Board of Education Election

Board of Education candidate petitions available March 1. Candidates must get 51 signatures. Petitions are due 4/18. 3 seats on the board are available.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Must Attend Event at Hamburg High School

Don't miss the star studded cast of law enforcement professionals  and good health advocates at a must attend presentation on heroin and opioid addiction at Hamburg High School.   For years, many folks have written on this blog opining about the use of drugs among youngsters in schools (Hamburg District and others),  and its now reached "epidemic" proportions.  

All parents, students, teachers and concerned community members are urged to attend this event taking place Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. at Hamburg High School.   The adults must get their arms around this problem, after essentially ignoring it for years, and learn how to keep the children and young adults safe and sound during these trying times. 



Friday, April 22, 2016

"Justice delayed is Justice denied"



On April 22, 2016, the Buffalo News reported that the Hamburg School District violated laws when placing Hamburg Teacher M. Kavanaugh on paid leave in January 2014.   Concerned Hamburger has "cut and pasted" the Commissioner's decision- below (in black) .  Please note, it appears from the caption, that Kavanaugh represented herself  pro se ( no lawyer).  
The District was represented by Andrew Freedman of Hodgson Russ,  who readers will remember  from his appearances and zany behavior the public hearings of 2014 (Hodgson Russ lawyer no. 2 in March 25, 2016 post).    

According to the News, Hamburg School Superintendent M. Cornell,  who is just over one year in his overpaid position,  had NO COMMENT in response to the Commissioner's decision.  Cornell, who brought charges against Kavanaugh, has been silenced by Commissioner's decision.   

In an notable pattern of narcissistic personality disorder,  when anyone disagrees with Cornell and his corrupt board, that person is targeted with aspersions. To that end, Concerned wonders how long it will take the Superintendent and the Board to accuse New York State Education Commissioner Elia of misconduct or wrong doing for her decision in this matter.  

The NYSED Commissioner's decision reveals, that the rights of Kavanaugh end,  where the feelings of the Boars and Cornell begin. 

Appeal of MARTHA  KAVANAUGH from action of the Board of Education of the Hamburg Central School District, Michael Cornell, as superintendent, and Richard Jetter and Vincent Coppola, former superintendents, regarding teacher discipline.

Decision No. 16,897
(April 11, 2016)

Hodgson Russ, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Andrew J. Freeman, Esq., of counsel

ELIA, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the decision of the Board of Education of the Hamburg Central School District (“respondent board”) to place her on administrative leave and/or suspend her with pay.  The appeal must be sustained in part.

Petitioner is a tenured teacher employed in the Hamburg school district since August 2002.  At its meeting on January 14, 2014, respondent board voted to place petitioner “on paid administrative leave commencing [January 15, 2014].” By letter dated January 15, 2014, Interim Superintendent Richard Jetter notified petitioner of respondent board’s action and indicated that the board was investigating petitioner’s conduct as a school district employee.  The letter stated, “[w]hile on leave, you are not permitted on District grounds, including any school buildings.”  During that period, petitioner was assigned curriculum projects to complete, apparently from her home.  By letter to petitioner’s counsel, dated October 7, 2014, respondent board’s counsel stated that, “the District’s investigation into [petitioner’s] possible misconduct is ongoing and she will remain on administrative leave in the meantime....You will be advised when the District is prepared to take action on this matter.”  Approximately five months later, at its regular meeting on March 2, 2015, respondent board voted to continue “the suspension” of petitioner “pending further action of the Board of Education.”

