Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ms. Elia's Poor-mouthing As Usual

From: lee []

Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2008 10:38 PM

To: ''

Cc: ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; 'Letitia'; 'Ken'; ''; ''; 'Cathy'; ''; 'David'; 'Gwen'; 'Gene Siudut'; '/\'; ''

Subject: RE: Elia's latest news

Ms. Elia:

This money message below does not mention your recently putting on the public dole Dr. James Hamilton. He had a top job in the school system despite his comparative illiteracy, not being able to tell the difference between homophones “you’re” and “your.” This cozening continued during and after his retirement dithering.

When he was not willing to retire when he was supposed to and inserted his name with a caret above his replacement Mr. Otero’s in pencil on the Web, you created him a boutique job with a powerful title for $140,000 a year while he put off departure. A clerk told me you put his name on this made-up job before it even went on the books. Then after consuming $70,000 of that taxpayer cushion, he disappeared ostensibly into retirement at last, and you did away with the job.

Suspicious, I inquired of the Public Affairs office whether Dr. Hamilton perhaps still worked for the schools. Yes, of course he did. You had conjured him another tax-paid sinecure as school lobbyist in Tallahassee. He gets $65,000 a year added to his bloated pension for double-dipper status. He thus joins Ms. Edgecombe and Dr. Lamb in this disgraceful, greedy rip-off of taxpayers.

The Hamilton employment did not come off the consent-calendar conveyer belt for public scrutiny. The last time that a school board member asked for an item to come off the consent calendar for discussion, Kurdell jumped on the board member Griffin for asking for the privilege of reviewing an item and called her “disloyal to the staff.” Candy Olson joined Kurdell in castigating the board member who asked for the item to come off the conveyer belt of the consent agenda.

The item concerned the board policy of no-bid contracts. After the heated discussion, only Valdes joined Griffin in doing away with no-bid contracts. Lawyer Gonzalez joined the no-bid board members in endorsing no-bid contracts. One would expect him to do so. His firm has held the board-lawyer sinecure for 37 years on a no-bid good-ol-boy back-slapping contract.

The fellow who got this no-bid contract that Griffin asked to discuss was a former administrator on his first job as a contractor after retirement, yet Cathy Valdez held forth on how his reputation all over the state for doing excellent work was sterling.

Kurdell and Olson are selective in their choice of items to be concerned about. Both were on the school board when Mr. Erwin was tortured by Lennard and Hamilton among others because Mr. Erwin tried to get attention paid to the criminal activities going on in the schools. Kurdell and Olson knew about the crime on school property as did all the ROSSAC administration, which was annoyed that anybody would mention these criminal activities that they considered just the cost of doing business and no impediment to their keeping their bloated-pay jobs and elevated status as important people of the community. When one considers that most of the administrative staff’s terminal degrees are in early childhood, one understands why its members joined Dr. Earl the Pearl Lennard in torturing Erwin and colluding to get him fired without his pension. No place else would these feeble scholars find such a jobs racket as exists in the Hillsborough county administrative system.

My question is how do you dare write this disingenuous statement of your struggle to balance the budget to the teachers in which you tell them they get a mere two percent raise and imply they should be grateful for that little bit of money? Have you fired Dr. Hamilton from his Tallahassee featherbedding taxpayer rip-off job yet to save money in this economic downturn that you peddle to the teachers to excuse their pitiful raise? If not when will you fire him because of the budget crisis you invoke to the teachers?

Dr. Hamilton wrote a document in which he instructed the board in decorum in doing their jobs. He even advised them how to dress in a leap in insolence despite of his appearing to look like an unmade bed himself, wearing pants which bagged low and contained nothing. I would like to have a copy of that document by Dr. Hamilton under the public-records law. All board members have it as well as Mr. Gonzalez. I know Mr. Gonzalez to be in possession of it because I talked to him about the writing. Please pass it Ms. Cobbe to get a copy it for me.

Don’t put a comma after “past” (I marked it). You cut off a restrictive adverbial trailing clause.

Lee Drury De Cesare

From: William Birdsall []
Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2008 6:12 PM
To: lee de cesare
Subject: Elia's latest news

* Date: September 12, 2008
* To: All Employees
* From: MaryEllen Elia
* Subject: Budget Update - Salary Increase Proposal
* I pledged several months ago to keep you updated on significant news regarding the school district budget because these financial matters affect you and your family.
* With that in mind, I'm happy to announce the proposal that was offered during negotiations today (Friday, Sept. 12, 2008). The School Board has authorized me to offer “level” increases. For most eligible employees that will amount to an approximately 2 percent increase. If ratified by employees and approved by the School Board, the increases would apply to employees represented by the Classroom Teachers Association (CTA) and the Hillsborough School Employees Federation (HSEF). These increases also will be offered to non-represented employees.
* I know the proposal falls short of the raise packages we have offered in the recent past, when we were able to provide some of the largest percentage increases in the state. However, on the national, state, and local level, the economy is struggling and budget cuts have become a common occurrence.
* As we've seen in recent months, many school districts and local governments have had to resort to layoffs or salary reductions. Because of careful planning and fiscal restraint, we have been able to avoid such measures. However, we have been forced to make significant cuts and to trim our workforce through attrition and the delaying of new hires. Our financial situation remains a cause for concern. We expect more cuts in the future.
* How can we afford to offer raises now? Until this time, during negotiations we have offered no salary increases. That was less a negotiations tactic and more of a recognition that the district cannot afford to overextend itself with recurring costs in an uncertain budget year. However, our continued belt tightening and the recent removal of Amendment 5 from the ballot, have improved our financial position. Amendment 5, also known as the “tax swap,” would have eliminated a major source of funding for schools, with no clear plan for replacing the revenue. The School Board opposed that amendment and cheered its removal from the ballot.
* The School Board and I have been approaching our budget decisions very conservatively, and we will continue to do so, while keeping in mind that our employees are counting on us as they struggle to balance their own household budgets. We are confident that we can offer these salary increases to our employees and maintain a balanced budget.


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