Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I have got an email from Steve Gorham (running against Kurdell) and the fellow running against Susan, but my computer is on the fritz, and I can't mount them. I also have a couple of comments on the HHS 50th reunion but am having the same trouble. My grandson is building me a new computer. Thank God. My present one is ten years old. Stay patient. All will be well. lee

50th Reunion at Hillsborough High

Superintendent Elia discovered that she couldn’t get the positive press she lusts after based on the baleful job she does of running the schools. So she has seized on the tactic of demanding press space from the Tribune to counter any criticism of the schools or bad management she has been guilty of once the complicit board turned down superior candidates and lowered the credentials to match her absent doctorate and deficient management temperament. The board thought the inside candidate no matter how deficient would give them less trouble in maintaining their incumbency.

La Elia aims to bully the Tribune editorial board into giving her good press by printing her own praise and negating any realistic information that comes from the state about the local schools.

The leadership of the Tribune must have better sense and steadier nerves than to let Elia appropriate its paper. The Tribune does not belong to Ms. Elia. It belongs to Media General. I am a shareholder and will complain to the parent company if the Tribune buckles to this bullying that cows the captive teachers and students to enforce Ms. Elia’s will. If the teachers resist, Mr. Elia and Ms. Kipley of the Professional Standards Abu Ghraib concoct a case against anyone who complains to kick the resister out of his or her job.

Ms. Elia not only abuses the teachers and students as she has done since she got the job but now has mounted a campaign to bully the Tribune editorialists as well for reporting any school news that comes from the state or the negligent manner that characterizes Elia’s leadership of the schools with the complicity of a rubberstamp board.

I have marked the superintendent’s or her ghost writer’s five comma errors in red. She needs a referral to one of the schools’ 9th-grade English classes.

Lee Drury De Cesare

The Plot Thickens

I got the message below from the Pumpkin left by Hiss in the ROSSAC parking lot. How these revelations disillusion me about the possibility of the goodness of human kind. Mr. Shultz spoke so highly of his superior ethics. Now we see the sordid plot emerging from the shadows.

Susan and her travel addiction begin to look better.

Apparently Elia's husband donated to Dave Schmidt's campaign. I bet Elia
is having him run to oust Susan, since Susan gave her a bad review. I bet she
finds someone to run against April when April is up for reelection. This is
like the gestapo....silencing any criticism or dissenting voices. It is scary.

I wrote the board back in spring telling them to see a movie that dealt with
people selfishly watching out for their own hides during the nazi regime and
told them to not act like that. They probably don't see a parallel, but I do.
If Elia could get away with it dissenting voices would be gassed and she would
laugh about it.

Lee's Austere Dressing Table, Which is Coincident with Her Sober Character

Woe betide. Mr. Schmidt, Susan Valdes's opponent, has not answered my email to respond to the pseudonymous Mr. Woodard's rebuke for my suggesting that Susan's travel budget and flaccid performance
on the board merited a look at Mr. Schmidt, who is a school administrator.

This behavior rings a bell with me. I think Schmidt ran last time against Valdes and didn't answer my more pressing questions. Communication shut down is not a good sign from a candidate.

Of course, Susan refused to recognize or answer Casting-room Couch's candidate questionnaire or to answer my request for her to sponsor a teacher-student slot on the board. So did April Griffin.

So it looks like we are stuck with Susan and her travel budget excesses.

Incumbents are almost impossible to unseat because they have name identification. People know so little about the school board that if they know a candidate's name, they punch that in the voting booth. This circumstance makes the job of us saboteurs of the school board incumbent potted plants our main activity until we can evict them from their seats. People have to know how bad the board is before they will vote them out. Fulfilling that need is our quest.

Susan did have the grace to apologize to me when Chair Falliera kicked me out of a meeting on an ad hoc Robert's Rule that she made up to pay me back for exposing her engaging in pursuing Marc Hart, head of Professional Standards, until she trapped him into adultery, caused his divorce, the suffering of his two young children, and then dumped him and cooperated with his firing by personnel factotem Mr. Valdes's obedience to the zeig heil from Elia under the cooked-up charge of alcoholism since, if they fired Hart for adultery on the job, they would have had to name a companion adulterer, and they wanted to avoid that contretemps so that all the board members, who knew the Falliera adultery story--as did the entire school system--could appoint this homewrecker adultery femme fatale La Belle Dame Sans Merci as the board chair without an outraged outcry from parents who would not want such a character guarding their children's wellbeing while they were in school.

So lock and load and rev up for the unpleasant but vital job that is our quest. lee

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Schools' Federal Affirmative Action Requirements


Each Government contractor with 50 or more employees and $50,000 or more in government contracts is required to develop a written affirmative action program (AAP) for each of its establishments.

A written affirmative action program helps the contractor identify and analyze potential problems in the participation and utilization of women and minorities in the contractor's workforce.

