Saturday, August 6, 2016

THE 27 MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION

Hold on to your hats. WE AGREE WITH MIKE SCOGIN!!!

Just on this one point mind you - that new Scott Schools Superintendent Kevin Hub can take a mulligan.

As Scogin points out in today's Georgetown News Graphic editorial, Dr. Hub, in seeking a tax increase, was just following what he thought were his orders. Those orders most likely coming from the loudest voices and strongest tax proponents on the School Board -  Jennifer Holbert and Jo Anna Fryman. These two, the two J's,  think they hold a monopoly on wanting a second high school and prefer it appear that new Board members Stephanie Powers and Kevin Kidwell are against a new high school. NOT SO! The difference is that the J's want a tax and spend high school and Kidwell and Powers want to clean up Scott School's fiscal morass while building a new high school.

Dr. Hub needn't concern himself that building Great Crossing High School  (GCHS) will deplete the district's bonding capacity, leaving little reserve for other and future needs. This community will generously step up with a tax increase once he demonstrates the money leaks from the Putty/ Blankenship days are a thing of the past AND we are getting a long belated second high school AND a fiscally responsible culture is under construction. We can start a fresh building process tomorrow with the new found $27 million to add to the previously reported $25 million, with ample additional bonding coming online as well as yearly 4% tax increases while we are building that will complete the athletic fields. We emphatically suggest a new BG1 be filed right away with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) before the District Facility Plan gets co opted as it did by Putty and John Cooper in 2010.

And now, what about that new found $27 million? The question of where it had been hiding during the Putty tenure is getting lost in the predicted avalanche of the crumbling Putty legacy. You probably didn't notice the 27 million dollars that spontaneously appeared as soon as Putty departed, what with the media reports of recent. In the last week alone you have learned of just some of the lawsuits with their genesis during Putty's tenure, AND a State Auditor's investigation of Putty's surplusing of functional computer equipment involving Putty's long time chauffeur, Sheila Setzer, AND  the abrupt resignation after a visit to Business Health of Mark Wickersham, Putty's 2013 hire as Director of Safety, the man who was arrested in his home town of Richmond just two months after his hire on a DUI charge with a minor aboard and no insurance, AND an unusual arrangement that isolates Putty's Artistic Director of Transportation, Roy Prince and his proclivities from any employees and any day to day operations until the district can be shed of him in October, AND an Office of Education Accountability complaint that alleged the chauffeur used the district's bus garage, the bus garage's resources and personnel and the district's van to have her personal vehicle repaired (perks of sitting next to Putty day in / day out) ETC, ETC.

So we can see why you may have missed it, the missing $27 mil.  But Scogin shouldn't have, and frankly shouldn't have had to had the $27 million been accompanied by a proper explanation. But that begs the bigger question, why the hush hush? Here's the back story.

Purposely perpetually exhausted so as to avoid accumulating enough to afford a second high school, Scott's bonding potential was on a painfully slow growth path, from just under $10 million after being exhausted when the J's added lighted tennis courts and ball fields to Lemons Mill Elementary School. In its BG1, a state required initial building form filed a year or so ago for phase 1 of Great Crossing High School to the KDE, the Board reported bonding of a little over $15 million. The bonding reportedly had grown to $25 million when last publicly disclosed last November. And then, as soon as Dr. Hub appears on scene, he reports a $48 million bonding potential (most recently reported as $52 million), AND NOBODY FLINCHED!!!

No reaction whatsoever from a Board who had been agonizing over and wishing for just a few million dollars more so their $23 million phase I of GCHS could have a library and gymnasium. Nary a flinch when there should have been a "get out the shovels" celebration. Instead the J's wanted even more dollars and apparently convinced the new Superintendent, who apparently uncovered the missing millions, to ask for more in the form of a 13% tax increase. But hey, that's less than the 27% these two tried for in 2013, yet didn't have the courage of their convictions, shirking instead of allowing the community a vote.