It appears from the record that, on June 25, 2015, the district’s new superintendent, Michael Cornell, issued a memorandum to petitioner regarding her performance on the curriculum projects.  The memorandum apparently was placed in petitioner’s personnel file.
As a result of the district’s investigation, on September 2, 2015, respondent board preferred charges against petitioner pursuant to Education Law §§3020 and 3020-a.  Petitioner was served with a notice of the charges on or about September 3, 2015.  The charges set forth in the notice include incompetence/neglect of duty and insubordination.  The record indicates that petitioner requested an administrative hearing on the charges which appears to be pending.  This appeal ensued.  Petitioner challenges respondent board’s action placing her on “administrative leave” on January 14, 2014, and continuing her “suspension” on March 2, 2015, in the absence of disciplinary charges.  Petitioner does not herein challenge the §3020-a charges preferred against her by respondent board that are the subject of the administrative hearing.  Petitioner asserts that, on January 14, 2014, respondent board unlawfully placed her on administrative leave without filing charges against her and, thereafter, on March 2, 2015, unlawfully extended her suspension absent any charges filed.  She contends that such action should be declared null and void.  Petitioner seeks reinstatement to her former position.  She also seeks expungement of any reference to the alleged unlawful suspension or to any disciplinary actions relating to that period of time.  Additionally, petitioner seeks reimbursement of legal fees incurred as a result of the suspension; a declaration that respondent board’s actions violate both the Education Law and the members’ oath of office; a reprimand of respondent board and Superintendent Cornell; and an order directing respondents board and Cornell to publicly apologize to petitioner.
Respondents contend that petitioner’s placement on administrative leave by respondent board was proper in all respects, that petitioner has failed to establish that respondents acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner, and that petitioner has failed to state a claim.  Respondents also assert that the appeal must be dismissed for lack of standing, as untimely, and for failure to join necessary parties.

I will first address several procedural matters.  Initially, I find that petitioner has standing to maintain the appeal.  An individual may not maintain an appeal pursuant to Education Law §310 unless aggrieved in the sense that he or she has suffered personal damage or injury to his or her civil, personal or property rights (Appeal of Waechter, 48 Ed Dept Rep 261, Decision No. 15,853; Appeal of Erickson, 47 id. 261, Decision No. 15,689).  Only persons who are directly affected by the action being appealed have standing to bring an appeal (Appeal of Waechter, 48 Ed Dept Rep 261, Decision No. 15,853; Appeal of Erickson, 47 id. 261, Decision No. 15,689).  Respondent board’s action challenged by petitioner clearly affected petitioner directly and she is asserting an adverse effect upon her personal and property rights as a result of being removed from her teaching duties.  Consequently, I find petitioner has standing to maintain the appeal.

I also decline to dismiss the appeal for failure to join necessary parties.  A party whose rights would be adversely affected by a determination of an appeal in favor of a petitioner is a necessary party and must be joined as such (Appeal of Murray, 48 Ed Dept Rep 517, Decision No. 15,934; Appeal of Miller, 48 id. 465, Decision No. 15,917; Appeal of Williams, 48 id. 343, Decision No. 15,879).  Joinder requires that an individual be clearly named as a respondent in the caption and served with a copy of the notice of petition and petition to inform the individual that he or she should respond to the petition and enter a defense (Appeal of Murray, 48 Ed Dept Rep 517, Decision No. 15,934; Appeal of Miller, 48 id. 465, Decision No. 15,917; Appeal of Williams, 48 id. 343, Decision No. 15,879).  Although respondents include this defense in their answer in a conclusory manner, they fail to provide any further elaboration and do not address it at all in their memorandum of law.  Petitioner seeks relief herein as against respondents board, Cornell, Jetter and Coppola.  Each has been named in the caption of the appeal and served with a copy of the notice of petition and petition.  Consequently, it appears that all parties necessary to a determination of the appeal have been properly joined and dismissal for failure to do so is not warranted. 

With respect to respondents’ objection as to timeliness, the appeal must be dismissed only in part, as untimely.  An appeal to the Commissioner must be commenced within 30 days from the making of the decision or the performance of the act complained of, unless any delay is excused by the Commissioner for good cause shown (8 NYCRR §275.16; Appeal of Lippolt, 48 Ed Dept Rep 457, Decision No. 15,914; Appeal of Williams, 48 id. 343, Decision No. 15,879). 

To the extent that petitioner complains of the propriety of the June 25, 2015 memorandum that was placed in her file and pertains to the assignments she was given while on leave and/or suspension, petitioner’s appeal is untimely.  Petitioner commenced this appeal approximately three months after the issuance of the memorandum and offers no legal excuse for the delay.  Accordingly, that part of the appeal is untimely and must be dismissed.
However, petitioner’s challenge respondent board’s action on January 14, 2014 and March 2, 2015 placing her on leave and/or suspending her with pay, however, will not be dismissed as untimely, as such action, if proven, would constitute a continuing wrong.  The continuing wrong doctrine applies when the ongoing action is itself an unlawful action, such as the unlawful employment of an unqualified individual (Appeal of Kippen, 48 Ed Dept Rep 469, Decision No. 15,919), unlawful appointments to a district’s shared decision-making team (Appeal of Sadue-Sokolow, 39 Ed Dept Rep 6, Decision No. 14,155), an improperly constituted professional development team (Appeal of Copenhagen Teachers’ Association, et al., 45 Ed Dept Rep 459, Decision No. 15,381) or certain ongoing expenditures under an austerity budget that did not comply with the law (Appeal of Aarseth, 32 Ed Dept Rep 506, Decision No. 12,901).  The doctrine does not apply where the specific action being challenged is a single action, inaction or decision and the resulting effects are not intrinsically unlawful (Application of Ayers, 48 Ed Dept Rep 350, Decision No. 15,883; Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 48 id. 146, Decision No. 15,821, judgment granted dismissing petition to review, April 8, 2009, Sup.Ct., Albany Co. [Zwack, J.]).

