Friday, December 01, 2006
Board Gentlepeople: Dr.
Hamilton's reflex hiring of a $240,000 consulting firm to get County school buses to run on time constitutes admission of incompetence from the serried ranks of $100,000-plus-perquisites-featherbedding administrators.
I suggest that Board common sense do an end-run around Hamilton's likely looming consultant passing-the-buck for Board information needs. One does not have to be an efficiency expert to suggest the following plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face solution.
Go through the Public-Affairs-Office-information system. Nobody can ask you why you want public information. You don't have to endure the three-tier process as laboriously and lovingly detailed in Dr. Hamilton's New-Board-member protocol, hatched by this wunderkind after a mere year's incubation. The Sunshine law says that requested information goes to the citizen in a timely fashion. Like the rest of us, Board members are citizens and due this service. You don't have to trudge through the protocol rigmarole of the Hamilton three-step misery with the "You-may-go-to-start" labyrinth that Board members must now trudge through according to the scheme that Dr. Hamilton took a year to produce.
I make this suggestion after reading the botched orientation document that Dr. Hamilton gave birth to a year late. It is illogical in structure; irrelevant in content, and maladroit in style. It contains a lengthy section on a three-tier-tedious obstacle course for Board members' securing information. The covert object of this tiresome protocol is, I infer, to discourage Board members from pursuing information and leaving the administration free to wheel and deal without Board interference. Information is power, so the administration aims to hog information for the administration's eyes only with the implicit power that situation produces. The three-step rigmarole for the Board to get information is, I believe, administration data control.
Ms. Elia shows scant impulse to share vital information with the Board. I cite, first, the real-estate scam data that she sat on and then claimed not to know about even though the skullduggery went on right under her nose and despite a Times reporter's discovering it with no background in school data structure; second, her overbuilding desks in schools without Board knowledge; third, her reboundary putsch to cover up this overbuilding mess-up; and fourth the cooked enrollment figures she had Steve Hegarty send to the County Commission for augmented impact fees that enriched her coffers so that she could indulge in more profligate waste of taxpayer money. The Board needs data to do its job. Members will get it fast through the Public-Affairs Sunshine inquiry process.
Don't ask Steve Hegarty. Every time I go to the Public-Affairs office, I see him flitting about like Tinker Bell to look busy. Any request that goes to him suffers long delay and obtuse replies if ever they come. Mr. Hegarty did not have the credentials for this job but got it, I infer, because he gave the school system stenographic-press during his time as reporter for the Times when he covered the schools and played sycophant to certain administrators during a sabbatical from this stenographer duty. All Le Hegarty's competitors' resumes showed them better qualified.
Add to these data the fact that Mr. Hegarty has trouble with the English language, including using basic punctuation with aplomb, and you have another dead-wood administrator paid $91,000-plus out of taxpayers' pockets. If he were Ms. Elia's pick, the Board should have done a better job of grilling her on why she picked him and not the better-qualified people the resumes of whom the Board should have reviewed. If the Board wants to evade the three-tier gauntlet that Dr. Hamilton details in the orientation protocol, it shouldn't overwork a good employee; it should direct La Elia to send a couple of those young bureaucrats who now are in charge of the three-tier labyrinth for information to Linda Cobbe in Public Affairs. With two assistants, she should be able to get the info you need pronto.
If Cobbe needs another assistant, check the melee around Ms. Elia's office and pick one with an intelligent aura. Otherwise, you can refer your complaints to the Board attorney. I bet he takes the Sunshine law seriously as lawyers are wont to take all laws seriously to keep their licenses. This Board can do an end-run around the punishing three-tier information gauntlet that the administration dictates that the Board submit to by Hamilton-Elia fiat presently if it has the courage and the will to do so. Or the Board can hire a consultant. Dr. Hamilton has a list. lee drury de cesare
Posted by twinkobie at 7:02 PM