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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Not so Far Away


Far, far away in a city called Buffalo lie problems that one would never possibly believe permeate the suburban buildings of Hamburg Central School district.  Sunday, the Buffalo News ran a lengthy article about James A. Williams and his arrogance, incompetence, secrecy, and willingness to ignore regulations at every level of government [click here for article].  Hamburg's very own Donald Ogilvie wrote "of the culture of distrust and disrespect that he said permeates the Buffalo Public Schools."  It is of the opinion of this blog that Mr. Ogilvie had a hand in creating that very same culture in Hamburg that he now publicly criticizes in Buffalo.  In fact, this blog would argue that all of the adjectives used to describe the Williams are adjectives used to describe Achramo and the RSB.  


It was this very secrecy and arrogance that forced Sally Stephenson to bring her Article 78 Charges.  Dr. Calkins and Achramo, despite being given a school board publication guide to Open Meetings Laws in October [click here for publication], the RSB chose not to read the publication and dug in their heels.  Judge Devlin was too kind to an RSB that was told their multiple violations for months.  The Buffalo News had it right "Superintendent Steven Achramovitch, who surely should have known better, continued to insist after the decision that the district believed it was complying with the law.  That's a little like a student who flunks insisting that he passed, but never mind. The district has changed its policies, Achramovitch said. That's good, but district residents would be wise to keep tabs, anyway. This is a slow-learning School Board." [click here for article].


Instead of admitting his fault, Achrmo is using the District's website to draw more negative attention to himself and the District.  What a shame that when people go to Hamburg's website, the first thing they see is a court decision.  Nothing positive about all the great things happening in classrooms or around Hamburg, just a losing court decision where the District has to pay back the petitioner's legal bills.  Just this past January, this blog wrote about Legal Defense and the Erie County Executive's decision to waste taxpayer money to defend his illegal actions [click here for post].  Instead of learning vicariously from the mistakes of Mr. Collins, the RSB continues to waste taxpayer dollars defending their illegal actions.  I just wonder how many of the other several legal proceedings the District has been battling are a frivolous waste of taxpayer dollars.  Actually, I wonder how much it cost Achramo to consult with a Harris Beach lawyer to come up with his feeble defense?  Oh, and one more thing Achramo's claim of being "foisted into court" is like someone who gets caught stealing saying the police "foisted" them into jail.  Well, if you did not violate the law, you would not end up in court.


Despite knowing the ruling and charges, it of the opinion of this blog, that the RSB continued and continues to conduct the real business of the District in secret [click here post of continued violations of Open Meetings Laws] Most recently, it voted to cut Modified Cheerleading and the Girl's Varsity Cross Country coaching position (both of these interest groups were well represented at the last meeting and both the program and coaching position were restored).  The point is simple, the public should know EVERYTHING except for personnel matters, litigation, negotiations, and the purchase or sale of property.  If the RSB is not discussing these matters, they cannot go into executive session and they cannot discuss anything else.  Judge Devlin wrote, "it is necessary to set forth the reason for the executive session as a guidepost to Board members that other matters are not to be discussed in the executive session no matter how tempting it is to discuss other issues once they are in executive session.  The motion reminds everyone that the executive session is only on that issue mentioned in the motion."


So, wake up RSB!  You are not in a Disney princess fairy tale, you are in a Dreamworks ogre love story.  You are in charge of the Hamburg Central School District.  You can stop the waste and illegal actions.  You are in control of Achramo and his administration.  As Buffalo Superintendent James Williams recently noted about the future of his tenure in Buffalo,"There's nothing I can do . . . The board is the governing body."



23 comments:

Klozman said...

Re Oz: (The guilty speak what is on their minds.) It appears that he is employing those age old phenomena, deflection and projection. By doing so he can appear as the good guy while accusing others of engaging in the same nefarious schemes of which he is guilty. Well, that's my opinion.
Come May 17 the board will no longer be the RSB. With the elections of that enlightened, knowledgeable, delightful duo Holly and Sally the transformation to transparency will commence and the Achramo cabal will cease to exist.

VOTE said...

Vote on Tuesday, that is the only way things are going to change!

Highland Ave. said...

Concerned,
spot on to you and Klozman. I couldn't have said it better. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Yes the School Board is the governing body. They need to question this Supt. and reign him in. He is crossing the line on many levels.

fan said...

