Monday, March 14, 2011

Pottergate Backstory

Want to know the number one asked question about the financial scandal?  Why was this program created at SPS?

KUOW had a superlative report by Phyllis Fletcher giving a great backstory complete with Board meeting audio plus historic background on Seattle minority businesses.   It fills in a lot of gaps in the story.

There's a transcript at KUOW but honestly, it is much better to listen to and hear some familiar voices praising Silas.

What is jaw-dropping to me is this at a Board meeting in 2008:

Potter admitted to the board that he lobbied a state legislator to change a law that would let him expand his program.
Potter: "I kinda sorta didn't let the school board know when I did it. So you guys have to forgive me for it."
They did. But his lobbying was a violation of district policy. Potter didn't say that outright. His lobbying was successful. He got to give contracts to bigger companies as a result.

Here was an SPS employee standing before the Board telling them he did something that is expressly  prohibited for SPS employees to do without permission and he just weaseled his way out out of it.   I'd bet not one Board member followed up on this issue.

12 comments:

mirmac1 said...

Wow, I wonder why MGJ didn't say the same thing to the Board everytime she did something expressly against policy, or was/appeared unethical? "You'll just have to forgive me for that and give me $264K."

Po3 said...

Well it sure is making more and more sense why they so swifty gave MGJ the axe. They are just trying to make it go away.

But its not!

Vote in Nov.

Northender said...

The more I read here and elsewhere, the more I am convinced that "followup" is a dirty word for SPS management - it shows up time and time again - in audit documents, in this whole Pottergate farce - "if we just ignore it long enough and no one rocks the boat it'll all blow over"

Governance via the "ostrich method" has seldom proved effective in history - why or why do they think it will now? I guess because we - the larger taxpaying "we" not necessarily those who are active on this blog and others, haven't held them accountable - haven't repeatedly insisted on followup, follow thru.

I personally don't intend to let that practice/philosophy/thinking continue - and I will vote accordingly.

dan dempsey said...

Are you kidding me?

How could anyone be shocked at this Board not holding someone responsible for something.

The 22 hour buy-outs for $400,000 spring to my mind.

How about our new interim Supt. Why was that appointment decision NOT brought to public attention?

Check out the videos here=>
http://www.school-truth.com/ntn.html

Anonymous said...

I'm told that Phyllis Fletcher will be reporting more on this tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.

Signed, Buzz

Silas Potter said...

When will this go away?

Patrick said...

I'm sure that was meant to be funny, but I think our right to use pseudonyms should end where other people's real names begin.

dan dempsey said...

So thanks for the Backstory on Pottergate and the Board.

Any questions on why Sundquist wanted this entire issue swept away in 22 hours from Tuesday 8 PM to Board meeting 22 hours later?

At least now we know why this "Double Buy-out and Enfield appointment" was declared to be a one meeting "introduction item / Action item" slam-dunk "declared emergency".

So this is how Steve Sundquist plans to restore confidence in the district.

Steve is getting the term "Confidence-Man" confused with "Confidence".

The plan of "Sweep it under the rug rapidly", is not a big confidence builder for me.

kprugman said...

How many times will school boards be allowed to use the 'stupid' defense?

The Alliance is like a submarine, only every time a superintendent gets fired, they sink a school district.

Anonymous said...

Patrick,

I disagree. When somebody is famous (or infamous in this case) then they are fair game for parody. As soon as Mr. Potter tried to pass his "non-profit's" bills onto SPS, and deposited that juicy check, he left himself wide open.

Name witheld upon request

Melissa Westbrook said...

I agree, Patrick.

Please do NOT use anyone any living person's name as your moniker (unless, of course, you are that person).

Also don't assume you know who anyone is. Someone elsewhere assumed that someone named "Chris" was long-time watchdog Chris Jackins. Chris Jackins doesn't use e-mail so I knew it could not be him.

Arne Duncon said...

Melissa, that's illogical