Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Damage Control

An Editorial by Claire Olsovsky

I for one am tired of the tactic of "spinning" a story in recent years by elected officials to convolute issues, deflect responsibility, and point fingers at the messenger rather than to honestly take on the responsibility of resolving problems and righting what has gone very, very, wrong. So here are a few suggestions for the Board to actually address the issues that plague the Edmonds School District.

1. Request Marla Miller resigns or face mandatory termination. I can not speculate about her motives, but her incompetence has cost the District millions of dollars not only directly from her poor judgment in business dealings, but indirectly from the toll of lost productivity from the low morale caused by the favoritism and culture of intimidation she has fostered with her leadership.

2. Scrutinize the performance of Nick Brossoit. Is he really the leader he purports to be? He was lazy enough to be duped from the very beginning by Marla. Anyone who is paid to be in charge of a large organization with an operating budget of nearly 170 million dollars should be cautious enough his first year to be involved and scrutinize the process. Trust must be earned, not given out to the first person who will get you off hook of doing the math and keeping track. Put him on probation until he can prove he can be a leader and clean up this mess.

3. Read the policies that govern you. Do not continue to thumb your noses at those who served before you and were wise and dedicated enough to provide you a roadmap to run the District. Stand on their shoulders instead. I do not see how Gary Noble and Pat Shields can continue to honorably sit on the Board. They must resign.

4. Read the Capital Facilities Plan you adopted. Use it to make thoughtful decisions with the tax money you spend. You are not Enron. Do not squander the tax money away for delusions of grandeur.

5. Be transparent. I challenge you to no longer hold closed executive sessions. Let them be open to the public. Some cities broadcast their executive sessions on public access television, why can not you open up your doors for interested parties?

6. Reopen the investigation into the pornography scandal at the Warehouse. Bring in someone from the outside if you have to so since Human Resources is fraught with nepotism. Ah, forget the investigation; just terminate Chuck Penney for time fraud for not submitting leave reports for a whole year!

7. Investigate Human Resources; oh forget it, there is scandal in all of the Departments. Set up an Ethics Department to develop policy and standards for progressive discipline for infractions. Let everyone know what line they can not cross, what the consequences are, and enforce them. Include an ethics hot-line.

8. Make policy for individuals hired in a supervisory position to have experience or set up a probationary program while they get training. No one should have to suffer through incompetence and unprofessional behavior.

9. Hire a real property manager that actually does the work listed in the job description and stop outsourcing the key job responsibilities to Shockey Brent and the City of Lynnwood (e.g. they are going to do advertising for the District). Hire someone who will protect the District’s assets who will not be strong armed by the cities. With the advent of ground-leasing, you need someone who actually KNOWS the real estate business.

10. For God’s sake, get back to making meaningful decisions about the future of the District.

11. Concentrate on the students, their achievement, and their quality of life while they are in school and quit the stupid games. You are the stewards of their future. Stand up, shake it off, and act like the adults you are suppose to be.


Anonymous said...

Thank You Claire. Very nice piece. How did the administration get so many of these behavior projects into the district? The numbers are staggering. What would possess a district supervisor to begin a search for "Teen Porn" on a district computer? The more I think about that......... Nevermind! Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Once again, strong evidence that Claire was the proper choice for superintendent of ESD15.org.

Nicely articulated.

Anonymous said...

After K5 the only Damage control the district could possibly do is "shut up and don't trip over anymore Hostess wrappers upstairs".

Anonymous said...