In this appeal, petitioner alleges that she was unlawfully placed on administrative leave and/or suspension with pay without any charges preferred against her under Education Law §3020-a.  Suspension of a tenured teacher requires a board of education to file written charges with the clerk or secretary of the board (Education Law §3020-a).  Suspension of a tenured teacher without the filing of such charges is ultravires and, thus, constitutes a continuing wrong (see Appeal of McCall, 33 Ed Dept Rep 148, Decision No. 13,005).  Consequently, I decline to dismiss that part of petitioner’s appeal challenging respondent board’s January 14, 2015 and March 2, 2015 actions as untimely.

Turning to the merits, on January 15, 2014, respondent board voted to place petitioner on paid “administrative leave” and petitioner was notified by respondent Jetter that the purpose of such action was to “investigate petitioner’s conduct as a district employee.”  Petitioner remained on administrative leave for over a year with no charges preferred against her.  Petitioner was assigned curriculum projects but was not permitted on district grounds at any time.  She was also advised that there was no need to consult with any of her colleagues.  More than one year later, on March 2, 2015, respondent board voted to continue “the suspension” pending further board action. Respondent board did not prefer §3020-a charges against petitioner until September 2015.

As noted above, the suspension of a tenured teacher requires the board of education to file written charges within a reasonable amount of time, and that the suspension without the filing of charges is ultra vires and in violation of the individual’s tenure rights (see Appeal of McCall, 33 Ed Dept Rep 148, Decision No. 13,005; Appeal of Williams, 37 Ed Dept Rep 643, Decision No. 13,947).  In this case, petitioner was suspended more than 19 months before respondent preferred charges against her.  During that time she was prohibited from coming on school property and could not consult with her colleagues.  While the board correctly asserts that a board of education has the right to place an employee on administrative leave pending an investigation and/or pending disciplinary charges being filed against the employee, on this record, I find that respondent board’s actions constitute an unlawful suspension in the absence of the timely filing of disciplinary charges.  Because respondent board did not act within a reasonable amount of time to prefer charges against petitioner after removing her from teaching duties, such removal must be deemed null and void and expungement is warranted.
To the extent that petitioner seeks an award of costs and fees, the Commissioner has no authority to award monetary damages, costs or reimbursements in an appeal pursuant to Education Law §310 (Application of Kolbmann, 48 Ed Dept Rep 370, Decision No. 15,888; Appeal of S.B., 48 id. 332, Decision No. 15,875).

Moreover, to the extent that petitioner seeks an order directing respondents board and Cornell to issue an apology, the Commissioner lacks authority to order a board of education or school district employee to do so (Application of McDougall, 42 Ed Dept Rep 195, Decision No. 14,819; Appeal of Phillips, 41 id. 10, Decision No. 14,595; Appeal of Lloyd, 39 id. 537, Decision No. 14,303).  Finally, there is also no provision in the Education Law authorizing the reprimand of board members by the Commissioner of Education (Appeal of Ewart, 44 Ed Dept Rep 147, Decision No. 15,127).

THE APPEAL IS SUSTAINED TO THE EXTENT INDICATED.
IT IS ORDERED that any and all references to the January 14, 2014 placement of petitioner on administrative leave and March 2, 2015 suspension be stricken from petitioner’s records and personnel files.  However, nothing herein shall be construed as nullifying respondent board’s September 2, 2015 action to prefer charges pursuant to Education Law §3020-a.
END OF FILE

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

NYSED COMMISSIONER ELIA RULES THE HAMBURG BOARD OF EDUCATION VIOLATED THE LAW

CH received an email late today which revealed that New York State Education Commissioner Elia ruled the 3 year paid administrative leave of a Hamburg teacher violated her property and liberty rights.  The Hamburg School Board violated Educational, Civil and Human Rights.  

