Lorain City Schools -The Play-The Passion -The Board
I shook off my apathy last night and attended the Board of Education Meeting to do my homework.
I was a little worried that I might have developed deafness in my self -imposed exile from all things Lorain.
I could hardly hear a word most people were saying as they spoke into the microphone . I wonder what pertinent information I was missing. As we will see later in this post ” not hearing information” can ultimately result in people speaking loudly.
I did hear Mr. Chuck Parsons the facilitator of the meetings held in regard to what is a “wish list” of the particpants of the meetings held for the new high school. Mr. Parsons did state the turnout was low even though well publicized for the meetings as discussed here
I couldn’t help but add the numbers in my head less than 75 people “wishing” – indicative of the burn out perhaps.
A special meeting March 28 to give more overview of the plans for the new high school . The meeting is at 5 p.m. at the Charleston Administration Center.
We were treated to the children performing “It’s a Hard Knock Life” from Annie – performances at the Lorain Palace April 1st and 2nd – 7 -9 pm – tickets one dollar .
The students were all really enthusiastic and energetic – a joy to watch – they made you smile – one little one was throwing everything she had into her moment in the spotlight – she had the stuff of which actors are made pride and passion in her role .
They also apparently had an impact on Mr. Smith’s decision with regard to endorsing the renewal levy in May, he stated:
I must admit, I was conflicted until watching those kids. You can’t do anything but vote in favor”
Ah! The play’s the thing and then “the passion” and passion certainly came across the floor to the audience that was left. Only it wasn’t the kids displaying projection and passion it was the BOE members.
As a surface dwelling onlooker who hasn’t attended a BOE meeting since Dee Morgan’s time and the passion of 2007 ,I was somewhat taken aback.
The touch paper was the article in the Chronicle Telegram
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2011/03/23/lorain-school-district-faces-federal-discrimination-lawsuit/ BOE member Jim Smith brought up the subject of the article and quite frankly it was all down hill from there
He said , they said – I will say- you will not say – we will not say.
The atmosphere was one that you could literally cut with a knife, the undercurrents in that room churned, swirled and eddied around those on stage and we in the audience- the drama , tight lips, spluttering, eye popping , narrowing of other eyes, the clenched jaws, neck tendons showing, rising blood to the faces – it was all there –
great expectations!!! Mr. Dickens ;)!
You can read the real press take here
Board President Tony Dimacchia and Smith argued over whether lawsuits involving the schools should be brought to the board’s attention immediately.
While Dimacchia attempted to give him an answer, Smith was questioning the district’s attorney Tony Giardini.
After the meeting I asked for some clarification – I spoke to Mr. Diamchia – and Mr. Giardini – (Mr. Smith had left) as to my perception of the conduct displayed from the point of an onlooker-
Whilst I understood “legal” decisions made in all this and the explanation made by Mr. Dimachia echoed in the meeting :
“We don’t do the day-to-day operations of this school district … There is a proper process that goes through any district or any organization. … When there is an issue and it gets to a certain point and it is legitimate and serious enough for the board to hear it, then we will deal with it at that time,” the board president said.
and Mr. Giardini’s quote in the Chronicle
Giardini said he does not inform the board of legal matters until they reach the point where he needs board members to take action. Prior to that point, Giardini said he briefs Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson on legal matters.
Lorain City Schools although Lorain’s 2nd largest employer and the way “business is done” reminded me that
LCS shareholders are “we the community”-
The money to exist is not derived from selling/ manufacturing/ supplying a commodity from which the corporation makes a monetary profit as is the case with private corporations where Board of Directors are compensated sometimes to the tune of “millions “ for their expertise .
Our board is, in effect, a voluntary board with a tiny stipend, basically serving and representing the community – who placed their faith in them and their willingness to represent we the taxpayer.
Lorain City Schools provides a service-
We ( and I say we because we the taxpayers are the holders of the purse) do not make a “monetary profit from that service”-
We as a community benefit only by those that benefit ( the students) from that service hopefully becoming responsible members of society who will be enabled through their education make life a little better for all as they take over the reins in a “global market” .
It is true that major corporations leave the business of “legal eagles” to be sorted out and are then apprised of the situations as need be. BUT we aren’t corporate America.
In this surface dwellers opinion those that represent the owners of the business –the community -should know through their representatives ( the elected BOE) what is happening in the organization – if not required knowledge then I, at least having sat on many “volunteer boards” would feel more comfortable knowing that my elected representation is at least informed as to what is happening.
A FEDERAL DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT is hopefully not indicative of the day to day operations for LCS.
It has been my experience that the simplest little hiccup can escalate and cause a greater distress.
Personally if it is not the attorney’s job to tell the Board but the Superintendent and the Treasurer as to legal situations then the communication “formally ‘ perhaps through executive session that information should be shared – in my opinion.
If I was a BOE member, I would insist upon knowing so that I could be educated in the everyday workings of Lorain’s 2nd largest employer especially if the day to day business included federal lawsuits :(.
If that had been the case with the situation from last night we would not have been subjected to last night’s performance or the less than flattering “reviews” in today’s papers.
Just my 139,500 cents worth
As always this blog is open to giving space to differing view points on LCS.