Jul 20, 2009

School board member calls a legit function of a union bullying

HOWELL -- School Board member Wendy Day’s hatred of the teacher’s union is clouding her judgment.

As you know, there is a misguided effort underway to recall three of the four Howell Public School Board members who voted to fire Superintendent Theodore Gardella after just a year on the job last month. The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus is reporting that the Howell Education Association that represents the district’s teacher is taking the same position of many people who believe the recall provision should not be used to circumvent the election process and is urging their members not to sign the recall petitions.

In fact, the union sent postcard to its membership recommending they do not sign the petition, and the post cards read "Do not sign a recall petition.” But Day is - get this - objecting to the postcards, calling them "a bullying tactic." How are a post card and a union engaging in what it was formed to do bullying?

Someone needs to explain to her that a recommendation is the exact function of unions and associations, to look after its members. There are hundreds of state associations in Michigan representing almost every business and group under the sun where the members pay dues to have the association lobby for them, make recommendations for them and to look out for them, such as the Michigan Association of School Boards, The Michigan Association of School Administrators or the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

One of the criticisms of the school board is that they are not working together. Here’s the irony of that charge: “Day confirmed Thursday she is actively participating in the recall efforts.” You heard that right; she is not just supporting it, she is “actively participating.” So much for working together.

Does anyone really need any more proof that this is nothing but another attempt by members of the now defunct anti-gay hate group known as the LOVE PAC - (Livingston Organization for Values in Education) to circumvent the election process?

If this were truly a legitimate recall effort then all of the four people who voted to fire Gardella would be recalled. Apparently, under election law if a majority of board members are recalled the local Intermediate School District would appoint the members. But they would still be required to stand for election at the first election.

Recalls should be reserved for people who break the law or are in violation of ethics while in office, not for a vote you disagree with. That’s what elections are for.


carraig said...

Even though Day/Fyke support the group, they are not core to the group. They are just supporters. Same as the democrats can be a big tent coalition, maybe grassroot folks can ignore differences long enough to get something done. For example 25% of dems are pro-lifers, but look past that at the bigger picture of what else they support to make their decisions.

If this group of trustees had truly just made a single mistake or an error on the day, that would be one thing, but everything points to a campaign in secret by Pratt, Literski and Drick with Routt egging them on to get rid of Gardella since April because the union had problems with him.

It now looks like transparency has gone, and that this group will run the district into the ground for the benefit of the HEA. Why would the HEA/MEA support the current board members like this unless there was something in it for them ?

We have few choices. If we wait 2 years, this district will be in worse shape than Brighton's finances and have the academic performance closer to Detroit than Williamston.

I don't buy the bullying rhetoric personally. If people are weak enough to be influenced by the union (as opposed to expressing their own ideas) then shame on them. They don't deserve a democracy.

But I happen to believe that Howell deserves better than this group of self-serving twits.

And if not, then at least they have the right to vote to recall them.

It comes down to the same thing. If they had cause, fire him for cause. If no cause, he should still be there. Either way we wouldn't be paying $200K in termination costs and making the district a joke.

Communications guru said...

No, Day said she “actively participating in the recall efforts.” That’s more than supporting the group. Since Fyke was at the organizational meeting, I would say she is also “actively participating in the recall efforts.” In 12 years as a reporter covering local government and school boards I have never heard of one board member supporting a recall against another. Day/Fyke’s actions tell me they still want to push their narrow rightwing agenda on the school.

I don’t care how many Democrats are anti-choice because it does not make a difference because it’s simply the law of the land. The difference is anti-choice Democrats are welcome in our party; Pro-choice Republicans are not welcome in the GOP.

The bottom line is these four trustees made a vote you did not agree with, so you are trying to circumvent the election process and going after just three of them.

You’re joking, right? “but everything points to a campaign in secret by Pratt, Literski and Drick with Routt egging them on to get rid of Gardella since April because the union had problems with him.” There’s a slight problem with that. It’s not true, and you can’t base a recall campaign on your imagination. Second, you are only recalling three of them.

“Why would the HEA/MEA support the current board members?” That’s pretty easy: because they have a vested interest in their place of employment running smoothly and efficiently.

You’re right, we do have choices: that’s what elections are for.

You are obviously anti-union and know nothing about them. There is nothing more democratic in the workplace than unions.

This is simply an abuse of the recall process, plain and simple, an attempt to circumvent the election process. The recall is the real intimidation.

What made the district and the community a joke was Fyke and Day’s actions, but no one tried to recall her.

kevins said...

As usual, guru, your ranting is out of control, senseless and silly.

You criticize the recall movement for only recalling 3 of them. If you want Ann Routt recalled, go ahead and do it yourself. The recall group doesn't have to recall the board members in a way that you approve. (Besides, they've made it clear why they only targeted three; you can disagree with their reasoning, but they've explained it. People with brains understand that.)

