Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Notes From the January 28th Meeting

I never understood why the apple is black,
and not red...
NOTE: If you want to watch the board meeting yourself, tune to Lower Providence's Community Channel (Comcast channel 28, FiOS channel 42) the Wednesday after the meeting at 6 PM, or that Friday and Sunday at 12 AM, 8 AM, or 6 PM. Or, here is their YouTube channel.

- Thanks to inclement weather last week, the Work Session was cancelled. So, the Board shoehorned last weeks' meeting into this week, creating a briskly-paced meeting totaling in at a mere four hours long. We didn't get home until about 11:20 last night, when most meetings don't last until 8:20. It's safe to say we won't see something like that again.

- A victory for the pro-turf crowd: the Board passed Resolution 14-01, which starts the process of taking out a $5.5 Million Bond with a variable interest rate (currently set at around 1%, but as the finance person noted, it varies week-to-week). According to Dr. Zerbe, Worcester recently edited an ordinance allowing Methacton to finally "put shovels in the dirt" and get this project rolling. Whoo-hoo.

Now, I've been a vocal opponent of this project for many reasons. I don't believe artificial turf is the way to go for Methacton, or sports in general. The heat absorption alone puts students at a massive risk, and seeing that the number one deteriorate of artificial turf fields is UV Rays, and Methacton's Football Field sits in the middle of an open area, you have a nice math problem that adds up to headaches in the coming years of turf-field-ism. And that all is on top of historical Methacton, who has allowed the football field, et al, to fall into this sort of disarray, where if you ask anyone who has played in The Vet, the one thing that is worse that an improperly maintained field is an improperly maintained turf field.

Oh, and remember when I said voting for the Teachers' Contracts felt rushed? That same feeling came at this meeting. The Bond presentation was given, then about forty-five minutes later, the Bond was passed 7-2, the dissenters being Mark O'Neil (who asked for the vote to be pushed back to allow the public more time to analyze the deal--good call Mark!) and Maria Shackleford. I personally feel that a major expense like this project, or the Bond refinancing, should be put up for referendum, but the Board, in typical Methacton fashion, eschewed true public opinion and went with what they felt was "true public opinion," because a thousand people signed a petition on Facebook means the majority of Lower Providence and/or Worcester wants this project to go through.

- The Conditional Use Hearing for lights in February 4th (my birthday!) at the Worcester Township Building at 5:30 if I'm not mistaken. Because, even though Worcester is allowing MSD to put shovels in the dirt for the turf project, the issue of lights is still a couple of four-letter words away from becoming a fist fight in Worcester. Don't believe me? Read for yourself.

- The School Resource Officer contract was renewed by MSD, making a three-year deal. Concern was raised about raising costs along with the program, since the program was started with Federal Grant money, and that said money has since dissipated, resulting in the school district to foot the bill fully now. A fun thing for those of us who live in Lower Providence, since Lower Providence police officers are policing the schools; you're paying township tax for the police officers and property taxes for those same two officers to be in the schools. And we wonder why Worcester doesn't want to establish a police force.

- An interesting new policy was put up for First Reading: Policy #815 and #815.1, which involve use of outside machines (read: laptops, smartphones, et cetera) and the use of social media during school hours. It's interesting because in the later years of me going to school, all social media was banned, even though we found ways around the proxy to go on Facebook, or we went on Twitter because it wasn't blocked. This was a snag if a teacher wanted to show a video off of YouTube--the proxy blocked YouTube as well, so this will be interesting to see how the classroom dynamic changes. I mean, MHS policy was for us to store our cell phones in our locker, and I can count on one hand who did that, since everyone had a phone on them during school hours, including teachers. It makes sense to pull that rule when no one was following it anyway.

- To boil it down, more money is being spent to aid MSD in the Conditional Use Hearing, which includes not playing music too loud. Which, is the reason why I still don't believe Worcester is just bending over and allowing turf, when Architerra first gave their presentation, the Worcester Board of Supervisors were in the room, and were very coy about how their township classifies artificial turf as a permeable or non-permeable surface.

