Monday, July 31, 2006

From La Gaceta’s August 4th “As We Heard It” with permission of the
publisher, Patrick Manteiga

We asked Steve Hegarty, communications director for the school system, what was the cost for the pep rally held Friday at the St. Pete Times Forum that was attended by 18,000 teachers and support personnel. It was free, he said; it didn’t cost the school district anything.

That was the cute answer, but not the right one. The district had some of its cost covered by donations, but individual schools had to pay for transportation of their personnel out of their accounts. The same account can be used for student books, tutoring, or class field trip.

Most schools spent $250 for this transportation and others much more. That’s at least $50,000 just for buses.

This would be worth it if the rally was needed or even wanted, but the teachers we spoke to said it was mostly a waste of time. The keynote speaker was enjoyable, but there was no information delivered that was truly valuable.

This might be why the pep rally was mandatory. If a principal didn’t have good attendance for school personnel at the event, that principal got a chewing out.

So, in turn, teachers who didn’t show got a stern lecture.

That’s the way to start the school year on a positive note.

Most teachers, guidance counselors, and principals preferred to stay at their schools to prepare for the opening day of school. There are too few hours in the day for this anyway, but instead they lost a whole day going to and from and attending the event.

The salaries for this lost day at the pep rally came to at least $325,000. Add that to the $50,000 transportation, and you have a figure that’s far from free.

Casting-room Couch comment
Number one is never to believe anything Steve Hegarty says unless you do an explication de texte on his words. He is of the “it depends on what the meaning of 'is' is” school of thought.

Number two is the money squandered on this obligatory rally could have paid for supplies for the poor children of the county who now can’t participate in classroom activities because of the lack of supplies unless a charity enterprise hustle ups enough for the children to be able to be a part of the class activities.

Number three is the waste of money represents the usual Board potted-plant accordance with Elia et al’s profligacy in wasting tax money to make her look good in the public eye. The mainstream press's lack of curiosity about the gears and pulleys of such events has heretofore made this waste of tax money to pump up administration egos continue unchecked. Casting-room C0uch hopes to cut into that docile main-stream press support of skullduggery at the School Board.

Number four is insight into why teachers’ morale is low: they serve as dragooned chorus for the administration's and Board's delusions of grandeur. Both jerk teachers around and order them about like puppets to put on a show to make the administration and the Board look good.

Number five is that such obligatory cattle drives of teachers and school personnel feed the egos of Elia et al’s exercise of administration power in arbitrary and wasteful ways just to see school low-level school monkeys jump to attention at the command of the all-powerful administration overlords. If they don't jump high enough, the administration gestopo will refer them to Linda Kipley’s Lucca Brazzi routine for Professional Standards’ violations .
Dr. Freud, where are you when we need you to lay bare the unlovely administration and Board psyches?

Administrators never get referred to Professional Standards. They can let unfold a real estate scam that cost taxpayers’ thousands of dollars in La Elia's building department; they can hire unqualified girlfriends for big jobs, the activities attendant to which break up marriages and provide ROSSAC employeees tittilating gossip about high-level trysting; they can burp or expel flatus during a Board meeting with noone's raising an eyebrow; they can use bad grammar and vulgarity on the school email system with impunity; they can squander money on flossy consulting firms for their ego’s gratification. You name it: the cosseted administration grandees can do it and do-do-do-do do it.
And the Board nods in witless collusion.

I will ask Steve. the-what-is-the-meaning-of –“is"-is, $91,00o-plus spin machine to cover up administration and Board skullduggery, if the prep-rally public speaker got a fee. I may be able to wring the data out of him in six months’ time, at the end of which he will claim he never got my emails of public-information inquiry, hence his tardy honoring of the Sunshine law on public records.

Public Information Request:

Steve: did the speaker for the Times Forum pep rally get an honorarium? Did the schools pay his or her transportation, food, room, etc.? Did the schools spend any money at all on the speaker—name every dot and tittle and don’t try any linguistic folderol with the kid here.

