Br’er Fox sets a trap for Br’er Rabbit
Nashville J replied to yesterday’s
So Andy Griffiths got the new School Superintendent hired – wonder if he will still say that IF the new Superintendent turns out to not be as advertised? That and some others should be clipped and put in a drawer to drag out after Andy has finished (hope he is finished now) this tenure. 20 years is long enough in my mind.
After all the races were run through last night on Key Largo, written questions from the audience were taken. Andy Griffiths was asked what did he now thing about his having publicly called for the jobs of the top two financial people in the school district, instead of dealing with that at a school board meeting? Andy’s call for their jobs had happened at the Finnegan’s Wake forum.
Andy said he had been up on a stage listening to people who knew nothing about the school district, and he lashed out at the two finance employees, that would be Michael Kinneer and Ken Gentile. About as screwed up as what I did at the Key Largo forum, as explained in today’s post.
What I wanted to probe a bit last night, though, still want to probe, is Andy’s comment that he was on a stage at Finnegan’s Wake with people who knew nothing about the school district.
On that stage with Andy …
John Welsh, a teacher or high school principal in Keys schools for over thirty years.
Ed Davidson, who had attended school board meetings religiously for ten years.
Larry Murray, who had been on the school board’s volunteer advisory Audit & Finance Committee for two years, ending about six months ago, and had stayed all over school district issues since not being reappointed.
Yvette Mira-Talbott, who’d had three daughters go through Key West public schools, and she herself had worked at Key West High School, from which she had graduated.
Michael Cunningham, who had two children in a Keys grammar school in Key West, and had been studying school district issues as part of being a parent and running for the school board.
Mark Peterson, who taught at the Big Pine Charter school, and had been studying school district issues as part of being a teacher and running for the school board.
That left Howard Hubbard and me, who had no past ties with Keys schools or the district, other than living in the Keys and paying taxes to keep the schools running. We were the people holding forth at Finnegan’s Wake, who knew nothing about the school district and caused Andy to call for Michael Kinneer and Ken Gentile’s jobs. Andy. All by his own self.
I heard Andy take credit for things he liked that happened in the school district, such as the school district being ranked 8th in the state, and the school district paying off a lot of its bond indebtedness in 2015, but I don’t hear Andy taking credit for the sad state of the school district after he was on the school board for 20 years.
I imagine Andy would have gotten really tired of hearing about the myriad school district woes at the Big Pine school board candidate forum, especially since the candidates explaining the woes knew nothing about the school district.
Tomorrow’s school board meeting might be interesting, with finalizing Mark Porter’s contract, and Ken Gentile and Michael Kinneer being on the agenda. [Later, I heard Gentile and Kinneer might not be on the agenda.]
Will be interesting to see which school board candidates, who know nothing about the school district, will attend the school board meeting, and which school board candidates, who know nothing about the school district, will attend the Boondocks candidate forum instead, if there is not time for them to do both.
I feel all warm, fuzzy and comfy inside knowing Andy is the only school board candidate this year who knows anything about the school district.
Unconscionable, Andy blaming school board candidates for what he did at that candidate forum all by his own self. I bet if Andy, stone sober, ran his truck head on into a coconut palm on the grass way beside North Roosevelt Blvd in Key West, he would jump out of his vehicle and start blaming the coconut palm for it.
Also this from Nashville J:
And we wonder why the bullies aren’t stopped.
I expect nothing has been done by Dennis Ward concerning those who stuffed the kid in a locker in KW. No one wants to bother.
Click on the link to see a provoking no good deed goes unpunished article, which might discourage lots of students from standing up for disadvantaged students who are being bullied.
Dennis said at the forum last night that the bullying education program he initiated in the schools as moved from the lower grades into the middle grades, and soon will move into the high schools. No mention, however, of the kid getting stuffed in the locker just a short distance away at Coral Shores High School.
Yeah , well – so Dennis Ward has done NOTHING about the incident. The School has done NOTHING about the event. NO ONE was done anything about a kid being stuffed in a locker for an hour! One hell of an education program he’s got going there – what is it – HEAR NO EVIL – SPEAK NO EVIL – SEE NO EVIL !
And, DO NOTHING ABOUT NO EVIL, when it comes to bullying in our schools.
Then, came this from Paul, in Birmingham, re my screw up at the Key Largo candidate forum, which I described in yesterday’s
You live and learn. OK, You started the process. You got people to listen. YOU correctly showed up one candidate Andy for being a typical politician and not answering the question but bragging about something in the past. At least you got Ed to define the problem. You should have, and will in the future, acknowledge that Ed answered the first half- teacher morale or was that morals?) LOL. Ed failed to provide a solution, but at least now we agree on the problem. That is a start. Now, let’s finish the question with a series, set of solutions. Next rally, frame it that way. WE acknowledge the problem and simply ask for solutions, future solutions, not past accomplishments. Hope an outsiders objective opinion helps.
Hi, Paul. Thanks for your thoughts.
I usually give people credit for good deeds, insights and ideas, but I fucked up last night on when I didn’t do that with Ed. I don’t think he will be able to fix it, though, not even if he has 2 or 3 or even all 4 other board members in his wake.
Part of low teacher morale has to do with a dictatorial my way or the highway management style, which the new superintendent may be able to correct. However, the bigger problem, which creates lots of stress and fuels the my way or the highway management style, is the school district doesn’t have enough money to pay a lot of the teachers all that they are owed. On top of that, the district has been cutting teachers’ pay and benefits without notice. About half of the teachers belong to the union, so that means the union also is pissed off at management.
