Monday, April 28, 2008

Blind allegiance is draining public money and support.

Marla hired herself into a position of control as Executive Director of Business Services from her previous position in Human Resources. Since that move she has had one of the highest turnovers of any department. She oversaw a staff member who may have embezzled as much as 3/4 of a million dollars. She disappeared for several months claiming some mysterious ailment while collecting leave pay, only returning when she felt her position was being threatened.

She hired an unqualified and complete incompetent to "supervise". She hired a payroll manager who saw her salary increase $40,000.00 a year with continually reducing work hours. She lost one of the best enrollment predictors in the State. She lost a superior property manager and replaced him with a mannequin. She lost perhaps up to 5 million dollars on bad real estate transactions. She floated District funds to a friend using pianos as a front to help him avoid bankruptcy. She is so incredibly poor at personnel relations she must be now seen as the sole inspiration for this blog, and the bulk of comments relate to her and many of her poor decisions.

The department supervisor now works 4-6 hours a week and (we are told) is only collecting half of his $100,000.00 per year salary. We don't know whether the latter portion of this statement is true, though. Her payroll supervisor works half days and collects almost as much salary. Her property manager collects even more but acts as though he's retired.

Can anyone intelligently argue even remotely convincingly that Marla's tenure with the District has been a success? Would anyone owning a business continue to keep this person on the payroll? At the most recent School Board meeting the Board passed to indemnify both Marla and Brian. This is probably only a public statement being made, again in response to the work done by Mark and this blog, that the Board is willing to sacrifice taxpayer money in their firm belief that both of these people are completely honest and competent.

I believe that if your are an administrator in the District it is assumed and inferred that you are protected legally from civil lawsuit by the District. If you are a prof tech or office personnel staff member you are completely on your own, thereby no really being an important member or representative of the District. It makes little sense that when we compensate these people so much to begin with that they are also guaranteed legal protection at taxpayer expense. What the Board should be doing is distancing themselves from both of these huge liabilities and investigating all allegations. Blind allegiance due to Marla's imposing will, at least in a logical world, cost them all their positions.

Editor: Thank you to another anonymous contributor.


Anonymous said...

Who took over for her when she was on her leave? Are there other people within the district who could take over her position?

Would you, Mark, ever be willing to go back to work for the school district?

Anonymous said...

If I were asked that question, I would respond, "On my terms, perhaps." What would those terms be? 1) an apology from Mr. Limon, among others, 2) restoration of lost salary, pension contributions, and lost interest on our investments 3) being named the District's Bullying Investigator, reporting my activities and findings directly to the Board.

But that's not going to happen, is it? Even if it did, how could Mark or I or anyone go back and work alongside the people who displayed such poor judgment and ethics and treated us and those around us with such disrespect? Would they leave voluntarily? Hardly.

We still wake up in the middle of the night with racing hearts and night sweats; we lose work because we can't sleep. We'd never be able to just waltz back into the District and feel good about the way we were treated; being bullied doesn't allow that. Why would anybody want to go back and work with the people who made them feel so badly?

Anonymous said...

Simply and clearly stated. I am not a student of School Board politics so what does it take to get the Board to act. Vote NO on the levy in May. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

We used to hear about a "reserve" fund that the district had. Can any of the $4million in cuts come out of that?

Anonymous said...

Supposedly the reserve fund is gone.....Nick explains that by saying that the fund covered the COLA for several years and "that can't be sustained anymore." I'd love to see the line items on that fund.

Anonymous said...

I don't care what Nick says in his letter:
Our household will have two "no" votes on the tech levy. This is the first time in over 35 years that we have ever voted "no" on any school district request.

Anonymous said...

What about the guy in HR thats getting 20k + in overtime?

Debby Carter can you please tell us why this man of many words is getting overtime in the thousands.

Dark curly hair looks like animal from the muppets.

Anonymous said...

