Posted tagged ‘District 96’

The Voters and Districts Won

April 9, 2013

Congratulations to tonight’s seven winners in Districts 208 and 96, and thanks to all candidates.  It takes special determination to campaign.  Since in these candidates, that determination is based on a desire to serve others, the mere campaign was itself noble.  Seven will now hold office and continue their service.  To them, thank you in advance for all of your time and energy, and best of luck as you work on our behalf.  With you go our hopes and aspirations.  Please be bold as you pursue them.

Please Read Steven Battersby’s Landmark Letter to the Editor

February 20, 2013

“District 96 should accept responsibility”

One of the most distressing aspects of the Lieggi Scandal has been the Board’s equanimity about ruining Susan Battersby’s teaching career.  She now works in a warehouse, I am told.  I have never met her.  It is an outrage, but the Board could not appear to care less.  I believe Ms. Battersby should be vindicated, and, as has been said by many, Lieggi dumped.  Please take a look at Mr. Battersby’s — her father — thoughts in the letter linked above, and evaluate the performance of the folks who brought this on.  Not their staff, not their top staffer, the superintendent, but they themselves personally.  The staff is the Board’s responsibility, just like this painful mess.

Lax Construction Management Detailed at D96

February 20, 2013 (click on video #2)

Above is a link to the presentation that Mary Ellen Meindl and D96 staff sought to derail at last night’s board meeting.

Very disturbing:

A) According to statements by Mary Ellen Meindl and senior staff, and documents obtained by FOIA, the board approved $18 million in construction payments last year without reviewing proper documentation, specifically, the lien waivers.

B) We paid $400 for gfi sockets that cost $20 at Home Depot.  We are paying our architect unlimited 7.5% markup; at RBHS, thanks to Attorney Karen Layng, they negotiated to guaranteed maximum contract(s) with limited mark-ups at 3.75%

C) We borrowed $10 million, are paying 3.25% interest ($325,000/year, or 4.5 teachers/year), and getting .5% on our deposited funds, all while we had the cash due to MaxTaxing.  Instead, we pay interest.

D) We employed neither a construction manager, nor a commissioning agent, despite the expenditure of 1x annual budget.  There was no consistent risk management policy.  (As it unfortunately happens, no one on the board or in the senior staff has architecture / design / engineering / construction / renovation / commissioning / integration experience.)

E) When the relevant documents (regarding the $18 million) were requested, it took six weeks to produce them, after numerous stall and delay tactics.

F) When FOIAs were used to get some of these documents, D96 deliberately did not comply with the FOIA request.

District 96 discussion, January 15, 2013

January 16, 2013

Here’s a youtube video with superintendent Lamberson, attorney Justino Petrarca, yours truly and an Ames mom:

After the statement on the video, i sent the following to the d96 board:

d96 board :

if you are working on actually sorting this mess you have made so that the community can heal and we can start a new chapter without Colleen, Mary Ellen and post-Jon, then please read no further and go back to that duty.

frankly, i do not expect anything responsive from you, since you insulted everyone’s intelligence with that staged colloquy last night between jon and justin [sic, should be ‘justino,’].  if the rampant rumors are true, and a personal relationship existed and it was not disclosed such that you could decide on the scariano firm’s ongoing representation, then your botch is enormously bigger — and i know which attorney will have an ARDC issue.

one other point – you were elected to oversee d96, not to busybody your way into village of riverside matters.  mike gorman and co. have that responsibility – and i would respectfully suggest you not seek to assess whose credibility is higher, yours or the riverside police department’s.  since you have manifestly failed at keeping d96 on track, you may focus where your authority runs and leave other units of government to theirs.

mary ellen says, ‘if you have questions, email them…’  here they are — what do you say?

p.s. no cheating – answers from jon and justin[o] do not count.  as a constituent i want to hear from the officeholders.

Contradictions to be resolved

  1. If there was no personnel issue, then why were D96 attorneys deployed to argue against the village attorney about Riverside Police Department releasing the police report?
  2. If sex offenders are not allowed access to our kids, then how could a D96 principal report one of her teachers as a possible sex offender to Riverside police, and not then remove that teacher from the classroom?
  3. If there was no personnel issue, then why did the Board – in a solemn act — have to re-draw the terms of separation with the falsely accused teacher in December 2011?
  4. If there is no conflict of interest, then why is the community rife with comments about a certain attorney and a certain D96 employee being involved with each other – and being involved together in the working through of these events?
  5. If the Board now says the matter is under investigation, then why did an attorney for the board tell a member of this community in a letter last September that the matter is permanently closed?
  6. According to a D96 official, “The reference made to off-site testing or a summer assessment is not possible.”  If it is not possible, then how did it happen in this case?
  7. If there is a principal at a D96 school, who, applying today for the position she currently holds, would not be hired, then why is she allowed to remain as principal?
  8. If the board is faithfully overseeing its policies, which are in fact our policies, then how do you explain our district going so far wrong, and arriving at this place of doubt, convolution and concern?
  9. There is a woman in this story who her entire life wanted only to be a teacher.  She worked hard, distinguished herself and came to us.  We hired her.  Within months she was in an untenable position, with her name wrongly besmirched.  Then she was terminated – wrongly, and terminated again — pathetically.  She has left teaching and now works in retail.  It is possible she will never teach again, because of what happened to her here, in District 96.  In our name, all of this has happened.  What part of this example does the Board want our children emulate?  If none of it, then – why are you still our Board?