Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 34

Thread: Alan Reiss' "Dear Wayland Neighbor" flyer and unsupported claims

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Alan, I don't have any idea how seriously Jeff Baron and Paul Grasso take the drop in real estate values. For that matter, I don't have any information on Malcolm Astley or Steve Glovsky. That said, I suspect that they, like I, do in fact take the drop seriously.

    Where things get much more speculative, however, is the extent to which Wayland's fiscal profile affects positively or negatively Wayland's drop in value, and also what that drop in value is.

    Alan, a teacher pay freeze and salary cuts for higher-earning administrators isn't enough to significantly cut the school budget. And, with health insurance, non-teacher pension, and utility increases likely to occur each year, probably aren't even enough to keep the overall budget even.
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 05-25-2009 at 08:50 AM. Reason: Fixed mistake.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path
    Posts
    382

    Question Continued...

    Jeff,

    If Warren says -20% for Wayland then that is the defacto truth and that is what the rest of the world sees. So when I send out campaign literature that uses the Warren conclusion then it IS substantiated because its Warren... period.

    Or I could do this in my *next* mailing (which won't happen since its Sunday and the voting is on Tuesday)...

    News flash... "Warren says -20% for Wayland RE but wait... Jeff Dieffenbach of the SC and his magical spreadsheet have found reason for us to doubt Warren's conclusions, their reputations and their 135 years of experience so we can all feel better about our RE now and there is no problem. Lets just keep doing what we've all been doing."

    I really think that you should have Kim modify the header of this thread to get rid of the word unsubstantiated word because, frankly, I feel the need to use the MISLEADING word now for you.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Salaries...
    This is the way it works in hard nosed negotiations...
    Step #1: All management takes a big significant cut in pay to show good faith and seriousness of purpose... thats called leadership.
    Step #2: We ask the entire rank and file to take freezes, cuts, rollbacks etc to have them participate in the healing process and this goes townwide not just the 70% piece for the schools.

    BTW: I have heard that 86% (correct me please if I don't have this number exact) of the 70% for the schools is salary, benefits etc...
    So a total rank and file adjustment would be quite significant and the start of the next negotiation which needs to start off REAL HARD...

    So Jeff, you STILL have not answered my question...
    Do you support salary cuts, freezes, contract reopens?
    And YES you can answer this because you are running for office now.

    Please do me the courtesy of answering these questions ... they can be simple YES or NO's I'll take that.

    Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanJReiss View Post
    Jeff,

    If Warren says -20% for Wayland then that is the defacto truth and that is what the rest of the world sees. So when I send out campaign literature that uses the Warren conclusion then it IS substantiated because its Warren... period.
    Alan, I agree that the Warren Group statistics are what's "out there" and it's a perception/reality that we need to deal with.

    I would not describe your use of that information as unsupported. However, there is one minor adjustment that you ought to consider -- where you say, "Our median home value for 2008 dropped 19.97%", that isn't technically what the Warren Group statistics say. It would be correct to say that the median home sale price dropped 19.97%, which is actually a little different.

    I do wish the tenor of this whole debate, and the many others I have found in my own Inbox and on this Discussion Forum were more civil. Can we all agree to work on that? :-)

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path
    Posts
    382

    Wink I thought I was civil and even humorous

    Kim,

    Let me say this one more time... the analyst of the Warren Group was very clear to me that it was the moving median and not the moving average... Jeff earlier referred to an average and I think he mis-spoke on that.

    The analyst said to me...

    1. We don't use average because there is some possible low end on prices but the upper end is, well, open ended. This means that a few high end sales could distort the data.

    2. In the case of the median we take all arms length sales and then sort them and find the mid point sale. This is the median and the median has particularly good statistics because its the result of a full list data sort and therefore contains all of the inertia of the data list... that is, the additional of one very high end sale might move the median only one step (for example). The median is very immune to 'noise' so to speak.

    My quoting of the Warren group data is based on the median and this is the industry standard. If it was important to use the term median to a group of apartment or condo dwellers in Wayland then I should have done that but this is by no means MISLEADING or unsubstantiated.

    You and I agree on the perception issue (I go further and believe the reality issue but we don't need to argue about that because perception is reality...) so my literature is NOT unsubstantiated and Mr. D needs to change the title of that thread because thats the top level you see next to my name Alan Reiss.

    I request that this be done... but I would prefer that Jeff made that request now that we have cleared up this misunderstanding on his part.

    BTW: Can you also ask him to answer my very simple and direct questions because I did get answers from Baron and Grasso on this and they said that they are most definitely open to considering these pay actions.

    Thank you !!

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path
    Posts
    382

    Exclamation Common Ground

    Ben,

    Yes, between your interviews with RE agents and my interviews of RE agents (which provide other stories different from your observations) plus the Gossels observation, we certainly have a great deal of anecdotal stories to explain why Warren measures our RE as doing so bad.