The Commissioner's  decision comes a little over one month after a hearing officer chastised the Board of Education and Cornell for failing to meet the just cause standards when deciding to discipline the teacher.  It is fairly clear, the Hamburg School Board and Administration  has been on a multi-year harassment campaign against teacher Martha Kavanagh.

The Commissioner ruled that the 3 year suspension of Kavanagh  be "expunged" from her personnel file.   And it was determined, the Board acted outside their authority in attacking Kavanaugh.  

Strangely, the Board voted not once but thrice to place the teacher on paid leave.  In December 2013, Flynn's motion to place MK out on leave went down like a lead balloon, and then January 2014 David Yoviene in one of his many flip flop decisions voted to place the teacher out.     Finally, in March 2015 Elizabeth McPhail at the direction of senior Hodgson Russ Attorney Karl Kristoff recommended again to keep the teacher out on paid leave.    Clearly, Kristoff  gave very bad advice to the Hamburg School Board.   It is alleged that attorney McPhail also bad advice, and as result has exposed the District to further litigation.

Hodgson Russ hothead Andrew Freedman wrote the District's reply to the Commissioner.  On each and every point made by Freedman, the Commissioner told him to suck lemons.    Concerned Hamburger was told that Kavanagh wrote her own petition, a.k.a "pro se".  and was successful on the merits and procedural aspects of the arguments.

Concerned Hamburger must state the obvious.

How can a school district pay over 25 attorneys tens of thousands of dollars a year to represent the district, when they easily face defeat on simple matter of law, written "pro se" by a school teacher?  

Concerned Hamburger asks the taxpayers to press the school board to hire legal minds that can offer sound legal advice and advert exposing the district to further litigation.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Hamburg PTSA President "MADAM" Christina Whipple in the News again.

The Buffalo News wrote the following article regarding the Ho Club owned by Hamburg Central School District PTA mom, Christina Whipple and her husband Mark.    Madam Whipple is immoral.  As stated her HO club was invaded by the FBI in 2010, shut down by NYS Liquor Authority, and then reopened in her pa's name.   Recently, Concerned Hamburger has learned that Madam Whipple recruits Hamburg female students to work in her sleaze bag clubs.  Thankfully the trash has been put to the curb.  According to the News story, Whipple wasn't available for comment.   According to the Hamburg School District webpage. Madam Whipple can be reached at : 
 Madam Christina Whipple (center), Hubby Mark (right) , and HO (left)

  MADAM Whipple tel No. 716-913-6727   
whipple.christina@gmail.com


 From the News: 
"Two strip clubs have closed in Erie County due to a dispute between the club’s operators and their landlord.  The Gold on Route 5 in Hamburg, formerly 24KT Gold, and Mademoiselle Gentlemen’s Club on Aero Drive in Cheektowaga were both padlocked by property owners Sunday morning.
Owners Michael and Irena Rudan said the club operators have not paid their rent in full for several years. Their ownership group, Rudan Holdings, also owns the Copacabana Grilled Brazilian restaurant, The Tower Hotel (formerly the Minolta Tower), and several strip clubs in Niagara Falls, Ont., including the Sundowner.
Both properties are being listed for sale or lease. A security service has been hired and posted at each club to keep the club operators out.
The clubs were operated by Mark and Christina Whipple. He declined to comment, and she could not be reached. They have said they bought the two clubs from the Rudans in 2009, after working there during the prior years.
24KT Gold was raided by the FBI in 2010. At the time, police investigators said they learned of cocaine dealing and prostitution in the club’s “private rooms.” The investigation ceased when 24KT Gold closed, and no one was charged. The club reopened later that year as The Gold, with Christina Whipple’s father listed on the liquor license." 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Hamburg Board of Education commits misconduct with your tax dollars


And
Hamburg Schools:
$192,502.00* 
Taken by Hodgson Russ- the Lawyers
via poor judgment and suspension of disbelief
From January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015, the Hamburg Board of Education and Superintendents authorized the spending of almost $200,000 with the law firm of Hodgson Russ.   A staggering number of attorneys from Hodgson Russ have taken a seat at the trough filled with dollars earmarked for the education of Hamburg kids. The lawyers have provided what appears to be very poor advice which has led to three publicly humiliating spectacles.    