- The Preliminary Budget presentation was last night. I will admit, I was struggling at that point to pay attention, but I do have a few nuggets of info. The proposed tax increase will be at four percent, thanks to the Bond issue that was just passed, and this is before any budgetary work. On the other hand, this is also before the State Budget is announced, and the index and PSERS exemption isn't really known, where last year it totaled to about 2.95%. Which is much less than four, but I digress.

- The Geothermal Update was last night, which impacts my family directly because of how close we live to Arcola/Skyview. From the slide we saw last night, only Skyview and Woodland has Geothermal Wells, where we were under the impression that Arcola benefit from them, too. The energy savings from Skyview was minimal at best, while Woodland seemed to have the benefit of about 30% savings, but to be honest, I had a hard time understanding the numbers behind it. I requested a copy of the presentation and hopefully I'll be able to better decipher it.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Notes From the December 3rd SuperMeeting

NOTE: If you want to watch the board meeting yourself, tune to Lower Providence's Community Channel (Comcast channel 28, FiOS channel 42) the Wednesday after the meeting at 6 PM, or that Friday and Sunday at 12 AM, 8 AM, or 6 PM. Or, here is their YouTube channel.

- We have new leadership for this year. Christian Nascimento is the new Board President and Herbert Rothe is the new Vice President, both will serve for a one year term. It is a very interesting set of choices; Nascimento barely beat out unendorced Republican candidate Brian Earnshaw, who used Nascimento's sub-par attendance record for Board Meetings and his own Finance Committee against him. The cynical ones would comment on hoping to see Nascimento improve on his attendance. If not, then we will be seeing a lot more of Rothe.

- There seems to have been a huge spat, for lack of a better term, involving members of the Methacton Home and School. (Find part in YouTube Video) Dr. Zerbe went at-length about what happened involving the Home and School while impressively avoiding the use of anyone's names or using any detail. From what I understand (with my lack of Home and School experience), it was resulted from lack of communication and the perceived rudeness between members that forced a new vote in the Home and School, prompting members of the Home and School to leave. It seems like a very small problem that just confounded and blew up into two Superintendent's faces.

- Remember how I said the teachers' contract felt rushed? Well thanks to that, there is language being worked on in the contract as we speak, after they signed the contract. According to Mr. Harney, it's "language involving how [the District] deals with employees in certain situations." Maybe it's because I don't really understand how contract negotiations work, but I feel like this should have been worked out before anyone even considered putting their John Hancock down on the contract, hmm? The language in question, most likely, deals with employees who break some sort of moral or ethical rule--or even the law--and have to be removed from their positions and their pay. That is something I would have made damn sure that it was worked out before anyone signed anything, but that's because I am more worried about problems down the road before I sign something. But apparently, this is how we work on major problems in politics today.

- Not posted to the agenda, but very important anyway. On January 7th, the Board (read: Dr. Zerbe) will be giving an update on the proposed turf field project. Which is good, because the Finance Committee spent it's entire time re-looking over the facts and figures involving taking out a five million dollar bond "for the project," and as far as anyone else can tell, we don't have a cohesive plan. I want to take this time right now to reiterate: please look into other options of fixing up the field besides turf! The field project was spawned by Dr. Quinn, who brought in ArchiTerra to sell them on turf and those are the only facts and figures the Board has been working with ever since. Again; the Board is basing off their need for a turf field from a company that specializes in putting in turf fields.

The project, last time I checked, was slated to cost upwards of four million dollars, and the Board is looking at options to reduce the cost on the taxpayers (read: fundraising), and I will be one to doubt that the community can pull in even one million dollars to defer the cost. If we as a District cannot afford the field, then we, as a District, need to look at other options more sustainable financially. I doubt we can be like Wikipedia and raise money every year to maintain the turf field.