Why haven't you heard about the missing millions before reading this? Well, it was mentioned, just no one noticed, what with the lack of reaction from the Board; the GNG's obligatory blind eye; and the aforementioned concurrent distractions. But $27 million is a game changer folks! With it and the $25 million that we WERE aware of, there needs be no further delay in the construction of GCHS.

To that bigger question - why the hush hush?  We can only speculate, as we shouldn't be doing in a transparent culture. Maybe it is as simple as embarrassment for a Board that wasn't aware it was sitting on a game changer, all the while anguishing. Maybe it is to protect the reputation of the highly revered Director of Finance whose job it is to always have a handle on this number. Whatever it is, it is clear that an action at the July 7th Board meeting points an inferred finger at  the district's long time contracted fiscal agent - Ross, Sinclair and Associates.

Action item #4 on that evening's agenda was to terminate the district's long standing relationship with Ross Sinclair. And this unprecedented action was conducted as if it were a common consent item, with no fanfare or comment and no questions from the Georgetown News Graphic. Ross Sinclair may be perfectly innocent concerning the missing millions, and their long standing contract being terminated concurrent with the discovery of the missing millions a mere coincidence, but if so it is certainly an unfortunate alignment of the stars. Whatever, and especially if innocent, Ross Sinclair deserves that the community hear where the millions were every bit as much as the community deserves to hear it.

The community deserves to know and it's the least we should get in return for the mulligan. Was the money purposely hidden to avoid construction of a second high school? If not answered soon, the $27 million will blend into the woodwork, and that will be on Mike Scogin and his News Graphic as well as the Board.

Transparency is the next step for healing the school district. Otherwise it's "the more things change, the more they stay the same".











Friday, July 1, 2016

LET THE HEALING BEGIN


Today is the day! LET THE HEALING BEGIN!

Some say the best way to heal our school district is to just let bygones be bygones and put the dark days of the Patricia "Tish" Putty tenure behind us. Certainly, acting as if the Putty era was little more than a bad dream would be the "easiest" way forward, but just as certainly, little healing would be accomplished. Until the Putty atrocities are acknowledged, the wounds of those whose reputations, careers, and even lives were ruined by Patricia Putty will only fester. Fair or not it will be up to our School Board to initiate real healing. Here's how.

Start with the lawsuits.  "Lawsuits!" you say! "What lawsuits? If there were lawsuits we would have read about them in the News Graphic!"  Yeah, right.

The lawsuits are a matter of public record and are on file at the Circuit Clerk's office at the Justice Building for all to see, even the News Graphic. And yes they are multiple, with another being filed next week. Most interesting is the "possible litigation" the School Board retired into Executive Session to discuss at its most recent School Board meeting on June 16th.

We can only speculate as to which suit the Board discussed in executive session that evening (as executive sessions are conducted in private), but wouldn't be surprised if it were related to the State Auditor's investigation of Scott Schools just recently revealed by the Hearld Leader. We do note that Patricia Putty, the self proclaimed "Chief Executive Officer" of Scott County Schools was not allowed in this session - instead simply leaving the building while the rest of the Board excused themselves into a private room. Now that is curious indeed. Putty never allows the Board to meet without her, and certainly not in executive session. The only reason we can imagine for Putty not being allowed to participate is that she might be named in the litigation being discussed. This one could be a doozy folks! And curious also is that the Georgetown News Graphic fails to mention such "little" details, instead providing Putty a front page puff piece about her "retirement", never once mentioning her contract non-renewal being the impetus for her claimed "retirement". And in yesterday's editorial, Publisher Mike Scogin lauds Putty's accomplishments while in bold letters states "the numbers aren't too far from the national average", an obvious reference to Scogiin's recently discovered Niche school rankings.  Mediocrity seems to always have been Scogin's motto and it shows in his propped up newspaper.