First, and we need not rehash too much,  the sex, lies and videotape tale of Doctor Jetter.  Followed by the ouster of Catherine Forcucci from a publicly elected seat on the Board of Education, and the bizarro conduct of attorney Andrew Freedman.  And now, we have the first and only 3020a** in the history of Hamburg Schools over strange allegations of missing lesson plans.  The hearing officer lambasted the Superintendent and the Board of Education for acting in "bad faith" and having unacceptable conduct (duh).  The Boars retort that the hearing office is irrational and committed misconduct. Whoa, what a strange bowl of fruit. 

So, it looks like everyone is guilty of misconduct except the shady Board of Education bought and paid for by Daniel Chiacchia, who has been identified by many as having a deeply rooted vendetta against the teacher.  

To say the conduct of the Boars and Superintendent is puzzling is an understatement.  Front and center of the Hamburg Schools webpage is a notice asking community members to beg for more money from Albany, and the intention of the Boars to raise taxes, again.  Yet, they have exhibited poor judgement in spending, an inability to hire administrators who can address issues without having to call any one of the following 25 attorneys at Hodgson Russ.

1. Catherine Cooley
2. Andrew Freedman
3. Karl Kristoff
4. Ryan Eberhart
5. Jeffrey Same
6. Melanie Beardsley
7. Tania Bratton
8. Elizabeth Carlson
9. Michael Risman
10. Jeffrey Swiatek
11. Paul Moesky
12. Aaron Saykin
13. John Christopher
14. Elizabeth Holden
15. Elizabeth McPhail
16. Michael Reyen
17. Seth Pullen
18. Emina Poricanin
19. Jaclyn Hamlin
20. Ryan Johnson
21. Jill Yonkers
22. Bridget Lamb
23. Zachary Hebert
24. Michael Flanagan
25. Bernard Freedman

Yes,  folks it is all true. From January 2015- December 2015, 25 different Hodgson Russ Attorneys have billed the school district for time spent on district business.  Prior to July 2015, the hourly rates ranged from $113.00- $299.00. In July 2015, the Boars voted to approve an increase in hourly rates by approximately $5.00 per hour.  One bets, the hourly staff in the district would be pleased with at $5.00 raise, or one of those clubs that were cut would sure find a way back into kids lives if the Boars took those extra fives and put them into restoring clubs for kids. 

So where is the misconduct?  

* The legal invoices were forwarded to Concerned Hamburg
** Concerned Hamburger did an independent investigation into 3020a hearings. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

You just can not make this sh*t up.

One must question the mental health of Superintendent Cornell and the Boars of Education.  In a recent document, the Hamburg Central School District stated that the budget is $1 million short for next school year 2016-17.  Two days after the announcement of teacher cuts and shortages of money, the same people met and decided to file a lawsuit against one of the teachers in the district.  It is clear, Cornell and the Boars feel the attorneys at Hodgson Russ are more deserving of your taxpayer dollars than the children of Hamburg.   

It seems that delusional behavior is a pre-requisite to sit on the Hamburg School Board.  It no secret, that the Boars reached down to the bottom of the barrel in desperation when selecting Michael Cornell to be Superintendent. The truth of the matter is, no one wanted the job and Cornell, much like Doctor Jetter, would do anything to become a school superintendent*.   

So just hours after admitting the short fall of $1 million, and recommending cuts in staff, the district filed a lawsuit against a teacher, who recently was victorious in a disciplinary matter.  Concerned Hamburger was notified that the judge who presided in the matter stated the district's actions against the teacher are a "sham".   So after a grueling defeat the boars turn around and claim fowl play and sue the teacher in NYS Court.   Money is no object for these folks.  The ten days of hearings held at the Embassy Suites on Delaware Avenue in the City of Buffalo cost the taxpayers of Hamburg in excess of $250,000, and it isn't over yet.  