Sorry about the late post, I had it saved instead of posted for about a month and a half. My apologies. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Take A Stand, Even If You Don't Understand

An engineers' concept for the Methacton
HS Baseball Field, from Methacton's Website
When I try to explain current issues within the current Methacton area--usually the reason why our football field doesn't have lights or something else so riveting--I try not to just paint Worcester with a broad brush, but it is almost inevitable. It usually boils down to those in charge of Worcester--or a lot of times, those who populate Worcester--are perceived as a cantankerous, overbearing Luddites who take a Tea Party-type of stance against all things that would be perceived as forward progress.

Now, please don't take me as another college-age mouthpiece who thinks they know everything. I do know everything. (That was a joke!) I have an infinite amount of respect for the way Worcester has preserved open space, and never fell for the whole "let's build cookie-cutter developments!" fad. And after attending two Worcester Zoning Board hearings, it's refreshing to see a government body make decisions using the oft-ignored vices of logic and reason.

Although it was amazing: the November meeting was where the Zoning Board was going to give their decision on the variance, and that is when the public came out en masse to show support or opposition. That's like coming out to a burnt shell of a building and telling the Fire Chief that the now-charred rubble was a fire hazard. That whole crowd could boo the zoning board to death, chuck tomatoes, and burn somebody at the stake; the decision would still stand. It's great to show support, but it's a day late, and y'all are a dollar short. 

Personally, I have a problem with sites that claim to be "the voice for the community/specific group/political party/Doctor Who fans," and are run by one person who just expresses their views. Usually, the aren't. They are just the opinions of one person who has limited knowledge of HTML. I do not do that: my site is used to do my version of reporting on Methacton politics (because until recently, The Times Herald was a waste of space in the Methacton political realm), and then put my own spin on it, not the communities spin on it. The content is produced by myself, and since I can't get Google to advertise on my site, I answer to myself.

(NOTE: If you want to advertise, let's talk.)

Regardless, when I try to produce content, albeit sparingly, I do my best to get the facts straight, which isn't the case for everyone. When you decide to talk about a topic--and this goes out to everyone--try and get all of the facts. Because if you don't and someone shows you up, it is embarrassing, and you look about as credible as facts from Facebook.

But more on this scoreboard: if you haven't been up to speed on what is happening, the Methacton High School baseball field is being renovated by J.P. Mascaro and Sons, a local waste disposal company, competently out of their pocket. Mostly because even though the baseball team has been playing really well, the field was...well, a joke. The baseline literally had a trench from rain run-off, and the field was about as even as playing One Square Tic-Tac-Toe and going second. It looked worse than the football field, and we're trying to carpet it with fake grass right now.

J.P. Mascaro decided to renovate the field, pay for it out of pocket, and asked only one thing: that the field be named Robert Childress Memorial Field. Their name isn't going anywhere, and let me italicize this for emphasis, Methacton School District isn't paying anything to put this field in. No taxpayer money is being used for this project. Just so we are clear.

The scoreboard is, yes, 36 feet by 10 feet, and yes, that is a size most commonly used by a "Division I College," as one resident put it. However, not only is the Methacton Baseball Team playing as a Division I team, the sign has also been proven to only be visible by the church that is across the street, aside from the spectators and players themselves, naturally. The sign will be painted green, and it will be treated so light will not reflect to drivers on Germantown Pike. The sign is internally lit, using LED's, and thanks to the lack of lights on the baseball field (again, italicized for more emphasis) will only be used during the daytime

To recap, this sign is basically free to Methacton, will only be illuminated during the daytime, and is only visible by another commercial property surrounding Methacton High School. On top of that, J.P. Mascaro's name will not be anywhere on the field. So why is there still near-venomous opposition and Luddite-like disapproval? That I still have a hard time wrapping my know-it-all mind around. (Another joke!)

To many, the "legacy" of Worcester (or realistically, the perception of a select few) is a township who is so committed to abolishing any movements forward that they are willing to refuse a good gesture by a commercial enterprise or ignore the wants of a community-at-large for the personal reservations of a few. Even if that isn't the intent, that is what it usually boils down to: that Worcester is populated with cantankerous, overbearing Luddites. And that is truly unfortunate.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Notes From the November 19th Meeting

NOTE: If you want to watch the board meeting yourself, tune to Lower Providence's Community Channel (Comcast channel 28, FiOS channel 42) the Wednesday after the meeting at 6 PM, or that Friday and Sunday at 12 AM, 8 AM, or 6 PM. Or, here is their YouTube channel.

- More M Awards! This time, the recipients are the high school golf team and the girls' tennis team for winning districts. Congratulations to them!

- If you take the time to comb the extensive List of Bills, you will see a handful for Bartle's office involving "[Right To Know] fees." When asked about this by a member of the audience, apparently, a resident involved with the ongoing dispute between Worcester and Methacton over conditional use asks for a "laundry list" of items under Right To Know, and when some of those items are denied (ie, items currently in litigation or information that cannot be released), that person appeals it. This also apparently happens every week. To someone like myself, or anyone else active in these activities, we can probably guess who that person is, and while it can be seen as that person being very meticulous in the current act of base-covering, one can also see it as a way to aggravate the opposing party in any way, shape, or form. By the way, it's costing the school district about $1,700 to do all of that.

- The Food Service Contract was approved last night, by a vote of 8-0 (Maria Schakelford was absent). I still have a bad taste in my mouth (pun!) over the whole Outsourcing-the-Lunch-Ladies-(and men) thing, even more so when Aramark was in their first year, in which I had the privilege to eat their food, it was terrible. According to what I've heard from some members of the Board and some people I've talk to offhandedly, it has gotten better. That being said, I still don't know why it had to be done in the first place. The guaranteed profit is what the School District is guaranteed to make under this one-year contract.

- The new Memorial Baseball Field is looking good--and it will look better with the Memorial Terrace approved by the Board last night. At last months Worcester Zoning Board hearing, I was told that the project has reached $170,000, and the Terrace's value is approximated at $40,000. (If Mascaro can pull this off for about $250,000, it will honestly be harder to prove the $4.5 Million football field project is a good value.)

- The Board thinks its a good idea to have one meeting in December, which is the post-election reorganization, work session, and regular session meeting, rolled up into one convenient ball. Because combining three meetings into one won't rush anything, and nothing will happen in December anyway.

- After last month's meeting, where Mr. Schanbacher questioned the board about a member receiving a "D.W.I. or D.U.I." and Lower Providence Patch's article about the same subject not just two weeks ago, it seems that this issue is reaching its head. Five members of the public--Winnie Hayes and Mary Jane Barbone, who both were former Board members and Presidents; John Andrews, Candy Allebach, and Bob Andorn--expressed their concern over this issue, with Mrs. Hayes asking for Joyce Petrauskas to step down as President. Which this is almost wonderful timing in that regard, because the Reorganization Meeting (and Work Session...and Regular Session) is December 3rd.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Notes From The Worcester Zoning Board Hearing and the October 22nd Meeting

This was my first time attending a Worcester Zoning Board Hearing, and my second Zoning Board Hearing overall, for the proposed variance for the newly-minted Robert Childress Memorial Baseball Field scoreboard, an internally lit, LED scoreboard, with the dimensions being 36 feet by 10 feet. Which, in case you haven't been aware, the Baseball Field Project is completely, 100% independent of the proposed Methacton Athletic Field Improvement Project, and will be on a completely separate field. The project is being funded by J.P. Mascaro and Sons, a local waste disposal company well known to the residents of Lower Providence, since everyone but a handful of people are required to use J.P. Mascaro as trash pickup; the total of the project so far has eclipsed $170,000, and will probably continue to rise. But if you have seen the baseball field as of late, it's money well spent.

(It was funny last week, at the School Board Meeting, when this was brought up by my mother, whom I attended this meeting with, that they had no idea that this was happening. Really? It's part of your school, and shouldn't at least one Board Member keep tabs on something like this? Come on...)

The meeting was a simple one: J.P Mascaro and Methacton were declaring hardship on the current ordinance because the sign proposed would be bigger than the ordinance allowed. Just as a note, the sign is proposed to be placed at right-center field, raised five feet to peek over the also-proposed chain link fence to be installed around the perimeter of the field. The size of the sign (36' x 10') and the size of the LED lit letters and numbers (eighteen inches for the numbers, the team names would be 24 inches) would be optimal for viewing by the athletes and fans in attendance. On top of that, the topography of the field as it is would have all but a small portion of the sign be obscured by motorists traveling on Germantown Pike, and the sign itself would be facing towards the school. Also, thanks to the lack of lighting, the games can only be played during the daytime. (Mascaro and Methacton would be near-suicidal to try and get lights on the football and baseball field in Worcester!)

The Zoning Board grilled the witnesses and their lawyers hard enough that I saw some grill marks appear (at one point, it was asked if the sign would "flash...vibrate...oscillate...and/or strobe", which I would love to see a sign that vibrates for receiving a text every time a player scores), but that is their job: to grill, to make sure that, in fact, there is hardship and it is being claimed. Also, it's what I expected from Worcester.

What I also expected from Worcester was a fair deal of kickback regarding the sign. Unfortunately, I do not have the pictures displayed at the hearing, but the sign was photoshopped onto the pictures of how the sign would be viewed, to scale of course. The largest legitimate concern would be the brushed aluminum backing that could reflect light into drivers, but it's brushed--which reduces the chance for glare. It's literally a win-win for everybody involved.

Hold for a few residents of Worcester, of course. One big bone of contention is that the scoreboard is classified as a sign, and if signs before were rejected for internally lit LED signs, then what gives MHS any right to have one? (Ignoring the fact that the Zoning Board specifically said that everything is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.) If Worcester allows this sign to go up, would The Vegas Strip, Part II engulf Germantown Pike?

I guess these are legitimate concerns, but I highly doubt it. It's not like Worcester to allow one inch of improvement and it turns into sixteen miles of difference. You would have to remove half of Worcester's population to give the possibility of allowing lights on the baseball field, or the football field. Or any place else.

The Zoning Board is deliberating with each other, and will give their ruling next meeting, November 26th

* * * * * 

NOTE: If you want to watch the board meeting yourself, tune to Lower Providence's Community Channel (Comcast channel 28, FiOS channel 42) the Wednesday after the meeting at 6 PM, or that Friday and Sunday at 12 AM, 8 AM, or 6 PM. Or, here is their YouTube channel.

- It was covered last week, and I never really jumped on it, but the current vacancy of Howard Jones' seat will be filled post-election, with the candidate who received the most votes will take that seat and get all of one month to get a headstart on their fellow members (presuming that they are newbies). Sure, you could petition the courts and complain, but by the time the petition will go through, according to the Board Solicitor, "the seat would be filled". Or, the courts would just allow it to happen anyway, seeing the election is next month.

- I missed the beginning of the meeting, so I didn't get to see the M Awards. Alas, congratulations to all of those students.

- For those of you with an Apple iPhone or an Android device (sorry, Windows Phone), there is now an official Methacton App, so you can be up-to-date with anything and everything Methacton! Sorry, some of the sarcasm got lost in translation from talking to typing, but honestly, most apps by a business or school have one to two uses, get stashed away in some dark recess of the phone, and is usually only really useful for alerts. Good thing too--this app is being produced for free for the school, for right now. However, if you wish to read my awesome site on your mobile phone, I offer a mobile layout of my site.

- The Board accepted the donations of $500 each from the MHS Girls' Track and Field Boosters, Music Boosters, and Football Boosters Clubs going towards a new fridge in the snack bar for outdoor games, which was already bought with District money, so this is sort of a reimbursement.

- Didja wanna go to the Policy Committee meeting this November? Too bad, it's canceled. Much to the surprise of the Policy Committee Chairperson, Maria Shackelford. (Honestly, you cannot make this stuff up.) When asked why it was cancelled, it was because she announced at the Policy Committee Meeting that she wouldn't make the next meeting, so it was 86'ed, even though Kim Woodring would be able to attend. I don't know what happened, either.

- The Board also accepted the donation from J.P, Mascaro and Sons on the Baseball Field Renovation Project, which it's kind of funny that MSD lets work be done on the project and then decide that they in fact, want it, but that's just me. It will be named Robert Childress Memorial Field, after Robert Childress, who was the 17th pick in the 3rd round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1966. However, he didn't sign with the team, and was drafted into the Army for Vietnam in 1967, and sadly killed in action one year later. I have said before that this is a great gesture from a local company, and I am in full support of this move, regardless of any pushback from Worcester, or anyone else at all. I want to extend a thank you to J.P. Mascaro and Sons for thoughtlessly donating their services to this project.

- There was a pretty big piece of news dropped during Public Comment: former Board Member Grant T. Schanbacher brought up a rumor circulating around about a Board Member getting arrested for a "D.U.I or a D.W.I". Joyce Petrauskas responded: apparently, she was cited one way or another for being intoxicated, but there was no arrest, according to her. She is merely the victim of "identity theft", which that whole part of the meeting raises more questions than actually answers.

My biggest question, if the identity theft part is true, who would go out of their way to photoshop this bruiser of a photo and send it off to all of the mugshot websites? Mind you, identity theft can be classified as a felony, and is usually used to steal or buy things in the other person's name and ruin their credit when the accounts aren't paid off. What would be the gain? To bring down a School Board President of a suburban school? The risks of getting caught, and the consequences of such, outweigh that possibility.

Now, there is a chance that this is true--that Mrs. Petrauskas is a victim of a very elaborate defamation of character operation, committed by somebody who is very proficient with photoshop. I'm sure the truth will come out, one way or another.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Notes From the September 24th Meeting

NOTE: If you want to watch the board meeting yourself, tune to Lower Providence's Community Channel (Comcast channel 28, FiOS channel 42) the Wednesday after the meeting at 6 PM, or that Friday and Sunday at 12 AM, 8 AM, or 6 PM. Or, here is their YouTube channel.

- First off, I want to apologize for the lateness of this post. It's a combination of working, not having the greatest time frame to write up this blog post, and my laptop screen being cracked, and is now on it's way back from Texas. On top of that, I have had issues with my Google account, which caused my last post (about the then-pending Teacher's CBA agreement) to disappear.

- If you watch the tape, you'd see the massive, massive threshold of people--students, parents, teachers, and taxpayers--and then if you skip to about thirty minutes later, they would be gone. Yup, it was the M Awards again; for the then-seventh and then-eighth graders achieving a 93% or above on their overall grade for that year. I don't have the list of names, but here's my congratulations to them.

- I'm glad that the Board was so generous to give us one whole freakin' week before deciding that the CBA agreement was "good for the community"and voting 8-1 on it (more about the "No" vote later). Seriously, the behavior of the Board as a whole, and the currently-leaving Superintendent is starting to cross the fuzzy line from "Being Ignorant" to "Corrupt" with the way this whole contract situation was handled. You know, if they haven't jumped over that line anyway. According to the various dates that Joyce was so kind to give out to us, there was a tentative agreement on the CBA in June before the budget was passed. And when the Board was asked how the contract would factor into the budget by a resident, they refused to answer.

