|Political buddies were spotted rubbing elbows and exchanging pleasantries|
|A presentation by the cast of Rent|
Some notable questions that came from what some would call the "detractors" Larkins and Martinez:
- Trustee Larkins remarked that he was told last year by President McKenna that he could not be the Chairman of a Committee because he was a first-year board member. When he asked this evening why newly elected first-year board members were made Chairmen he was told that it was "the President's prerogative." Who is playing politics and not being transparent?
- Trustee Martinez questioned the wording of a number of agenda items and questioned the selection process for the insurance carrier, and pointed out the involvement of Former Mayor Jack Zisa as the Risk Manager. Gee, that Zisa name pops up everywhere, those guys have their fingers in everything. Salkin (Board Attorney) was quick to reply that when hiring, it does not matter whose name may be associated or what their independent profession may be.
- Trustee Martinez also questioned the selection and hiring process for hiring the attorneys, and other professional firms. She noted that interviews were not conducted or resumes reviewed. Salkin quipped that all of these firms were previously hired and "you are just extending a continuation of their contracts." Well, just because it is what was always done, it doesn't mean that it should not be reviewed, and changed from time to time.
On the hiring of those four law firms Richard Salkin was hired at an hourly rate of $150, for an amount to not exceed $95,000. I addressed the board and asked how that amount compared to previous years as Mr. Salkin's 1099's for the last two years exceeded the $95,000. I remarked that I understand the 1099's are issued on a calendar year, not a fiscal year, but for Salkin to have had a high 2011, he would have to have a lower 2012 to stay under the fiscal year cap. Salkin remarked that he 'went over' in only one of his years as Board Attorney, but then when I asked why I could not find the caps for the last three years (when reviewing minutes) and none of the board knew the cap he quipped that this was a new procedure that was brought by Mr. Kramer the School Administrator. I am lost, so did he go over once in his years or was there never a cap until now?
I don't know about you but when reviewing a $97 million budget and setting policies that will have an effect on the future of our some 5,500 students, I would like to see Board Trustees submitting questions and showing a genuine interest and desire to understand every agenda item on which they vote--not just smiling, voting, and remarking how good the sports and extra curricular activities are. Remember, in the words of John Major "A consensus politician is someone who does something that he doesn't believe is right because it keeps people quiet when he does it."