What's not true about events pointing to a secret campaign by Pratt, Literski and Drick to dump Gardella? You and others went berserk because Vicki Fyke sent out an email that correctly stated the names of the four board members who eventually did fire him. Such a shame that she was accurate. (I don't agree with much of what she says, but I recognize her when she is right.)

Did Gardella's problems with the union cause his demise? That's a question for voters to consider. But there is reason to believe it. The union cried about a staffing issue and the board called a special meeting and fired Gardella, all within 48 hours. By the way, the staffing complaint cited by the union turned out to be bogus. But the board acted anyway.

I'm not close enough to the situation to know everything done by Gardella, but I do know that he was trying to balance the budget while dealing with an under-performing high school...surely that rubbed some teachers the wrong way.

So you say abortion is "simply the law of the land." OK. But so are "recalls". And, unlike abortion, the right to recall is specifically protected by constitutional language. By that, I mean the word "recall" is specially in the constitution; you can't say that about "abortion." Yet you go berserk when someone tries to exercise the constitutional-proscribed right of recall.

I am in agreement with you, actually, in that I believe the use of recalls should be tightly limited. But the residents behind the recall are clearly within their rights to seek this recall. I wouldn't support it. I think it will fail...I don't even think they will get the signatures. But they have every right to try. It's not only a legal right; it's a constitutional right. Once again, you can't handle democracy.

Here's a creepy note. The radio station is reporting that school board members' husbands were sneaking around a hotel parking lot to try and see who came and went from a recall meeting. Then a school board member (Pratt) emailed a former union president and they decried the fact that they didn't have an infiltrator inside, but discussed how they could sneak into future meetings.

Pretty mature group of folks. Sure glad she's president of the school board. What a joke. Maybe next they'll buy some night vision goggles.

Communications guru said...

Yes, “I criticize the recall movement for only recalling 3 of them” among other things. It makes no sense that four did the same alleged “foul” thing, but only three are being recalled. It doesn’t seem to me there’s a whole lot of integrity there. I don’t want any of them recalled. I may vote for their opponents when they are up for election, but this is an abuse of the recall law.

“What's not true about events pointing to a secret campaign by Pratt, Literski and Drick to dump Gardella?” What’s true about it? There is zero proof it occurred, so they can’t be recalled for it.

I have never “went berserk,” brett. It must have been clear who was unhappy with Gardella in the closed meeting to discuss his evaluation that he requested be called. Day must have been feeding Fyke inside info.

“Did Gardella's problems with the union cause his demise?” No. That’s the first thing you have said that I agree with, “That's a question for voters to consider.” But, they need to do it in November when they are up for reelection.

Like I said before, I have heard nothing positive about Gardilla except from Day/Fyke, and that is not a ringing endorsement.

Once again, I have never gone berserk, nor have I said they didn’t have a right to mount a recall, but recalling someone for a vote you disagree with abusing the recall law. As for abortion, Republicans can be anti-choice all they want, but the only one who will change the law is the Supreme Court.

I don’t think it’s creepy at all. They should have just went inside and attended the meeting; it‘s a public place. The smart thing is for people opposing the recall to follow the people collecting signatures around so people can get both sides of the story. I can see by this secret campaign crap that they are putting out false info to get signatures.

kevins said...

On the one hand, you claim there is "zero proof" that something occurred; then you state, with absolutely no proof, that Day must have been feeding Fyke inside information. Where's your proof on that?

The so-called leaked information (which has never been proven) was Fyke's contention that four board members were working in secret to dump Gardella. If that information isn't true, then how could it have been leaked?

The facts point strongly to the fact that the Fab Four or the Gang of Four were working toward firing Gardella. Fyke's email exposed that weeks before it happened. Then it happened with exactly the votes she described. And yet you say there is zero proof they were working against him.

It was creepy that they were sitting out in the car checking out attendance at a legal meeting. If they weren't ashamed of what they were doing, why didn't they do what you suggested? Just go inside. The fact that they didn't indicates that they were trying to hide their presence...creepy guys, those two.

You will have to wait for a lot of Novembers to vote for or against any of those on the recall list. That's why they are having the recall now. It's a perfectly legal recall attempt. As I said, I doubt they will get the signatures. But if they do, they are well within their legal rights. It's your opinion that the recall shouldn't happen, but it's not an abuse of the law. It's what the recall law allows. Then the electorate can take a vote.

There are people who think this board is not capable of effectively running the school system. They think the rash firing in a special meeting called for other purposes was an abuse of power. They feel it is unwise to leave the school in the hands of such folks. They may or may not have a point. The public may or may not agree. But that's what recall elections are for.

It's the law. Grow up and live with it.

Communications guru said...

