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School facilities options – first impressions

Published May 5, 2017 by justicewg

May Facility meeting with options3The school board has presented three major options for the school facilities (with seven sub-options). There is a lot of information to digest in the Master Plan Options but here are some quick first impressions.

Board doesn’t care about state borrowing limits

Six of the seven options are asking for more bonds that the state will allow by law.

How is it possible to borrow more than the state of Ohio allows? Some net research shows that it is possible to ask the state for a waiver of the rules, and if a general funds levy is set high enough (and passed by voters) to cover the difference in cost between the state bond limit and the construction cost, it is allowed.

Just like a homeowner might dig themselves into a deep hole by finagling a mortgage that he can’t really afford, and risks defaulting on the loan if the person is hit with a financial crisis, a district can dig itself into a hole that could cause catastrophic problems if a recession hits the economy. And what is the chances of that happening – who even remembers 2008?

Will the state allow Grandview to go over the legal bond limit? Remember, the state republican party, lead by Kasich, has singled out Grandview for the largest cuts in state funding. They want small schools to merge with larger ones, in order to be more efficient. What is stopping the state from saying “no, Grandview, you may not exceed the state limit”?

No mention of mills in report

The millions of dollars needed to build new schools (up to $70 million in the most expensive plan) has to be paid by the voters with increases in the property tax millage. There was no mention of mills – because the board knows that they would be calling the squad and wheeling homeowners out of the Glenn suffering from heart attacks.

The board didn’t make it easy to find information on mills needed to fund the facility plans, but there is some clues posted on the schools Facility FAQ page. According to this page, “a 5.52 mill levy today would generate enough to finance a project of approximately $33 million.” So if the board wants the $70 million to build a new “campus”, they would be asking for over 12 mills. Remember, the state is cutting their funding, and the number of administrators and their salaries continues to grow, so operating levies will be needed too. We might be looking at a 15+ mill request from the school board.

What is the history in Grandview for passing high millage levies? In May 2002, voters rejected a ridiculous 9.8 + 4 + 4 incremental school levy (the additional mills would be added in later years). It wasn’t even close, the voters rejected the high levy request with a 70% no vote.

Grandview Heights currently has the highest Total property tax rate (school plus city, etc.) in the county.

May 12 update – from a TVN story:

If the district were to pursue a project costing its current bond-borrowing capacity of $45.3 million, an 8.2-mill bond levy would be needed, Collier said.

There is no backup plan

Any serious, professional planner has an option ready for any contingency. The school board will be expected to push for one of the expensive, “no contact with reality” plans for massive new schools. It will fail to get the votes. They will then attempt one of the cheaper options (if you call $35 million cheap). Depending on the general economy, and the mood of the voters, that plan might also fail. What happens then?

I asked Culp if the board has a contingency plan ready if it can’t get the votes for the least expensive plan. I asked what the board would do about facility repair during the 2 or more years the school might ask for levies to pay for the expensive option. He replied with the usual bureaucratic non-answer.

The options in the master plan – ranging from a no contact with reality $70 million, to a near the limit allowed by law $35 million, are all of the plans the board has made. They are so sure they will charm us, and if needed threaten us, that they have no alternate to their expensive plans.

The board will “manifest” the money

I wrote a posts called What’s wrong with the School Board’s optimism?, I think it is the best explanation for what is happening on the board. Please read that post, and watch the Barbara Ehrenreich video.

The board has been in a self-reinforcing, protected from outside comments bunker mode for a long time. The carefully selected facility task force, segregated by board rules that prevented any visitor from attend their meetings, has reinforced the wall the board put up to keep reality out.

I think the board thinks that there is no reason that the expensive new campus options can’t be built. They are probably telling each other, “we can do it, we just need to say the right words, and we will manifest the money to build new buildings. It is just a matter of how much will power we have”.

We will have to endure multiple public meetings, at which the board will drone on endlessly about the numbers, then they will plead, then they will threaten. They will say that new building are the only moral choice, and those who oppose their plans are bad people who want to hurt children.

You didn’t vote for this

We haven’t gotten to the finger pointing section of the debate yet, so let me direct the first arrow.

Grandview didn’t vote to have buildings that need expensive maintenance. The only levy that has been rejected in the last 30 years was in 2002. All of the fault for the condition of the school buildings are on the school board. The priorities of the school board are clear in the spending they have done on a overloaded, high salary administration.