Also, may I have the text this speaker’s remarks? If you don’t have the document, get it and send it to me, pray. I will pay duplication costs.

lee drury de cesare

From: Lee De Cesare
[] Sent: Monday, August 07, 2006 11:55 PM
''; Margie Jean (;
''Subject: Email Account Lockers

OK, folks: Which one of you shut down Bart Birdsall's
email when Ms. Elia was trying to nail him for the false
charge that he used the school emails for personal

Don't y'all have to give a school employee the courtesy
of telling him/her that you are shutting down his/her
email and why?

Isn't not doing so a violation of professional standards
and subject to a call for relief to Ms. Linda Kipley's Abu Gharib cell block?

And who told you to shut down Birdsall's email, of
which fact you did not notify him?

Was it La Elia or La Kipley? The public has a right to know
this information.

See below for punctuation corrections.

lee drury de cesare

From: []
Sent: Monday, August 07, 2006 5:17 PMTo:
Subject: Notice the 3 listed. I bet one of them locked up my email.

Monday, August 07, 2006 8:07:26 AMAutoOpenersFrom: AdministratorSubject:
Beware! Bogus E-Mail
To: AutoOpeners
There are currently only three people in the district that handle or manage the 26,000+ accounts comma: compound sentence and that would either be: Paula Romano, Linda Smith comma: items in a series or Cliff Granger.
Please be assured that if there was were: subjunctive mood something wrong with your account comma: introductory adverbial clause we would contact you directly, period: comma splice, a grammar felony we do not have or use an E-mail Support account or an E-mail information account comma: compound sentence so the return address would be one of our names or contact would be via telephone.
We would never send account information to you to verify an error or request any information from you that you would need to double-click an attachment to read.We would never create a message to you, send it out of the district just to have it turn around and immediately come back into the district.

It is more secure to use your Intranet address comma: nonrestrictive adjective clause which is your (First Last /IDEAS) name. Any warning message that has to do with your email account and has an address extension of: This colon is dead wrong: a whole sentence must precede a colon. Use no punctuation whatsoever where you have this colon. should be considered extremely suspicious and even more so if it has an attachment, especially a .zip.
Finally, if you ever receive an email message that you feel uncertain about and you have a concern comma: two introductory adverbial clauses please contact Customer Service and Support or one of us @ 250-3322.
A good practice and a good rule to follow when receiving email would be "When in doubt, throw it out!" (Delete it).

Stephen Hegarty, sirrah: I think you are claiming these misfires to build a case for my being sunk into the La La Land of Alzheimer's.
Forget it, my bucko. I come from a Georgia family of nonagenarians gimping around on their power walkers as sharp as tacks. Our minds are the last thing about us to go.

I have a new mail program that saves emails in people's names. Here's the 4th one attached to you. So cut the cuffing around of the truth.

If this information is available on the web site, why didn't you send a courteous email saying so with the URL? Isn't serving citizens a big part of your job? Do it.

Put a comma after "address" in the penultimate line of your missive. You need it for the introductory adverbial clause. "Full time" before "bus drivers" gets a hyphen for two words before a noun acting as a single adjective. We taxpayers pay you $91,000 a year plus to communicate in Standard English with standard punctuation. Such louche abuse of punctuation is not acceptable. Neither is the necessity to email numerous times for simple public information.

lee drury de cesare

From: Stephen Hegarty [] Sent: Monday, August 07, 2006 6:00 PMTo: tdecesar@tampabay.rr.comCc: Joan GentrySubject: Public Records Request

The starting salary for a bus driver in Hillsborough County is $9.85 an hour. The top salary is $18.20 an hour.Full time bus drivers get full benefits. All this information is available on the school district website.
By the way, you said this was your fourth request for this information. It appears that you are sending e-mails to an address that is very similar to mine, but is not exact. If you don't type in the correct e-mail address it does not get to me.I would not have seen this if someone else on your mailing list had not called it my attention.
Stephen HegartyOffice of CommunicationsSchooHillsborough County901 East Kennedy BoulevardTampa, Fl. 33602-3507office: 813-272-4060fax: 813-272-4510Cover-up of CTA Salaries Continues l District of

Casting-room Couch Comment:
Below is an exchange between CTA member/ School Board District 2 candidate Bart Birdsall and honchette La Yvonne of the Hillsborough County CTA executive power circle.