That is correct, brett. there is "zero proof" that something occurred; and it’s pretty clear that Day must have been feeding Fyke inside information. I never said it was certain, but here is the huge difference: I am not using that info to recall elected officials: you and the so-called "LOVE" group are.

I never said “board members were working in secret to dump Gardella.” What I said was that in a closed session discussing his performance, it would be relatively clear who was unhappy with that performance.

Yes, there was and is zero proof that “they were working against him.” By the way, brett, don’t you means the gang of three? The Fab Three?

No, It was not creepy that they were “sitting out in the car checking out attendance at a legal meeting” What they were doing was legal too. But, they just should have gone inside. Why didn’t they go inside? Perhaps they did not want a confrontation. What they need to do is find people to shadow the people collecting signatures so they get both sides of the story, and so they cannot get away with the lie that the Gang of Three – or four – “were working in secret to dump Gardella.” That is perfectly legal and an accepted practice.

“You will have to wait for a lot of Novembers to vote for or against any of those on the recall list.” That’s two things you have said in this thread that are true. That’s a record for you, brett. LOVE did not like he results in November, so they are tying to undo them with this abuse of the recall law.

I never said the recall attempt was not legal. The tactics may be illegal, but they have a legal right to mount the recall. But like I said, it’s an abuse of the law, and a way to circumvent the election process. It’s a power grab plain and simple. If that were not true then all four would be on the recall list instead of just three.

There may be e people who think this board is not capable of effectively running the school system, but other people think you are wrong. Some people also think there is one huge distraction on the board.

The people spoke in November. Grow up and live with it.

kevins said...

How can you say that you never said it was certain that Day was feeding Fyke information? Your exact quote: "Day must have been feeding Fyke inside info." You are so dense you don't even realize when you call yourself out as a liar. Are you going to pull a Bill Clinton here...he tried to split hairs on the definition of "is" and you are going to say that "must" and "certain" don't mean the same thing.

You said the recall group's tactics may be illegal. What tactics exactly have they used that are or may be illegal?

And you keep lying. You are so unsure of yourself that you have to lump everyone into the same large group and give them all the same sets of beliefs. So you lie and say that I am trying to recall them. I am not. I've already said I think the effort will fail. I've also said I agree with your position about how recalls should be used. I am not sure how I would vote on this recall, but I surely am not going to sign a petition, much less circulate one. So you lie again.

How can you say the board majority didn't conspire in secret to fire Gardella? How could you know that? Were you privy to their meetings? I will admit that it is impossible to prove a negative. But it's fair to ask them for an explanation. They fire him at a hastily called special meeting in which neither his employment status nor his evaluation were on the agenda. A citizen correctly predicted weeks earlier that the four were going to fire him. A board member (Parker) says that Literski called the board's legal firm just prior to the meeting and suggests the topic was termination of the super. Then they rake him over the coals over a union staffing complaint that turns out to be an unjustified complaint, per Lynn Parrish.

There may be good answers for this. But the Fab Four conspiracy has more going for it than your still baseless accusation that Day fed secret information to Fyke. What you try to ignore is that as much as you dislike Fyke, her information was correct.

If you don't like the fact that Routt isn't included in the recall process, then go ahead and start your own recall campaign.

Board member spouses are slinking around hotel parking lots; a board member (the president, no less) is emailing the past union president about the need to infiltrate the recall group. And you suggest they should follow petitioners around and harass those who might sign a petition. How typical.

Communications guru said...

All I can say is that you do not read well, brett. Yes, I never said it was certain that Day was feeding Fyke information. Like I said and you just confirmed, "Day must have been feeding Fyke inside info." Note the words “must have.” Does that state it as a certain fact? No. But I believe it’s true. You keep telling me how accurate Fyke was. How?

What is illegal is straying from the reasons for the recall, like pushing the lie that a secret meeting led to the firing of Gardellia. Now, suppose you tell me what’s illegal about sitting outside of a public place to see who goes inside?

Saying, “I think the effort will fail” does not mean you are not involved. Considering they have two weeks to accomplish it, that’s far from a bold prediction. That’s like saying I think Michael Phillips will win a gold medal in swimming.

How can you say the board majority conspired in secret to fire Gardella? How could you know that? Were you privy to their meetings?

The problems is that “citizen” is Vicky Fyke and a stooge or accomplish for Wendy Day. It would not take a genius to predict something like that based on the discussions held in closed session during Gardella’s evaluation. So a board member allegedly called the board's legal firm just prior to the meeting? What does that prove? The answer is nothing, and it’s irrelevant.

Your conspiracy theory is baseless. Of course Fyke’s info was correct; she was getting it directly from Day, based on the closed session. Once again, you mean the Fab Three, not the Fab Four.

You are missing the point, brett. None should be recalled for a vote someone disagrees with. That is what elections are for, but recalling only three when four did the same thing speaks volumes about the effort.