Right is right and wrong is wrong!  And these lawsuits are black and white. We now look to how our School Board responds to these lawsuits to reveal its own heart. "Right" is for the Board to direct its attorney to NOT defend wrong. While it was Putty's actions that have brought these suits, it is the Board - as Putty's boss - that ends up sued. For the Board to even attempt to deny or delay justice to those wronged by Putty would make the Board accomplice to her actions. Our School Board can send a message - a strong message - the right message - to these wronged individuals; to the community; and to future district administrations by being forthright with all parties and directing its new attorney to make short work of these lawsuits. In short - do what is right - and do so expediently without dragging the wronged through further humiliation. The Board CAN direct their attorney to reach fair settlement with these individuals and do so with haste. These have suffered enough. The wronged know it was Putty who wronged them, but to deny them swift justice will be on the Board. And there are also things the Board can do for those adversely affected by Putty but who didn't have the resources to fight back with lawsuits. Don't forget these most vulnerable, Board.

School Board - we know that you deserve a rest, a rest from all the shenanigans you've had to circumnavigate from the Putty administration AND your own attorney.  But rest won't be yours until you provide remedy and restore reputations to all those wronged by Patricia Putty. You have a new attorney without an agenda who can help you do it. Only then can you rest and only then can Scott County Schools put this ugly chapter behind it.

Today is the day! Let the healing begin.



  -  

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

COUNT 'EM DOWN

The official minutes of the February 5, 2015 Scott County Board of Education meeting record for posterity the unanimous 5/0 vote to not renew Superintendent Patricia Putty's contract at its expiration on June 30, 2016. Today we celebrate a 30 day countdown to a new era for Scott County Schools.

Amusingly, those same minutes record a prepared statement read by Putty AFTER the unanimous non-renewal vote, stating her intent to "not request a contract extension" and her intent to retire at the end of her contract. One can only surmise that Putty brought the prepared statement with her to each meeting just in case she got the vibe that that night might be the night the Board would take such an action. With the aid of the Georgetown News Graphic, she now wishes to revise history claiming retirement brings her tumultuous tenure to an end. Hardly. The record shows the truth.

You see, Patricia Putty prepares the Board Meeting agendas. The agenda prepared by her hand for that cold February night made no provision for her an opportunity to read her prepared statement. Instead she abruptly and inappropriately interjected her little diatribe in a shameless attempt to save face. But again the record records the truth. The Board voted to not renew her contract and only then did she pull out her "prepared" statement. Sad.

And now we learn of her 11th hour attempt to provide individual raises to her acolytes at last Thursday's meeting, hidden but discovered in Agenda item #9. Sad. And sad pretty much sums up the tenure of Patricia Putty at Scott County Schools, with so many lives adversely affected.

But glad we are that in 30 days Patricia Putty "retires". And glad we are for the arrival of DR. Kevin Hub. (see what we did there?)

Yes, we would rather a qualified candidate had materialized from out of state for our Superintendency, one unindoctrinated by the KY Association of School Superintendents (KASS). KASS is the good ol' boys club that all KY Supers belong to, and the very good ol' boys club that extracted Fayette Superintendent Tom Shelton and made him their Executive Director when things went south for Shelton over a measly $20 million at Fayette County Schools. As Superintendent of Logan County Schools, you can bet that KASS at least tried to get their hooks in Dr. Hub.

But we extend our benefit of doubt to Dr. Hub. And to that end we wish to withdraw somewhat to provide him room to get his feet wet. And we do so on the eve of 100,000 visits to this site, 30,000 unique.

But there will be "tells", even early on in Hub's tenure. And some of those tells, depending how handled, we will not be able to ignore. You see, there is right and there is wrong. It's past time for right for Scott County Schools.

30,29,28,27,26,25,24,23,22,21,20,19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 - DING DONG





Sunday, May 1, 2016

IT IS DONE

Patricia Putty was never THE problem. A review of our earliest posts reveal we were always about bringing attention to the complacent School Board of the 20 year Becky Sams reign that hired Mrs. Putty as Superintendent of Scott County Schools. That attention brought an almost wholesale swap of School Board members beginning with the November 2012 Board elections, but retained current Chairman (then member) Haley Conway because he had the good sense to not sign the Board's reprehensible January 2012 "letter of lies" (see the early posts at our original website link at the top of this page).