I’m sure that the present school board will claim they are heroic visionaries for proposing new school buildings. I think they are like the car dealer that notices a small patch of rust on your old car, and tries to convince you that the only solution that makes sense is to buy a $100K luxury car – because your kids deserve the best!

We do have an opportunity to vote for board members in the fall. Let’s send a clear message by rejecting all of the current members.

(Later) I should have added “spend a lot of money on experts in public relations” on my list of things the board is telling each other they need to do to get their new buildings. I have heard there is a PR firm that is paying Grandview residents to attend focus groups at which they are “asked about their opinions”. Push polling is a standard practice for PR firms, they slant the questions in ways that make doing what they want to be signaled as a virtuous act, and resistance is subtly associated with ignorance, close mindedness, and anti-social acts.

A message to the PR firm – Hi! I’m sure you are reading my blog, I have a offer for you. Want to get a look into the mind of a person who is going to be a vocal opponent of the construction of new schools? Pay me! Use the links in the About section to send me a message.  Lets make a deal!

Board to host open, ask anything meetings (A.F.)

Published March 31, 2017 by justicewg

truett-at-visioningThe announcement by school superintendent Culp about meetings to be held in the homes of Grandview residents has provoked a change of direction in the school board. Culp’s “ask me anything” home meetups is going to be done one better by the board.

“We remembered that the school board held meetings in the past for the community to ask questions about special topics, like the removal for the A+ grade, or the change in student drinking policy. We looked at our record and noticed it has been years since we have done anything like that.”

Board president Truett posted new policy for the board on the school website this week. “We will be hosting bi-monthly meetings at the school for the foreseeable future. There will be no limit in topic – anything goes. Do you wonder what the real deal was with the mysterious end of the contract with facilities consultant HPG? Come ask. Did we leave unanswered info about the sudden end to former super O’Reilly’s tenure? Ask us to come clean. There were questions about why the school pushed out band director Hennig, Lots of things happened there that we kept under wraps, it will be good to get them out. How about the lawsuit against the school, and the large payouts the school made to end those legal challenges to our treatment of a parent? We will be fully transparent.”

The school will be making video recordings of each questions and answer, and a detailed transcription of the questions and answers will be posted to the school website.

Truett commented, ”That thing I said during a meeting about how criticism and questioning the board is bad decorum? Yea, that was kind of a dumb thing to say. Any questions or comments are now going to be quickly and completely answered by the board.”

“Heck, I might even be answering questions about the real reason that I resigned from the principal position at the school, and turned in my teaching license. You can only hold that stuff in so long, before it makes a fellow a bit uncomfortable. It will be a good thing to tell the whole truth” said Jessie Truett.

(Later) Sorry, some times you need to be a little early on the April Fools to get “ahead” of the pack.

Culp is holding a “coffee”, and you are not invited

All of the preceding story about the board holding open, ask anything meetings is a joke, an April fools gag that was so far fetched that nobody could have thought it was true, like spaghetti growing on a tree. All of the questions that I listed are real questions that the board has never answered – click the links to read the stories behind the unanswered questions.

I had to go back in the archives of my old blog to find examples of the school board holding open meetings that were scheduled so that any community member could ask questions. There really was a meeting held so the board could answer questions about changes to the student drinking policy back in 2008, and another was held in 2006 to get parent comments on the removal of the A+ grade. I don’t think any public meetings to ask the board questions have been held since then. There was about a hundred parents that attended the school board meeting at which the band director was given the boot, but that was a regular board meeting, and the board did not answer any questions from the public. I think the board was so frightened by that meeting they are now refusing to ever get out of the bunker.

The announcement by school superintendent Culp about meetings to be held in the homes of Grandview residents – that is real, the link above to the TVN story explains it (there is also a Dispatch story). I asked Mr Culp for more detail about the format of these meetings – how would the homes be chosen, who is invited, is the meeting recorded? He responded that he would be the one making the choice, the homeowner would pick the attendees, and nothing would be recorded. I sent the following to him in response to that.

Since you are leaving the details of who will be invited to these meetings to the homeowner, and they will set the tone of acceptable questioning, I don’t foresee anything will occur at these home coffee meetings other than polite chatting that never asks the important, difficult questions. Why would a homeowner invite a superintendent into his home in order for him to be made uncomfortable?

Since you don’t intend to record these meetings, there will be no record of what was asked, or answered. Ephemeral meetings with no important content, and no trace left after. Possibly useful for someone who wanted to burnish a social standing in the community by bragging “I had the superintendent at my house”. (Maybe also parents who are looking to bank some influence with the school if their child were to get into trouble in the future.)

