Words are important things. When you use the wrong words to describe your actions, you are being deceptive. For instance, if I said “Culp and the Board are on the verge of pulling a facility scam on Grandview”, it would not be correct. “Long established and ongoing” would be the correct words to describe the scam the board is trying to pull on the community.
I read through the September 23, 2015 “Superintendant Speaks” article in the Tri-Village News, and found a few words that seem to be inaccurate.
The board started this facilities work before April 2015
Mr Culp started the TVN article with a vague history lesson, then the superintendent made a strange choice of words. “Today, we are on the verge of engaging in a process to explore our facilities and how they may serve our students for generations to come.”
As anyone who has been tracking the board’s actions knows, the announcement that they are “on the verge” seems strange. The board was quoted in an April 2015 TVN article that was headlined “District seeks plan for aging buildings”, it was an entire story about all the ways the board was getting started on the Facilities process. That was five months ago.
In the May 2015 special board meeting, the notes show a four hour long meeting that had one topic – school facilities. This is where they recorded the infamous ““80-‐90 years ago the people of Grandview invested in school buildings and infrastructure; it’s our turn now.”, and “Feeling of MORAL IMPERATIVE to do something”. They also talked about a visit they had done to other school districts to look at facilities, so they were working on facilities well before May. There have been other mention of the facilities work in the school newsletter, and other TVN articles.
The choice of “on the verge” by Mr Culp is just inexplicable, unless you make the obvious conclusion – he was trying to be deceptive, in order to try to hide the history of the board from uninformed voters. There is lots of stuff in those old meeting notes that the board wants to hide.
There were reasons the present school buildings were built in the 1920s
Going back to the vague history lesson Culp started the article with, what event was the reason that cause the Grandview Heights community to build new schools? If most homeowners look at the deeds to their houses, they will find a fact that has a big correlation – most of the homes in Grandview were built in the 1920s. The city had no choice except to build new schools to house an exploding number of new students.
The history lesson has no bearing on the present population of students at Grandview Heights schools. There has been a constant decrease in the student population since the 1970’s. Despite the new housing going in to the Grandview Yard development, the school attendance has been flat. I was told only two kids were added to the school who live in those apartments. There is no reason to think more housing at the Yard will increase student numbers enough to require new buildings.
Culp talked about the K-12 Business Solutions report that was used by the board as an excuse to start their campaign to build new buildings. I wrote another post that completely debunked the use of the report. Until the board starts talking about the 700 Thousand dollars that the report says will be needed to maintain current athletic facilities (not build anything new), all use of that report by the board is deceptive.
Culp does mention the names of the Task force members for the first time, but doesn’t say what their individual professional backgrounds are. He says, “a wide variety of backgrounds, including some with expertise in the finance, construction and building industries”.
I’m still learning what the real jobs of these task force members are. I don’t see how “dentist” fits into the backgrounds he mentioned, and a lawyer in legislative advocacy doesn’t fit any of those categories either. More on the task force later.
Blogging is a long term game
Most of the time the school board operates in a hermetically sealed environment. They have many special meeting with no press or parents in attendance, and because they believe in a Policy Governance style board, they intentionally discourage parents from bringing issues to the board. They have no trouble ignoring anything I say here, and don’t respond to my posts.
An example – I wrote a good post about the violations of the Ohio Open Meeting laws, and I think it is a slam dunk case that they fail to follow the rules. The board has made no move to get into compliance, and they have made no public statements acknowledging any criticisms of their failures. They know that the open meeting laws violations can only be challenged by a private lawsuit, and they are betting they will not have to defend themselves in court (I think that someday they will tick off someone who will throw the board into chaos when they lose a big lawsuit).
The board’s attempt to scam the community into a new building is a different issue. They need to pass big levies, and the city has a history of voting down attempts to build a new city hall building (voted down twice).
I wonder if someone took a board member aside, and in a low voice, told them – “that stuff in the May board meeting? The “Our turn now.”, and “Feeling of MORAL IMPERATIVE” that was pointed out by that blogger? You might want to respond, because you sound a little … unhinged?”
And so Andy Culp was assigned the task of making them sound less crazy, and had to address the “80-‐90 years ago the people of Grandview invested in school buildings “ and tried to make it sound like they were just talking theoretically about new buildings in that meeting by saying the board is only NOW on the Verge of Taking Action. Culp did a poor job.
It’s not much, but you have to play the long term game when you are a blogger. I might have gotten them to think a little about how they sound to outsiders – maybe. They can chose to ignore everything I say though, after all, I’m just a guy with a blog.
I sent an email to Superintendent Culp asking questions about the TVN article, but he either had no defense for his errors, or refused to answer questions.