrowed over $1 Million from Huntington bank where Chip Bonny is employed. Isn’t that a conflict of interest? I was told by a banker friend that when an employee brings in a loan of that magnitude a huge bonus is given. How much did you get Chipper? Just wondering. This board is so full of conflicts of interest that it just boggles the mind.

    I hope more and more people will attend the board meetings. Just watch how they blatantly vote to spend millions of your dollars without blinking an eye. None of it “for the children.” All for greed.

    The give the buses to Laidlaw then they buy the buses from Laidlaw. They pay millions to Laidlaw for a computer program. They pay all the drivers and mechanics. Someone needs to explain the truth about the mismanagement of the transportation division.

    You have a superintendent that couldn’t pass math managing a hundred million dollar budget. In his case he resigned from Lebanon, signed a contract with Beaver Creek, resigned from Beaver Creek, after Beaver Creek paid a consulting firm to find him, the brilliant Lebanon Board rehired him with an increased salary and benefits package and we the taxpayers get to pay for this mess. Now they want more money from us. I say NO NO NO and NO again. Stop this waste and abuse of our hard earned money.


    1. School boards are allowed to meet previous to their public meetings and they are allowed to meet in executive session. Is there some allegation you are making here that they did something illegal?


  4. Ignorant? Fool? If this is the intellectual mindset of the nay sayers and opposition…we have MUCH BIGGER problems than that of a levy. Linear thinking often leaves the mind void of reason. This person is clearly unable to engage you in a conflict of the evidence presented and just wanted to see themselves on your pages. Let’s hope this isn’t a school board member or a teacher. I’ll be happy to help educate this poster when he shows some teeth. We’ll see.
    I’m saddened that the article you put forth about “Lebanon gets to go First” never even came close to fruition. We had a chance to be in the forefront and be the real Lebanon Warriors that other districts would look to and follow as the new face of fiscal responsibility. Instead, they ran completely in the opposite direction and I as a member of this community am disgusted.


    1. They had a chance to do something really good, and bold. But they didn’t. They just read from the OSBA playbook. Sad. The taxpayers deserve more than a group of people that just act like mindless robots following the direction of union dictates.


  5. They love the status quo. It is good for them. They are not willing to think out of the box because it might cut some of the poor teachers. Tenure has got to go.

    SCHOOL CHOICE is the way to go. It will create competition and that always improves the product.


  6. I tuned in to WLW700am Daryl Parks…this past Sat…Hearing the latest news brought back ill-memories of the Lebanon School Board members…as well as ..I believe his name was Bob Harvey…correct me if I got the wrong name…he was the superintendant during the late 1990’s…The small group of concerned residents, parents and myself…who routinely sat thru “all” of the school board meetings…seeing what “really” goes on…volunteered our time placing VOTE NO signs throughout Lebanon and surrounding areas…only a few teachers-with-a-good-conscious called and told us they witnessed their Lebanon School Superintendant Bob Harvey pulling up “ALL” of our signs “we had made and paid for” and tossing them in a truck…that sort of thing “never” makes headlines…I could tell you an earfull…even that Laidlaw contract was a done deal…back then the only School Board member who didn’t have his significant other a teacher or a principal was the “preacher.”…and I believe he got re-elected for another term…nothing has changed…they are still playing the “shell games.”
    I applaud and support what Overmanwarrior and Rick McPherson is doing… The one thing I noticed when we first moved from Dayton…1994 papers read “LEBANON HAS GOOD SCHOOLS” and we went to meet and greet the teachers and the Leb.School Superindentant … as well as attending the board meetings…being the observant person i am Mark my words… “my own quote”…
    “A person can hide alot behind a smile.”….
    aka BlackJack


    1. Did you attend the Lebanon City Schools? Your grammar and spelling are awful. Having a few mistakes may be acceptable, but you really need to have someone else proofread your writing before you post.


  7. Blackjack I do thank you for your wisdom. I am sure you have seen it all before and over and over again. Lebanon looks like a third world town right now. What was once a town that reminded me of pure Americana has become a symbol of what happens when the corrupt and abusive politicians take over. People please get out and vote against this levy and in November elect some new people to the board.

    Start with the school board and move on to the city council. We can improve our town, but only with honest people in charge.


  8. I sat thru the meeting – first one ever and have been in the district since ’68. Last child left the system in ’83. Was very disturbed by actions and attitude of the Board. Will make it a point to be a future attendee and am so sorry I haven’t tracked this in the past.


  9. Please don’t apologize ol’Briar. Lord knows I’ve been there. So many are involved, and do care. Tell people what you saw and now know. They’ll listen.
    I’ll never forget what Rich once wrote…
    If we can’t fix what’s broken in our own back yard, how can we ever attempt to at a state or federal level.
    Unfortunately, that’s being tested on all fronts.


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