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Hamburg Board of Education Meeting Thursday August 21, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. to appoint Acting Superintendent.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Oink, Oink, Oink, Piggies at the Hamburg Trough

Well Hamburg, here we go again.  The appointment of the honorable Vincent Coppola was overshadowed by the release of the Hamburg School District legal bills for the partial month of January, and all of February, March, April, May, June and July, 2014.   In a front page Buffalo News article, the appointment of Dr. Coppola got scant attention.   In addition, it was reported that few people attended the appointment meeting, not even district safety patrolman Mr. James Martinez (apparently, the Russian snipers from the woods of Boston are on summer holiday). 


The Attorneys for Hamburg Central School District
Well Hamburg, now what?  Almost one quarter of one million dollars spent on what?   Concerned Hamburger reviewed the legal bills as posted on the Buffalo News website.  Calling the invoices "absolutely ridiculous" is an understatement.  Being understated is often a good thing, if one is an elected official, as Mrs. Stephenson likely learned in her many years as a public official for the town of Hamburg.   It appears, however, that Mr. Yoviene has not quite learned that public relations tactic.  Yoviene is quoted in the news as saying, " I certainly think it was worth it. Its something we had to do".   It would be nice if Mr. Yoviene would explain who "we" is?  Are these the people who elected him to the school board on his personal promise to reduce legal fees?  Concerned thinks not.  So readers, who is "we"? Who thinks this kind of outrageous expense is good for kids, teachers and education?

What is most interesting in reviewing the 125 pages of Hodgson Russ legal invoices is not entirely what they say, its what they don't say.  What lies underneath those dark magic marker redactions?  It surely is the hope of this blogger that the Buffalo News will take the Hamburg School District to NYS Supreme Court in an Article 78 proceeding to force the district's hand to release the pure form of the legal invoices.   It would be interesting to see some of those blocked out names, and so then the public can get a clearer picture on who has been running the school district in the darkness of the Jetter months.  

"Meanwhile,  the School Board on Thursday night appointed Vincent J. Coppola as acting superintendent."  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

********BREAKING NEWS********* A REAL SUPERINTENDENT IS COMING TO HAMBURG

According to a recently posted agenda on the Hamburg Central Schools webpage (link: New Acting Superintendent), the Board of Education will meet Thursday August 21, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at the administration building  to appoint Mr. Vincent Coppola as Acting Superintendent of Schools. *

Mr. Coppola is an icon in the New York State School community, and has a long, respectable and honorable career servicing the youth of Western New York and the adult stakeholders in various school districts.  According to Mr. Coppola's Linked in account, he has served as the Superintendent of Corning-Painted Post and West Seneca Schools, and was the Director of Personnel in West Seneca Schools. Prior to entering administration, Mr. Coppola was a principal, school counselor and English teacher.

Hamburg should be honored that Mr. Coppola came forward to pick up the pieces of a broken district in an attempt to make it whole again.   Best of luck to the Board of Education and Mr. Coppola as a new school year approaches.  No doubt that school counseling experience will surely come in handy for Mr. Coppola.

 *Doctor Jetter is still on the payroll.  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Are You Smarter Than A 3rd Grader?

Recently, New York State Education Department published the results of the 2014 Math and English Language Arts exams.  Concerned Hamburger reviewed the data as it was presented by the Buffalo News (click here: 2014 Math and English Exam Results).

The test results of the Hamburg School District should shock the conscience of every mother, father, teacher and taxpayer.   While some schools like Charlotte Avenue scored about 70% in Grade 3 Math, other schools like Boston Valley scored around 40% in 3rd Grade Math.  Boston Valley's 3rd Grade English scores were below 40%.

The Hamburg Middle School results are equally appalling.   In 8th grade English,  Hamburg has about a 40% proficiency and in Math it is closer to 30%.  The numbers speak for themselves.  Some might say, these results mean nothing because it is the nasty doing of Pearson testing in an effort to undermine public schools, others might say the kids are too young to be tested and still others may just "blame it on the rain".

In most regards, the flaw-finders of NYS testing do not need to go too far to find support in their  arguments.  In some cases, the arguments against testing are undeniably strong.  However, until NYS gives up the testing culture, the stakeholders need to take responsibility.  Perhaps if the Hamburg School District made an effort to put money in the classrooms and not in the pockets of overpriced administrators and zany bow-tie clad attorneys, the testing results would be different.

