Archive for February, 2007

Shopping Time for Perry Township

This letter was received from a Perry parent and citizen and published with his full permission.

Open up your wallets, Perry Township. School board president Susan Adams wants to go shopping again.

This time, as she browses for something sustainable against suspended superintendent Dr. H. Douglas Williams, she needs $250 an hour for a “prosecuting” attorney from Lafayette, and that guy wants an additional $175\hr for his assistant. They were recommended by the attorney hired to investigate Dr. Williams months ago who has charged the township $8,500 so far and produced nothing.

The measure passed 4-3 Feb. 26 with the usual people voting the usual way.

These expenditures are on top of the tens of thousands of dollars paid to Williams to stay home, not to mention the healthy bump in pay for Dennis Nichols to be the interim superintendent.

The real question is this: what will happen if nothing sustainable is found against Williams? Has Adams thought that far ahead?

Pull your children back, Perry Parent, Adams and board vice president Nancy Walsh are passing by. They’re in charge, baby, and everything comes through them, even detailed construction decisions.

At the Feb. 26 meeting, Walsh had trouble formulating intelligible questions about badly needed classroom expansion, but that’s not important. She has the power, and Adams will help translate Walsh if necessary, and between the two of them, they will badger and insult experienced administrators without even the hint of self-awareness.

Good leaders are wise people. Wise people know when to be quiet. They listen. They know how to take advice from those with more experience. They show respect.

Adams openly challenged Associate Superintendent Bill Brown’s expertise on the construction matter. Brown, the poor man, is retiring. Board member Steve Maple thanked Brown for his “exemplary” service and noted that his departure was partly due to “despicable maligning” by some board members.

The Adams\Walsh regime has now eliminated two solid administrators. If you’re keeping track at home, the score now stands at Adams\Walsh 2, Perry Township 0.

It is painful to watch Adams and Walsh. A person cannot appreciate the level of their incompetence unless he or she sees it for themselves. All Perry Township taxpayers should attend at least one meeting. It is easy to overlook school board activities. Frankly, they seem rather unimportant, that things will work out well enough, but board members have great capacity for good or harm, and they have absolute power over the spending of tax dollars related to school activities. One visit to a school board meeting should suffice.

Brown’s position must now be advertised and filled. What kind of candidate will step forward to work for the likes of Adams and Walsh? I wouldn’t.

They wander the aisles of power and ego to satisfy whatever drives them. It’s certainly not the welfare of Perry students. I’m sure they delude themselves otherwise, but I think they care about power, and they care about keeping out Williams. All else gets subordinated to those two motivations. The voice of teachers and parents, the editorial boards of local newspapers, mean nothing. Adams and Walsh are as deaf as stone.

Whether it’s Adams talking about the new, great “prosecuting” attorney (not even sure we could secure such a star) or Walsh bubbling along in her final comments after embarrassing herself again during the meeting, we are presented over and over with the fact that Perry Township schools are in the grip of two people who are frighteningly blind to their own faults and to the reality around them.

Jim Bowie

02/26/07 Speaker Comments - Teri Margason

The following comments were shared by Teri Margason at Monday night’s school board meeting:

To four members of the Perry Township School Board:

You are absolutely wrong to have approved this evening the hiring of two additional attorneys to finally start an investigation in order to determine if your action to place Dr. Williams on paid administrative leave almost 4 months ago has any basis in fact. Outrageous!

You are absolutely wrong to be spending so much money on your own personal agenda to get rid of Dr. Williams. That money belongs to MSDPT for kids, teachers and programs, not to you for your witch-hunt that now overshadows everything else.

You are absolutely wrong to be shutting the other three board members out of decision making giving the explanation that you were elected and your are just doing your job. The rest of the board was elected as well, and you are silencing the constituents’ voices they represent.

You are absolutely wrong because not only are you attempting to dismiss Dr. Williams, but you are also targeting other administrators, as was stated in a public meeting by your President, and as is evident by your Vice President’s attack on our business manager, Bill Brown. As you know, as a result of the continued insults and allegations by the board majority, this fine man has now submitted notice of his retirement.

You are absolutely wrong to think that if you cause this township to lose Dr. Williams, those of us who oppose you will go away. This is not all about Dr. Williams. This is about you and your behavior.

Finally, you are absolutely wrong to have dragged the good name of Perry Township through the mud. You are also subjecting your own husbands and children to enormous stress and pressure, and speaking as a mom and a wife, you are wrong for doing that as well.

As this battle began last November, I said that you picked the wrong battle and you picked the wrong township. The citizens who stand united against you have proven me right, and I am proud to be associated with them. Those of us who support Take Back Perry Schools will not sit idly by while you continue to damage Perry Township. Therefore, you can depend upon this as the absolute truth; we will not go away until you do!

02/26/07 Speaker Comments - Tim Nance, Teacher

The following comments were shared by Tim Nance at the School Board Meeting on Monday, February 26th:

It is no secret (I have spoken now at four board meetings), that I am an active member of Take Back Perry Schools. Well, yesterday afternoon my family and I delivered about 35 TBPS yard signs to houses throughout the township. The people I met seemed to me to be good people, families of Perry Township with parents who are very concerned by what has been going on with their school board, and upset about what has happened over the last several months. These people have been called a mob, called those “orange people” who like to disrupt, called disgruntled political pawns who blindly follow Dr. Williams or who are acting out of anger over past school board elections.