One has to wonder what the heck is going on here?  Cornell, who was in the district for only 6 months, and who allegedly never met the teacher in question, made up what is said to be quite a story of missing lesson plans from 2013.  Concerned was told that Brent Jordan, Michael Gallagher and Colleen Kaney testified about the missing lesson plans, but none of the aforementioned over paid administrators witnessed the absent lesson plans first hand.   The hearing officer called Jordan untruthful, and when questioned Kaney had to admit in testimony that she never  ever had any conversation with the teacher in question.   It was revealed, that Cornell, Jordan, Kaney and Gallagher, each making well over $125 K per year spent ten days sitting around a hotel room in downtown Buffalo waiting for their turn to lie under oath. ** 

The case amounted to a whole bunch of hearsay, and a considerable amount of prevarication.   The case against the teacher is so wacky, the hearing officer blasted the district in the decision, and now the Boars are crying in their tea.   

Fear not Hamburg taxpayers, you will continue to fund the attacks as the district is using your money to run the meter for  at least  10 lawyers at the Hodgson Russ law firm.  

* including the dirty work of CHA and his pal the not so honorable Andrew Fleming. 
** CH was told that on one of the hearing days, Cornell arrived at noon for a 8 a.m. start, 4 hours late.  His excuse, was that his wife won a Wegmans gift card on the radio and he had to go grocery shopping.  The real irony is Cornell accused the teacher of not doing their job, and then he spent half a day doing his Christmas ham shopping at Wegmans when he should've been at work.    What a loser. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Emergency Hamburg Board of Education Meeting 3-17-16

Hamburg School Board will meet at 7:15 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day at the Administration building to discuss litigation.  

The Boars posted the agenda today, and have already violated Open Meeting Laws. 

Could it be, that someone has filed a lawsuit against the Boars and the inexperience "Superintendent Cornut"?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

From the Facebook of Dan " Hamburg Guy" Chiacchia

Interested school board candidates, who are willing to sell themselves to local attorney Daniel Chiacchia, and carry out his agenda,  please read the statement made by Mr. Chiacchia on his Facebook page. (purple below)
A brazen Chiacchia, whose irrational impulsive conduct led, in part, to two admonitions by the New York State Judicial Ethics Commission of his law partner Andrew "Andy" Fleming, for entangling in elections and making large donations to buy the people on the Hamburg School Board.    

One must ask, what is Chiacchia's "skin in the game"?    

Rumor has it, that most folks in Hamburg find his conduct during the Richard Jetter years, (or was it months ?), beyond the pale.  It is often stated Mr. Chiacchia made a public fool of himself and his law partner, and he is often heard as the punch line to jokes in the legal community.  
Litte Dan and One of his
losing candidates that his
partner was admonished for
giving money to. 


So, if you meet the eligibility standards to run for the seat on the Hamburg School Board, and you are willing to, well, um, "bend over" for Mr. Chiacchia, he will gladly open his wallet, and buy you ridiculous t-shirts. But remember, leave your morals and independent thinking at home,  Mr. Hamburg will besmirch your name if you don't follow his agenda. 

"Our school district is once again on the right path. We cannot be complacent and must continue to monitor the workings of our district. The school board elections for May 17, 2016 are fast approaching. We continue to require competent candidates to fill school board seats. If you are interested in being a board member please check the Hamburg School District website and click on the district clerk tab for general information about qualifications and procedures to become a board member. The link is http://www.hamburgschools.org/Page/12008. Beginning March 1, 2016 interested candidates can pick up petitions at the district office located at 5305 Abbott Rd., Hamburg, NY. If you have questions about being a school board member please don't hesitate to contact me directly. Thank you for your continued interest in our district."

Sunday, March 6, 2016

From a reader, ( aka- "a blogger" n. : someone who blogs)


Concerned was greeted with this comment on a cold, yet sunny, Sunday.   Morning has broken......like the first morning. 

