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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Agendas and Minutes, oh my!

Yes, it is true the RSB finally posted the meeting minutes and agendas online [click here for site].  It's funny that we have to celebrate such a meager accomplishment.  Really, every other school board around Erie county publishes their minutes, and some even podcast their meetings, so why did we have to fight Hamburg's Board so hard?  Even with the minutes available, I'm still not happy.  Earlier this month the RSB had a meeting and voted all action items under consensus.  I still have no idea what those consensus items were/mean.  It won't be until after the school board approves the minutes, probably next meeting in April, that we will have the actual minutes to better understand the consensus items.  Furthermore, as evident from this blog, the public wanted to openly discuss some of the consensus items.  If the public has no idea what is being voted on, how can they have an informed discussion to possibly impact the votes of school board members before they vote?  Talk about reactionary politics.  Any fan of George Bush would know that preemptive strikes often prevent the future occurrence of terrible actions.  A good example of Bush's preemptive doctrine is the Finance Academy.  It was openly discussed that the Finance Academy was going to be cut and people came out en force to speak about the merits of the Academy.  Poof, no more discussion about slashing Finance Academy.  Surprisingly after the February school board meeting there were no more specific cuts discussed at school board meetings, just general numbers at each level.  I wonder if Achramo and the RSB wanted to keep the public from discussing the merits of possible program cuts?

Rumors have been flying widely about when Achramo will notify teachers that they are being laid off and it seems as though it will happen some time this month.  Interesting that the public was not told what was going to be cut at the March school board meeting.  The Board has to approve all cuts, so when are they going to do it?  At their March 22nd work session perhaps?  It seems as though the real business of the District is discussed at the work sessions.  Maybe the Board should have less pomp and circumstance at the regularly scheduled meetings and more actual business.  Really, how much time was wasted giving the Board a special showing of the musical at Charlotte Ave?  If the Board wants to see the musical, why don't they get in their cars and drive over to CAS and watch it like every other parent in the District?  Besides wasting the public time, I would argue conducting the real business of the District in work sessions is yet another violation of Open Meetings Laws [click here for New York Education Laws regarding district meetings].  I hope we will eventually be celebrating the day when the RSB follows Open Meetings Laws and informs the public about the actual business of their District.  Oh my, what an accomplishment that will be.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why does NY spend more on education than most other states in the nation, yet there are continually fights over money?

love my volunteers said...

This what I'm talking about. Wait and see what they are going to do to our popular Emt and health programs. Slash and burn. Please call your fire companies stat as Klozman has suggested and hose down that baby, before it burns to the ground. Love my Volunteers

Klozman said...

The arrogant, supercilious Achramo/RSB will follow open meeting laws when the court directs same and not until (if even then). I trust that a decision on the Article 78 violations filed by Sally S. is forthcoming. The only individuals, of whom I'm aware, that have actively stood up to this administration in a meaningful way are Hamburger, Sally S. and Super. Everyone else (myself included) merely injects his/her two cents, the long term outcome of which remains unclear. It will necessitate both the legal system and the ballot box to effect meaningful modification. That said, I would encourage all Blog readers who favor change to seriously pursuade the aforementioned persons to run for the school board election in May. If we do nothing to alter the status quo, then it is we who will continue to reap the adverse consequences, and our observations, complaints and bickering will ultimately find companionship within the deaf ears of others.

Anonymous said...

TO ANONYMOUS 644am,
because of the lawyers, and the pay scale of the state's administrators. Look at what we pay our supt. as much as the governor. Discusting
We have over run our legal budget by approx. 6X our normal expenditure already and the fiscal year isn't over yet. Achramo has legal bills still pending from his former dist (greece). look at the fiscal mess this dist is in now thanks to mark crawford, this school board and our present supt.

Veggieburger said...

What a "jackwagon" to tell students when to expect an announcement but not the employees themselves.

In The Know II said...

to all those out there I happen to have heard that Sally S. is circulating a petition to run for school board, if they do not find a way to shut her down. A little birdie also told me that her daughter Holly also has a petition out there.

I think they would just die if 2 Stephenson's make it on the school board. Some accountability maybe?