And while the current Board is not perfect, it at least had the good sense to recognize that Patricia Putty (the author of the "letter of lies") was A problem and voted unanimously in February of 2015 to not renew her contract at expiration, June 30, 2016. But good news! Today's signing of a four year contract with Dr. Kevin Hub welcomes a new era for Scott County Schools. Hasten July 1.

We have been slow to welcome Dr. Hub to Scott County Schools only because we respect that it is not a done deal until a mutually agreeable contract is signed. Should anyone make anything of the little glitch of the Board's secretary not being present to sign today, they will only expose their agenda. WELCOME Dr. Kevin Hub to Scott County Schools!

Dr. Hub succeeds the legacies of a "strip club" Superintendent; a "spend at all costs" Superintendent; and most recently a "Peter Principle" Superintendent. Unlike Tom Shelton's following the popular Stu Silberman as Superintendent at Fayette County School, Dr. Hub has made a wise choice to come to Scott County. He needs only to not offend to be considered a success here. But we hope for so much more and the students and taxpayers deserve so much more. By all appearances he is equipped to provide it.

Dr Hub mentioned last Thursday's Georgetown News Graphic (GNG) editorial when he spoke after signing his contract today. We draw your attention to GNG publisher Mike Scogin's commentary on page 4 of Saturday's current edition (4-30-16). This commentary, an uncharacteristic one indeed, draws attention to Scott County School's very poor Niche school rankings within the state of KY.  Scott's poor performance is not new to this respected ranking agency of schools nationwide and we have referenced them repeatedly. What is new is Scogin finally acknowledging the poor rankings. We must ask "why finally acknowledge this now, Mr. Scogin, after years of covering for our district's poor performance? Why at this particular moment?" We think we know and will explore this further in a future post.

But for now we again welcome Superintendent Dr. Kevin Hub. Godspeed good sir!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

15 MINUTES OF FAME

Junior School Resource Officer (JSRO) Ben Martin got his 15 minutes. His problem is, he chose the wrong individual to expense for those 15 minutes. Or, that is, he let Patricia Putty chose the wrong individual for him. Ask the JSRO two years from now if the 15 minutes were worth it.

Everyone except the Georgetown News Graphic (GNG) knows the only reason that Scott County School's Superintendent Patricia Putty called in the police for an incident that is otherwise routinely dealt with internally by the school district, is that school bus driver Durbin Wallace was one of 28 drivers who signed a grievance against Putty's Artistic Director of Transportation in Absentia Roy Prince, and that for the Director's discussion and drawing of a penis at a mandatory meeting of drivers in March of 2014. With the full faith of Central Office behind him, Officer Martin jumped at the chance to get his 15 minutes.

But Durbin Wallace did not fold. When the Scott County Attorney expected him to jump on a reduced charge that only required he quietly plead guilty of that reduced charge, Mr. Wallace politely said no. After months of Mr. Wallace standing up to the local County Attorney's office and such offers, it was the Scott County Attorney's Office that folded. In what can only be characterized as an act of cowardice, the Scott County Attorney laid the case off on the Bourbon County Attorney. WHAT??  The Bourbon County Attorney was no more effective at intimidating a plea from Wallace. And as a result of what the Scott County Attorney laid off on them, the Bourbon County Attorney was forced by Wallace to go to trial and face a jury. And justice was served. NOT GUILTY!!!

Boy- oh- boy was JSRO Martin in his element flitting about the courtroom at the bequest of the Bourbon County boys. Instead of yet another boring day in his office at the Ninth Grade School, he was finally part of something big. He was going to please his Superintendent and take down this big bad school bus driver! Chills! Worse, his Chief allowed this charade. This episode erodes the citizens faith in not only the County Attorney's office, but the Georgetown Police Department.

