Millcreek board should have released ...

Millcreek board should have released names

There are 18 comments on the GoErie.com story from Oct 22, 2008, titled Millcreek board should have released names. In it, GoErie.com reports that:

Who will be the next leader of the Millcreek Township School District? The Millcreek School Board will make that decision soon, possibly at its regular meeting on Monday, from three finalists for the job.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at GoErie.com.

Darma

Erie, PA

#1 Oct 22, 2008
The Editorial Board finds the transgression of the Millcreek School Board of not announcing Superintendent candidates IN ADVANCE to be bad enough to devote 2/3 of an editorial column to? Considering what an abject disaster this current Millcreek Board has been (and continues to be) in any number of areas that should interest the Editorial Board (repeated and continued violations of the Sunshine Law, official intimidation of employees, hiring of relatives/friends, unseemly, conflicting relationships, huge, unexplained legal fees, etc.), I would think they could find some issue of more import then this to express their outrage about.
Past board member

AOL

#2 Oct 22, 2008
Why do the s/b always leave the public out? why the
secrecy? I think the public should be involved in the interviewing process. To gain the trust back to the taxpayer open the doors to Millcreek School's
secret meetings,Have higher standards for the boards actions,for now they are POOR ROLL MODELS.
Mary

Edinboro, PA

#3 Oct 22, 2008
If the PSBA and the Millcreek School Board feel that they have to keep all of this secret, there is something seriously wrong with school boards.
This is something that needs to be tackled by legislators. Board members like Cobert have no idea what his job is and when he can threaten employee's jobs without cause and do all the other things that he has done, it is time for a new system.

Go back to six year terms then boards can't change hands so quickly. How about some standards for running? Too many people run for these boards for personal vendettas or to get some type of payback. This is very wrong. Jane Earll and other legislators really need to look at this system which is very broken.
Mr Kotter

AOL

#4 Oct 22, 2008
Past board member wrote:
Why do the s/b always leave the public out? why the secrecy? I think the public should be involved in the interviewing process. To gain the trust back to the taxpayer open the doors to Millcreek School's
secret meetings,Have higher standards for the boards actions,for now they are POOR ROLL MODELS.
In this case I am not sure the Board left out the public. I think the public did that to themselves here. In the three very public meetings there were a total of perhaps 40 or 50 people present.

There are about 7,500 students in Millcreek schools. If one parent from ten percent of those students attended, the auditorium at JS Wilson would have been nearly full. It clearly was not.

During the budget discussions last spring, all very public meetings as well, there were perhaps two or three members of the public in attendance.

I would suggest that members of the public who do not take advantage of the many, many opportunites they do have to have input and an impact in some sense give up their right to complain about the results.
Bull

Erie, PA

#5 Oct 22, 2008
Mr Kotter wrote:
<quoted text>
In this case I am not sure the Board left out the public. I think the public did that to themselves here. In the three very public meetings there were a total of perhaps 40 or 50 people present.
There are about 7,500 students in Millcreek schools. If one parent from ten percent of those students attended, the auditorium at JS Wilson would have been nearly full. It clearly was not.
During the budget discussions last spring, all very public meetings as well, there were perhaps two or three members of the public in attendance.
I would suggest that members of the public who do not take advantage of the many, many opportunites they do have to have input and an impact in some sense give up their right to complain about the results.
The meeting for the first guy was not announced until the last minute. By not telling us anything about the men, we did not feel welcome or a part of the process. I frankly said "screw it" these people have their minds made up anyway. ANytime you do something in secret, people will rebel, but people should always have a say. We pay taxes which gives us that right. Who wants to go to meetings when you are yelled at by people like Cobert and the board already have their mind made up? Plus you go to school board meetings and have to sit in the audience for sometimes over an hour while they meet in secret.
Ann

Erie, PA

#6 Oct 23, 2008
I hope that the school board goes to the school districts of these candidates to interview people. That is a very good way to find out about them. I hope that the board hires someone who can make the tough decisions. Someone who will not be intimidated by board members and Anderson and is a fast enough learner that he (since there are no women) will stand up for what he believes in despite what board members may want for thier family and personal friends. The school board should not be threatening administrators jobs or asking them to attend custody hearings. Administrators should not be doing personal legal business on school time. That is just so very wrong and a total abuse of power.

With regard to Mr. Kotter, if the board wants people to be involved in the process, they need to make it more inviting for them to do so. People have to believe that the board really cares about their opinion. They do not. Apathy occurs when people feel defeated from the outset. Judy Wheaton is the only board member who seems to solicit our opinions and she is only one of nine.
Vinnie Barbarino

Erie, PA

#7 Oct 23, 2008
Mr Kotter the curmudgeon finds yet another way to try to support this board and their fool at the wheel - I strongly refute his claims!
Mr Kotter

AOL

#8 Oct 23, 2008
Vinnie Barbarino wrote:
Mr Kotter the curmudgeon finds yet another way to try to support this board and their fool at the wheel - I strongly refute his claims!
And just how do you refute my claims? Those are actual, factual numbers. No more than 50 members of the public combined attended the three meetings.

