Monday, January 21, 2008

Personal liability for a $50 stipend per session?

Take a look at Board Policy 1215. It would appear that our elected board members assume personal liability "for any expenditures which exceed the approved final budget total". Of course, every one of those terms is open to interpretation by the District's legal team, but it seems like a lot to take on for just $50 a meeting.

What could possibly motivate these people to remain in their seats? If they were truly interested in guiding the District through turbulent waters, they shouldn't be rocking the boat. Of course, one could easily argue that an incompetent board is what made the water turbulent in the first place.

The time for asking meaningful questions has passed long ago. Now that district management knows the board is soft, they can get away with anything - and have been. Just review the long list of operational issues in the summary section of this blog. I haven't even touched on matters relating to actual education and already I have more than enough topics to explore and investigate.

There must be more than $50 a session on the line for these people. Management funnels money to friends and business associates, why wouldn't the board? I know that in years past, a certain board member was more than a little enthusiastic about unloading district property and encouraging district staff to contact his friends in real estate. How he thought that was an appropriate thing to do is beyond comprehension. Of course, there are the Nobles. She wants a new classroom in a new high school and he gets to sit on the board to ensure that it happens. Pat Shields set up Powerful Partners and then ushered it through years of free rent from his seat on the board.

This board is certainly looking to leave a lasting legacy, but it certainly isn't the sort of legacy from which to derive a sense of pride or moral accomplishment.


Anonymous said...

Essentially, the board members have no real accountability. The district purchases insurance to cover the liability stated in the board policy, so they will never be held responsible for their irresponsible behavior!

Anonymous said...

Can public funds be expended in such a way? It would stand to reason then that if an employee was speeding between schools, the District could pick up their insurance costs.

It would also stand to reason that if a sexual predator was found working for the District, their personal liability should be picked up by the same policy.

Anonymous said...

Sure it's legal. They aren't technically employees and I don't get your analogy.

Anonymous said...

If board members are not employees why would the District spend public money protecting them?

If they were allowed to be protected by public money, why would board policy even make mention of holding them personally liable for their conduct? In fact, board policy states that Washington State law allows them to be held accountable.

Of course, we all know board policy is meaningless, but why inject the lower standard of state law when it is contrary to the well-being of the board?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry if this sounds a bit "revolutionary" but the laws of the state (any state or nation) are there to protect the interests of those in economic or political power. It is extremely difficult for those who are currently protected by the law to give up that protection. That's why the Exxon Valdez case is still before the courts of this nation and remains unsettled.

Yesterday I became aware of a teacher acquaintance who is dropping her wrongful termination suit against a Spokane area school district AFTER 14 YEARS of hearings, denials, collusion between judges and lawyers, lies, fabrications, and appeals because she IS EXHAUSTED. That's what those in power do; they will pit their immovable power against you until you can no longer afford (or tire of) fighting "the system." That's what is happening here in Edmonds; those in power want to stay in power and not give it up. They will resist change, they will deny wrongdoing, they will lie to cover their tracks, they will lay blame on those they chose to target for removal. They will NOT accept responsibility for their actions. (However, they will expect their teachers to teach the students to accept responsibility for THEIR actions. Credibility gap, big time.) They will expect that you will tire of writing to this blog since nothing will come of it. They win!

Jefferson famously said that a little revolution now and then is a good thing. When? Revolution comes from without, not from within. Unless you (or God willing, the auditors)are willing to step up, these actions will continue to the detriment of our children. Organize. Write letters. Make phone calls. investigate the best sources you can find. Reach beyond the blog (there's a movie title for you!) Don't give up, because that's what they expect you to do. Don't give them the satisfaction.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the district lose an age discrimination lawsuit a few years back? Did anyone in the administration lose their job over it?

Anonymous said...

I will teach the teachers, on this lawsuit coming down the pipe. You people will learn from one of the best. Marla we all see you up in that corner of the building.