And then there is the GNG report. Wow! Compare Scogin's rag's report of the trial proceedings with the Greg Kocher report in the Lexington Herald Leader. If you were harboring any doubt that Scogin is a lackey for the powers in this community, those doubts should quickly disappear. The GNG failed to mention JSRO Martin's "not recalling" his recantation in his original charge that Mr. Wallace grabbed the first grader "around the neck". The video clearly showed that not to be true. Martin left the "around the neck" charge in the arrest warrant anyway, but Mr. Wallace was able to produce a witness who overheard Martin's recantation. Then JSRO Martin "couldn't recall". Talk about a "cop out"! (no pun intended)

But more obvious of the GNG carrying water is the article's account stating the jury deliberated for 90 minutes. THE JURY DELIBERATED FOR AT MOST 15 MINUTES. The deliberation exaggeration was clearly intended to lend the perception that there was some jury members who had to be convinced Mr. Wallace was not guilty of harassing a first grader on his school bus. NOT SO! The jury went out at 4:00pm, returned to the court room a few minutes later to review the 15 minute bus video of the incident, went back out and returned with their not guilty verdict at 4:30pm. All they could find Mr. Wallace guilty of was running an orderly school bus. As trained by Putty's own people.

The only individual in this case guilty of harassment is Putty. Recall when she leaked the news of the incident, instead of reserving comment on the grounds the incident was under police investigation, she publicly and loudly lambasted Mr. Wallace, stating she was SICKENED and APPALLED at Mr. Wallace's conduct. And now, the JSRO, his police department, and the County Attorney's Office are guilty of aiding and abetting Putty.

Shame on all of you!




Saturday, February 6, 2016

STAND DOWN SCOTT UNITED.....

....you've had your Superintendents. The current one came with the cooperation of the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA).

                                             Installment #2    Feb 12

Scott County United, or Scott United's 501(c)(6) IRS tax exempt status claims the group's program service is to promote "Economic Development and Coordinate Private and Public Efforts To Stimulate Economic Growth". That sounds plenty high minded, but what explains a non-profit with such a haughty purpose having zero web presence? Hmmm? Non-profits are tax exempt under the presumption they are agents of good. So why, do tell, in the year 2016, would an agent of good not have a website to promote the good they wish to do? What explains a stealth non-profit?

Recall our February 22, 2015 post asking the question "Who is the Scott Education and Community Foundation?". We asked that after this separate non-profit went silent, having no 501(c)(3) 990 tax return recorded on guidestar.com since the year 2010, then sprang to life 5 years later last January to sponsor a $1,300 billboard promoting Scott County Schools. How expending funds to promote the local school district aligned with the Foundation's tax exempt program service to promote the Yuko-En, KY-Japan Friendship Garden is beyond us and frankly quite a stretch, particularly considering the organization's ending fund balance of $387,403 was last reported for the tax year 2010. Where did the $387,403 go and where did the $1300 come from?

What does one non-profit have to do with the other, besides a special interest in the Scott County School District? A similar cast of characters, that's what. One John P. Cooper in particular.

                                                 Installment #3     Feb 19

If you don't know the most influential man in Scott County, you might count your blessings. But rest assured each and every connected individual here does, regardless of John P.'s stealthiness. John Cooper founded and is managing partner of Capital Links Consultants, a Frankfort lobbying firm and owns and runs John P. Cooper and Associates from his Quail Run Circle home here in Georgetown. And he peddles his influence on almost every going on of any importance in Scott County.

It was John Cooper that Scott School's Superintendent Patricia Putty appointed as Chairman of the school district's 2010 iteration of its Local Planning Committee (LPC). Mr. Cooper promptly executed Mrs. Putty's plan to remove a second high school as the district's #1 priority on its District Facility Plan (DFP) and replace it with Lemons Mill Elementary. Why do the dirty deed? Most likely a "tit for tat" arrangement for Mrs. Putty's vote on the local Tax Increment Financing (TIF) board on which he had her appointed. Her vote would help secure TIF financing of the I75 interchange to be constructed out by Toyota that would allow Mr. Cooper's client to develop a regional shopping center there. Maybe that arrangement would have more appropriately been called a "tit for tif". Whatever, it was certainly a tit for something.


