I have requested public information from the Sarasota County Schools. Please have your secretary keep tabs on the fulfillment of my request.
Dr. Hamilton lists
I don't know how you can afford a lobbyist in this economic downturn. Did you do a needs study before hiring a lobbyist? Did your superintendent mayhap slip one past the board without its registering on the board's radar? This appointment may have been the fruit of a male-bonding stint of your superintendent and Dr. Hamilton at Joe's Bar and Grill, where many similar macho deals are sealed with a martini--or several. Ditto for the Mayberry Machiavelli to Mixon. The problem with these maneuvers is that each one requires equal-opportunity ads to prove that Sarasota does honor its pledge to be an equal-employment-opportunity employer. And the board is responsible for that pledge, not the superintendent if he did not honor it.
Dr. Hamilton is a disagreeable, rumpled, grumpy man who loved to brag at HCSB that he was a "bastard" to work for and who was Superintendent Dr. Earl Lennard's henchman in attempting to crucify Doug Erwin, a school administrator who discovered shoddy, leaking school buildings that got top dollar for contractors stamped by the board, rigged bids, and outright theft. Google Doug Erwin to read the story of a school board terminally derelict in duty and with some probably on the take.
Mr. Erwin finally filed a whistle blower suit against the board, won it, and escaped to Georgia retirement with his pension intact and his settlement of $165,000 for the crucifixion by the administration and collusive board. The taxpayers footed the bill for administration and board crime. The board fired not a single person afterwards. It should have begun with the superintendent.
When Mr. Erwin had tried to get the board and administration to do something about the crime he uncovered, they instead mounted a campaign to prove him crazy. It was the old chestnut, "Oh, don't listen to Doug Erwin. Everybody knows he's crazy." Those that did not partake in the crucifixion of Mr. Erwin were out in the streets without a job.
Dr. Lennard and his goons along with a complicit board had tried to fire Mr. Erwin and remove his pension. This behavior suggests to me that people in high administrative slots were benefiting from the in-school crime that Mr. Erwin tried to expose--including the board as well since it was rubber-stamping the leaking school buildings for contractor top-dollar reimbursement. You now see contractors of all stripes listed in incumbents' donor lists online in the Supervisor of Election's records when they run again for office today. That smells.
The people who govern HC schools are not nice people, not ethical public servants, so
I wrote the president of UF, Dr. Machen--and his wife, too, cautioning about letting slack thesis committees turn loose on the world UF PhDs who probably bought and paid for their theses. These reluctant scholars head straight to the K12 administrative racket: that's where the money is in bloated salaries and perquisites, in irregular contracts to buddies, and in--I am sorry to say it--under-the-table deals from the firms the schools do business with.
I wonder what these creatures do with their tax-kitty purloined money. They will never buy a master painting or read a good book. And these cultural barbarians can wear only a limited number of vulgar gold jewelry with giant zirconias and go to Hawaii for pricey vacations with non-stop room service only so many times before even they get bored.
Dr. Hamilton's wife divorced him during this saga that was discussed in every cafeteria, meeting hub, and mop closet in the schools county wide. Dr. Hamilton has since gone back to his wife, poor woman to be fool enough to let him in the door, but now thanks to the Sarasota School board and other boards that throw around taxpayer money in the good-ol'-boy-and-girl-rape-the-tax-kitty system that seems to predominate in school boards. Dr. Hamilton bodes to pull down maybe a half million dollars a year from these lax school boards in the lobbying-consulting racket he has devised.
Pray, this taxpayer pleads, examine this appointment for equal opportunity hiring and suitability of the candidate to lobby for the state's children's needs. I don't want a character like Le Hamilton within 25 miles of my ten grandchildren, three of whom are now in Sarasota schools.
The citizens of your county elected you to stand guard of the schools to which they have entrusted their children and grandchildren. If you don't do this job and shield my grandchildren from Dr. Hamilton, I shall ask the funding agencies who give your schools grants to conduct compliance reviews and remove the grants because you don't deserve them.
Citizens should not have to reach beyond the local governing body of schools, the school boards, to get these boards to obey the laws. But a citizen, thank goodness, has that resource if school boards shirk their duty.
lee drury de cesare