In the case of Hamburg, the 2014 test results were predictable.  From the weekly onslaught of drama that occurred in Hamburg during the 2013-14 school year, it is no wonder that the kids have suffered.  Each week, a new spectacle unfolded in Hamburg with a handful of parents lead by local attorney Daniel Chiacchia, Esq. leading the charge to disrupt the school board, and the functioning of schools.  This dirty dozen of so called, "concerned parents" pushed hard to anoint the disgraceful Richard Jetter as Superintendent of Schools, a job he screwed up in just two short months.  On May 5, 2014, Doctor Jetter was out drinking heavily, during the school day, with Hamburg Middle School Principal Jennifer Giallella.  Perhaps, Ms. Giallella should have been running her building that day.

To further turn the Hamburg "carnival into a circus show", the Hamburg School Board tossed Boston Valley Principal James Martinez a stipend of $2,500 to act as district safety officer.  Mr. Martinez disrupted each and every school board meeting by casting aspersions at board members, and community members.  Mr. Martinez took his job to a delusional level in making the claim he would arrest Hamburg School Board members with his NYS Administrators license.  The man has exhibited very strange conduct.  One does wonder about the Boston Valley School break-ins last October.  Additionally, it was reported to Concerned Hamburger by several people, that on the last day of school in June at Boston Valley, Mr. Martinez told the teachers to hold the children in doors, thus canceling field day activities, because "there were Russians in the woods".  (We trust Safety Officer Martinez notified US Department of Homeland Security to sweep the woods in search of Russians and other aliens who may be in the Town of Boston)

Once upon a time, not too long ago, Charlotte Avenue Elementary School enjoyed "Blue Ribbon" status and now it is struggling to maintain a 70% passing rate for 3rd graders.  Where were the dirty dozen parents group when Charlotte Avenue sank in the rankings from a top 10 school to a middle 30s school?  That would seem to be a very large concern for moms, dads and school boards.

Hamburg is not the school system it once was, and the numbers reveal that reality.  Hamburg has become tolerant of staff, superintendents  and community members who lie, connive and exhibit unstable and irrational conduct.

With any hope the Hamburg School Board will wake up and realize how incredibly foolish they are.  The Forcucci hearings, the 306 appeal of Mr. Daniel Chiacchia, Esq, the petitions passed by staff members during the school day to remove Stephenson and Balaya, the community "hate-meetings", the alcohol guzzling school administrators,  fake pep rallies, high taxes and low results are on the shoulders of a school board run by a president with little if any back bone or integrity.

It is hoped that in the very near future, for the sake of the children and the teachers who try hard to do good things, that a person with honor will be seated at the head of the table, and she or he shall be called the Superintendent of Hamburg Central Schools.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hamburg Cabaret

What do Hamburg School District administrators Brent Jordan, Barb Sporyz and Colleen Kaney have in common?  
Give up?  

Money, Money, Money. 


Money makes the world go 'round in Doctor Jetter's version of Hamburg Caberet

Thank you Super-duper-intendent Doctor Jetter and Hamburg School Board for siphoning our children's educational dollars into the pockets of lawyers and administrators.  In addition to the $200,000 legal budget presented to and approved by the Hamburg School Board, part of which is being used to fund the attempted removal of a publicly elected official, certain members of the Hamburg Administrative team are lining their pockets with mammoth raises in salary and benefits.  To think Board President David Yoviene ran on a platform of reigning in administrative salaries.  

Yes Hamburg Administrators, there is a Santa Clause. 

Since 2012, some administrators in the Hamburg Central School District have received raises in salary and benefits in excess of 48%.   Much of the these large boosts in salary were bestowed upon the administrators in July 2014, just days before Doc. Jetter revealed to the world that he is not what he appeared to be.  Perhaps, Doc. Jetter saw the writing on the wall and he wanted to be sure his "team" was taken care of before checking himself into BryLin.