And I was in attendance at a budget meeting last spring where the only members of the public in attendance were Messers Millhouse and Starr. More often than not no members of the public attend. The Board personnel, finance and operations committees met this week, 0 members of the public present.

Now as to the "fool at the wheel", that is something we can agree on.
Mr or Mrs Kotter

AOL

#9 Oct 23, 2008
Ann wrote:
I hope that the school board goes to the school districts of these candidates to interview people. That is a very good way to find out about them. I hope that the board hires someone who can make the tough decisions. Someone who will not be intimidated by board members and Anderson and is a fast enough learner that he (since there are no women) will stand up for what he believes in despite what board members may want for thier family and personal friends. The school board should not be threatening administrators jobs or asking them to attend custody hearings. Administrators should not be doing personal legal business on school time. That is just so very wrong and a total abuse of power.
With regard to Mr. Kotter, if the board wants people to be involved in the process, they need to make it more inviting for them to do so. People have to believe that the board really cares about their opinion. They do not. Apathy occurs when people feel defeated from the outset. Judy Wheaton is the only board member who seems to solicit our opinions and she is only one of nine.
Where to start here? So many ways to go.
The Board has done an exhaustive search. Many references have been checked. Many phone calls have been made. I will admit no trips have been made directly to the current school districts of the three finalists. We would have to limit who could go and that could hurt someone's feelings. I personally have a foot high stack of documentation about the candidates.
Who would you be speaking of when you allege a Board member may have threatened an administrator? I am just curious.
You are correct. Personal legal business should NOT be conducted on District time. That issue shall soon be resolved.
Apathy is a curious thing. The public only seems to be involved when an issue hits them personally. If we were voting to eliminate some sports or music programs (which I would clearly never favor), the sports and music boosters would turn out for a meeting or two but no more. If we were discussing closing a particular school (which we are NOT) then those parents would turn out. For a meeting or two but no more.
Everywhere I go I am asked by members of the community about Board issues. I always take the time to respond and ask their opinions. I also make my standing offer to go anywhere and speak to anyone about Board issues.
I do care a lot about what goes on in this District. And what people think about this District. If I did not, I would not be doing what I am doing. This is not and has never been about me or my ego.
You are right. I am only one of nine. No I am not the good doctor Cobert. I may be Mrs Wheaton. But then again I may not be.
Not Dr Cobert

AOL

#10 Oct 23, 2008
I was just curious. Did anyone know the names of the individuals being considered for the position of assistant superintendent for the Erie School District? Someone was picked at last night's meeting. Just curious.
Joe

Erie, PA

#11 Oct 23, 2008
The problem with reference checks only is that you only hear from the people that the candidate wants you to hear from. When you are paying a superintendent that kind of money and you want someone who can really lead this district, you should send a team. Hurt feelings? What are you in high school? It is more important not to hurt feelings than to do the job? Wow. Think of all the employees and kids that can be hurt by choosing a loser.
Fred

Erie, PA

#12 Oct 23, 2008
Mr or Mrs Kotter wrote:
<quoted text>
Where to start here? So many ways to go.
The Board has done an exhaustive search. Many references have been checked. Many phone calls have been made. I will admit no trips have been made directly to the current school districts of the three finalists. We would have to limit who could go and that could hurt someone's feelings. I personally have a foot high stack of documentation about the candidates.
Who would you be speaking of when you allege a Board member may have threatened an administrator? I am just curious.
You are correct. Personal legal business should NOT be conducted on District time. That issue shall soon be resolved.
Apathy is a curious thing. The public only seems to be involved when an issue hits them personally. If we were voting to eliminate some sports or music programs (which I would clearly never favor), the sports and music boosters would turn out for a meeting or two but no more. If we were discussing closing a particular school (which we are NOT) then those parents would turn out. For a meeting or two but no more.
Everywhere I go I am asked by members of the community about Board issues. I always take the time to respond and ask their opinions. I also make my standing offer to go anywhere and speak to anyone about Board issues.
I do care a lot about what goes on in this District. And what people think about this District. If I did not, I would not be doing what I am doing. This is not and has never been about me or my ego.
You are right. I am only one of nine. No I am not the good doctor Cobert. I may be Mrs Wheaton. But then again I may not be.
Whine whine whine. If you don't like the job, quit.
Mr Kotter

