June 19, 2008

NCCC Budget

On Tuesday the Niagara County Legislature “maintained effort” with respect to the NCCC budget which, in layman’s terms means that the county contribution, which is currently at about $8.8 million will remain the same.

Several credible sources have told me that County Manager Greg Lewis had given the President of the college, James Klyczek, the green light to prepare a budget that included a 3% increase in contribution from the county. However, Lewis recently recommended no increase and suggested the imposition of a three year cap. Nobody seems to know where the idea of a cap came from or where the three year term came from. However, those cynics in the crowd have suggested that the three year cap coincides with the remainder of Lewis’ contract.

It does not appear that Klyczek is upset about the zero increase he got this year. Sources have indicated that the Administration values the county’s support with its capital improvements at the school. The college is included this year in county’s capital budget.

However, the Administration will now be forced to use fund balance or cut faculty, which brings me to the interesting side of this conversation. It is undisputed that the faculty likes to see a big fund balance as they negotiate their contracts. It gives them a bigger pot. It is undisputed that the faculty attempted to play a significant role in the outcomes of last year’s county legislature elections, and their support did not include support for Republican candidates.

I have also been told by these same sources that the 2% increase in the county’s contribution was a “done deal” before the Democratic minority and Dennis Virtuoso put the brakes on it. Well, I said this before, the Democrats did the right thing. Now I would like to see the reaction from the faculty. The gravy train is over and, ironically, ended at the hands of the politicians they supported. What do they do next? Do they listen to the rhetoric of the Democratic minority or do they turn their backs on them?


Frank DeGeorge said...

Hobbes, I can't believe you support this lack of investment in NCCC, one of the few viable institutions we have in Niagara County.


He misled Klyczek, he is hurting NCCC because it's the one "department" beyond his control and he would rather fund a useless unneeded homeland security department than invest in our kids.

The Democrat should be embarassed for abandoning the college as should the Republicans who claim to support the collete too.

I'm disgusted.

Anonymous said...

I work at the college and I for one am upset that the faculty gets involved in politics. These nasty elections cause hard feelings and when the faculty is on the losing end of a political race, I believe that it does affect the college.

Anonymous said...

I got an Associates degree in technology from "N-trip" in 1994. I went to the book store to update my textbooks last year, and was told that curriculum no longer exists, along with many other fields of technical study. I was later told by a staff member that they could only make money by holding large classes needing little equipment. (Criminal Justice came up right off the bat since they can cover a large class with one instructor and little equipment) What a shame! It seems as though the main function is to generate dollars, rather than prepare students for the service industry jobs we're being directed to as a replacement for lost manufacturing jobs. How sad!

Fawn Leibowitz said...

Well, the faculty needs to be a bit wiser in their political tactics. The current legislature majority is not going anywhere soon. That's one area I give Rivera credit, he talks a good game when it comes to getting unions to buy into his rhetoric, convincing them that "this is the year" that they're going to pick up some seats. The reality is that it is just talk, and he has lost seats three consecutive election cycles. The results speak for themselves.

The unions, like the NCCC PAC are just that stupid to think that repeatedly throwing their support behind poor candidates like Ed McDonald is not going to bite them in the ass. That's politics-payback is a bitch.

The amazing thing is that they continue to support guys like Virtuoso, who completely undermined the NCCC faculty this year, and other unions like CSEA and AFSCME that continue to support Virtuoso, et al who not only hired union-killer Greg Lewis, but lead the fight on giving him a sweetheart four year extension.

Simply mind boggling.

Anonymous said...

That's right last anon. Greg Lewis is public enemy #1 for the public employees, but Dennis Virtuoso extends his contract by FOUR years with a RAISE IN PAY and that is ok with Ed McDonald and Tom Lofornia. Who is actually getting screwed by this relationship between Dennis and Ed and Tom? the county employees.

Anonymous said...

Finally, people are catching on to this doublespeak. No one was more disliked by the unions at NCCC and yet that's who Dennis goes to bat for. We will not forget.

