Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Open Thread

I really must get to some other threads because I see the Times is at it again (right out the gate on their latest editorial "this dysfunctional district" and, as well, I heard some interesting things at yesterday's Operations Committee meeting.   Yes, the district will bid on the Federal Reserve building (but at a bigger cost than I would have thought) and Capital staff make up a new term for dollars that puzzled Director Peaslee (me, too). 

(Plus, remember how the feds didn't get Al Capone on racketeering charges but settled for the milquetoast tax evasion?  This district will not see me go away from getting tired of the fight but from the traffic getting to and from headquarters.  I can tell you that, in more than a decade of being a long-distance swimmer, going back and forth to headquarters, the traffic - has - gotten - worse.) 

It also appears that the Garfield PTSA is still fighting the good fight on their teacher situation with a new idea out (something about 5 teachers splitting their classes).  More on that to come. 

I listened in on the Charter Commission special meeting yesterday.  First Place Scholars is on probation.  Also some odd stuff there but First Place has a year to get things together.  More on this to come.

Tick tock, Supreme Court, where's your charter school law ruling?  Court watchers say the Court generally issues rulings before the end of the year so we're getting mighty close.

Community meetings tomorrow:
Director Blanford - 10am-11:30am at Douglass Truth Library
Director Patu - 10 am- noon at Caffe Vita

What's on your mind?

15 comments:

Lori said...

Someone recently told me that our school board directors are limited to 2 terms maximum. I'd never heard that before, and I couldn't find it in the policies (although I looked only briefly).

If that's true, it means that Directors Carr and Martin-Morris cannot run again.

Does anyone know? Are the positions really term-limited?

And, regardless, when do Directors normally announce whether they are seeking re-election? Four positions are up fall of 2015, and I'm curious who's staying and who's going.

Anonymous said...

The are all 4 going, just wait for the votes to be tallied.

New board

Anonymous said...

The Times piece on the outcome of situation with Ex-SPED Director McWilliams was also interesting - I'm trying to figure out why SPS would give her both severance pay AND a letter of recommendation. They sure do like to just try and make things go away quietly, don't they? But at what cost?

Reader47

Melissa Westbrook said...

No, I do not believe that is true. Ellen Roe was on the Board for at least four terms.

Lori, you ask an interesting question. Sometimes directors signal early and sometimes wait until the filing date (which I believe is the end of May). Some people don't like to show their hand too early.

My read?

Both Martin-Morris and Carr have served 8 long years. On the one hand, both seem to like the work. Carr has just taken on the Presidency of the Board (which could be her swan song by next fall) and Martin-Morris seems to love the traveling he does as Board member.

But Carr did get promoted at Boeing in the last couple of years and may want to concentrate more on that job.

It's hard to say with those two but I would guess at least one will not run.

As for Peaslee and McLaren, well, I sense they, too, like the work and many directors feel like they are just getting their legs in the first term and that may be the case for these two.

However, they are in a far worse position. Both came into office after exiting incumbents and both promised they were running on more community engagement and input on decision-making (you can see this at many webpages where they were interviewed during their campaigns).

Frankly, I have no idea how they plan to dance around that issue. They clearly have gone the other way. And Peaslee chose to be especially strident over the Garfield field trip rape incident and I sense that did not endear her to many.

I also think there are challengers in the wings and those people may announce earlier than later (given they would be taking on a possible incumbent).

The difference between running against an incumbent versus someone else who also hasn't been in office can't be overstated (especially with heavy hitters like Carr and Martin-Morris).

I suspect that the Board elections may get almost as much interest as the new City Council district elections.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see McWilliams outed in the times. Also glad to see all the same allegations made by a poster confirmed by the investigation.

The only missing part in the times story is it wasn't the district who instigated the investigation it was a parent who was sickened by the TIERS group's July 22nd meeting and started digging into the circumstances and found the incriminating emails sent through McWilliams personal email account and sent those on to OSPI and DOE.

--Michael

Melissa Westbrook said...

Reader 47, it's ALWAYS this way (maybe not for Silas Potter). They fear a lawsuit and a drawn out court action and that it may scare other candidates off.

mirmac1 said...

English, Wright and Tolley's hands were dirty with this one.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Tolley was Mcwilliams boss and knew there were issues and knew how important hiring the outside consultant was, but failed in his over site of McWilliams. Tolley should be fired for allowing this to happen on his watch. Tolley is sly and doesn't email anything incriminating.I hope he slips up soon.

--Michael

Po3 said...

Tolley's continued tenure in SPS baffles me. I think it is the result of the rotating superintendent that keeps him here.

mirmac1 said...

I was denied access to the email English wrote explaining how best to proceed with the procurement on a fast-track, but at least superficially meeting the competitive RFP process. Somehow the entire docurement was withheld.

Anonymous said...

@ Melissa -

"Capital staff make up a new term for dollars that puzzled Director Peaslee (me, too)."

What new term?

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Golly gee whiz Michael. Who was that parent who outed McWilliams???? Let us know so we can him a Christmas present. I'm so glad we now have something better.

Reader 48

Anonymous said...

This District IS bidding on the Federal Reserve Building downtown????


Whaaaaat?


Why?


And, with what dollars?


Flip Herndon is leading our kids off the edge. What problem is he solving with this??? And, is it the worst, most pressing problem?????


Won't our Board protect us? Can't they DEMAND a comprehensive analysis of the WHOLE DISTRICT BEFORE he submits a bid????


This is truly NUTS!!!

Him being fired would be fine. If he won't supply a legitimate analysis of the District's facilities, how can he possibly demand resources we don't have go to that first?

My only hope is that Director Peters with Director Patu can hold back the rising tides of incompetency, imprudence, laziness or stupidity -- whatever it it, and get their colleagues to join them in preserving a disciplined approach to


Facilities Planning

mirmac1 said...

Oh yeah the geniuses downtown want to pay MORE than the minimum bid. We be flush with the big bucks, no?

Charlie Mas said...

The severance wasn't to make Ms McWilliams go away, it was to make her lawyer go away.