Do you really think there will be anything produced that would be of value for the people who have hard questions in this community? – JW

Big surprise – Culp didn’t answer my question! I guess he didn’t have enough coffee.

(Later) After reading the Dispatch story about the “Coffee Chat” meetings, I think I understand now what the real deal is. Jessie Truett, who will be running for re-election to the board in the fall, will be attending these meetings also. This allows him a way to get into people’s homes and do some early campaigning for his fall run. I think Grandview residents have woken up to the mistake they made in electing him, and the shame it brings to the school to have the guy as board president. I think Truett really needs the paycheck for the board gig, and is desperate to hold the job.

Kasich budget hits Grandview hard, treasurer Collier tries to dance around bad news

Published February 24, 2017 by justicewg
collier-cut-head

Collier had her head cut off in the TVN photo

It has to be tough working for the mostly republican school board in Grandview, you have to deal with constant cuts from the republican controlled Ohio government, while whistling a happy tune and pretending everything will be OK.

School Treasurer Collier had an article in the TVN about the cuts in state funding on the way for the district, she explained how Grandview lost the most annual funding on a per-pupil basis – $684 – among all Franklin County districts. She tried to explain the cuts as a result of funding formulas that she said were hard to understand, or as she says, “Complex, isn’t it?”

No, it isn’t complex. Kasich and his republicans want to force small schools to merge with larger schools, that’s why Grandview was hit the hardest. If you want to keep Grandview from being forced to merge with another district (probably U.A.), you should be speaking up, denouncing the Kasich plans, speaking the truth about what republican plans will do to our school in the long term. But since the board members don’t want to hear that, we will be listening to the whistling past the graveyard.

Deception on taxes

Collier tries to pull a fast on on us by specifying the school tax rate, and claiming it is “one of the lowest”. First, our school millage is second only to Bexley. Second, our total property tax rate (school plus city, etc.) is the highest in the county. If you are going by the effective rate, Grandview is not at the top, so that is what the school wants us to look at, and ignore the other parts of the tables. Effective rates are important, but the total rate is where we know how we stand as far as taxing ourselves. We have passed the most tax millage in the county – we have no reason to expect voters to push taxes even higher.

City Total prop. Tax rate Effective rate, 2016
Grandview Heights 143.37 77.89
Bexley 141.65 73.76
Upper Arlington 133.06 75.03
Reynoldsburg 121.42 92.91
Westerville 123.92 95.41
Columbus 106.29 74.71

(Addendum) You might ask, why not link to the school website, shouldn’t they have the above data posted somewhere? And yes, under past Treasurers, there were charts showing mills voted and effective rates for the major school districts in the county. Treasurer Collier wiped this info from the website, then refused my request to replace and update the information. Then she changed her mind, and sometime around Dec 2015 she re-posted some of  the data. But as you see from looking at the data now on the school website, that fiscal information has been sitting unchanged since 2015, left to rot.

More loony plans from the Gov.

There is a second article in the TVN that covers much of the same news about the budget proposed by Kasich, and in this one Collier is not so pollyannaish. She is quoted saying about the state funding “That will be a pretty significant dropoff”. Funny, the other article made it sound like it was no big deal.

Kasich is pushing for a program of requiring teachers to take“externship with a local business”. The article makes it sound like a mystery plan with no clear reason for starting, but all republican plans can be understood if you listen to their constant bleating to “run government like a business”. They think that forcing teachers to spend time in local businesses is going to imbue them in the entrepreneurial spirit. Even when it makes no sense to push teachers with no students who could be in those businesses (any teacher under HS level), the R’s want to waste teacher time with social engineering.

Even superintendent Culp is quoted saying “It’s the local school board who knows what’s best for the teachers in their home schools and community.” I expect him to be hearing strong criticism from his bosses on the board over that weak opposition to republican plans.

More on Kasich and budget cuts from 2015.

(Addendum) I’ve had some people saying “so what, a cut of  $684  per pupil is not much for a year.” The problem is that as the 2015 post linked above shows, this isn’t a short term problem. The state might make another cut next year, and the year after that, then change the rules,  until Grandview Heights has no choice but to merge with another school system. And our school board might not be able to do much about it, but at least they should stand up and say “This is wrong”.

(April update) The Ohio House is planning to make some changes to the school budget, but Grandview is still singled out for the same cuts that Kasich wanted. The Senate is unlikely to help us. At least the wacky “externship” plan from Kasich has been dumped. Still no public announcement from the Grandview school board that criticizes the GOP or asks for parent groups to protest the cuts.

