Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Our BOE Gives Lots Of Lip Service ...

But they do NOT follow through!

Recently, this FOIL request was sent to BOE Clerk Lynne Armstrong by former BOE Member Charlie Hubbard:

"A copy please of any written correspondence from the school board or administration on behalf of the school board to local state representatives in reference to their concern over the Triborough amendment or the Taylor law or reference to these laws negative impact on contract negotiations.

The time frame involved would be the last 4 years.
Thank you for your time and effort.

Charlie Hubbard"

The official response from the BOE Clerk back to Mr. Hubbard:

"Monday, June 21, 2010 11:24 AM
Subject: Re: FOIL request


In response to your FOIL request 2010-012; no such documents exist.

A person denied access to a record may appeal within 30 days of the denial. Appeals should be addressed in writing to Deborah Hoeft, Appeals Officer, P.O. Box 300, North Greece, NY 14515-0300, 585-966-2343.


SCATS ~~ In summary, during the FOUR YEARS since the GTA contract "expired" our school district has done its share of p*ssing & moaning about Triborough & the Taylor Law, BUT they have DONE NOTHING!!


SCATS said...

For the record ~~ I know this will probably irk some, but I feel very strongly that this needs to be addressed.

I received a lengthy diatribe in my email from a BOE member defending the BOE in their official silence on this issue. Said BOE member began by writing: "Your conclusion as posted is BS!!!!!!"

Following that was a lengthy description of various breakfasts with Monroe County School Board Assn members and the legislators who attended and through the NY State School Boards Assn. as well as chats on the side during political campaigns.

At this point, the respondent wrote: "To conclude that the board has done nothing about these laws is just dead wrong."

I stand by my assertion that the BOE has done NOTHING but give lip service to the issue and responded to the email with: "Off the record chats in place of actual formal communications are BS!!!"

Charlie Hubbard said...

Put it in writting - period
It's a funny thing about being in writting - the newspaper has something to work with - and the state reps can't duck it. You don't hear the state reps talk about it now - because it has not been in writting.
Are other distrcts contacting state reps? Did 'they' send anything in writting? We don't know because 'they' haven't PUT IT IN WRITTING either.

This item is costing local taxpayers $$MILLIONS$$ yet no one wants to go 'on the record' - hold some peoples feet to the fire - and get it fixed. Obviously lip service hasn't worked. Obviously the Monroe County School Board assoc. is doing nothing (that should not surprise any reader) so maybe, just maybe the press might find it interesting especially if they knew the kind of $money$ taxpayers are being taken for.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your assessment. It sounds as if the BOE would like it if someone, anyone would take the lead and start the OPEN discussion on modifying/ eliminating Triborough. That way if something happens, they can claim that they were in the forefront of requests and lead the way to this positive change without having to take the firestorm from the unions when their inquiries and starter discussions become known. If they can't make a decision (West Ridge, for example) and defend it when it becomes public, then they just want a change to happen and are not willing to help make it happen. Our legislators won't stand up to the unions either without strong support from the public.
The leadership in this town and this state seems to want to find a parade, jump in front of it and then claim that they are leading it. Sad, very sad....

Anonymous said...

This is worth a letter to the editor ( D and C).

Anonymous said...

So why doesn't that BOE member sign their name and write that response in this blog? Can't wait to hear directly.

Anonymous said...

The Greece administration is very reluctant to follow the spirit of the FOIL and many times if the request is too specific they will say the record does not exist. Try this and resubmit it like a bad check . They will have to come up with something but will squawk about having to do it. Pleas try thi wording.
"Any documents or records of any correspondence or information in the following cases:
1)between board members and board members,
2)district administration and board members,
3) district administration and board members to and from any outside agency or state or local or federal representative
4)correspondence from an agency or representative to the board members or administration
...concerning the Taylor Law and/or the so called Triborough Amendment of that law.
This includes but is not limited to letters, power point material, board information packets, emails, transcripts of Ims or text messages, documents generated by board committees and community/board committees and board minutes and agendas and any other records concerning this.
I ask to inspect these records and will ask for copies as needed."
There will be something that they will have. You might want to add a beginning and ending date to refine their search such as "January 2006 to the present"

Because the original request was specific to written correspondence from the board and admin they did not have to provide email and correspondence back to board members or the board or the administration. This is a more global and OCD way of making the request and that is how they operate. Good luck and please try again. We all know they are playing games but if you want to see or get copies of the documents you have to play it too.

SCATS said...

To 9:25AM ~~ I appreciate the detailed idea. In the bigger picture though, the point isn't so much that they are withholding some records, it's that they complain (loudly) about the situation but haven't followed through. Thus the "lip service" reference.

Anonymous said...

To Scats at 10:06
But we will never know for sure because they are so stubborn about giving out the information. So the board can be smug about not having to give the requested documents and consequently look like people who moan about the triborough (and having to pay out the step raises) and do nothing about getting the law changed. Sounds like an accurate picture of our school board no matter what century we are talking about.

SCATS said...

To 12:25PM ~~ True.

Anonymous said...

This link gives a good clear explanation of the triborough amendment and why it should be repealed. Maybe we should find out if there is a grassroots effort to get this repealed since the school boards are not interested ; most of them were endorsed by teachers unions. Same goes for the state assembly and senate members. They are either democrats and backed by unions or republicans and don't know which way to vote until they get a reading from their astrologer. Here is the address. (If there is no one that has started opposition to triborough let's start it here)