Erie, PA

#13 Oct 23, 2008
Joe wrote:
The problem with reference checks only is that you only hear from the people that the candidate wants you to hear from. When you are paying a superintendent that kind of money and you want someone who can really lead this district, you should send a team. Hurt feelings? What are you in high school? It is more important not to hurt feelings than to do the job? Wow. Think of all the employees and kids that can be hurt by choosing a loser.
You are of course correct regarding the reference checks. Many sources have been contacted. Not just the references provided by the candidates.
Regarding the hurt feelings, I was simply refering to the last time someone from the District didn't get to go on a field trip. They claimed it was retaliation and filed a lawsuit.
Erie teacher Mlk parent

Erie, PA

#14 Oct 23, 2008
Not Dr Cobert wrote:
I was just curious. Did anyone know the names of the individuals being considered for the position of assistant superintendent for the Erie School District? Someone was picked at last night's meeting. Just curious.
That's the person the Millcreek board should hire. Jay Badams They should give him whatever he wants. He is a sure winner.
Mary

Edinboro, PA

#15 Oct 24, 2008
Mr Kotter wrote:
<quoted text>
And just how do you refute my claims? Those are actual, factual numbers. No more than 50 members of the public combined attended the three meetings.
And I was in attendance at a budget meeting last spring where the only members of the public in attendance were Messers Millhouse and Starr. More often than not no members of the public attend. The Board personnel, finance and operations committees met this week, 0 members of the public present.
Now as to the "fool at the wheel", that is something we can agree on.
Here is the thing. You approved a committee system that only allows for three board members. there have been several committees this year where there has not been a single person from the committee there even after Cobert whined that this is the way he wanted it to be. The rest of the board allowed him to have his way.

If I know that people's jobs have been threatened, you should too. It is your job to know what goes on in the district. You should expose the members of the board who behave in that manner.

If I know that subpeonas were handed out during school hours, you should too. So what are you doing about that? Let it go for fear of a law suit? Your job is to protect your employees from harm and discrimination. So why aren't you doing that?

A teacher did the right thing and reported an incident and what does this board do? have their own private investigation which allowed that person to be denied for a period of time the department chairmanship, which in a public meeting Cobert even stated that he would not give her that position because of that incident. What did the board do about that? You should have asked for his resignation immediately and frankly, that investigation should have never taken place. What a waste of taxpayer money!

At dances and private meetings, administrators jobs have been threatened. If you do nothing, you are allowing that kind of behavior to continue. Why do you allow the most significant employees to be constantly abused?

You want to know why people won't talk to you about these issues? It is because they are afraid to. What a terrible atmosphere that is to work in. Don't tell me that you can do nothing. You can and you should. And that my friend is why you are experiencing apathy.
Vinnie Barbarino

Erie, PA

#16 Oct 24, 2008
Alright Mary! Those in power intimidate even the lowly taxpayer. I want to know how much our legal fees have been this year and last year? Knox Mclaughlin takes in a gross amount of cashola and then plays lawyerspeak when we want answers to basic questions. Get rid of them to start - isn't it a bidding process to retian legal counsel? I hear Cobert has terrible breath and BO.
Einhorn is Finkel

Erie, PA

#17 Oct 24, 2008
can't we all just get along?
DennisS

Erie, PA

#19 Oct 27, 2008
Mary wrote:
<quoted text>
Here is the thing. You approved a committee system that only allows for three board members. there have been several committees this year where there has not been a single person from the committee there even after Cobert whined that this is the way he wanted it to be. The rest of the board allowed him to have his way.
If I know that people's jobs have been threatened, you should too. It is your job to know what goes on in the district. You should expose the members of the board who behave in that manner.
If I know that subpeonas were handed out during school hours, you should too. So what are you doing about that? Let it go for fear of a law suit? Your job is to protect your employees from harm and discrimination. So why aren't you doing that?
A teacher did the right thing and reported an incident and what does this board do? have their own private investigation which allowed that person to be denied for a period of time the department chairmanship, which in a public meeting Cobert even stated that he would not give her that position because of that incident. What did the board do about that? You should have asked for his resignation immediately and frankly, that investigation should have never taken place. What a waste of taxpayer money!
At dances and private meetings, administrators jobs have been threatened. If you do nothing, you are allowing that kind of behavior to continue. Why do you allow the most significant employees to be constantly abused?
You want to know why people won't talk to you about these issues? It is because they are afraid to. What a terrible atmosphere that is to work in. Don't tell me that you can do nothing. You can and you should. And that my friend is why you are experiencing apathy.
With school board elections due next year (primaries in May '09) the "brooming" can begin. If ANY current Board member thinks they are safe (with the possible exception of Ms. Wheaton) they are WRONG. The current Board majority is well-identified (Cobert, Palermo, Kramer, Rastetter and Wilga)and will be completely eliminated by the voters within four years. But the other, minority members, are not untouchable either. They have consistantly (again, with the exception of Ms. Wheaton) kept a low profile not wanting to 'rock the boat'. While they should be exposing the corrupt majority members and challenging Cobert at every step, they have elected to "get along'...to the detriment of the District and it's employees. They have not covered themselves in glory for the past two years.

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