Consider the following: 

Hamburglar Barb Sporyz
HAMBURGLAR CASE #1- On July 1, 2014, Barbara Sporyz was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services and Finance (click here for Barbara Sporyz's Contract 14-17).   Without serving one single day in her new position as Assistant Superintendent, Mrs. Sporaz was granted tenure on July 1, 2014.  Mrs. Sporaz's contract with the district secures her $125,000 in 2014-15, $126,000 in 2015-16, and $127,000 in 2016-17.  According to records compiled by the State of New York, Mrs. Sporyz earned salaries of $85,500 in 2012 and $113,000 in 2013.   So folks, from 2012-2017 Mrs. Sporyz will have gained a 49% raise, plus tenure and oodles of benefits.  Therefore, Mrs. Sporyz, in two years, has increased her salary $39,500.  Her $39,500 increase is more than a new teacher with a Master's degree (click here for teacher's salary schedule).  Keep that increase in mind when your elementary students are packed into classes of 30 students.  Mrs. Sporyz came to Hamburg after a short stint as business manager of the North Collins School District.


Hamburglar Brent Jordan
HAMBURGLAR CASE #2- July 1, 2014 bought good tidings to Brent Jordan as well.  Mr. Jordan was granted tenure as Director of Technology and Information Services, a position he filled temporarily for less than one year.   Mr. Jordan's three year contract (click here for Brent Jordan's contract 2014-2017) garners him $110,000 in 2014-15, $111,000 in 2015-16 and $112,000 in 2016-17.   Since his earnings in 2012 that represents in excess of a 30% raise plus tenure and benefits.  Mr. Jordan started his career in Hamburg as a teacher and just recently resigned his former position as Assistant Principal of the High School.  


Hamburglar Colleen Kaney
HAMBURGLAR CASE #3- In a third eye-brow raising move, the Hamburg School Board appointed Colleen Kaney as Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Curriculum and Instruction.  Miss Kaney, who started out as a teacher for the Hamburg Schools certainly has climbed to the top of the school organization.  There is little doubt that Miss Kaney was provided good mentors along the way, who allowed her to reach her career aspirations through various avenues of career development and professional networking.   For her outstanding service to the administrators and the District, Mrs. Kaney secured a three year contract starting with a salary in 2014-15 of $122,000, 2015-16 of $123,000, and 2016-17  of $125,000 (click here for Colleen Kaney's contract 2014-17).  Since 2012, this represents in excess of a 28% raise.  Also, let us not forget that since Doc. Jetter is out on paid administrative leave, Miss Kaney and Mrs. Sporyz split an additional $160 a day.  That means together,  Miss Kaney and Mrs. Sporyz could make an additional $41,600 this year if the Board cannot get an interim superintendent lined up.  This again, is more than the District would have to pay for a new elementary school teacher.



Monday, August 4, 2014

Hamburg School Board Boldly Burns Our Tax Dollars

Hamburg School Board will continue in an attempt to remove an elected official from her position.  This evening at Armor Elementary School at 6 p.m., you can witness the precursor to the Hamburg Fair, which opens this week on that large piece of property between So. Park and McKinley which pays nil in school taxes. 

Come One, Come All.  


Celebrate the ignorance of the Hamburg School Board as you watch them attempt to remove an elected official! 

Witness the disappearance of your tax dollars right before your very eyes.   

Sadly the uneducated members of the Hamburg School Board ( how many actually have advanced degrees or any degree?) have not realized that removing a public official from office stands the same chance as the Hamburg Agricultural Society being subjected to school taxes on their multi-million dollar enterprise.  

Meanwhile, the elementary school teachers can stack more children into the already crowded classrooms of over 32.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

David Yoviene's personal piggy bank

Channel 4 Senior News Reporter Rich Newberg gave a glimpse into the costs associated with the Hamburg School Boards attempt to remove Catherine Forcucci.   (see: Richard Jetter's contract: NO BUY OUT CLAUSE)

WIVB reported that the cost per hour for 2 Hodgson Russ Attorneys is $458.00, Forcucci's two lawyers fetch $500.00, and Hearing Officer David Hoover clocks in at $250.00.   So every hour that goes by in the Forcucci hearings is approximately $1208.00 in the pockets of the attorneys.  The transcriptionist according to Channel 4 is on average about $5.00 per page.  So far the hearings have been about 30 hours, not including preparation time for the attorneys (which some estimate to be about another 30 hours).  There are 3 hearing dates already scheduled for August 4, 7, and 9.  Why visit the Erie County Fair, when you can go to the Hamburg School Board circus and carnival for free?

An adamant Hamburg School Board President David Yoveine is hellbent on continuing the hearings. But guess what Hamburg taxpayers, this doesn't cost David a penny from his own pocket.  As the days go by more and more people are fed-up with this mess.