Linda, I want to see a copy of the schools’ affirmative action plan that its government grants requires. Lee

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rebuke on Mr. Dave Schmidt

From: lee []

Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 9:23 PM

To: 'Mr Woodard'

Cc: ''; Lee Drury de Cesar (; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''FredBurns''; ''

Subject: RE: Your Knee-Jerk Support of Dave Schmidt

Mr. Schmidt: comment on this email, please. Ldd

Mr. Woodard:

I don’t know how much more of a patsy Schmidt could be for the administration than Susan and April are. They went in promising miracles and are too scared to say boo to Ms. Elia or the other board members. Just because Schmidt is an administrator doesn’t make it impossible for him to rear up and become independent on the board. I am willing to see what he can do.Susan has had two years and had done nothing. Absolutely nothing. She won’t even speak and ask questions of the administration on the podium so that the public can know what is going on.

Susan’s most outstanding gesture has been her $50,000 travel budget. That’s unforgivable when there are poor children in the district without money to buy supplies for school projects. I’m ready to see if a former administrator has better sense.

Expand on your knowledge of Schmidt’s certain collusion with Elia et al. I say throw the dice. We know for sure that Susan won’t act on the public’s behalf. We haven’t yet seen what Schmidt will do. lee drury de cesare

From: Mr Woodard []
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2008 8:20 PM
Subject: Your Knee-Jerk Support of Dave Schmidt

Dear Ms. DeCesar:

Putting Dave Schmidt on the Hillsborough School Board would do nothing but give your nemesis Mary Ellen Elia a reliable "yes" vote for whatever she wanted to do. How can you possibly think it's a good idea to elect a district administrator on an elected board whose primary actual function is to keep the district administration honest and occasionally tell it "NO!"? With Schmidt on the board, the chances of that happening would be less than they are now.

So you're disappointed in the actions of a politician. Join the rest of us in the real world, and congratulations for finally making it here. Susan Valdes and April Griffin do a very good job of clearing the very low bar set by the current board majority, and it would not become you to let your dudgeon

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. - John Kenneth Galbraith

Well, what has it done to put Susan on the board? I say give the putative collaborators a whack. They may have built up enough anger at the top people that they will be hell on wheels on the board. I am willing to try anything. Nothing gets these seven rubberstamps on the board to do anything. So what is the difference between a former administrator collaborator and a putative resistor who does not resist? If you know anything specific that condemns Mr. Schmidt, Woodard (don't tell me you are so gutless that this is a pseudonym), spit it out. lee drury de cesare

The Return of the Native

Folks: I had a little vacation in the hospital, but I have survived and am back on the front lines, now able to pull myself up to the CRT screen.

My husband has run around waiting on me hand and foot. This is a good reason to stay married for 51 years. You won't get stuck with nobody to hand you a crust of bread when you emerge from a hospital weak as a kitten. The poor old darling urged coddled eggs, toast, and tea on me until I rallied after not being able to eat for a week. It's a hard way to lose weight, but now I am glamorous if half dead. lee

From: lee de cesare []

Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 11:35 AM

To: ''

Cc: 'Susan Valdes'; 'April Griffin School Board Campaign'; 'Angie Manteiga'; ''; 'Gene Siudut'; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''; ''FredBurns''; ''

Subject: campaign

Mr. Schmidt:

I supported Susan with encouragement and financial backing. She has been a disappointment to me. She says not one thing on the podium to combat the many flaws in the management of the school system. She lets the consent agenda roll by without a murmur. She rubberstamps Elia’s unwise management often. The board seems to think there should not be open government, so its members sit like statues during the board meetings and don’t bring out issues that need public scrutiny. They appear to think that open government is bad manners. They seem indeed to lack a knowledge that in a democracy we have open government with the citizens listening to the elected officials’ views on the issues that come before the board.

Now in this travel outrage, I see that Susan is indeed capable of speaking up to defend herself in that fracas unlike her silence on the outrages against the teachers and students. Would that she had devoted that energy to correcting faults of the school system on the podium and in checking Ms. Elia’s excesses. I cannot imagine anyone succeeding in public office who hasn’t the sense to know that this bloated travel budget could be her end of public office.

People don’t understand the less obvious problems that attend Susan’s flaccid performance on the board. But they do understand blowing money on travel. I am going to look at the folder in the Public Affairs office that details the travels of the board members. But I have heard that Susan’s was chiefly for attending award ceremonies. I hope this is not true. The education bureaucracy makes itself ridiculous to anybody but the dummies inside of it by concocting all these ridiculous gimcrack awards to give each other. If Susan spent money going to these flim-flam affairs, she is not smart enough to serve on the board.

This one dumb thing Susan has done could be your centerpiece for wasting tax money in a depressed economy. I have never known a board member to insist on cutting out any expenses after promising on the stump to do so, and I have observed the board for two years.

Were I the candidate, I would get flyers into every voter’s hands that I could on the travel excesses. I would also visit the publisher of La Gaceta and make my case to him. I would stress that the Bay Area Anglo and Hispanic community will never come together if La Gaceta automatically endorses the Hispanic running and the Anglos endorse the Anglos running. The separation of the communities has been a fact of life in this area forever and needs to end.