Klozman said...

Assuming the info from “In The Know ll” is accurate, consider this: If Sally Stephenson is in the mix for the BOE election in May (notice I use the term, BOE, rather than RSB, for with her election the RSB will cease to exist). Have no misgivings, the Achramo/RSB will use every contrivance at their disposal to prevent such occurrence (legitimacy is of no concern to that squalid bunch). Mrs. Stephenson has vast experience in public service, both as a former Town of Hamburg councilperson and Deputy Town Clerk and has served as a member of several public service groups. She is a person of superior character and temperament who neither will be swayed improperly nor succumb to adverse demand. It is clear that the RSB, extant, boasts no member capable of independent thought and no member incapable of yielding to pressure. With Mrs. Stephenson on the Board, both the 7-0 vote and the illegal meeting will become obsolete. Such transformation is sorely needed and definitely essential. Run Sally, Run!

secret society said...

Dear Concerned Hamburger,

your statement" I wonder if Achramo and the RSB wants to keep the public from discussing the merits of possible program cuts"? Dear Concerned of course he does, so does the RSB, they want no flack.
Parents, Teachers, Super go to the MARCH 22 work session to see what jobs are being cut and lend your support or crying towel to our fellow teachers. The work sessions and their secret Ex sessions is where all the work is done. As a writer has stated the Public Meetings are just a dog and pony show, everything of merit is done in secret.

need a change said...

Klozman & in the know 11,

I hope you're right about Sally S and Holly. We need someone who will at least start some dialogue
here. I know both well, they are not affraid to speak up or tackle difficult problems. Holly and Sally are rational and knowledgeable women. I'm sure this new Supt certainly doesn't want either one getting elected.
Sally S. will certainly open up this secret process. I can assure you no more secret meetings with her around she is all about public involvement.

Anonymous said...

To bad Greg big fat ego wichlacz won't be there for the fireworks.

Anonymous said...

How can we sign Sally's petition? I am willing to do it and help her all she needs. Also, I heard the pink slips were going out next Friday, so no kids would be around. How is this possible when the budget hasn't been "approved"? Not sure what to think, but happy to see the minutes / agenda posted. I work in WS and we get an email every board meeting w/ an agenda attached.

village taxpayer said...

I plan on being there for the March 22 meeting.Let me know if there are any petitions to be signed.I'll have a bag of pens with me if anyone else needs one.

Jason said...

@March 10, 2011 11:16 AM

So all the problems are because Supers get paid too much? That just sounds like you have a grudge, and still doesn't answer my question.

Where is the money spent? Why can other states spend less per pupil and get much better graduation rates?

Anonymous said...

If you want to sign Sally's petition phone her and let her know.

Anonymous said...

The teachers will be notified next Friday.

I support Holly and Sally for school board said...

Jason
or are you GREG WICHLACZ under the name of Jason. As Governor Cuomo has stated the supts. and administrators pay is so out of line. This new supt ACHRAMOVITCH is paid the same salary as the Governor of the State of New York. We are a small dist of 3,800+ students, you mean to tell me he has as much responsibility as the Governor.
Look Greg, you may not like to hear this, but the back bone of this school dist isn't you, the supt. or the school board It is the TEACHERS who help our children every day. I will be signing Sally's and Holly's petitions. Let open govt. begin with them.

Sally & Holly supporter said...

The Supt and the School board, with probably the exception of Kelly Harper are in panic mode with the thought of Sally running for office. She will call them out on any deceptive practices they try to employ. Klozman is right no more RSB (rubber stamp board for new readers) if she is elected. She had to go to extreme measures filing article 78 proceedings with the NYS Supreme Court regarding their illegal secret meeting to get them to follow the federal and state laws.

what goes around comes around said...

Really, there are lies on the BOE minutes. The minutes need to be recorded by audio and video, and then written up. Unless the lady that is typing is a court reporter, she is not trained to record minutes. Hamburg BOE, YOU ARE DISHONEST.

grudge yes said...

To Jason,
As stated earlier on this blog a lot of our recent expenditures with this new supt. and sb have been on outrageous legal bills.