Mrs. Forcucci's attorney indicated that the costs for these hearings could top $200,000.  And that is just for the hearings.   Now add on to the hearing costs, the costs of keeping Jetter on paid leave at a minimum of $164,000 and the cost of an interim Superintendent at another $164,000 and the taxpayers are footing the bill in excess of $325, 000 just in salary an

It seems to Concerned Hamburger that it is NOT Mrs. Forcucci who should be tossed off the Board of  Education but rather David Yoviene.  It is hoped that the Erie County DA's Office questions Mr. Yoviene about what he knew and when he knew it.

BREAKING NEWS from WKBW

According to WKBW Channel 7 at noon, the Erie County District Attorney's office is picking up the case of the beleaguered  Hamburg School Superintendent Richard Jetter.    More news on this will be forthcoming.  The matter is being moved from the Hamburg Village to the District Attorney's office.

Wow, it looks like Doctor Jetter is getting into some deeper trouble.

Where in the World is Richard Jetter?

You can not make this stuff up.  The Doctor Jetter, Jennifer Giallella and Andrew Freedman story is getting richer and richer as it twists and turns.   Last evening Channel 7 WKBW reporter John Borsa ( click link to story: Where in the World is Richard Jetter) interviewed Andrew Freedman Esq. regarding the future of Doctor Jetter.  Freedman indicated he would like Doctor Jetter to cut ties with the district, but they are having trouble finding him.

Concerned Hamburger finds this incomprehensible.  

The Hamburg school district can not find their superintendent? 

Mr. Freedman here are a few ideas: call his wife, call Bry-Lyn, or put out a missing persons report to the police.  You know, a Jetter Amber Alert.   Concerned Hamburger bets the police could help you find him.    Or, Mr. Freedman ask David Yoveine where Jetter might be.  From reports coming into this blog, it seems that Mr. Yoviene knew about the Jetter pole accident that day after you did in June.  So, why did the both of you allow this to continue for a month, before the community was made aware of the truth?   Since Yoveine appears to be in the "know" from the many reports he has given to the various news agencies, perhaps he might be able to lead you to Doc. Jetter. 

If Doc. Jetter doesn't call in or advise his employer of his intentions to be away from work,  doesn't that mean he has abandoned his job?  Of course, Doctor Jetter would be foolish to walk away from his contract without a fight.  Heck, Doc. Jetter is in the driver's seat and could likely walk away from Hamburg with hundreds of thousands of dollars in his pocket. 

Andrew Freedman later remarks in the interview with Channel 7 News that the district has NOT questioned Hamburg Middle School Principal Jennifer Giallella, because they can not coordinate schedules.   It appears from all reports, Mrs. Giallella knew about the pole incident, attended the "we love Rick" rally on 5-7-14 and covered up her involvement in and  knowledge of Jetter's deception scheme.  Perhaps, Mrs. Giallella was scare to come forward and tell the truth in fear of retaliation from the off-kilter Jetter.  Regardless of her story, the district has an obligation to pin her down and ask the right questions.  

Andrew Freedman appears not to be credible in the Channel 7 interview.  It is impossible to believe the story he gave to reporter John Borsa. The community is wondering what is going on, and who was involved.  But, the attorney for the district can only comment that he and the principal can not coordinate schedules for an interview, and he would like Jetter to resign.  

It seems to Concerned Hamburger that interviewing the principal should be a priority over all others.  One is left to wonder if the district isn't intentionally dragging their feet.  After all, Mr Freedman wrote Doctor Jetter's contract and according to reports last week Mr. Freedman knew the facts of this matter  several weeks ago and did nothing about it. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Richard Jetter's contract: NO BUY OUT CLAUSE

Channel 4 WIVB Senior News Reporter Richard Newberg reported on Monday July 28, 2014 the costs of the Richard Jetter contract and the hearings of Catherine Schrauth Forcucci  (later post).
Click here for the link to the report:  The Real Costs of Jetter's Contract

Mr. Newberg reported on Richard Jetter's contract (Jetter's Contract) which was approved by Hamburg Board Members Flynn, Collins, Yoveine and Heeter.  Board Members Stephenson and Forcucci each voted NO on the contact, and former member Balaya was absent for the vote on March 11, 2014 (March 11, 2014 Hamburg School Board Minutes).   The news report revealed that the Hamburg School Board has few options when it comes to "firing" Jetter.   The "buy out" clause which is standard in most superintendent's contracts is absent in the contract of Richard Jetter, which was approved by a split board of education.

