Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Public Information Request to the Hillsborough County School Board

Hillsborough County School Board:

I have been trying for some time to get public information on two subjects : Ms. Elia's hiring and Mr. Gonzalez's written record of his services to the board. I have not got either yet.

The Public Information office's Ms. Cobbe is a conscientious public employee who tries to do her job well, so I don't blame her for my not getting the public data I have requested. She says the Elia hiring data is "in a box" and that Gonzalez's output with her is always verbal.

First, the data on Ms. Elia's hiring: the employment of the chief administrator of the schools making $300,00o a month is important public information. A competent administration would have a stenographer to record the board comments in their discussion of the hiring. That is what I want to see. My belief is that it will clear up why the board lowered the Ph.D. requirement to Ms. Elia's master's when all the other candidates had the required Ph.D. the ad must have said was basic.

The stenographer's record would also clear up how the board accepted Ms. Elia's meagre experience as sufficient. I reviewed the applications. One of the candidates had a broad background in dealing with minority student populations. All competitors has better, more varied experience than Ms. Elia, whose experience was all in the local schools and consisted of her heading up a department in which she overbuilt classrooms that later had to be absorbed by shuffling students, a process that discomfited both them and their family; a second untoward incident of Ms. Elia's local experience was a real-estate scam that she allowed to go on under her nose and that a SPT reporter walked in off the street and discovered, then wrote an expose on it.

Ms. Cobbe says her contact with Mr. Gonzalez is all vocal. That may be true. But he must have written files on all the work he has done for the hypertrophied salary he gets. Those files belong not to him but to the citizens who paid him to produce them. I would like to see those, too, please.

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