To fix that multi-headed low morale money problem will take an influx of revenues, which the school board currently seems unwilling to try for, as that would mean putting a school tax increase referendum on the ballot. That’s the only way the school board can raise school taxes on its own. The state raised state school taxes this year, and this school district will get about $1.5 million from that. However, the district probably needs around $6, perhaps $8 million, to deal with the money part of the low teacher morale problem.
So far, I have not heard Ed say he favors a local school tax increase. So far, I have not heard any candidate but me say a tax increase is needed. I started preaching for that last February, in my posts and at school board meetings. I preached for it at the Big Pine school board candidate forum, while the other candidates talked about everything under the sun but raising local school taxes. Maybe they all are Republicans? If I had my way, belonging to a political party would be a capital offense.
I spoke yesterday with Todd German about Ken Gentile’s application for employment saying he was a CPA, which, it turned out, he had been but was not licensed as such for a good while. He never was a CPA in Florida, but put on his correspondence letterhead that he was a CPA.
Todd was adamant Gentile should be fired for misrepresentation and breach of his employment contract, which, Todd said, contains a clause saying, if it is found that Gentile misrepresented himself in his application for employment, he can be fired.
I said, if Gentile is fired, Dick, Griffiths and Matthewson should be fired, too, for hiring Gentile knowing he was not a CPA in Florida. Todd said maybe they didn’t read the report from the firm hired to vet Gentile’s application. The report said the firm was unable to verify Gentile was a CPA in Florida, but he had been one in New York. I said no way they didn’t read the report, and if they say they didn’t read it, I won’t believe them. Todd said he didn’t think they read the report, the employment application was really thick. I said, then they should be fired for not reading it.
I said, if they fire Gentile, they should resign. Todd asked why? I said, because it is the moral thing to do. If I did what they did and it came back on me like this, I would tender my resignation. Todd said I walk the talk, but not everyone does. I said, yeah, and that’s just another piece of proof that this school district is terminally broken all the way to the top and cannot be fixed.
A well-paid internal auditor that school board was hiring to be their eyes and ears inside the school district, which they did not trust to give them accurate, or honest, information -they did not read everything in his file? No way I believe that.
I do not condone anything Gentile might have put in his resume, or on his letterhead, which was not accurate. That’s another matter altogether. However, he is not a school board member with a fiduciary duty to the public.
I hate to imagine the bad train wreck of losing Ken Gentile and Michael Kineer at this pregnant, vulnerable time in the new budget-planning process. There is no one else in the school district who can pick up that slack. Someone will have to be brought in from the outside. The only person who could come in with little learning curve is Steve Pribramsky, an accountant and financial adviser, who was on the school board who hired Gentile.
Legal, moral and practical dilemmas aside, if John Dick, Andy Griffiths and Duncan Matthewson vote to fire Gentile and do not fire themselves, too, that will send a message to all principals, teachers, school district employees and students that the buck never stops anywhere; there always is some place to pass it, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be done.
As I recall, Dist. 3 school board candidate Larry Murray applied the heat about Ken Gentile not being a licensed CPA. Larry, and Keynoter writer, Sean Kinney. People who know nothing about the school district, according to Andy Griffiths, who hired Gentile knowing he was not a CPA in Florida.
What do I know, maybe the school administrative offices at Trumbo Point are full of haints. Maybe a spell was cast on the place. Maybe that’s the root of the school board and administration’s terminal dysfuctional insanity? Maybe there is a geographic cure?
In that vein, this email back and forth with Tim Gratz of Key West:
Sloan, I think you are CRAZY . . . as a fox! (Where did that expression come from, I wonder?)
I agree with you completely about what you wrote below.
“I have felt for a while that the school district’s administrative offices at Trumbo Point in Key West should be moved to Marathon, which makes a lot of money sense, because Marathon is half way between Coral Shores High School on Key Largo and Key West. It makes a lot of political sense, because relocating the administrative offices to Marathon would weaken the Key West Conch’s domination of the school district. Proceeds from the sale of the transient units could be used to refurbish Marathon Manor, so it could be used for the administrative offices.
“Trumbo Point is prime waterfront real estate, and once vacated, could be sold to a developer for top dollar. Perhaps the same developer would buy the Marathon Manor transient units to use for a hotel or condo development at Trumbo Point. The angels had me write about that quite a few times last year, except I did not then know about, or I was not paying attention to Marathon Manor’s transient rental rights.
“I have strongly opposed moving the administrative offices into the smaller building at Glynn Archer Elementary School in Key West, which school the school board is determined, so far, to give to Key West, for its new city hall. I have strongly opposed giving away any school real estate. I was beating all of that band wagon perhaps before any of the other candidates.”
I replied to Tim:
Don’t know where crazy like a fox came from, but it must of been around when the story of “Br’er Rabbit and the Tar Baby” hatched.
In the early 1990s, I found what seemed to be an edition of the original Tales of Uncle Remus. In the tar baby story in that book, there is no “Please throw me in the briar patch” happy ending, where the tricky rabbit outwits the crafty fox. The story ends with the tricked rabbit still mired up to his eyeballs in the tar baby, while the crafty fox is firing up his cook pot to have the rabbit for dinner.
Maybe Walt Disney changed the sticky ending to make “Song of the South” go down better with kids, and at the box office.
begged, borrowed, stolen and written by Sloan Bashinsky, Dist. 3 write-in school board candidate on the November ballot