This CTA myrmidon fights to keep CTA top dogs' salaries secret. They must be way high to merit this determined cover-up.
Note the cc to an attorney. This is an intimidation tactic to scare the person asking for information, implying that, if he or she wants data that CTA is covering up, the person can expect dire consequences--maybe a lawsuit that will strip him or her of job, pension, eyes, ears, nose, and throat and afflict him with athlete's foot and things that go bump in the night.

Same old same old threadbare scare tactics these bozos have used so long that they have moss on them.

I don't believe the lawyer cc flimflam will work on Birdsall. His abuse at the hands of La Kipley in her torture cell block has made him tough.
Birdsall has dug in his heels in demanding legitimate information from the union that extracts $500 a year from teachers but betrays their allegiance when CTA officers sit at the table of the administration yukking it up with those piney-woods ROSSAC Olympians instead of coming across the room to sit with and give comfort and fellowship to a CTA member wrongly accused of using the school emails for personal reasons. I personally observed this scenario at the Tiger Bay meeting at which Elia spoke shortly after she got the superintendent job.

That ignored CTA member was Bart Birdsall, with whom I sat at Tiger Bay while CTA officers ignored him and huddled with the administration people who had wrongly accused Birdsall. If that's not betrayal of union values, I don't know what is. I was FUSA union president at Hillsborough Community College when the administration tried to bust the union and know how a union should support its members when they are under administration intimidation and attack.

I predict that CTA salaries will come out sooner or later . When they do, the gall of these arrogant, ignorant CTA executives will be revealed in their obscenely bloated salaries bled from low-paid teachers. That information will shock and anger the teachers of Hillsborough County classrooms. We will see if the teachers have to guts to call CTA on the carpet and demand reform or invite another union to represent local teachers that does reveal its executive salaries to the memberhip up front.

Birdsall says:

I received the following certified letter. My response is below it.

July 31, 2006

William B. Birdsall
2309 W. Bristol Ave.
Tampa, FL 33609

Dear Bart,

I want to be very clear in response to your request for staff salaries of the Association. You are welcome to review all records and reports of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association upon making a request to schedule an appointment at a reasonable and mutually acceptable time.

To that end, I suggest you call and make an appointment with the CTA bookkeeper, Vernell Walker at 238-7902.


Yvonne Lyons
Executive Director HCTA

cc: Robert McKee, Esq.


I don't think there should be secret sessions or closed door sessions to find out the HCTA Executive Director's salary. I am now amending my request to just the one salary: yours. This should be posted on the CTA website for all members to see, since CTA members pay your salary and are due this information. They should not have to make an appointment, spend valuable time combing through books or papers, when one simple salary is easily told to the person directly. I find this outrageous as a dues paying member. I suspect I will be given data that will be impossible to sort through.

Basically, this certified letter of yours says, "I won't give you the information you request, unless you take up your time and energy to find the information on your own among my files. I'm not going to make it easy on you, Bart, but I will arrange it so you can't accuse me of withholding the information. You will only get this information on MY terms, not YOURS!"

Nice, Yvonne, very nice. That is the way to treat a CTA member who has been a member from his first year as a teacher. You have this information in your head probably and it would take you 2 seconds to type it into an email. Why should I have to call CTA, book an appointment, have to spend valuable time combing through books and figures I probably won't make heads or tails out of, etc.? My job entails educating children, and in my free time I work for young adults in the community. I can't imagine that you would want my time taken away from these tasks to obtain one simple salary figure that resides in your head.

Bart Birdsall2309 W. Bristol Ave.Tampa, FL 33609(813) 258-8817 (home)(813) 362-7937 (cell)Montolino@aol.comI got the following email from Bart Birdsall, who was disappointed that only he and Logan of the School Board candidates turned up for the Voice of Pride show on public-access TV.
Bart and Logan are opponents for Olson's District 2 School Board seat.

