For years, I have always wondered why Powerful Partners never paid rent for their use of precious cubicle space in the ESC. Now I know why.
Shortly after starting my job at the District in 2001, I was directed to prepare a "use agreement" for a program that works in conjunction with the District's mission. A use agreement differs from a lease in that no base rent is charged to the program but they are billed for actual charges that would otherwise be covered by the District's general fund. Essentially, the District would be subsidizing their tenancy but not giving away public money in covering utilities, telephone service, parking, maintenance and custodial care (clearly, a matter of interpretation).
When the use agreement was completed, I immediately provided it to Powerful Partners so they could begin making their monthly payments - but alas - they never did. I complained numerous times and worked my way up the food chain to Marla Miller, who promptly did nothing. I was told many times that she would take care of it, that she will talk to them, that she would sort it out - but alas - she never did.
Then it recently occurred to me, I have been sending the use agreement to the program manager, when really I should have been sending the use agreement to their director, Pat Shields. But wait, isn't Pat Shields a member of the school board?
Interesting. Very interesting. A textbook case of conflict of interest. Does the board member uphold the best interests of the school district and promptly pay rent or does he use his influence to get a free ride for his program? I am not claiming that the program does not do great work. Maybe they do. The mission statement of Powerful Partners secured them the reduced rate - a reduced rate they have never paid.
And it isn't as if Pat Shield's wife was the director of Powerful Partners. Because we all know how that would turn out. Don't we, Gary Noble?
Friday, September 28, 2007
Pat Shields: Powerful Parasite?
Posted by ESD15.org at 5:47 AM
Labels: Budget issues, Operational issues, Pat Shields, School Board
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Mark, I really have to commend you on your journalism skills. I am deeply embarrassed by this news as it seems to reveal a level of deception or incompetence or bad business practise if it is true. When all of the board members resign, will there be anyone left to serve. Three words: Vote Alan Weiss.
Why you be knocking Pat Shields? He's just one of the good-ole-boys. Right Nick?
How can Board members expect us to trust them with making decisions for our children when they appear to have no interest in spending our tax dollars wisely and demonstrate a lack of ethics? You would think both Pat and Gary would make sure they behaved as examples for the community.
My own personal experience working with my spouse is enough to know that Gary cannot escape the influence of his wife. And despite the sincere mission of Powerful Partners, they need to be treated just as any other non-profit group that serves our community.
What I see these two are modeling for our children is the abuse of power. Don’t we have enough of that already in our culture?
The above comments, save for the good-ole boys one, shows that there are concerned and bright people that see real moral, ethical and probably legal problems with our current board of director's and district administrator's handling of the public trust.
I think my good-ole-boys comment aptly portrays the way Nick & Co. are conducting district business. Handing each other favors, covering up mistakes with lies and double talk, rewarding those that mindlessly agree with them and placing themselves above those they are obligated to serve.
I was not sure who I would vote for. Now I know. Thank you.
If Pat and Gary resign now, the remaining two board members can make an all girl band and tour Snohomish County.
Nope, that would have to be a folk duo and protest songs would be a mandatory part of their repertoire. Let's hope to hear: "Under the Board Room", "Stop in the Name of Waste", "Let's Talk About Tax", "(Your Dollars are)Blowing in the Wind", "This Land is your Contamination", "The Crimes they are a Changin'", and the fan favorite "A Paler Shade of Marla".
Keep in mind, they would be touring King county. They have to be out of their Director District to Headline on the sly. Talk to Katy Cornell. Is she not a former student in the Edmonds School District? Where is Frank Demeiro when I need him? At any rate, good luck to Chris Wednesday night. Hey do we need to hire security with all that foot traffic exiting the east doors? Wait, isn't that the High Road?
Frank Demiero is the guy who kept the district's cell phone a year after he retired and continued to use it while we paid the bill (which was okayed by Tam Osborne). So much for an example of good character!
There was a time when District employees were given the opportunity to obtain cell phones through the District (Telecommunications Department), to qualify for Government pricing, with billing SENT to the District,then statements were sent to buildings/departments, and were paid by individuals. This practice was dis-continued and a letter went out to ALL ESD personnel to change billing to their home addresses. Most complied, but some have not. I do not believe that Frank DeMiero purposely used a district cell phone without reimbursing the district for use, and if he did not, Tam Osborne probably pulled some strings to make this happen, and assured Frank everything was okay. Frank DeMiro has served students in the Edmonds area and beyond, for years, and is a remarkable Instructor, Director, human being.
Do you really think he didn't notice that he wasn't being billed? I know when I get my phone bill every month.
Oh, come on...just because you are talented, dedicated, or serve the public doesn't mean you get to break the rules and get a free ride.
Mr. Demiero may be a "remarkable human being", but he was NOT participating in the government pricing cell phone opportunity (a bad business practice in itself).
I have personal knowledge of this.
He knowingly and willingly continued to use the DISTRICT cell phone (it was paid for by the district when he was there) but never returned it when he retired. As you know, Tam took over as the music department manager and continued to authorize payment until I put a stop to it. Frank's respnse was "I was wondering when someone was going to figure it out"
Thank you for clarifying the issue of the cell phone used by Frank DeMiero. I personally admire Frank and wonder if he could be given the opportunity to pay back the amount he owes the District. When the notice went out to change cell phone service to individual accounts, why are some District personnel still receiving their cell phone statements at the District offices? Please don't tell me that Eleanor Kelly, a dedicated employee, was at fault. Kelly was another victim of being "shuffled" out of the District. I know her pain, as I had the same thing happen to me. After much research, it was Marla Miller who was responsible for my demise, although she would smile and chit-chat with me to my face, while stabbing me in the back. Can you believe Marla used to sing in church choir? I pray that Marla has a conscious, and will do the right thing by stepping down while auditors do their work.
How did Tam Osbourne go from Music Director to his current position in HR? Was he a qualified applicant?
There is no doubt that Tam has experience based upon the public forum for the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources position. He shared with the audience that he has held many positions, each lasting six years.
I am not qualified to evaluate his qualifications.
FYI - There is an interesting article, in The Herald newspaper, Friday, October 12, 2007, OPINION Section B-9, under Herald Endorsements, endorsing Allan Weiss for ESD School Board member. The article gives mention to Gary Noble as well. The endorsement for Mr. Weiss is well written; notes that he has ruffled some feathers along his way, but is not afraid to confront resistance. Under Mr. Weiss's direction, Edmonds Woodway High School is recognized as one of the most academically successful High Schools in the COUNTRY! I urge to read the article and VOTE!
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