Turns out Mr. Cooper is a principal on both Scott County United (Vice-President) and the Scott Education and Community Foundation (President), whose other principals include Patricia Putty as a Director.


What's most curious about Scott United, whose other principals and members include the Chamber of Commerce's Jack Conner, local insurance man and appraiser Mike Hockensmith and Toyota's Kim Menke, is that of the approximate $70,000 the non-profit expends each year, about $55,000 is recorded on its tax form as a "management fee".  Hmmm?  Almost 80% of its revenue is spent managing itself. Now there's a non-profit doing some kind of good indeed. Good for itself! But what else does Scott United involve itself in? 


                                                      Installment #4  February 23

Tonight our School Board receives 5 recommendations from the Superintendent Selection Committee, an effort facilitated by the KY School Boards Association. The 5 applicants are those the committee thinks warrants the Board's consideration, winnowed from a pool of 21. We won't be privy to who those 5 applicants are, but the 5 presented will be the Board's first indication whether outside influence got to the Committee. 

While we have been calling for Scott United to stand down, we have also been calling for certain other individuals to STAND UP.  By these individuals not standing up and rebuking influence attempts publicly during this period leaves open a charge of taint. 

These individual's silence will be something they will have to live with regardless of the final selection of a Superintendent, and it won't be until that final selection that will we know whether outside influence was effective. Our hope is the Board's final selection will ultimately make moot the taint so we can all move forward with cleansing our school district. 

We will come back to this as we wait, but let's in the meantime revisit in our next installment what happened in 2008, when our school district last sought a new Superintendent with the help of the KY School Boards Association.


                                                  Installment #5   February 26

This week-end your School Board attends the 80th annual Kentucky School Boards Association gala at the Galt House in Louisville. And they do so on your dime.

And that's ok. KSBA will provide valuable training. But KSBA will also provide an agenda. As long as our Board absorbs KSBA's training through an agenda filter, they may well bring some good info home. It is a shame though that this "conference" is only a thinly veiled facade to bring those in command of a community's school district coffers together with those with their eyes on those coffers. KSBA promotes this week-end's event stating "nearly 1000 board members, superintendents, exhibitors and speakers" will show for the shindig. Yes, there will be the requisite training sessions and such, but the real goings on will be in the private suites upstairs, hosted by everyone from janitorial suppliers to architects. Stay downstairs Scott Board!!! School business is big business folks, and much of it occurs at this annual event sponsored by the KSBA. 

Ah...the Kentucky School Boards Association. It would be easy to confuse this quasi-governmental organization with an actual government agency, but it is what its name states - an "association". No School Board is required to participate and spend their taxpayer's money to do so. Mostly it is an association of like minded ex-school district administrators and school board members whose main goal (much like the Kentucky Department of Education's, an actual government agency), is to perpetuate a system that provides them all a very comfortable living. To that end their goal is to keep the ugly as quiet as possible, keep the "right" individuals in influential positions (such as local Superintendents), maintain the status quo, and by so doing, keep the money flowing. What do you bet that every KY school district crying about recently proposed state budget cuts belongs to KSBA?

The KSBA provides many services to paid member school districts such as Scott County Schools, and even provides the KDE with some contract work. One of those services is to "facilitate" a local school district's search for a new Superintendent.

We can't remember if the KSBA assisted the Scott County School Board when it hired Dallas Blankenship in the early 1990's, but suspect they did. That School Board's Chairman, Ron Wilhite,  was a big-wig at Kentucky Utilities at the time, promoting their energy programs. It came as no surprise back then to those paying attention that Superintendent Blankenship would soon create a new position and hire his daughter's father in law to fill it and then use the School District to promote KU's energy programs. And now Ron, retired from KU, finds himself on KSBA's payroll as their "Energy Grant Project Director".  Funny how these things work out, huh? And funny how Scott County Schools will be awarded yet another energy award soon in Washingon, D.C.