Birdsall writes:

I just heard that Candy originally told the gay public access TV show "Voice of Pride" that she would appear but then called a couple of days later and claimed she had a "blonde" moment and forgot she had a prior commitment.

Number One: she hasn't been a blonde for many years if she ever really was blonde.....her current color is yellow, not blonde....for someone with money; she doesn't get good dye jobs.

Number Two: I saw her online on her AOL account before I left for the show and I think she was on when I got home.

My Comment:

Candy Olson has a long and dismal history on the protection of gay children in the schools. She told Bart Birdsall via a third party several years ago before he ever thought of running for the School Board against her that her attending to the problem of bullying of gay children in the schools would have to wait for another election cycle to elapse. In other words, the gay kids could just suffer until her election was nailed down. She has been a potted plant on the Board for twelve years and has done not one thing to ameliorate the suffering of gay children.

I hear Candy is a big churchgoer. I'm not, but I practice my faith in my Episcopal church when the spirit moves me. Candy's allowing gay kids to suffer doesn’t sound like something my buddy Jesus would approve. I bet Our Lord would slap Candy silly if she said any such viciously callous thing to him like waiting an election cycle until she was comfy-poo elected again to deign to look at the suffering of gay children in the schools.

Jesus said, “Suffer little children to come unto me; for such is the kingdom of God.” He didn’t make a difference between gay and straight children.

Candy first came to my attention because of her condoning the mistreatment of gay children in the schools. I heard a teacher was proselytizing a gay boy with a Bible on his desk, telling the youngster that he would go to hell for being gay. I wrote Board member Olson to complain about this outrage. She snipped back that the last time she checked teachers had free speech.

I laid her out in one of my more crisp ripostes. I told her that we were discussing the separation of church and state, not free speech. I have never got a word of resistance from her since on any subject. Among her other deficiencies, La Candy, my impression says, lacks guts.

The school district has an abysmal record on the subject of gay bullying. Superintendent Earl the Pearl Lennard, a reflex liar, was a raging hypocrite on the subject. I once chased him down a hall and caught him after Tiger Bay even though I was wearing stiletto Manohlo Blaniks to extract a promise from The Pearl to have workshops on the issue of gay bullying in the schools.

The Pearl lied and said he would have the workshops to escape. Then he did subsequently diddly, melting into the sunset of the fens and bogs from whence he came on a golden-parachute of tax moohla shoveled out to him with the lavish hand of the Board, which is supposed to protect taxpayers but protect and indemify perfidious administrators, especially those who can't punctuate.

I am almost finished with composing the ethics charge I shall submit to the state Ethics Commission. I will post a copy on the blog when I send it out to the nine members who comprise the body. ldd

Mr. Gonzalez: I will disseminate this assurance as best I can. You can never tell when someone will summon enough gumption to act. lee

-----Original Message-----From: Tom Gonzalez [] Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 5:32 PMTo: tdecesar@tampabay.rr.comSubject: RE: information

Fl. Stat. section 112.3187 protects those people. It is part of that statute that the person submit a signed written statement of their complaint. They don't have to rely on me. If you have knowledge of anyone who has such knowledge, please let me know or urge them to come forward. If they don't it's going to be hard to produce a complete investigation. I will tell you that so far I have found that teachers are removed from classrooms before an investigation is complete only when there is a possibility of a criminal charge or the allegation involves students. If you know differently, please let me know.

Thanks for any help you can give, and sorry about the computer's determination to self-launch. Tom

From: Lee De Cesare [] Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 2:52 PMTo: Tom GonzalezSubject: FW: information

-----Original Message-----From: Lee De Cesare [] Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 2:35 PMTo: ''Cc: ''Subject: information

Mr. Gonzalez:

Some time ago, Dr. Lamb responded to my repeated requests to review Linda Kipley's reportedly abusive conduct with the teachers who landed in her punishment cycle. He sent an irate email saying he was turning the matter over to you for review.