"Dear "sigh" - I do care about Hamburg Students and the dearth of instruction and discourse in necessary subjects such as personal finance and citizen participation in formation of policies that limit or liberate civil rights and self esteem based on the practice of honesty, integrity and humility. Youngsters learn so much more from example than lecture. That's why the integrity of teachers, principles, administrators and board members should be examined, ideally by self evaluation. When that doesn't happen it is in our communities best interest to get involved. School districts are a microcosm of American democracy. You'd never know that BOE members are agents of our state and US constitutions by examining the culture of greed and cover up that has distracted the community from the total absence of internal financial controls for decades. Do your homework if you care about keeping Hamburg a vibrant place to raise families in an environment of diverse talents and job opportunities. The path from high school to Harvard isn't working Joan. Our children need second language instruction before 10 years of age, a solid commitment to arts & music (which are universal languages), as well as respect for skilled vocational training which is sorely needed in this global economy. BOE needs to stop whining about GEA. If my employer doesn't give me a $20k bonus for 8 consecutive years I'd better plan a budget without it. BOE are fiduciaries not lobbyists. Stop attending political rallies and start diving into District financial practices and accounting basics. Read the internal audits if Sporyz will release them. Is she hiding employees who had full dental insurance paid for by us taxpayers when it wasn't in their contracts? Or checks pre-printed w treasurers name? Or the fact that cash and checks receivable are all logged counted and put in a drawer by the same person who then takes it all to the bank? And so what if bank deposit slips don't match treasurers records? Come on Hamburg! Our youth need you. It takes a village to raise a child and an electorate to hold elected officials accountable. Go ahead and ask Heeter or Yoviene what their actual duties are. Hint: they don't include cheerleading and lobbying. How about the community gets together to discuss the facts instead of malicious rumors spread by bigots who abuse their power and our trust to primarily perpetuate patronage with education
of our precious youth as a secondary byproduct. Run for the BOE. Ask questions. Try to fulfill your duty as a fiduciary. Or... You could just be a rubber stamp BOE and be personally named as defendants in multiple lawsuits against the district. Come on SSPeter & Paul parents, recent high school grads and those who believe the PC craze has smothered common sense! Pick up your BOE petition and be a candidate. You will not believe what goes on behind the curtain until you hear it w your own ears. Peace out & political revolution in!"



Friday, February 26, 2016

Hamburg's St. Peter and Paul Parents looking for safe transportation

Concerned Hamburger was recently notified of a petition to reinstate  dedicated buses to the children of St. Peter and Paul School in Hamburg.  In blue below read the petition which can be found on change.org.  Cmon Hamburg parents and taxpayers, its time for a really important issue: child safety.   This seems to be a matter for Hamburg guy.  The school district is short changing the children of St. Peter and Paul to accommodate the limited number of buses that are available from Fisher Bus.    A recent post addressed this issue, and published the history of the Fisher Bus company.    (see:  Stone faced Bores of Education met with real parent concerns)

It appears Fisher's  bread and butter comes from carting the kiddies of Hamburg.  

Concerned suggests the parents of St. Peter and Paul should contact David Yoviene.  His claim to fame is sitting on the transportation committee.   The contact telephone number that was provided for Mr. Yoviene is 716-574-0929. 


Reinstate dedicated buses for SSPP students who reside in the HCSD for 2016/2017 .

In August of 2015 Saints Peter and Paul School (SSPP) families were notified that the Hamburg Central School District (HCSD) would be changing busing for Hamburg students that attend SSPP School. In the past, there were (6) buses dedicated to transferring SSPP students that reside in the HCSD. Due to scheduling changes with the Hamburg Public Schools, the HCSD decided to pull the (6) SSPP buses and transfer the SSPP students on middle school buses. This new process extends transfer times for SSPP students by up to 60 minutes, and requires a transfer bus for SSPP students from the Hamburg Middle School to SSPP School.
There are many issues and concerns with this busing change. 
1) Transfer times are unreasonable for any age student, especially primary grade students.
2) Primary grade students are forced to ride with middle school age students. This age gap is inappropriate and sets the stage for many unfortunate situations like bullying, and witnessing language, conversation and behavior they should not be exposed to. There is an assigned seating policy, but it is not enforced. Note: approximately 90% of students riding the bus are middle school students. 
3) There are no aides on the middle school buses. Most buses are close to full capacity. It is not reasonable to expect bus drivers to operate the bus and control behavior. 
4) SSPP students are forced to a transfer bus at the Middle School site. Although there is supervision for this transfer process provided by the Middle School, (3) students have been lost in the transfer process this year. If the transfer bus has not arrived yet, SSPP students have to exit the 1st bus and wait at an outside location for the transfer bus. 
5) We are tax payers and deserve the same safe and reasonable bus transportation service that all public school students receive in the HCSD.
"We call on you to reinstate dedicated buses for the transfer of Saint Peter and Paul School students who reside in the Hamburg Central School District for the 2016-2017 school year, so that SSPP sudents can be transferred safely, without transfer buses, with peers their own age, and at reasonable transfer times."
"We stand with concerned tax payers in opposition to the current bus transfer process."