Doctor Jetter has a 5 year contract and the only way out is a lengthy hearing which will cost the Hamburg taxpayers dearly.   Doctor Jetter's contract will cost the taxpayers well over $825,000.  Those who vote in the affirmative on Jetter's contract hung the Hamburg taxpayer out to dry.

Channel 4 news questioned Hamburg School Board President David Yoviene about the contract and he stated that the clause in Jetter's contract is misunderstood and he referred the matter to the Hamburg School District Attorney Andrew Freedman.  It looks like the only one that misunderstands the contract is President Yoviene.

Hey President Yoviene here is a news flash:  Andrew Freedman wrote Doctor Jetter's contract, did he not?

So, why the heck do you need to refer it to lawyer Andrew Freedman, so he can clock more hours to review something he wrote in the first place?   How is that for spending money, Hamburg taxpayers?

If one is to review the Hamburg Board minutes from March 11, 2014 it is pretty clear that Yoviene and Flynn had little interest if any in discussing the contract and the minutes reveal that some board members had little time to review it at all.

In the March 11, 2014 board minutes, it is recorded that David Yoviene stated that Jetter's contract is very typical of other superintendents in the area and that Hamburg got Doctor Jetter cheap compared to Clarence, Orchard Park and Lancaster.   Yoviene stated, in the end we chose the guy who could handle the dysfunction.   Yoviene stated Jetter is one of us and part of our family.   Flynn echoed Yoviene's remarks, and stated Jetter's package is in line with the job of running a $60 million corporation.   The minutes of the March meeting reveal a cocky Jetter who claims he conceded to a salary of $164,000.   Jetter mocks the district and says he measured his experience to date in dog years.

The most revealing remarks made by David Yoviene were as follows, "the last superintendent had a buy out clause in his contract.  If the last superintendent was to leave, we had to pay him a full year's salary.  There is NO BUY OUT CLAUSE in Dr. Jetter's contract". (March 11, 2014 minutes Read pages 48-50)   So Hamburg taxpayers are you going to be on the hook for Doctor Jetter's 5 year contract?  Hang on to you wallets Hamburg; Yoviene, Flynn, Heeter and Collins hung you up for over $825,000.  

Here is an idea Hamburg School Board Members:  create a policy that requires a unanimous vote of all 7 members before any superintendent or staff member is employed.   

In reading the minutes it is clear that the self proclaimed "civil" members of the Hamburg School Community were on their worst behavior.   Booing, jeering and hissing at members who questioned Jetter's contract.

The March 2014 School Board Meeting ended with the sounds of  self-proclaimed voice of the people and "Hamburg Guy" Dan Chiacchia complimenting Boston Valley Principal James Martinez and Hamburg Superintendent Richard Jetter for their leadership and courage.

Schredd and Ragan on Doctor Jetter

A reader sent me a link to the July 24, 2104 Schredd and Ragan program on radio dial 103.3 "The Edge".     The program is available as a podcast.  It might take some searching around for it if you are unfamiliar with podcasts.   

Here is the link to the Schredd and Ragan page: Schredd and Ragan Podcast page
The show aired on July 24, 2014 at 7 a.m. in the morning and you can get the link to the podcast by clicking the link above.  It is surely worth a few minutes of your time to locate it and listen.  The show lasts about 12 minutes. 

The show reveals that Richard Jetter confessed the lie about his car the Friday before he turned himself  into the Hamburg Village Police.

According to the program manager of the Schredd and Ragan show, Mr. Jacka,  Doctor Jetter attended a small music festival on Friday July 18, 2104  by himself and was hooting out that he damaged his car and those in earshot would be reading about it in the Buffalo newspaper.   It was stated on the Schredd and Ragan show that Doctor Jetter appeared inebriated as he drank from a plastic cup, which the radio personalities suggested was a "red  solo" cup.

Radio producer Mr. Jacka did not realize the man he saw at the music festival in a bright green shirt was indeed Doctor Richard Jetter Superintendent of Hamburg Schools until Doc. Jetter appeared on all the news stations last week.  

Listen to the program yourself and judge for yourself.