Study projects little growth in schools

Published February 16, 2017 by justicewg

We all pretty much knew what the results of the study would be. A consultant group for the school delivered expected results – the only growth area in Grandview is the Yard, and the kind on people living in that area tend to be DINKs and young people with no kids.

Still, it needs to be noted for the future, the school board has gone public with the results, and they are not going to be able to use an increase in student numbers to push for new school buildings.

Culp is quoted in the TVN story saying that enrollment in Grandview has declined by 4 percent, or about 46 students, over the last decade. In truth, enrollment has been dropping since the 1960’s. The current student-teacher ratio, 16 to 1, is one of the better ratios in this county. The school expects to be able to absorb any increase in students without hiring new staff.

School board Hype vs Reality

Published November 15, 2016 by justicewg
Somebody needs a math lesson.

This donation board was used during the failed attempt to solicit donations to completely pay for the Field.

The Grandview school board has reached a low point in their duty to be honest in informing the community about the actions they are taking. All of the deceptive practices and hype below have happened in the last month.

The Field Turf Hype

The board has been beating the drums over its plans to become a new, open organization. All comments from the public would be solicited, and any plans for improvements to the school were going to be extensively discussed, with meetings open to the public.

The Field Turf Reality

The agenda to the November 15, 2016 board meeting includes the following:

3. Turf Contract

Recommend the board approve a contract with Field Turf for the replacement of Anderson Field synthetic field turf at a cost not to exceed $335,000.00, payable from Anderson Family donations and Permanent Improvement levy funds.

Did you have some questions about the safety of the artificial turf that will be installed on the football field? Have you heard about issues with lead exposure, and increased injuries that might be linked to the artificial turf? Did you have questions about the economic issues of the turf, and wondered if the rental fees charged for the use of the field have done anything to offset the cost? Did you want to express opposition to the use of multi-ton carpets of plastic and rubber, which will need to be disposed of in already overused trash dumps? Too bad, because that train has left the station. The board has spoken, and at great cost the Field Turf will be replaced.

If you remember back when the Field Turf was first installed in 2006, the school did a lot of work trying to get donations from the community, even installing a board at the end of the field to track the money coming in. Nothing like that was even attempted for this replacement of the turf (why?) The board is implying that money will be donated by the Anderson Family, but nothing has been announced, even though this should have been the time for the money to be forthcoming. Maybe the Andersons though the first donation to get the turf started was all they needed to do, and don’t want to be on the hook for the next hundred years for the school turf?

culp-leads-laughter

Culp leads the crowd into laughter about parent statements

The Feedback Hype

Superintendent Culp wrote a story in the October 26 Tri-V News, titled “Feedback from every resident crucial to planning.” He went on at great length about the facilities planning process, and how he wanted to everyone to “Join the Conversation.” He said that all participation and feedback is valued, and appreciated.

The Feedback Reality

The school website has a number of videos that were taken during public meetings about the facilities process. Go to the linked page on the school website, then skip forward to the five minute mark, where Culp talks about a slide titled “Rumors that I have heard”. Culp list about ten things he read that might be in the future of the school (most were not directed at him, they were posts that had been found on Facebook and other social media.)

These were things that people had said, in the vacuum of any official leadership positions from the board or the Facility Task Force. To fill that lack of information, people had made guesses at where the school was headed, and how the process would proceed.

At first the list is just read, but then about halfway through, he makes a joke, and it becomes clear what he was getting at with this list. These were funny, crazy, uninformed rumors! Culp made it clear that anything that was said about the facilities process that didn’t come from his office was dangerous misinformation, open for ridicule in front of the large crowd of people attending the meeting.

I sent an email to Mr Culp after that meeting, this is part of what I said:

Suppose that there was a student who was involved in a project with a large group of students, and as part of a presentation this student was making, he put up a PowerPoint slide of “things he has heard other student are saying”. This student then went through the list, and encouraged the classroom to laugh and discount the things that were on the board.

Would you praise the student who took statements from others, with no permission? Would you tell him it was OK to put those words up on a public classroom wall, even though the other students had no idea they would be quoted?

Would you tell this student that getting the other students in the classroom to laugh at the statements on the wall was a good tactic, because belittling and humiliation of others is a good way to get your point across?

Would you tell this student that setting an example of laughter at the statements of others was a good idea in a group process, because after the other students had heard their ideas laughed at, they would probably stop submitting ideas to the group?