Looks like my link in a previous "comment" didn't work right, so here's Nick's letter:
April 30, 2008

TO:Edmonds School District Staff
FROM:Nick J. Brossoit, Ed.D., Superintendent
SUBJECT: May 20th Technology/Capital Replacement Levy

The purpose of this letter is to share information with you about the May 20 special election to renew the existing Technology/Capital Levy. Please take the time to read through the information below, share it with others in our district, and remind people to vote (mail-in ballot) by May 20th. People want schools to provide the tools needed to improve student learning and have well-maintained, safe learning environments. The state does not provide adequate funding for technology or capital facilities, and allows districts to seek local funding to support these areas through levies.
Key information points to remember and share:
This levy will replace the current levy which expires in 2008.
This levy will support important work in our schools.
This levy can be renewed at a lower tax rate.

As many of you know from your daily work, the Technology/Capital Levy provides funding for technology tools for student learning and capital facilities. The majority of the funds to be collected over four years will be used to upgrade and add to laptops, student tech tools, and mobile labs in each school. Additionally, these funds provide local support for technology-related professional development and support, infrastructure upgrades to meet electrical needs, and replace some aging office staff computers.

In Capital Facilities, these funds will allow the District to better support district-wide safety and emergency preparedness, district-wide energy efficiency improvements, system upgrades and asset protection, and outdoor facilities/partnerships.

The replacement levy also continues our longstanding practice of the Capital Partnership Program. This is where schools, community groups, and organizations can submit applications to receive matching funds. This practice has resulted in the completion of many projects, including outdoor playground equipment and field work. $1 million is again included in the replacement levy to be available for matching funds and another $500,000 is designated to be part of necessary improvements to the former Woodway High School fields project being pursued cooperatively and jointly with several community organizations.
Renewal of this four-year Technology/Capital Levy will cost 28 cents per $1,000 of assessed property which is less than the 52 cents per thousand of the current levy which expires. Yes, the replacement levy is a decrease from the current rate. This lowers the cost to taxpayers and provides necessary technology tools and support. As new homes and businesses increase the total assessed property value within the district, this reduces the tax rate per $1,000 for the majority of property owners.
Thank you for taking some time to understand this important measure, and thank you for helping others to understand this information and reminding people to vote!

Anonymous said...

I must comment on Nick's letter.
He mentions "technology-related professional development and support." Our experience with that was that it provided an opportunity for the principal to bully you if you were an older teacher. When approached by an older staff member and asked a clarifying question about the implimentation of Skyward, our principal stated, "I don't like your attitude" and then threatened the teacher saying, "Remember, I'm your evaluator."

This brings me to the other point of Nick's letter that is troublesome considering the history. He states that parents expect to "have well-maintained, safe learning environments." Without again going on ad nauseum about how that just wasn't true and how upper administration didn't try to fix it, I simply note that we are not judged by what we say but rather by what we do.

Actions do speak louder than words.

Anonymous said...

In answer to the first comment/question:

Manny Juzon attempted in his way to manage the Business Services Dept during Marla's immediate absence due to "illness". This meant private meetings with some of the staff members imposing different and inconsistent sets of rules in which to abide by under threat of disciplinary action. His success at dividing the department earlier now met this time with uniting the department against him and against this obvious discrimination and uncivil treatment.

The human resources department attempted to side with him in this near attempt to completely wipe out any possible humane treatment of the staff by further threatening to fire everyone else and leaving Manny in charge of no one (and no thing).

Fortunately the voice of reason stepped in - in the form of Assistant Superintendent John Flaherty (an earned title, not a gifted one). He quickly reduced the role of Manny to nil, contracted an outside professional and helped produce a recommendation that Manny was innately unqualified to continue in the position, should never have been hired, and should be demoted and displaced. This recommendation was presented to the then Supt Wayne Robertson in written form.

Marla's husband however, on a visit to the District to share her worsening health and the strong possibility that she would be unable to return (and the peasants rejoiced) was surprised to discover someone occupying Marla's office (shrine), her name plaque removed with that of John Flaherty then existing in its place. Within 4 days the black cloud which hovered over Marla returned, along with Marla herself, looking quite a distance away from the Grim Reaper (but nevertheless grim). Tearing his name from the wall she then relegated the contracted person to a windowless room usually reserved for the auditors (I believe if she could have cut off the supply of oxygen to the room she would have).

Mr. Flaherty unfortunately retired and left the District very shortly afterwards without completing his work. He is sadly missed.

Hope this clears a little of this up and partially answers the question, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. Thanks. Then these are long-standing issues going back to, what. '03-'04?