It's understandable that most taxpayers, what with their busy lives and all, pay little attention to school district affairs. It is after all "the school district", that wholesome "all about the kids" agency that only has the best interest of the children at heart. While that may be true for the rank and file teachers and employees of a district, keep in mind that your local school district administrators and Scott School Board command an annual budget the size of your city and county government combined ($58,000,000) and a construction bonding capacity of an additional $100 million.

Those kind of numbers place a big target on a school district, particularly one with as complacent a school board as Scott County had during the entire tenure of the Board Chair who replaced Mr. Wilhite, Becky Sams. "But not to worry" thinks the average citizen, "should anything really be up, our local newspaper will let us know".  Yeah, right. The goings on all these years at the administrative and Board level at Scott County Schools could not have occurred without our newspaper's silence.

Recall the 2008 KSBA "facilitated" Superintendent search process in Scott County. That search produced 26 viable candidates who all completed the extensive application process and presented their applications to the Board before the Board's imposed "deadline". The KSBA "facilitated" Superintendent Screening Committee winnowed those 26 down to a worthy 5 to present to the School Board (some with PHd's and Superintendent experience) just as occurred last Tuesday for the current search.

It has yet to be explained, and certainly not reported by the Georgetown News Graphic, what happened next back in 2008. After failing to name a Superintendent by its own imposed deadline, and after the school year had completed in 2008, School Board Chair Becky Sams introduced Mrs. Patricia Putty as Scott County School's new Superintendent at a June 2008 School Board meeting. Georgetown News Graphic publisher Mike Scogin gushed in his editorials about what an excellent pick the Board had made. Never did he tell this dirty little secret.

Mrs. Patricia Putty did NOT submit an application to be Superintendent at Scott County Schools, unlike the 26 who did and who met the deadline to do so. No, rather Becky Sams installed Patricia Putty, who turned out to be the KSBA's search facilitator Mike Oder's colleague from when he was Superintendent at Woodford County Schools. How about that? We hired the buddy of the guy we hired to conduct a search process, the buddy whose name never came up in that search process! Just as Becky Sams doubled down on her disasterious mistake by extending Patricia Putty's contract for 4 more years in 2012, (and soon to follow, a 15% raise)  the KSBA retains Mr. Oder's services to this day. But they aren't stupid. They didn't dare send Mr. Oder back to facilitate Scott's search this time.

But now there is reason to believe there have been attempts to influence KSBA's current facilitator and his screening committee, and that they both chose to keep quiet about it. And this week-end they all wine and dine in Louisville at the KSBA'a annual gala. Convenient that we armed our Board members with the names presented by the selection committee just in time for the KSBA gala. We bet that not only will Ron be in attendance, but that he will be seen chatting up Scott United's John Cooper. It's so comforting to know that "it's all about the kids".


                                             Final Installment   March 7

And in walked Scott United's emissary - Kim Menke. And before you could say boo, he was sidled up by Patricia Putty.

Only time will tell if Kim Menke and his Scott United have their man in Scott County School's Superintendent-Elect Dr. Kevin Hub. We simply can't know, but odds are (if no fix is in) Dr. Hub heard from Toyota's Kim boy before bedtime tonight. You see, tonight the Scott County Board announced they were entering into contract negotiations with Dr. Hub, with an official public vote to come soon.

Scott United has attempted inappropriate contact with those engaged in the search for a new Scott Schools Superintendent throughout the search process. And Scott United knew their attempts were inappropriate. They cared not that their contact could easily have compromised the process and even those contacted. They simply didn't care. And it is that demonstrated desperation that gives us hope that Scott United neither had a plant to survive the Search Committee's due diligence or that they were able to learn who did survive. Hence Kim boy's presence at tonight's announcement. But again, only time will tell.

In the meantime, we want to give benefit of doubt and celebrate tonight's announcement. It has been an exhausting process and an exhausting wait, and we appreciate the Board not dilly-dallying with the announcement. Let's all cross our fingers that the contract negotiations go well.

