Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Define Good

Oh, Mr. Martin.  How many hours have we heard you boast about your good governance skills? How much time has been wasted listening to you yammer on and on, reading Board policies word-for-word as if everyone else is stupid? Well, Mr. Good Governance, you’re nothing but a sham.

Below is an email titled “Confidential Draft” from Mr. Martin that was sent to fellow Board members Christine Kushner and Susan Evans on 12/12/2011 – just days after they were sworn into office.


To put this in some perspective, this email was sent just two days after the entire Board had attended an all-day retreat discussing governance.  Ironically, at this meeting Mr. Martin is quoted as saying "Democratic governance isn't efficient. If you want efficiency, you'd have a dictator. But we don't want that." Two days later, Mr. Martin sent his confidential email revealing private deliberations and openly encouraging secret collaboration.

We already know Martin thinks he’s the smartest man in the room. Apparently, he also believes he can snub Board policies and the possibly the law. If you recall, he has already been caught lying to Superintendent Tata.

Doesn't this make his dictatorship comment hit a little too close to home?

Most obvious from this email is that Mr. Martin, Mrs. Evans, Mr. Hill and Mrs. Kushner were actively negotiating on how to stop and/or delay the new student assignment plan outside of the public eye. Maybe they still are. We now know why their friends (NAACP & GSIW) haven’t been protesting in their dramatic fashion at Board meetings. These Board members have been appeasing them by having these types of private conversations. Maybe Barber and Brannon have been included.

Perhaps this was the topic of discussion at their secret meeting with Mr. Alves. Mr. Hill admitted that he purposefully scheduled the Alves meeting without the knowledge of the rest of the Board in order to avoid it being held as a public meeting.

Mr. Martin states in his email that the Board members “need to bat ideas around ourselves without the outside pressure”. It’s not a great leap to assume that this sort of discussion and deliberation occurred at the Alves meeting to avoid that pressure.  All the while, Hill has contended it was an orientation session. Yeah, right.

(As a side note, I requested the minutes from the Alves meeting but, since it was intentionally scheduled to not have a quorum present, minutes were not taken.)

It is beyond incredible and downright ignorant that Mr. Martin flagrantly wags his tongue in a public email about keeping this discussion about student assignment “just to the three of us”. Not only does he want to avoid “outside pressure”, he also wants to keep discussions about the public’s business away from the public. Is that a violation of the state Open Meetings Law?

By the way, you will notice that this email had a document attached titled “Assignment”. I’ll save a review of that for my next post.