Yes, they should follow petitioners around to ensure they are not passing off the lie you are trying to pass off that there was a secret conspiracy or it was done in secret. Giving both sides of a story and keeping you honest is not harassment. How is standing in a public place illegal or “slinking?” What is illegal about a board member emailing a community member?

kevins said...

Where did I say any of those activities was illegal? You are such a tired, pathetic person. You can't win arguments even when you make up the other side's points.

And, yes, you didn't disappoint. After saying she "must have" done something, you are saying that's not the same as being certain, but then you say you know it to be true...or believe it to be true. Tell me, do even you understand what the heck you are saying?

Can you try to make a consistent point? You seem to be saying that there was no secret agreement among the Fab 4 to fire Gardella. But you say that Fyke's prediction to that point was not hard since she was fed that information from a closed board meeting. So are you now saying that the school board illegally made that decision at a closed meeting and waited until June 26 to spring it? And if that decision (the "information that Day leaked to Fyke") wasn't made at a closed meeting, then when was it made...who was involved? You twist yourself into a pretzel, but I doubt you are smart enough to see that.

And why did they call a meeting for one reason and then use that meeting to fire the superintendent? Twist it as you might, that's the reason for the recall.

How in the world do you support the contention that I'm involved in the recall? That's a lie. Your willingness to make up stuff like this is symbolic of the rest of the misstatements you regularly make.

It is relevant that the board president call the lawyers prior to a meeting in which the super is surprisingly fired. And you cherry pick. It's not just the call, it's the suggestion by another board member that the call had to do with terminating the superintendent.

Communications guru said...

I’m still waiting for you to tell me what is wrong with what happened in the hotel parking lot and emails between Norton and the board president. The answer is absolutely nothing, but you continue to duck that and still try to deflect it with the claim that you never said it was illegal. There is not a single thing wrong with it, so why bring it up?

Once again, brett, your style of debate is to stoop to name calling, especially when you are getting your ass kicked like now. Thank you, I appreciate being called a “tired, pathetic person” from the likes of someone like you, I have not made up anything.

Yes, saying she “must have" done something is not the same as saying you are being certain. The history of Fyke and Day is why I believe it. You can choose to discount it as you are doing. But, I am still waiting for your explanation of why Fyke was correct. It can’t be for her excellent intellect.

I am making a consistent point, but you keep trying, unsuccessfully, to cloud it. That is correct, brett, there was no secret agreement among the Fab 3 (4) to fire Gardella. Like I have said about 20 times now, during the closed meetings to discuss Gardell’a evaluation, Day probably passed what was said at the meeting to Fyke. I’m sure board members were frank in their displeasure with Gardella at that meeting. That was the best place to do it, and it is perfectly legal. If I was at the meeting it would not be hard to figure out who would cast a vote to fire him or were not happy with him.

They called the meeting to discuss Day’s allegation against school board members, and a legal motion was made. The reason for the recall is to circumvent the election process.

“How in the world do you support the contention that I'm involved in the recall?” Easy: your support and rationalization of their actions.

It is irrelevant that the board president allegedly “called the lawyers prior to a meeting in which the super is surprisingly fired.” He has every right to do so, and it is not illegal, immoral or a conspiracy.

kevins said...

Look. I've quit bringing up stories about the inaccurate claims involving you and child molesting. So can't you at least try to hold a civil, reasonable debate?

You state things as "facts" and then defend them by saying "probably" and "I believe," etc.

You have absolutely no proof that Day provided any information from a closed meeting to Fyke. There is ample proof that in a public meeting Routt revealed information from a closed session. Yet you state the Day claim as though it were fact and ignore the Routt story, which is true.

You make a false claim that I said something was illegal. When I correct you on it, you say so what? Why did I even bring it up, you ask. Why? Because it was creepy. And what I brought up..the parking lot surveillance..was true. Your claim about Day is your wild speculation.

And you again ignore parts of the argument that make my statements relevant. It's not just that Literski called the attorney (which is suspicious), it's that a school board member said it was about termination. It's not illegal...I never said it was. But if true, it shows that board members planned to fire Gardella before the special meeting was called to order, which, if true, means some of them haven't been truthful. That's pretty simple...you can understand it.

Communications guru said...

You are simply not capable of civil, reasonable debate, and you just proved it again. You should just stick to name-called because that’s all you got anyway, brett.

You also have absolutely no proof that there was a secret meeting or a conspiracy to fire Gardella, but that’s not stopping you guys from using that lie to collect signatures. I’m still waiting for you explain how Fyke was correct about the vote if she wasn’t getting inside info.

There is absolutely nothing creepy about fighting against an illegitimate recall attempt, nor is there anything creepy about sitting in a public place to gage what you are up against. In fact, it's smart.

It’s completely irreverent whether Literski called the attorney or not. There is absolutely nothing wrong about knowing what your options are. In fact, it’s responsible to do so.