We also want to applaud what appears an excellent effort from the Superintendent Selection Committee. The accolades bestowed on this hard working group of six from their KSBA facilitator and from Board Chair Haley Conway seem validated in what the Board described as 4 excellent candidates from which they could make their choice. 

Good luck and godspeed Dr. Hub. You've got your work cut out for you. No one expects that you can avoid the influence attempts from our community's string pullers, but the community will delight if you are in fact the "real deal" and you focus on what's best for the school district, its students, and employees. If that is truly where your heart is, prepare it for the next four months of what are sure to be "the wrath of Patricia Putty".  And her buddies, like Kim tonight?  Don't be surprised if they attempt to upset this apple cart.

STAND DOWN SCOTT UNITED. We are watching your actions, your tax returns, and those pesky "management fees". 


    

Friday, January 29, 2016

WHEN COMMON SENSE MEETS ACADEMIA...

...it gets ugly. But then, we said it would get worse before it could get better.

We don't know which astounds us most - that she suggested it, or that she took credit for the original proposal. But nothing, nothing should surprise us that comes from Patricia Putty's mouth. And of course, this most newsworthy event at Thursday's meeting of the Scott County School Board will go unreported in the Georgetown News Graphic.

At a meeting intended to calmly re-engage the previously contentious second high school construction process, the conversation began on egg shells. Recall that only three of our five school board members could see the wool being pulled over their eyes at last September's meetings to approve a rigged site preparation package (please see our post below - "The Sword of Damocles"). Those other two still don't get it, both still anxious to write that check. But worse is that they can't get this simple common sense notion - that because of 25 years of similar blindness, Scott County Schools is financially strapped and needs to save where it can SO OUR COMMUNITY WON'T SUFFER THE EMBARRASSMENT OF OPENING A NEW HIGH SCHOOL THAT THE FIRST THING VISITORS SEE WHEN ENTERING THE BUILDING IS AN UNFINISHED SPACE WITH BARE BLOCK WALLS AND A GRAVEL FLOOR WHERE THE LIBRARY IS SUPPOSED TO BE!!!!!! Whew!

Academia can't handle common sense, no matter how gently you expose it. Before anyone knew it, Jo Anna Fryman was going off on the author of common sense, Kevin Kidwell. This common sense guy was the one who exposed the September scheme and saved us who knows how much. Now he is the proponent of having a finished library in our new high school even if it means 12 foot wide hallways instead of 16 foot. And it got so ugly, Board Chair Haley Conway wisely called for a break, only to return to the ugliest moment of the meeting - courtesy of the lame duck superintendent, Patricia Putty.

There's plenty of ugly to pass around here though. Out in the hallway during the break, Scott County High School Partial Principal Joe Pat Covington shamelessly began lobbying Board members to reconsider his proposal to build a new 9th grade school instead of a second high school. We all know why.

When the meeting reconvened, the first words spoken came from Patricia Putty, asking the Board to reconsider HER proposal of building a 9th Grade School instead of a second high school. This woman knows no shame, hanging around to derail the second high school once again. It all helps explain why Mrs. Putty bitterly clings where she is not wanted. She continues to carry the string pullers torch and is desperate to stay in their good graces. Too late for that, BUT IT WASN'T HER PROPOSAL BACK THEN!!! IT WAS MR. COVINGTON'S!!! Before that, it was ours. Such is the boldness of a narcissist. July 1 can not come soon enough!

Nor does the Georgetown News Graphic know shame. You won't read these details in its sanitized account of the meeting. The library, that is - the lack of a library (not in the plans formulated before common sense was seated on this new Board) is easily the most compelling issue with the new high school, but the News Graphic dutifully continues to hide this detail from the public.

What the Scott County School Board needs is 5 members, all with common sense. That opportunity comes in November. Without a change, Garth Elementary may soon be on the chopping block, requiring yet another new elementary school. There's that common sense thing again. Deadline to get on the ballot is August.

Oh - and those string pullers? They've been naughty of late. If those who know don't come forth and share -  we will.

We are after all - "The Sword of Damocles"!