The dozens of people in TBPS that I have met over the last few months are not these things. We are parents, grandparents, teachers, and concerned township residents who are asking for our elected representatives to actually listen to us and do what is in the best interest of our school district. We are simply exercising our constitutional rights.

We have two goals:

  1. For our SI, Dr. Williams to be reinstated
  2. For our school board members to be held accountable for their actions

These goals have never changed and board meeting after board meeting what we see from four of our board members just strengthens our resolve. Obviously, we were disappointed at the last board meeting when a sensible resolution that provided compromise and offered hope for healing was voted down while the decision to hire more attorneys to start an investigation we were told had begun months ago was approved. But, as I delivered those signs yesterday, I was encouraged to see that every single neighborhood we went into (100% of them) had people with our orange signs in their yard. Both the Perry and the Southport side, we are a township united around those two previously mentioned goals. Which now, by the way, independent objective news sources (The Indianapolis Star and The Southside Times) after following the Perry circus the last four months and doing their research have taken a stand. Guess what? They agree with us. They both strongly recommended that Dr. Williams be immediately reinstated and they both found concerns about members of this school board overstepping and not knowing their proper role. Most importantly, they encouraged this board to unite behind what the majority of Perry constituents want and start putting our students first. My question is simple: Will any of the four of you listen? Or is this one of those cases where “Everybody else is wrong and you’re right“ ? When children get caught up in that game, as adults we reason with them and usually the child has an epiphany, and realizes that he or she was being selfish and not seeing the big picture. Well, we here in Perry Township find ourselves waiting for one of you four to have that epiphany.

T. Nance

02/26/07 Speaker Comments - Nancy Speedy

The following comments are from Nancy Speedy, who spoke at Monday night’s board meeting:

I am appalled that this board, who has already hired Jon Bailey as a “special attorney,” now has hired yet another attorney at $250 hr, who will then hire his own associate at $175 hr. WOW, if for any reason these three attorneys have a fifteen minute conference call, does that mean the citizens of Perry Township will be charged $630 for that call? With all our other financial burdens right now, this certainly does not model fiduciary responsibility on your part.

You know, at several board meetings, I’ve heard the term BREECH OF CONFIDENCE used repeatedly. Well, speaking as a private citizen, I feel this board has BREECHED OUR CONFIDENCE by:

  • Incurring huge costs for Jon Bailey’s services.
  • Spending $1,000 for mediation which could have been free.
  • Spending over $4,000 this month for speakers in the gym.
  • Paying for extra security personnel.
  • Losing a $25 million dollar grant for New Tech High.
  • Editorializing a Finance Report as fact.
  • Exposing personnel information to the general public and the media?
  • Continually withholding information from other board members.
  • Publicly embarrassing and belittling teachers, administrators, and central office personnel. (Shame, shame)
  • Offensively threatening citizens by calling us “You People” or “The Orange People” when in fact, it is our first amendment right to speak at a public board meeting.

In conclusion, if what you are doing is not a “breech of confidence,” to the citizenry of Perry Township, then I don’t know what that term means. I find it ludicrous and hypocritical that many of the reasons used to place Dr. Williams on leave have been actively and repeatedly employed by this board on a regular basis.

As the recent newspaper editorials have said, enough is enough, let’s stop this “witch hunt” right now!! I certainly don’t want other school districts laughingly referring to us as the “Salem Township.”

Recap of Tonight’s Board Meeting

I was unable to attend tonight’s board meeting but a friend provide this recap and has allowed me to share it with everyone.

MSDPT Board Meeting (2/26/07)

Adams, Walsh, Thompson, and Alexander voted to hire Atty. Reiling at $250/hr and his associate at $175.00/hr. to BEGIN an investigation into Dr. Williams.

The three other board members voted no to more atty.s and more wasted money. Houchin, Buffie, and Maple stated that they are still clueless as to even what the nature of this investigation is. Three and a half months later and nothing thus far has been produced. - (I say they get Columbo)

There has been an hourly accounting now from Atty. Bailey. Looks like he has 40 -42/hrs. in this so far. We can anticipate a least an $8500 bill for Bailey’s time alone up to this point.

Here’s another sobering thought: Three hours travel time back and forth from the new atty.’s office (Lafayette) to PTEC, five hours working, the total for an 8 hour day for the two attys. will cost us $3600.
Any discussion time with Bailey, that includes the three, will cost us an additional $205/hr.

Can anyone think of better use of our tax dollars? Maybe something aimed at helping our students?

I think it is time for all Perry residents and employees to get involved.

Please don’t take the “There’s nothing I can do” approach. These four board members are banking on that and they will continue to keep us in a downward spiral.

Please reconsider if you have thought “I don’t want to get involved. It’s too political.” This is about way more than Doug Williams. This is about four people misusing their power. Most importantly, this about the future of our schools and our students. I am not exaggerating. Ask anyone who has attended a board meeting.

Please consider coming to future board meetings and make your presence known. You don’t have to speak for them to get your message. Thunderous applause every time someone speaks out against the destructive actions of the four board members is very effective.

Please consider emailing the four from your HOME computer and tell them that you do not approve of their frivolous spending and their disregard for their constituents and Perry employees.

Here are their e-mail addresses:

Susan Adams - sadams@msdpt.k12.in.us
Nancy Walsh - nwalsh@msdpt.k12.in.us
Barbara Thompson - bjthompson@msdpt.k12.in.us
Rubie Alexander - ralex4806@aol.com


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