Since that time, there has been no report of what your findings were, although I did hear from Bart Birdsall that you said that you would assure the people whom you interviewed that they would not suffer punishment for talking to you. My reaction to that assurance was that you did not know the possibilities of vindictive behavior of which the administration is capable and could assure nobody of his or her invulnerability to retaliation. Look at the reports of retaliation against whistle blowers and those who file discrimination charges from around the country. Retaliation is routine. This administration is adept at it from years of practice. That fear explains why the people who work in the school system are scared to let out a peep no matter the provocation. In such an atmosphere, it's a wonder anyone ever comes forward to complain no matter the outrage.

Bart Birdsall has asked Dr. Lamb for an update on your investigation. After that one email outburst to me, Dr. Lamb has returned to his customary silence, never deigning to answer his emails on this or any subject.

Hence, I appeal to you to tell me what the status is of your review of Ms. Kipley's conduct in the punishment of teachers. That is public information, and the Sunshine law applies, I believe. So tell me what you found out, and if you have written a report, send me a copy of it, pray.

I have discovered that the School Board and administration consider the Sunshine law an annoyance to ignore or evade. Being an officer of the court, you may have more reverence for the law and will provide the information I ask for with more alacrity than has the Board or administration.


Lee Drury De Cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
Gentle readers, I am engaged in writing

an ethics charge against Ms. Elia
and the School Board. So I must deflect my attention to that project and to one of my other blogs in which I castigate the grammar of the national press, the local press's blunders being too crude to mess with.

Somebody may want to submit a guest essay on the reasons why Dr. Jim Hamilton is given yet another title and kitty of tax money to squander instead of being kicked out by Ms. Elia or members with guts on the Board. I have lots of theories on that situation, but I would love to hear others' views. ldd

Ta Dah! Enforcer Jim Takes Charge of Buses

Scene: posh ROSSAC office of newly minted Master of the Universe Enforcer Le Jim: mile-wide mahogany desk; barbells and other exercise paraphernalia of he-man Abs of Steel Cialis Jim in a corner; low wail of Enforcer Jim’s signature song, Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville, throbbing from state-of-the-art stereo system; a copy of an old Rambo movie poster adorning the wall behind Enforcer Jim’s desk positioned to encircle his pate like the Lord’s nimbus; fragrance of eau de cologne Very Old Spice mixed with testosterone and sweat wafting heavenward to alert the observer that he or she is in the presence of Ultimate Macho Power.

Enforcer Jim: “Now let me get this right, hombres. You want to fix our bus problems for $132,000 of tax money that we ROSSAC administrative power brokers throw around like there’s no tomorrow?

Management Partnership Services, Inc., Hombres Tom, Andy, Tim, Abel, Dean, Phil, and Brian chorus, “Yassah!”

Chief Officer of District Compliance Le Jim: “I’d do it myself with one hand tied behind my back, but I have to line up a bunch of decorators to turn this office into a replica of King Tut’s Rec Room. A man needs his space to reflect his inner id. You know how that goes.”

Management Partnership Services, Inc., Hombres Tom et al: “Yassah!”

Enforcer Jimbo: “I also have to memorize this new title of mine. I’ve had so many titles that I get them mixed up sometimes. You see how these things go for a Major Player like me, don’t you, hombres?”

Management Partnership Services Chorus: “Yassah!”

Chief of District Compliance Jimarino: “I also have to keep Superintendent MaryEllen Elia in line. I have played her Edgar Bergen for years. And the role is getting tedious. The woman is as dumb as a stump and dumpy on top of that—a regular lardass both top and bottom. She couldn’t make it to the toilet if I didn’t point the way for her. It’s hell being the Power Behind the Throne and the only person in ROSSAC who knows his ass from his elbow so has to keep things humming from behind the scenes. I have a tough job, don’t I, hombres?”

Management Partnership Chorus: “Yassah.”

