Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dr. Hamilton:

Getting information about what goes on in the School Board-and-administration's pas de deux is like herding cats. You can't chase down a fact to save your life if you are outside the bowels of ROSSAC. If I were on the scene at ROSSAC, I could get the janitors and lunch-room workers to fill me in. The guy who cleans the gutters would be a resource.

The Sunshine Law is a dead article at ROSSAC as far as the administration is concerned.

What interests this citizen concerns the odyssey of the recent Board-orientation document. I got word via a carrier pigeon that flew parallel Howard Franklin to the Gulf of Mexico, where I live with the seagulls, that four Board members--Edgcomb, Faliero, Kurdell, and Valdez--met twice on the project. They surrendered to you their notes, a copy of which I request as public document by forwarding this communication to Ms. Cobbe, of the Public Information Office.

A year later after submission of the committee-of-four's notes, the final document emerged from your office. To this document Ms. Valdez issued her formal demur. And if this Board member disapproved it, why did the administration publish the "Orientation and Board Procedures" product of your office on the Board web page as if she did? In the name of public honesty, why didn't the administration include the addendum of Ms. Valdez's remarks and any supporting remarks of Board members or dissenting remarks by administration ciphers?

My Deepthroat informs me that Board member Susan Valdez at this Board workshop stated for the record that, although her name is on the committee of four Board members "to produce the document," the resultant "School Board Members [sic] Orientation and Board Procedures" does not represent her intentions.

During Board member Valdez's statement, my Deep Throat reports that you, sir, arose "stormed out of the Board room."

Anybody who has passed Psychology 101 would diagnose your gesture as one of cowardice: you lacked the guts to remain and defend your product. I don't know how in the world you ever got the reputation of being a big bad administration Schutzstaffel enforcer. Standards have plummeted since Hitler retired to the bunker. You are about as fearsome as Tweety Bird.

Since I am a writer who favors verisimilitude, I need to know whether the verb "stormed" be accurate. Would you, as perpetuator of the gesture, submit your favorite verb for the act in which you engaged to protest Board Member Valdez's opposition to the document under discussion that you authored, "School Board Members [sic] Orientation and Board Procedures"? If you can't corroborate the accuracy of the "stormed," can you come up with a substitute? For example, do you favor "stalked" as a more accurate description? Did you perhaps stride out of the Board room? Or did you debouch or even hot-foot it? Did you mayhap strut or swagger from the room? What about stomping out? Did you do that, sir, so great was the blow to your amour propre? Perhaps you traipsed, promenaded, or strutted out of that meeting. This is America, if you chose to traipse, promenade, or even strut out of a meeting, that is your Constitutional right. I'll stand by you in your Constitution huff.

Be it possible that you booted it out the board room? What about parading traipsing, swaggering, or pounding from the hated environs? Those are but a few of the possibilities. What about one of my favorite verbs "slouch"? To report that you slouched out of the Board room would enchant me.

I need imprimatur of your stamp of accuracy on one of the above or one of your own choosing. I warm to this subject. Did you, in opposition to the above Baedeker, waltz out of the board room? Tippytoe out? Perhaps you wafted, moseyed, sauntered, sashayed, boogied, moped, toddled, strolled, drifted, meandered, gumshoed, dawdled, loitered, meandered, moped, oozed, percolated, rambled, sashayed, sauntered, strolled, toddled, or wandered out of that Board room. These verbs have scrambled my synapses; I believe I begin to repeat myself in a verb phantasmorgia.

You have an embarrassment of riches in our wonderful English language, sir. Just pick a verb of rich connotation to echo down the ages of administration-Board disputes. A verb is a word but so much more. Words are the most powerful things in our world. When Polonius asks Hamlet what he reads; Hamlet responds, "Words, words, words," Hamlet endorses the primacy of words. The words Hamlet reads shape his mind and shape history. A word is the nuclear human intellectual unit that decides history--history of the world or history of the school system or history of an in-house, bungled-document process.

I see in your temper-tantrum exit spore of the twilight of the hegemony of the administration's control of the School Board in Hillsborough County. The circumstance that after a feeble complaint by Valdez in the past about the West Chase debacle panicked the administration into leaking her travel budget to the press shows how insecure this administration is. Uneasy sits the head where lies the crown--especially when the crown sits atop the heads of a bunch of dumb clucks.

Your exit from the Board room because you were not man enough to face a Board member's criticism shows how fragile you are. You are supposed to be the administrator everybody fears--the enforcer of the reign of terror by the administration that squelches all criticism of this incompetent group's most egregious sins against ethics in education.

You, sir, don't know your ass from your elbow when it comes to holding on to power ill-gotten or legitimate. You are a political dunce.

I didn't hear what kind of suit you wore or whether it was with or without gravy stains from feeding at the public trough whilst doing nothing but act as Chief Enforcer and explicator of the Big Bad Wolf mythology that perpetuates the most incompetent, illiterate Board in the history of school boards.

On what day of the week did your grand dumbass exit from a meeting occur? We all know that Monday's child is fair of face,/ Tuesday's child is full of grace,/ Wednesday's child is full of woe, /Thursday's child has far to go,/ Friday's child is loving and giving, /Saturday's child works hard for his living,/ And the child that is born on the Sabbath day/ Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

I bet the meeting was on Wednesday. You are Wednesday's child, Dr. Hamilton, if I ever saw one. Instead of having the courage to push your own candidacy for school superintendent, you have hidden for years behind the mediocrity of Lennard and the skirts of Elia. You stalked out of that room and stepped right into a political cow patty to give those of us who watch this little play a gaudy epiphany that exposed your pitiful psyche.

That I was born on Sunday should not surprise you. The cook delivered me to adorn this world in White Oak, Georgia, because the one doctor in the county had not arrived in my father's old Packard. A toss of my ancestors' DNA put me on the planet to, among other things, chronicle your abilities, such as they are. I know you will agree with my destiny's making me bonny and blithe and good and gay--especially gay. The number of times naysayers have called me a lesbian for fighting for social justice and good grammar would astonish you, who, I know, to be my secret fan. My Sunday's child answer has always been, "Not so far, but I am always open to new experiences."

I advise you to pretend you are Sunday's child. The which will prevent your stalking out of Board meetings in a pout and setting all the teeth of your boss's bosses on edge. Sooner or later this Board annoyance will reach critical mass, and a quorum of its members will wake up and start snarling to be followed by biting. Then you will stalk out of ROSSAC environs forever because of orders to do so, not because you have lacked the maturity during your reign at ROSSAC to indulge in tax-paid pouts.

lee drury de cesare, Sunday's child

PS: I reserve for later comment the incredible style of Saturday-Night-Live legalese in which you wrote the "Orientation and Board Procedures" and the plethora of comma errors athwart the title-page pledge "Hillsborough County Public Schools--Excellence in Education." That you don't know the difference between "your" and "you're" and that Ms. Elia can't punctuate and needs a ghost writer who can't punctuate either to produce her public documents belie that slogan to the point of turning it into vaudeville.

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