    Both of us can speculate on this. High School, taxes, tax rate, override history and on and on... but its all just speculation isn't it. My speculation says that its cost of living plus return on investment which is what buyers usually think of first. What was true in the past may not be true now.

    But I think that we can or do have common ground on this on two points...

    1. Warren is respected and well read far and wide and that reality generates a bad reputation for our town. So we must not deny that this needs our attention and we must get to the root cause and fix it.

    2. I am also in favor of Q1 and Q2 and am on the record as such.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Alan, Kim beat me to it, but it's worth repeating. In your flyer, you wrote "Our median home value for 2008 dropped 19.97% [relative to 2007]." Unless I'm mistaken, that is NOT what the Warren Group reported.

    Rather, they reported that the median selling price of Wayland homes sold in 2008 was 20% lower than the median selling price of AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SET OF Wayland homes sold in 2007.

    This is an important distinction. You used the Warren Group report to support the former statement, not the latter one. I'm simply saying that doing so is unsupported. I don't know how much the value of ALL properties dropped from 2007 to 2008, just as I don't know what this drop was in peer towns.

    By the way, I have created ZERO spreadsheets (magical or otherwise) regarding this point.

    As for cutting the school budget, you are making my point. I don't know the exact percentage, but 85% is reasonable as the fraction of the school budget spent on salary. If you freeze this salary (other than a few highly paid administrators, whom you are proposing to cut), you simply can't make significant cuts in the school budget (while maintaining educational quality), which is what your original flyer proposed. To achieve your stated goal, you would have to increase class size.

    With respect to pay freezes and/or cuts, you are correct, I'm not prepared to discuss negotiation strategy in public. Let me just say that the options you suggest are not lost on me. Regarding past negotiations, you aren't fully free to discuss them, as any past strategies are part of a continuum that flow through to future strategies.

    Also, I note that in your original flyer, you cite the "Wayland's average tax bill is 7th in MA" without citing the corresponding "Wayland's per capita income is also 7th in MA" statistic.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path
    Posts
    382

    Question Cuts Cuts Cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    If you freeze this salary (other than a few highly paid administrators, whom you are proposing to cut), you simply can't make significant cuts in the school budget (while maintaining educational quality), which is what your original flyer proposed.
    You mean if the teachers maintain the same salary or take less then they will not be good teachers for us? You mean they will do less or have some job actions? Not sure what your trying to say?

    I'm quite sure they will be just as good as before, just like if your employer asks you to take a pay cut then you will still work hard... won't you?

    Or else... !

    Like to get some numbers here as approximations...
    Town Budget $60M
    70% is School $42M
    85% is Salary $35.7M
    10% pay cut $3.57M which is about 2 overrides based on last year.

    Whats your cut at this... seems like a pretty significant strategy for the town.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Alan, now you are talking about *cutting* teacher salary. Perhaps I misread, but earlier, I thought that you were proposing to *freeze* teacher salary.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path
    Posts
    382

    Question Yes Jeff...

    Jeff,

    Freezing, cuts, reopening contracts they are all on the table.
    My message is very clear on this... all over the place.

    In the scenario I laid out for you if we cut across the board its (what I think I just calculated to be) $3.57M based on $35.7M salary

    In the freeze scenario and using a 3 year model of raises
    and three simple models this is what we would avoid...
    1% / 1% / 1% --> 3.03% --> $1.08M
    2% / 2% / 2% --> 6.12% --> $2.19M
    3% / 3% / 3% --> 9.27% --> $3.31M

    If we do both then you get bigger savings....
    Now the teachers deserve to be paid well right?
    You deserve to be paid well right?
    I deserve to be paid well right?
    People on fixed incomes deserve to have the ability to stay in Wayland right?
    People who just lost their jobs and have no health insurance in Wayland deserve to not be scared right?

    Jeff, are you talking to people at the landfill and outside stores and outside the library and on the street? Perhaps your talking to different people than I am talking to?

    Another point....
    What I don't understand is why we are eliminating teaching positions and giving large raises at the same time?

    Wouldn't that be sacrificing education right now?
    Wouldn't it be better to not fatten those salaries, keep the teachers, keep the class sizes in tact and put the emphasis on education rather than compensation for some?

    I'm so confused by the school committee Jeff... I really am.

    I just know you have a magical spreadsheet around somewhere.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Alan, I wasn't taking a position one way or the other on future salary freezes/cuts, just trying to understand what your letter was saying.

    And yes, I have *many* magical spreadsheets, just none comparing the value of Wayland real estate in 2007 and 2008.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path
    Posts
    382

    Wink Well then...

    Jeff,

    Please take a position on these things well before Tuesday because you are running for re-election and *we* need to know who to color that little oval in for?

    Now I don't expect you to vote for me, but I'm still keeping an open mind.