This new superintendant's brand of management is simply to pass on everything to lawyers. Look at an old post where last year in Greece as supt there he spent almost
3 MILLION dollars. (information obtained through freedom of information from the Greece's school Dist). Greece still has law suits still pending from his leadership there. The sb didn't do their homework and the word in the dist. is Donald Ogilvie was aware of his problems in his two previous districts but ignored the recommendation of the 44 member search committee for a new supt.THe school board just rubber stamped Oglivie's pick. Jason or as an earlier post states(Greg w.) you are responsible for him.The dist is in financial trouble and that is why Mark Crawford former supt ran. He help create this mess and this new supt. is digging in deeper. Please readers read old post from concerned regarding the audits form NYS comptroller DiNapoli, regarding the missing $1.8 million dollars under Greg Wichlacz and Casey Nymen's tenure. Yes Jason(Greg W.) we do have a grudge, against you and the Supt. you are cutting our good fine teachers, and not one dollar reduction to your over paid administrators. Grudge yes.

Anonymous said...

Grudge you bet, you are laying off my friends a lot of them.

Anonymous said...

If the BOE did their work in public at regularly scheduled meetings, they wouldnt need have special meetings so they can hide information away from the public.

Anonymous said...

I vote we get rid of the Administrative building and all of its contents...and keep everyone else where they are!

keep Greg Davis and cut the rest said...

Anonymous,
yes start in the administration building. Keep Greg Davis, he is the nuts and bolts of our district. Not this loser of a Superintendant. Greg is honest and hard working. Dump Achramo and cut the salaries of the other administrators, before you touch one teacher.

I'm with y ou said...

To anonymous 6:44,
I'm with you get rid of administration building and all its contents. Keep Greg Davis, he is great. Dump Wichlacz and Casey
this May.

vote for holly and sally said...

Oh ya,
I'm voting for Holly and Sally. You can rest assured I will get as many people behind them as I can. Please Sally and Holly we are counting on you two.

super word of wisdom said...

Super,
we miss your words of wisdom. You are a healing messenger.
Love

Anonymous said...

Klozman,
ARROGANT to kind of an adjective to describe the RSB and this Achramo.

Anonymous said...

I still think a HTA & PTA endorsed person would be a good addition to the board.

Anonymous said...

RSB doesn't know when to stop.

post audit again said...

Concerned,
you need to bring up to(this months post)
the State Controller's Audit of the Dist. and the Hamburg Foundation. You need to constantly remind the public as to the improper and poor management of this district by CASEY NYMAN and GREG WICHLACZ, they are up for election. You need to start there.
The SB or whoever posted those remarks to get off the blog, apparantly are trying to blame the school dist problems on disgruntled bloggers. I agree with post"yes we are disgruntled" and I agree with Klozamn "the disenchanted power change" Hasn't anyone on this school board read A TALE OF TWO CITIES. I was shocked that the SB Pres ran an AP French class of 3 students "because her daughter wanted her to" reeks of the privledged getting what they want, and lack of concern for our kids programs which are on the chopping block( which I am sure have more than 3 kids in the class). I am all for the teachers and for chopping this Supt. Another writer posted that the SB doesn't have any respect for the teachers. I wouldn't say all of them but certainly GREG WICHLACZ. Discribing him as arrogrant is too kind. CONCERNED I love this blog and I hope you take my suggestion. PUT IT IN THEIR FACE EVERY MONTH and don't let them hide their acts. REMIND THEM OF THEIR INCOMPETENCE, and why we need CHANGE.

Anonymous said...

Sally and Holly, I hope you're running, if you are my family will be voting for the two of you.
Hamburg Teacher

USA Speak OUT said...

They hide their problems like Japan...

freedom lover said...

For those of you who don't like this blog, my advise to you is stay off. This is called free speech and you don't like it. Let the district have their secret meeting and we will have our blog.

Anonymous said...

To the person complaining about our blog....WE ARE IN EXECUTIVE SESSION RIGHT NOW...come back in an hour! Thanks

Anonymous said...

anon 4:22 Did you use an approved reason to enter executive session?