Enforcer Margaritaville Jim: “Now let’s get this straight: you hombres have to string this job out to make it look like it’s tough to justify this $132,000. You start with “School Bus Stops 101 for Bus drivers.” That should take you at least two weeks to locate and write a lengthy description of each school bus stop in the county, using higher math, correct?”

Management Partnership Chorus: “Yassah.”

Enforcer Margaritaville Jim: “Then you spend at least a week on “Appropriate Bus-driver attire. I told you I favor epaulets and a lot of braid on the jacket and caps, didn’t I?”

Managenebt Partnership Chorus: "Yassah."

Enforcer Abs of Steel Jim: “And I favor putting a row of braid down the outside of each pant leg for the height-enhancing effect it gives bus drivers, who tend to be shrimp-sized. That comes from the lifelong vitamin deficiency of the lower classes from whence they sprang, wouldn’t you agree, hombres?”

Management Partnership Chorus: “Yassah.”

Enforcer Abs of Steel Jim: “Then I want interim reports on these two projects. That ought to take you a week, shouldn’t it? At least one of you can write, can’t you?”

Management Partnership Chorus: “Yassah.”

Enforcer Jimicetto: “And if you want to know how to spell anything or where to put the commas, don’t come running to me. That’s below my grade. Nobody around ROSSAC knows those little things. The education shtick is just cover-up for our rape-the-taxpayer kitty racket. So you will need to outsource that literacy stuff to some low-level plebes who know trifles like spelling and punctuation. I’m running a power operation here, not Romper Room, hombres.”

Management Partnership Chorus: "Yassah."

Enforcer the Great Jim: “And whatever you do, don’t ask me the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re.’ I don’t know homophones. That skill would call my sexual orientation into question. I know power plays not wussy words. Got that, hombres?”

Management Partnership Chorus: “Yassah.”

Enforcer of the Last Resort Jim: “If you go slow-mo, we should be able to string this bus thing out for at least six months. Then the Potted Plants on the Board won’t object to the money dump we of the administrative stripe will pour on you from the bottomless tax coffers. The Board members are too dumb to come in out of the rain. Don't you agree?”

Management Partnership Chorus: “Yassah.”

Enforcer a Go Go Jim: “Y’all don’t happen to know a bunch of consultant rip-off artists who can gussy up purchasing, do you?”

Management Partnership Chorus: “Yassah.”

Enforcer Jim the Absolute Ultimate Power: “That wouldn’t be y’all, would it?”

Management Partnership Chorus: “Yassah.”

Krypton Enforcer Jim: “Great. We’ll just call you something different for that gig. The Board Potted Plants sometimes wake up and notice what’s going on—not often, but every once in a great while they pretend they are guarding the interests of the students, parents, and citizens to fool the voters at election time. We don’t want them to get suspicious that we are ripping vox populi off with the Board providing cover. You agree, that's the way the mop flops, don’t you, hombres?”

Management Partnership Chorus: “Yassah.”

“It’ll take me at least a fortnight to teach Elia the new title we’ll call you for the purchasing gig and the right way for her to present the proposal to the Board so that it rubberstamps the whole shebang as usual without reading a word of it. You know how these flim-flam protocols go, don’t you, hombres?”

Management Partnership Chorus: “Yassah.”

“Well, tootles, hombres. In fact, double tootles. I am off to supervise the construction of the new electronic marquee for my new office. The engineers from a friend of a friend of mine are having trouble fitting in the whole title in an off-and-on lights marquee. We’ll have to bring in cranes to mount it. It's not a little bitty thing. It's big to complement my mega importance. I want my bete noire Otero to be on hand for the ceremony when the cranes mount it. He will turn pea green with envy, won’t he, hombres?”

Management Partnership Chorus: “Yassah. Yassah. Yassah.”


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Anonymous said...

Just wanted to underscore the following: The CTA -- like all non-profits -- is required to complete an IRS 990 form, which lists salaries of the top-paid employees. All you have to do is go look at it. It's not Yvonne's job to engage in your prosecution-by-blog. You want info? Go get it. And stop whining!

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