    When you get a chance, send me one of those *magical* spreadsheets... I want to see how I can get the value back in my property again.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    13

    Default Warren Group

    We need to be careful here on a couple of points:

    1. Sample size for houses is pretty good (130), but there were only 20 condos sold - based on Warren Group data.

    2. Warren group publishes 10 years of median data - Boston magazine based their map on the difference between two years. 10 years of data makes for a good moving median, two years does not (graphing two data points always results in a straight line). For some unknown reason Wayland peaked in 2007 and then dropped significantly in 2008. Sudbury peaked in 2005 and dropped a similar amount, just spread over two years. This is not to say we don't have a problem, just that we cannot understand the problem based on two years of data. I have talked to Warren Group, subscribed to their service and I am in the process of looking at all the data.

    3. Perceived return on housing investment is not likely a cause for a drop in 2008 housing prices because Wayland outperformed both Sudbury and Weston based on the 2006-2007 Warren Group data.

    /Gary

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    13

    Default 20yr warren group data

    Alan,

    Here is the full 20yr Warren Group Data for a few towns. I extracted it from their subscription service.

    Any use of it requires that one acknowledge the source. Reasoning from this database is safer than using just the limited subset that Boston Magazine or the Globe chose. Note that Warren Group stands behind their data, but are not responsible for how others (such as Boston Magazine) use it. This becomes important should we choose to tackle any associated PR problem.

    I share many of your concerns around the implications of this data, but before we attempt to determine an underlying cause, we need to better understand the data. This has been my perception of Jeff's position while engaging with him on this issue.

    I (as well as others) have generated a number of spreadsheets in this area in an attempt to better understand the data. From my observations they are mostly consistent with your conversations with the core analyst. Your reported conversation also gave me an idea for another angle to look at the data.

    I have entered 10yrs of the Warren Group data into a spreadsheet. It is not magic and will not get you back any lost equity, but it may make you feel better in that it indicates that other comparable towns have also lost significant equity.

    I am posting this spreadsheet over in the real estate valuations thread.

    /Gary
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Wayland MA 463 Old Conn Path
    Posts
    382

    Talking Thank you

    Gary,

    I appreciate your efforts in continuing to analyze the Warren data and in actually using the Warren data and not MLS you avoid the issues of data cleansing and/or using sales which are non-arms length... which is the process they went through last year to make sure the data was standardized only on arms length sales.

    My understanding about Boston Magazine is that they simply took the most recent 12 month tabulation from Warren of the moving MEDIANS and created a color map of Massachusetts showing geographically how towns fared. So there was no interpretation on the part of the Boston Magazine... its was simply a fancy map oriented way of represented the Warren calculations.

    Sadly Wayland did not do well and it was obvious from the map that we were all alone in the metrowest in depreciation magnitude and that level of depreciation was not seen until you traveled even further from the center of the 'hub'.

    My quip about magical spreadsheets to Jeff D (who I consider to be a colleague and most definitely a solid debating pen pal Waylander) was a 'tongue and cheek' attempt at some election season humor... but I think you know that.

    You will notice that I said 'core analyst' and did not give out the name. That was on purpose because that person does not want to be deluged by hundreds of calls from Waylanders... I had to pull some strings and use a little name dropping to get his attention. So even though I want to give you his name, I am reluctant.

    However, after you have further analyzed your data... it may be useful for you to call the Warren group (as a subscriber) and ask to speak to an analyst about your findings... you might just get to him and on your own efforts. This would be reasonable.

    Again, I thank you for looking at this so diligently and I, as you know, perception is reality and we must fix this.

    I don't know if you have considered giving me your vote tomorrow but as they say on TV.... "I'm worth it"

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    13

    Default Perceptions

    Alan,

    I highly suggest you get a copy of the article.

    The context is Boston Magazine's annual "Best Places to Live" issue.

    The map you refer to is the second full page of a two page spread that begins the lead article for the issue.

    On the first page opposite the map, is a big "town sign" graphic with the words "Entering Best Places to Live". Underneath the graphic is a small paragraph in big letters that contains the sentence "For this year's roll call of superlative addresses, we focused on a far more basic indicator: namely how well a town's home values are holding up.

    On the map, Wayland is one of only a handful of towns in all of eastern Mass that is in the deepest blue color. Our peers are Lowell, Lawrence, Brockton, Chelsea and a couple others. It is generated purely on 2007-2008 data.

    They explain their methodology on the third page,including statements that they took into account, among other things "prices from the years 2005 to 2008", "strength of school system" and "community amenities".

    Sudbury was featured as a town where you could enjoy "big city perks without spending big city bucks" Wayland gets no mention. You have to go to the on-line version of the article to find a table that includes the raw data from Wayland along with all the other towns.

    Imagine what perception that creates...

    Is a feature map that implies that 2007-2008 changes are indicative of "how well a town's home values are holding up" an accurate representation when on the following page they say they use prices from 2005-2008 (never mind the other factors)? You need to read very carefully to figure out what is going on.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •