“The Next Four Years” a note to Jim Marciniak — 9/18/2010

1.jim marciniak has attacked two of the people who voted him president of the RB school board.  “Save RBHS from ‘destructive’ school board,” http://www.rblandmark.com/main.asp?SectionID=3&SubSectionID=46&ArticleID=9639&TM=56143.89 .  

2. two years ago, i wrote something very similar:  “Time for a change,” http://www.riversideinfo.org/forum/topic/landmark-letter-turnaround-needed-at-rbhs/page/9  

3. “Time for a change” was an expansion of a small item, on a Landmark article, at http://www.rblandmark.com/main.asp?TypeID=1&ArticleID=6546&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&Page=2:

“Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010,  Article comment by: chris robling,  I have said before and I repeat, being anti-teacher is wrong. Expecting their union to help us mistakes its purpose.

“An election beckons, same day as the referendum. The terms of the four board members who approved the contract and approved the $2 million red-ink budget are over. They must be replaced by members who are capable and ready to address this mess forthrightly and effectively.

“Once the fiscal course is righted, the academic rebirth underway with Dr Bonette and Mrs Bylsma will take us even higher than we are now.”

4. before that item was posted by the Landmark, i had the unfortunate duty of writing my one-time comrade, jim marciniak.  no fun, but i felt i owed him a calm explanation of why i would no longer support him for re-election.  i stand by every word . . .

Hi jim,

I take zero pleasure in writing this.

Last night I posted an item at the landmark that calls for you, sue, marianne and larry to be replaced in april [Note: The item immediately above]. I don’t know when it will appear, it is in their system.

Given our history of sharing cub and boy scouts, preservation commission and the citizens committee, and most of all as running mates in 2007, this is a very sad moment for me.  I do not suppose that you care at all, but still, I wanted to let you know myself, out of respect for what you, david, jerry and i started and our community’s need for comprehensive reform at 208.

Obviously we have been out of tune with each other since the moment you decided not to clean the augean stable with the fresh hands we provided in 2009.  You broke your word to me, and I think jerry and david, and you now wear the jacket for a parade of horribles and missed opportunities.  In selling SWiM out after they voted you president you made liars out of those of us who recruited them in reliance on your constancy.  For this I would appreciate an apology to me and an acknowledgement to SWiM.

That you pushed reform with a few of your actions is to your everlasting credit.  I thank you for these flashes, but they put into relief your mistakes.

For example, fingering baldermann’s deceit began an avalanche that ended his and charles flowers’ careers.  You performed a huge public service.  I salute you for dumping [(name of discharged RB staffer)], an odious and abusive hack who was the center of untold corruption.  But — by letting him stay an extra year you gave his minions time to consolidate and cover their tracks.

I also applaud you for cutting gobble’s belay line.  He richly deserved what he got and you were right to ignore his plea for mercy and promotion.  Thank you.

But your public promise of the drug-dealer investigation on 25 august 09 was a lie.  Worse, you ignored jerry’s written complaint.  Thereby you allowed larry and co. to make those of us holding 208 to its zero-tolerance policy into the problem.  Because of the drug dimension in a school, this sickened me then and it does now.

But beyond many such disappointments, your worst decision is the most recent.  How any public official in this recession could burn up 2.2 million tax dollars in a dice roll-referendum is beyond understanding.  It’s bad budgeting and gross insensitivity to the stretched finances of your constituents.  Jim, it’s not just me.  Check the five pages of nastygrams at the landmark site, including several from dedicated opponents of reform.  This cataclysmic misjudgment has already  isolated the board and the school from our community.  In so doing it impedes the progress larry started by calling david in and you continued by hiring pam.

All of this is worsened by your seeming association with a hare-brained and disingenuous union challenge, not to say affront, by which it understandably seeks to preserve advantages into the next contract and board term that you bestowed on it in the negotiations you botched as a freshman, under larry’s cunning tutelage.

Jim, I know you have spent a ton of time on this.  I appreciate that and i thank you for the countless hours and headaches.  I do not doubt your integrity.  So, I believe you think you have been doing the right thing all along.  Had you ever communicated, perhaps I would better understand why yo took some of your steps.  But even here you took a strange direction.  Your self-imposed isolation has done nothing to build public understanding, let alone support, for your RB program, whatever it is.

This has been particularly exasperating since you became president.  Not simply because you appeared to ignore the three men who voted you in, but because for months thereafter you allowed larry to serve as de facto board spokesman.  This vitiated your ascendence, denied the public a clear idea of who was in charge (or maybe not) and told a tale about you.

For the record, I think something very noxious was going on at RB under larry, jack, greg fronzo, otto and company.  It’s what you, mary jo, jerry and I discussed at klemm’s the morning we asked you to run with david and me.  I thought we agreed.  I thought you ran, as I did, to end that, and build up the best illinois HS of its size.

Instead, you wrapped yourself around their axle, were co-opted by compromise and became bizarrely concerned with their estimate of you — while they barely hid their contempt for you, your friends and your positions.

As a result, your service has been half of what I thought it could be.

Publicly I have always moderated my comments about your actions, even after your may 09 betrayal of SWiM.  When possible I have praised you for the good of the order and to keep attention on the slime and the rot.  I suppose I will continue to do so, I have no personal animus towards you at all.

But I am working to recruit first class candidates.  Should you decide to run, expect me to support them vigorously.

This community still deserves a board that is univocally commited to reform, e.g., best practices and exacting adherence to the highest standards of public secondary education.  At this point, I saddly conclude, you impede that.  You are now part of the problem we recruited you to help solve.  You need to be replaced.

All my best, c

5. As it happens, with no necessary connection to any of this, jim decided within the next several weeks to announce that he would not run for re-election: “RBHS president won’t run for re-election” 10/13/2010.  http://www.rblandmark.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=6661&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&S=1  larry herbst, sue kleinmeyer and mariann leibrandt also decided not to run.


Explore posts in the same categories: Current Events, Education, Riverside Brokfield High School -- Referendum, Riverside Brookfield High School -- Turnaround, Uncategorized

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