I'm still mad about this situation. I actually got up and commented at the meeting last week in anger, which was the first time I ever did that. I don't really care if the contract was actually "good", because it's not like the Board actually tried to share it with anyone. The press release in The Times Herald had more figures in it than what was ever explained at either of the two meetings. So, we just watched the devolution of the Board, reverting into a state of North Korea-esque of talking about how good we're doing and not actually telling anyone anything at the Board meetings, instead just waiting for the soapbox in the local newspaper. Grand.

- After the contract was shoved through at breakneck speed passed, Phillips tried to pass some sort of resolution, committing the Board to a zero-percent tax increase for the next budget, which the effort of which is good. However, I doubt Phillips actually planned out what he wanted to do, because the resolution floundered and flopped for thirty minutes (it felt like) in New Business, before the Board killed it off with an 1-8 vote against it. The resolution anyway would have been symbolic at best, not condemning the Board to any requirement to stick with it, so not only was that amount of time wasted, it would have done diddly when voted through.

- The second item in new business was the sudden and surprise resignation of Mr. Howard Jones. He was the only dissenter in the teachers' contract, citing the problem with the Step program (and from what I heard, he had a problem with it the first time around) that could leave almost half of the teachers in MSD receiving a nice payout from reaching the top step. The rest of the Board was either ignorant to the problem, or just don't care either way, and all voted for it. Jones must have known it, too, because he gave a typed copy of his resignation to each of the Board members, and after the vote (Jones voted for himself!), he left the room (not "minutes after" the vote, like The Times Herald erroneously reports). Now his seat sits empty for a whole two months before the Board fills it with one of the candidates who is a shoe-in to win the election. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Welcome To The Dell Computers School District

Even if you read The Times Herald, you might have missed a little RFP dropped by Methacton. The RFP is for reputable and qualified bus transportation companies for furnishing student transportation services. Or, if you don't talk in corporate-speak 24/7, they're looking to outsource the transportation.

This is getting ridiculous.

I was around the last time MSD outsourced a school program when they canned the lunch workers for Aramark, mostly because the lunch program cost the district $300,000 per year, and nobody on that board had the stomach (pun!) to get their hands dirty and fix it. They would rather bring in an outside source and have them deal with it. Which is akin to calling somebody to my house every time I burn out a light bulb.

Should anyone be surprised? You know, at the same Board that didn't even work on the budget? It was all Mr. Whiteleather (which, at that point, he was still very new) and Dr. Miller (who will be gone come October), while the Board just showed up and raised their hands to vote for the budget.

What this says to me is that this Board refuses to actually manage the District, which is their job. The Board whines and complains about all the money they don't have, while in the same meeting, they're worried about getting a shiny artificial turf field which will cost $4,500,000 at least. But, you know, managing the budget is so damn hard, it's much easier to raise the tax rate and spend the new money coming in then stopping the bleeding.

A cynic on the outside looking in would say this is an attempt to break up the Teamsters Union. They already took out the lunch staff (I can't call them lunch ladies because I actually had a guy serve me the last year before Aramark), and if they take out the bus drivers, all they have left are the janitors/groundscrew (they're the same group), and guess what--they can be outsourced, too! Happy days!

I'm drawing the line right now: if the Board refuses to manage their district, then they need to resign. They don't want to do their job? They can find another one elsewhere, since the pay rate is so low.

Note: I didn't find a spot to put this in the general post, but if you look at last months agenda, there was no Board vote for putting out an RFP. Yes, there needs to be one. So unless the Board voted in Executive Session, which is illegal, someone on the Board or in Farina is acting in lieu of Board approval. I'm not going to point any fingers, but as of late, Dr. Miller has been playing fast and loose when it comes to items such as this. If it is Dr. Miller, even if he is leaving in October, he has no right to do this, and should be punished accordingly. If it is a Board member, than ditto.

There is a certain procedure the district is required to follow for things such as this, and the Board, or members of the district, like to forget. It seems to me that the Board President, and the other eight, have no problem letting this happen, since the Board keeps allowing it to happen. If that is the case, then we need a change on that Board, fast.