Strangely, Mr. Culp would not answer my question about the theoretical student. According to him, everything he said that evening was OK. I guess this is what we can expect from Culp when parents and community members “Join the Conversation”.

board-meeting-10-18-16-special-morningThe HPG Hype

On Oct 27th the Tri-V News asked the board and the superintendent why they had broken off with Kevin Harrison of HPG, the consulting firm who had done a large review of the school facilities. Even when asked repeatedly to explain what had happened, Culp would only say “the two sides have irreconcilable differences.” None of the board members would answer the reporter’s questions.

Keep in mind, when Culp was saying nothing but “irreconcilable differences” to the reporter, he was not just talking as one person, that was the official position of the school. The school didn’t think the community needed anything more than “irreconcilable differences”. Culp has said nothing more informative in any emails to the parents about HPG.

The HPG Reality

There is no question what the board was saying about HPG and Kevin Harrison at the special board meeting, it was all recorded. Board member Truett had at least four different reasons why the board was unhappy with Harrison, and made it clear that it was all his fault for being “unprofessional”. He had problems with the way HPG did the review of the facilities, and how HPG presented his conclusions on the facilitates. From the way HPG was discussed in the meeting, all of the work produced by him should have been thrown in the trash.

Why would the board have two very different statements about HPG? Why would the board insist on a non-answer to a reporter, when that reporter had undoubtedly watched the video of the meeting, and knew exactly what was said at the official board meeting?

Do you get the feeling that the board has one thing to say to the reporters, another thing to say in meetings, and probably a third and fourth explanation of what happened when they discuss it among themselves outside board meetings?

If reality is just something to be bent to suit the audience you are speaking in front of at the moment, how can anything the board says be trusted?

Tour of the Haunted High School fails to scare

Published October 26, 2016 by justicewg
scary-pipes-hs

Terrifying pipes

The school administration made an appropriate choice to run their tours of the facilities in the Halloween season of haunting and creepy buildings. Too bad the scare tactics were so ineffective.

A group of about 25 community members were taken on the tour October 25th, and were shown various shortcomings of the high school. This was part of the Facilities evaluation process, which until last week was being run by Harrison Planning Group.

They showed off a room on the second floor that had suffered a large water damage issue, and was under repair. These roof issues were presented as a big problem, and I don’t know why they seemed to be so challenging. Roof repair is an established business, for the last few hundred years or so. You would think the school could contract with a company that would fix them, then guarantee the results. But the administration seemed to find the whole roof issues to be unsolvable.

nice-furnature

Why is this room so nice? New furniture, fresh walls and floor?

Most of the complaints were about issues with the rooms being too cold or too hot. They mentioned a zone system for fixing this issue, but it didn’t seem to be high on the planning lists of the administration.

A lot of the facilities issues seemed to be inconveniences, which the school had worked around for years. Maybe the school has been putting off repairs in the hope of major reconstruction or new buildings being built, it doesn’t make sense to pour money into rooms which may be gone in the future.

nice-coffee-nook

A coffee nook in a classroom?

Maybe the school board didn’t want to fix things which will be replaced – but what if the lack of upkeep on the school was intentionally done to help add to the scare factor of the tour? That would seem like a deceptive trick to me. How can we evaluate the difference?

Much ado was made about the elevator, which broke and needed a new part fabricated. The school was without second floor wheelchair access for weeks.

staff-lounge

Oops, wandered into the wrong room.

Certainly not a good situation, but new elevators are installed inside the shafts of old elevators all the time. I understand the school board wants us to think the school building is like an elevator that gets old and needs replaced, but the analogy just doesn’t hold for buildings. Roofs repairs are not special parts that need custom built by workers who will be gone and take the skills with them when they retire.

School board breaks with Harrison Planning Group

Published October 18, 2016 by justicewg
board-meeting-10-18-16-special-morning

Board members Douglass, Palmisciano, Super Culp, Evans, Tres. Collier, Truett, Pres. Brannan did not attend.

The school board set up a short notice special meeting at 8:15 in the morning on October 18th, and announced the immediate end of the relationship with Harrison Planning Group, citing “unprofessional behavior and attacks on board and task force members” (according to member Truett), and claiming that HPG did not want to continue working with the board.

The board picked Harrison Planning Group in January of this year, signing a $67K contract to do facility assessment (with an option for $27K more for further service), produce documentation of facility replacement costs, facilitate meetings with the public to explain those documents, and recommendations for directions the school could take in upgrading the schools. HPG attended the first facility meeting with the public on Aug. 24, and presented the findings on the school facilities.