Anonymous said...

Hey Frank:

you very well could be correct to say that Lewis misled Klyczek regarding the budget but you know what they say what goes around comes around. Ask Klyczek how many times he has misled his Adiministrators or the Board of Trustees. Ask those Administrators that have left or intend to leave, George Bishop, VP Academic Affairs, Bob Pfeil, Director of HR, Mary Jane Feldman, Director of Institutional Research, Lou Pannesssa, Dicector of Public Relations, why they have done so and I will bet my first born on the fact they could not and do not trust a word Klyczek says. He uses his staff to shield him from public scrutiny all the while making himself look good to the Trustees and NC Legislature. How do you think he gets that big raise while the union is told there is no money to give them. It will be interesting to see if things change now that one of his biggest supporters Joan Wolfgang is being replaced. Think about it is he really worthy of a $25,000 raise? What real changes do we see as taxpayers for the job he is doing? I don't know about anyone else reading this blog but my taxes have not gone down since he has been in charge there, how about you Frank? Also, I think you are wrong that the county can't control the college as it all comes back to the power of money, all that needs to be done is attach some parameters how and where they want the increased spending to be used, bet that gets Klyczek's attention.

Anonymous said...

NCCC is bloated with over-paid teachers and is the new friends and family pork jobs. Its just another school district that the tax payer of niagara county have to support. Don't we have enough districts? Why not merge some of these districts, now that would save tax payers some money. Then just add NCCC has grade 13 and 14, put it in its rightful place as sanborn high school.

Anonymous said...

Mt View was an asset too, it made money with Dems in control, but the GOP added so many useless VP's to the staff it lost money. Then they want to be heros by closing it, but we will see how it looks with dennis in ross's chair.

Larry Castellani said...

The first Anon who works at N-trip ought to get involved if he/she cares about education and the county. And even if you don’t “get involved” you’re already political, like it or not. You’re going to be accused of being this, that or the other thing anyhow; so, you may as well take a commited stand for what you actually believe. It’s just a matter of whether you’re going to try to make a difference. Or you can delude yourself that our “leaders” actually say what they believe and will take care of everything. … Lewis seems to me to be more and more an opportunist. Klyzek is doing the best in an impossible situation with the wrong managerial model. It’s good he’s trying to expand the college but it’s a major mistake to think he can maintain any level of quality by trying to create a part-time faculty. As usual, penny wise and pound idiotic. And as I’ve criticized every prospective administrative candidate to their faces for the last 10 years or so, you can’t pretend to be an educational leader when you do nothing but count heads and kick asses. We need considerably more concern within the administration about the substance of education as opposed to its trappings. Dream on, Larry.

Big Daddy said...

Larry, it's been a while since I agreed with you, but you are right on with Lewis. He plays hardball with the college, screwing the faculty and hurting college kids but at least he can claim he's tightening the county's fiscal belt.

But do you think he'll hold any of the departments he oversees to a zero budget? No way.

Just a reminder for those of you keeping score at home. While Lewis pillages the college, he also:

1) Demanded huge raises for all of his staff

2) Fought for a completely unnecessary Homeland Security Department that will enable him to hire a bunch of his old Mid West cronies.

3) Proposed a ridiculous two-campus plan for county buildings.

Jim Klyczek has his faults, but at least the guy is trying to make something happen within some very tight budget constraints.

rob clark said...

That seems to be one subject that everyone on this site agree`s on. Greg Lewis has to go!!!

Anonymous said...

I guess Frank DeGeorge won't ask any questions when someone disputes his comments, truth hurts don't it.

Anonymous said...

Francine DelMonte, 46, of Niagara Falls, was charged with loitering at 8:18 a.m. Thursday. DelMonte was walking on 19th Street Thursday morning and offered a motorist oral sex in exchange for money, according to the driver, who alerted police. DelMonte also was taken in on a warrant for a previous loitering charge.