Sunday, April 4, 2010

Meet Bobby Hire

I had interviewed Bobby Hire a few weeks ago, but couldn't locate my notes when it came time to write it up. So, I sat down with him again the other day. This is what I gathered from that interview.

Now 71 and retired, Bobby has worked hard all his life. As a young man, he was actually a pro-wrestler. But, after moving to Indy with his family in 1973 and locating in Decatur Township, he worked primarily as a butcher and an independent trucker. During both of these careers, Bobby was a union member. As part of the Meat Cutters Union he served on numerous contract negotiation teams. As an independent operator with his own truck, he ran his own small business.

He and his first wife, Lucille, raised two children, both of whom graduated from Decatur Central High School. After losing Lucille to cancer in 1997, he met and married Brenda, with whom he is enjoying retirement.

Asked why he is running, he responds that with the way things are going in the School District, and how bad taxes have gotten, he'd like to get a close look at how the school system operates, find out what the problems are, and help to fix them.

Asked what he would do with the current budget crisis, he says that he would do everything he could to keep teachers. He would sell the excess property first, and then see what cuts had to be made to fix the remaining budget gap - but cutting teaching positions should be the last resort. He also would like to find ways to improve the situation for bus drivers and the other employees in the district.

I'll end with one full quote: "I would work hard for the people. Not for myself, but for the people."


Anonymous said...


Mr. Hire sounds like he combines two things we desperately need: capability and the right priorities.

Anonymous said...

Representation from the People is first and foremost, newly elected School Board Members, He/She is to be held accountable for their actions. Members are to enforce all laws and guidelines in Federal, State, City, and Decatur Township. They are to oversee day to day operations from the Superintendent. The Superintendent is a employee and should be held to the same standards as the Board for their actions. The School Board needs to limit the number of Assist-Superintendents to two only, as well as the number of employees in Central Office. The newly elected School Board needs eliminate wasteful spending bought on from the current School Board Members and the Superintendent and his Assists.

Anonymous said...

Any information on Natalie?

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 9:37 - check here:

Anonymous said...

Sure would be nice if he had some idea of what is best for kids and their future education instead of just taxes.

Anonymous said...

I hope he comes in and cuts wages, benefits to the bone. Selling land is ridiculous, it may have to needed in the future and it may be more expensive then. The only way to significantly reduce long-term costs is too reduce salaries. The best way to do that and not increase class size is too reduce pay.

Pat, what percentage of salaries would the School Board need to cut to cover the debt? Assuming it's across the board.

Also, in your humble opinion, if it came down to laying off teachers or reducing their pay, which would be the BEST option for the kids and their future education? (try not to dodge this one by saying it shouldn't come down to these two options)

If anybody would like to search for teaching jobs in this financial climate...good luck.

The School Board is in the drivers seat and I hope they know it.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 9:01 -- Let me respond in order of your comments.

I disagree about selling the property. They overspent on what property they bothered to get an appraisal on before buying. So, holding onto it until the value gets to that purchase price was going to take a decade or more, even if there had been no economic downturn. And, regardless, the priority should be on keeping class size down, not on turning a profit on excess land and building holdings.

I pulled a financial report off the DOE website that lists 'expenditures by object' for calendar year 2009. It shows a total for all expenses to have been $74.8 million. Those expenses related to salaries plus benefits throughout the district total $47.2 million. Total cuts to be made add up to $9.8 million. So to cover the shortage through salary and benefit costs alone would take an across the board cut of just under 21%.

IMHO - and seeing no need to dodge the question, keeping teachers is paramount as it keeps the class size constant and therefore has the greatest impact in the quality of education that Decatur's youth can get. Now, you can go ahead and eliminate overpriced administrators and not negatively impact class size. And then you can consider salary cuts.

I have laid out a plan in several blog entries the last couple of months. The most detailed is here:

Anonymous said...

HEI 11:04

AGREE. It will take years, if ever, to regain money from the high priced properties. The administrator positions(number) and salaries are not reasonable!!!!! The students deserve and need teachers working with them everyday. IF there is truly an administrator and board commitment to education there will be an immediate voluntary reduction in the extravagant salaries/benefits of all.

Anonymous said...

Response: A decade is not that far away. I emphasised long-term. Selling the overpriced property at a time when the realestate market is down is a "two-wrong" scenerio. Wrong to have bought it too high and wrong to lose thousands selling it now. "Two wrongs don't make a right". Only the real estate brokers and lawyers will win.

Somewhere, sometime down the line the High School will turned into a Jr. High and land will be needed for a new High School or some other whacky thing. Keep the land, of which there is no more being made.

I think the School could surely find a 1% reduction somewhere in their budget, that would allow a 20% reduction is salaries across the board to cover the debt.

5% doesn't sound too bad now does it?

I hope there is a clause in the union contract to the effect if an undue burden, unable to, no enough funds, blah, blah, blah the township the township can re-open the salary contract at anytime.

If there is a way to do it, I hope they do.

If not, wait until the contract is up..then get our money back. Let's not forget P.A.T.C.O. they thought they were safe. I'd fire every single teacher and re-hire the ones I wanted at the salary the township can afford. Hiring new teachers would save money to boot. Firing teachers is possible ask the underperformers in Central Falls, R.I.

Not being a teacher myself..but a taxpayer..a certified teacher is a certified teacher. The newer the cheaper.