The board’s explanation for the break with HPG

Board member Jessie Truett, on the facility committee, spend most of the 8:15 AM meeting explaining why the board is ending its relationship with HPG.

Truett said HPG was keeping some documents confidential, and didn’t live up to the “transparency” requested by the board (the word transparency is a favorite of Truett, he used it at least 15 times in the meeting).

This is an odd complaint from the board, were they saying that HPG was keeping some documents secretly, and not releasing them to the board? Because the only group that can release documents is the board, HPG was not expected to release them to the public (consultants release documents to the people who pay them).

Truett said HPG was making specific options for the facility process, and labeling them with dollar numbers. Apparently the board wanted something less specific, and was afraid the cost estimates would be used as hard figures.

The way you get exactly what you want from a consultant is to specify expected documents and the scope of the work to be done. If this doesn’t work as expected, is it a fault of the contractor? Or the board which was supposed to give good project scope instructions, and supervise the work output?

Finally, HPG was hired with the condition that they would not be eligible for any facility or architectural work done in the future at the school, in order to prevent any possibility that HPG might be self-dealing future contracts. This was acceptable to HPG. However, HPG was using sub-contractors who might be eligible for work at the school in the future.

According to Truett, when the board asked Kevin Harrison to not use any contractor who might bid on future work, “he took our request personally, responding in an unprofessional manner, verbally attacked members of the task force and the board of education, and responded that he didn’t want to work with us any more.”

Again, this points to a deficiency in the contract and scope of planning with HPG, if the board didn’t want sub-contracters with eligibility for future work, they should have said so. I’ve been told that the pool of firms which might do this sub-contracting is small, and finding any who would do the work with the stipulation of no future contracts would be nearly impossible.

Truett said that HPG had been paid for the work they had done, and was in possession of all documents that were created by HPG up to this point, and that the board would end the relationship with no financial entanglements.

This is questionable – as the creator of the facility documents that are the basis of the process, HPG was uniquely able to answer questions about how those assessments and projections were created. Any successor that will be facilitating the process from now on will be struggling to catch up. Is HPG expected to pass off the work product for free, and not be paid for any consultation with the new company?

What is HPG’s side of the story?

I don’t expect Kevin Harrison of HPG will do any responding for requests for his side of the story. It doesn’t help to re-litigate a bad ending.

We can guess how this might have gone down from his perspective. He might say he was given poor instructions, and he was simply doing what he has done in all the past work with schools.

Harrison Planning group list 33 years of experience in consulting and facilities construction, and a few of the local schools who have used the company are Miami-Trace Local Schools, Washington Courthouse, New Albany – Plain Local School District, New Albany, Dayton Regional Stem School , and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC).

If he was a difficult person to work with, I don’t think his resume would be this large. I’m guessing the problem was the board members who pushed for an outcome that was obviously what they wanted from the beginning – a recommendation to tear down and build new schools. A consultant who had integrity would resist this meddling with the process, and when pushed, tell them to shove it.

The facilities process continues

The Facility Task force will be meeting next week, and will be working to find a new firm to continue the Facility process with the community. Too bad you can’t attend and ask them what they think of the HPG mess – Superintendent Culp again said that the Task force is a closed group, and you can’t attend meetings.

So much for transparency

There were 13 community members that attended the morning meeting, much to the shock of the board (most morning meetings have no one but the board). Two of the attendees pointed out the poor action of the board in sneaking this bad news into a special morning session, when the board had a regular meeting at 7PM in the same day. They said the board is hiding its failure with HPG by making the announcement at a meeting that would have no attendees (message to clueless board members, word always gets out in a small town). The board tried to give a lame excuse that the facilities business was not on the regular meeting agenda, but plenty of regular meetings have revised agendas. And they did have time to announce a special morning meeting – they could have tacked it on to the evening, no issues at all.

(Later) Now that I have reviewed the video (posted below), I’m getting more ticked off at the way Truett handled this meeting. His response to the appropriate and not at all insulting questions about the morning meetings was for Truett to start talking about decorum at the board meeting, and how he doesn’t want to get in a discussion questioning if the board is making appropriate choices.

Superintendent Culp, sprouting a week’s worth of beard from a vacation that ended Monday, claimed he was responsible for the morning meeting. How lame can you get.

After the break, the video of the Board meeting.

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