I tried to get Susan to learn to blog and put up a blog in Spanish as well as English and to say a few words in Spanish at every meeting to remind Hispanics that they have a representative on the board. I thought she said yes, but she does not say anything in Spanish, and no blog has materialized. I wrote her and April Griffin, whom I also supported, to make a place for teachers on the board agenda. They didn’t even have the courtesy to answer. Such contempt for supporters is not wise political behavior. Neither has their conduct on the board been wise or fulfilling of their promises to see to the needs of the voters and schools. The minute they walked into ROSSAC, they became part of the gang. They have fallen into step with the administration, and one cannot distinguish them from the veteran collaborators on the board. That is not acceptable behavior to anybody who cares about the improvement of the schools. If anybody wants to know the malignant mindset of ROSSAC, he or she has only to plow through the boxes of files on the Erwin outrage. That mindset still obtains.

I used to write for La Gaceta. Patrick is a smart and fair-minded man—handsome, too, now that he has performed the feat of losing a 100 pounds. If I were running for office, I would not skip a chat with him. I believe he will listen to you. He always treats candidates with courtesy.

I will send Susan and April a copy of this email. I don’t talk about people behind their back. I usually write the criticism down and publish it in my blog.

Lee Drury De Cesare

From: lee de cesare []

Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 9:36 PM

Subject: Teachers' Political Forum

From: []
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 8:00 PM
Subject: School Board, District 1

Mrs. Decesare:

Thank you for your emails, your thoughts, and your suggestions. I do value your opinions and do reflect on them.

Our school district will not move forward to fund and close the achievement gap for all students until all mismanagement, real or alleged, is brought into the Florida Sunshine. As well, positive and researched methods to advance student achievement will always need board and district staff consensus. My opponent is no longer capable of advancing any idea, good or bad. Her quote this week in the Tribune, “I no longer trust anyone within the district” has sealed her doom.

Your point about school board members not always willing to openly discuss pressing issues is well taken. Too many board members like to speak to issues that are expedient to their political ambitions, not to district success. Few within the district staff or on the board truly understand the concept of “shared decision-making” which brings together the experience and intellect of teachers and parents, as well as lower staff. When elected, I will insist this concept becomes reality and those from the community who want to address the board during a public meeting are actually heard…and those comments are actually considered.

You mentioned her Valdes' “bloated” travel. I have discovered something else of interest. On July 7, she accepted a $500 campaign contribution from Manhattan Hair Academy, a direct competitor to o ur district’s Adult Technical Centers such as Erwin or Tampa Bay Technical Adult Evening School, Chamberlain Adult Evening School, and Leto Adult Evening School. I find this an outrageous conflict of interest by a sitting Hillsborough District board member. I doubt the instructors and staffs at those schools will be happy that Valdes is supported by a private cosmetology school charging three times more for tuition that district schools.

Recently, I did have a conversation with Patrick Manteiga. He does look great and our conversation was quite cordial. He is smart and influential, yet I know he will never support my campaign. His wife and daughter have already financially supported my opponent, and I doubt his support for her will change.

One thing though: =2 0More and more Hispanic voters are telling me of their great disappointment with Ms. Valdes and=2 0her arrogant approach to holding office. I believe her support has quickly eroded.

Mrs. Decesare, one more thing. On August 15, I will be attending the Tiger Bay Forum, then flying to Connecticut for a family reunion and a party for my wife’s 70th birthday. I mean no disrespect to you or the hard work you put into creating the Teacher’s Forum at the Columbia that afternoon, bit I cannot attend. My family will always come before political ambitions. Again, so sorry.

Hope to meet you one day soon,

Dave Schmidt

The Famous, the Infamous, the Lame - in your browser. Get the TMZ Toolbar Now!

The Famous, the Infamous, the Lame - in your browser. Get the TMZ Toolbar Now!

Teachers’ Political Forum


Ask everything you want to know at the Teachers’ Political Forum!

We invited School Board members, candidates, and Superintendent Mary Ellen Elia .

Time: Friday, August 22, 2008 at 5pm

Place: The Columbia Restaurant; the King's Room

2117 East 7th Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33605

Price: $18.50 Cash bar, sangria, and tapas

Special Guests:

Tampa Tribune

CTA Officials

ROSSAC Personnel

School Board Members

School Board Candidates

Patrick Manteiga La Gaceta publisher

Teachers: Let your voice be heard, Now is the time to solicit responses from those who set the professional and political climate of Hillsborough County’s Public Schools. Ask about issues concerning the teaching profession including, but not limited to:

· Three -hundred minutes

· 6/7 Plan

· Text-book adoption

· Springboard curriculum

· Final exams’ grading scales

· AP -and-honors placement

· AP bonuses

· Hiring policies and practices

· as coincident with “We are an equal-employment-opportunity employer”


Let's take this first step and then have the fortitude to stick with things to the end and achieve our goals.

reservations: Teachers'