Great post, glad for the info. A fan

Bill Ville said...

Donny O made the Bflo News again today. He is extending his secret ways to Williamsville Central Schools in heading up the Superintendent search. The public MUST know who is in line to lead their schools. With any luck, the big secret will be Achramo being "foisted" into the Super seat in Williamsville.

Hamburg said...

Blog looks great!

Super said...

Amen!!! & Thank you !!

Vote! said...

In order to vote on Tuesday, May 17, an individual must be:

•A citizen of the U.S.
•Age 18 or older
•A resident of the Hamburg School District for at least 30 days

No preregistration is required. Questions? Call 646-3203.

morning joe said...

80k views... You wish!

Anonymous said...

I understand from a friend of mine who works for ERIE 1 BOCES, he operates that same way at BOCES. You t can' disagree with him, watch out.

Retired Ann said...

Unfortunately Donald has become this. He use to be a lot different. So sorry that in the end he has become this person. Retired Ann

The ghost of D.Meyer said...

Hamburg Sun dropped the ball again, no report on the RSB fiasco and court ruling?

Anonymous said...

Put my comment back Google! Anyone else notice the internet is being messed with. A lot of sites have been down and just sayin.

Super said...

It seems to me that the district is at it again, this time they are using the schools website for their own newspaper. If you go to the website the super has a letter about the Open Meeting lawsuit (dated 5/6)and the court papers right there on the first page for all to see ,not where Dr. Calkins’s statement (from DEC .2010) about the charges are posted . Now I am all for openness but it occurred to me that our superintendent has broken the district policy when it comes to its website. The following is the schools policy from Regulation 3180 School District Standards & Guidelines for Web publishing

3. Staff / Community Member Safeguards
The full name, photo, video and/or other personally identifiable information for a staff member or school-related community member may be used with their signed permission. The section editor must obtain a copy of the signed consent form before the information is published. Consent forms can be obtained on the District Web site.

I don’t think Sally Stevenson/ “the petitioner” or “the petitioners Daughter “would have signed a release. As of 5/12 Sally’s Name has been blacked out but the “the petitioner” or “the petitioners Daughter” is still in wouldn’t that be considered “other personally identifiable information”

In addition, the district lists anyone who speaks at school board meetings with full name and address in the meeting minutes which are available online. You do have to sign up to speak at the meetings but it doesn’t say you are consenting to have your information published on the schools website. In this day and age of identity theft and concern for personal safety is it really all that important to have your name and street address published just because you spoke at a school board meeting. Side note not all people who speak have their address published, it seem that only those who bring up allegations against the school board are published

Didn’t Harris Beach send a cease and desist letter to Concerned Hamburg about something like this? The only difference is Concerned was posting opinions … oh and concerned doesn’t have a policy about getting consent for this blog page.

Super said...

Update: if you go to the school districts website under the administration tab and click on community relations it will bring up a page click on the link on the left side of page that is labeled 10-11 News that will bring up the open meeting law ruling. the two links have not been edited.Again I'm sure that Ms.Stevenson did not sign a consent form.
although Steveo has removed her name from the link on the websites main page, he hasn't had it removed from other pages. again this is against the schools website policy

teacher teacher said...

Super, You should be the Super.... Good eye!!!! You are the best.

New Low said...

Achramovitch is gripped if fear of the possible election of Sally Stephenson. An end to the shady buisness that he brings with him. Steve you need to follow the district policies, you have sunk to a new low.

Anonymous said...

They fear the truth more than anything. Good luck Sally and Holly the truth will come out. Hang in there.
I agree they have stooped to extremely low levels with the district electioneering. New York State Ed forbids this practice.

Highland said...

What in God's name is Dr. Calkins doing? Does this supt. have this much control over her? He is like their CULT like leader. I am freighted now.

Highland said...

What in God's name is Dr. Calkins doing? Does this supt. have this much control over her? He is like their CULT like leader. I am freighted now.

Anonymous said...

I think Mrs. Stephenson needs to have Police Protecton. I am fearful for their next act on her or her family.

go sally go said...

If they wanted to stungun sally for going to a school board mtg can u imagine what they wanna do to her now. Does the board have their undercover detectives spying? Why did they have undercover police at boe meetings. Maybe to stop the public from knowing they are a bunch of lawbreakers. The board has to go.