Thursday, August 14, 2008

Reader struggles to make sense of facts.

If you are truly interested in uncovering unlawful or unethical actions, why can't you be factual in your reporting. The information posted conflicts with your statement about Gary Noble. The only facts I see in the "Board Policies: Conflict of Interest" is they identified a conflict between the two policies. One policy prohibits employment of Board member spouses and the other allows exemptions as prescribed by law. Where does it say "The State Auditor "recommends" that either Gary Noble resign or that Board Policies be revised to allow this conflict of interest to occur."

I am sorry. I should have been clearer. Kay Noble could resign. It would have to be a resignation since a “Leave of Absence” does not constitute termination of service. With a leave of absence, she would technically still be an employee.

As for the Conflict of Interest issue, one board policy says that employees cannot be the spouse or dependent of a board member (BP 6810) while the other essentially states that board members (or spouse/dependents) cannot be employed by companies doing business with the District (BP 1260). While I fail to see the conflict between the two policies, it is clear when the Auditor decided to over-simplify and side-step the real issue, he actually made matters worse for the Nobles. The more “stringent” policy would be to eliminate Kay Noble’s employment or Gary Noble's status as Board Member.

If you are going to be some advocate, quit misrespresenting the facts. Most of what you report is taken out of context and doesn't report all the facts, which does nothing but undermine your creditability. Sure the office was redesigned and it cost ten thousand dollars, but you didn't report the rest of the facts, such as the decision and contract to revise the cubicles was made prior to the decision to combine 2 manager jobs. The staff reporting to the new warehouse manager asked to be moved to the warehouse after the fact. You didn't report the cost savings the district will incurr by combining the warehouse manager position with another manager position. You only choose to report what serves your vindictve motives.

I am guessing you mean “office” in the global departmental sense, because seven cubicles were reconfigured for $11,000.00. No hard walled offices were modified during the departmental reconfiguration.

I agree that by eliminating a Warehouse Manager, the District saved the value of his salary and the potential damage from the problems that were brewing. It was a wise move by the District. However, when the Custodial Manager assumed responsibility for the Warehouse was it really necessary to relocate Custodial Services? I suspect if you knew what you were talking about and actually spoke to the people involved in the move, you would find the real motive for their relocation.

As for “creditability”, I am not seeking validation from the blind allies of district administration. The 123,000 page views, averaging nearly 10,000 a month is validation enough.

Have you ever reported that the infamous property the District purchased did was tested several times and found not to have hazardous waste present. No I didn't think so.

The blog mentions a few test pits, but since the site was an informal public dump, the test pits were too few in number and not effectively placed to serve the interests of the public. Have you read the volumes of reports generated by Raskin’s consultants? Have you reviewed the reasons why the District rejected this site twice before? I have confidence in the blog and so do many others.

You write as if you are so pure. Fact is you used confidential information you gained as the property manager for ESD to write a letter to the editor as a private citizen and then got upset when the district tried to reign you in. Grow up and taking your consences like any 5 year old would.

What “confidential” information are you referring to? Assuming there was confidential information, just how long are public processes supposed to be kept from the public? The property transaction was completed long before my letter was ever submitted to the Beacon. Besides, the Letter to the Editor has nothing to do with the blog. The blog is about public accountability, not reigning in staff or shutting them down.

What is a “consences” and why would a five year old take them?

I agree with holding public officials accountable, but I also believe in honest, factual reporting. I don't believe in selective fact reporting to misrepsresnt the truth of the matter.

Selective reporting is precisely what the District has been doing for years and they have been doing it so effectively, they clearly have you convinced. The blog offers an opposing view. Accept or reject it, at least you have been exposed and can decide what to believe based upon your ability to process information.

I won't leave my name, because Lord knows you would just manipulate that and be even more vindictive.

That would be a District tactic and not one supported by the blog. I appreciate your perspective and you have my respect for speaking out. I would not target you for expressing your views nor do I expect to be targeted for expressing mine.

A concerned citizen.


Anonymous said...

I guess the writer hasn't been screwed over yet by Marla or other management buffoons. I'll bet they'll open their eyes once it happens to them or someone close to them!

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Mr. Zandberg.

Anonymous said...

Mark - You once again amaze me with your composure and honesty, in replying to the writer of this article. You have spent countless hours researching facts when making statments on the blog, plus working a weekly 40 hour job. I was not aware that the job held my Chuck Penney had been filled with another manager. It sounds as though they reconfigured the cubicles to accommodate one person? (the person who will take over when Chuck leaves). Ten grand is a lot of money to accommodate one person! Stay cool, Mark; you are awesome in your reporting and maintenance of the BLOG!!

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of research that indicates that some people have difficulty processing information that is contrary to their preconceived idea of a situation.

We also noted an article in a recent issue of The New Yorker about the "Ah-HA!" moment. Research indicates that in order to make the jump from seemingly unrelated information to a new insight, you need a moment of relaxed thought. It is very difficult to do when you are under attack from your boss or other employees.

The example used is an incident in the last '40's when a forest fire crew was trapped by a fast moving fire moving up a canyon. A dozen or so firefighters did what they were trained to do-run as fast as they could uphill away from the fire. One man knew that there was no way they were going to outrun the fire; he stopped running. Without thinking he took out a book of matches and started a fire IN FRONT OF HIM which went up hill burning the fuel as it went. At the last moment, he laid down in a small depression in the burned off area and managed to survive because the fuel had already been burned. All of the other firefighters were killed. This technique is now a standard practice of fire crews.

As educators, we should know how to create an atmosphere for learning. It is our professional duty to NOT create an atmosphere where learning does not occur.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! I read the blog but form my own opinion! I work for the district so it has been nice to see that some of the things I thought were happening "were" and not just me feeling like they were happening. Speaking up to anyone with authority in the district would be too scary for me. I do my job and go home at the end of the day. the blog has given my relief to know it is not only happening in our area! said...

Thank you for the kind words.

I still find it mildly amusing how opponents of the blog claim that we manufacture evidence and avoid facts, while they refuse to offer proof supporting their version of "facts". said...

I think the writer intended to use the term "consequences".

Again, funny how people suggest I am less than "pure" but offer no evidence to support their assertions.

And just how long must public processes be kept from the public? I am guessing that Piano Scam was slated for perpetual darkness until a tip to the hotline made it all very clear.