An interesting little thing that happened at Monday’s meeting

Something strange happened at Monday’s Board meeting. And it piggy-backs on something that happened a while ago. You see, back in February, 2013 the Board met in closed door “executive” session to discuss a never previously discussed ‘legal matter’ – at least that’s what the agenda stated.  We all wondered what legal matters they were once again discussing, but since it was a closed session, we were not allowed to know. However, soon after, a request was made and approved for a $150,000 contract with McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP for “Installation of Governance Evaluation & Accountability Systems”, which apparently went over budget by 100%, for a total of approximately $300,000 spent. [Click here to view this agenda item.]

Now, Monday, October 7, a request was made and approved for $600,000 for the “Extension of Contract with McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP for Installation of Governance Evaluation & Accountability Systems”. [Click here to view this agenda item.] There was much discussion, during which as you can see in the video clip below, Michael Thurmond exclaimed in exasperation, “This is not for legal services!” [Time: 23:10]

So, now what? Thurmond has basically just admitted that he and the board conducted business behind closed doors. In addition, the board asked him to bring back more details and yet surprisingly somehow in the end, at the business meeting, after much arguing at the work session, Thurmond was granted full permission to negotiate another contract with MLA for an additional $600,000 over and above the $300,000 already spent.

+++

Watch Thurmond accuse the board of micromanaging and insulting him at 49:20.
View the final decision at 51:56.

View the entire meeting and read detailed notes at Stan Jester’s FACT CHECKER by clicking here.

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41 Responses to An interesting little thing that happened at Monday’s meeting

  1. bettyandveronica1 says:

    3/4 of a million dollars FOR WHAT??????? Governance over their own employees, how a bus driver interacts with a parent? Sounds like he is trying to say it is for a customer service initiative, for my lack of eduspeak, that has qualitative and tangible results that no one in the system can create and execute. I understood him to say, As a community, DCSD Board, bus drivers, teachers, admin don’t seem to understand they work for the people as well as for each other towards one goal and he is attempting to educate the staff on this theory?
    His contract didn’t communicate what he wanted the consultants to do for him. Thank goodness someone said..wait one minute here.
    On Joyce Morley? Ugh. Loud talker, way too combative. Likes to TALK.
    Interesting about details on Perrone and Thurmond’s disagreement and our sudden appearance of millions and millions!

  2. You Are Superman says:

    I see the players are different but the game is the same still “stealing from the babies.”

  3. howdy1942 says:

    Lawyers – $600,000 here, $150,000 there and on and on. When in the world are we going to do something for our students and our teachers? Does anyone really think that whatever this bunch of lawyers delivers is ever going to be read and followed? This is like that $300,000 for that new “strategic plan” after we just had one done two years ago – more taxpayer money diverted from our teachers and students to pay lawyers and administrators to do something that few in the administration intend to follow or really implement. Well, maybe SACS will like to see it when they come back in two months. But let them come back six months later and ask who had read it and what they had done with it. You know, I wish SACS would just show up. That’s how it happens in business. You come to work one day and there are some people there that you don’t know and, when asked, they let you know that they have come to review your groups operations, to ride with your sales people, ti sit in on your meetings, to check your performance reviews for timeliness and content, to review your objectives and determine if they are measurable and what your progress in accomplishing them has been, to interview your subordinates and to assess morale, and they tell you that they will give you feedback in six weeks. And when they come back, they’ll tell you what you did right, what you did wrong, and what you need to do to improve the situation. That would be interesting!

  4. thedeal2 says:

    I can’t believe this board voted unanimously to extend his contract. It is 100% on them.

  5. Personally, I didn’t understand Thurmond’s ‘explanation’ of governance. So I went to Wikipedia —

    Governance is the act of governing. It relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. It consists of either a separate process or part of decision-making or leadership processes. In modern nation-states, these processes and systems are typically administered by a government.

    When discussing governance in particular organisations, the quality of governance within the organisation is often compared to a standard of good governance.
    In the case of a business or of a non-profit organization, governance relates to consistent management, cohesive policies, guidance, processes and decision-rights for a given area of responsibility. For example, managing at a corporate level might involve evolving policies on privacy, on internal investment, and on the use of data.

    To distinguish the term governance from government: “governance” is what a “governing body” does. It might be a geo-political entity (nation-state), a corporate entity (business entity), a socio-political entity (chiefdom, tribe, family, etc.), or any number of different kinds of governing bodies, but governance is the way rules are set and implemented.

  6. As far as we can tell, MLA did yet another ‘listening’ tour, and interviewed people – mostly administrators. They all said ‘fire Kendra March and all will be well’. And so it was.

  7. H.A. Hurley says:

    OMG!
    This meeting tells us soooooo much…appears most don’t read the info prior to meeting, Thurmond reads w/o comprehension and then defers to the attorney(is there an attorney in the house?) he woke up to defer…defer…defer…>. Packets had sections missing! BlahBlahBlah!
    Watching paint dry forever! Brain dead people making M$$$ decisions. Where is the Gray Matter in DCS? Instead of attorneys, maybe they should hire a Smart Superintendent who knows his Stuff! Too late…kept the one with no skills, no knowledge and borderline……fill in the blank.
    P.A.T.H.E.T.I.C.

  8. Sarah says:

    Aall I gather from this is that they hired a legal firm to do the jobs they should all be doing. If they can’t do their jobs and require this kind of assistance, then they need to go. This is beyond ridiculous. I easily see where the problems in Tucker High stem from now. When you have leadership this poor, there can’t help but be a trickle down effect. I can’t decide if I want to jump in this with both feet or turn tail and move to a different district. I am so disgusted.

  9. @Sarah: Exactly. All of these highly compensated people are so clueless that they have to hire consultants to do their job! This is just another round of the samo samo — Tyson spent gobs on consultants – then Atkinson – now Thurmond. Funnily enough, I don’t recall Dr. Lewis spending much on consultants to make up plans and goals…

    +++

    Thurmond actually said at the MLA contract extension meeting that if “children are failing in schools, it’s due to the fact that the people in positions of authority have failed to do their job.”

    Now, that’s interesting. Because he says that, yet he has fired no one and set up no accountability for anything. So, if these people failed, it doesn’t matter, they still keep their jobs and their paychecks. So what does it matter what he says? Actions speak louder than words, and I for one, am very tired of hearing his steady stream of words, with no action behind them. He says these things to make people think he’s ‘fixing’ things, but he will not hold anyone accountable in reality.

  10. Here’s an over-simplification of this meeting:

    Thurmond asks the board to pay $600,000 (on top of the $150,000 they already paid) to a law firm (associated with his friend Thurburt Baker) to figure out how to create and implement ‘good governance’ systemwide.

    Marshall Orson and Thad Mayfield say whoa, wait. This contract is very vague and has no deliverables. We need to know more before approving this amount.

    Thurmond has a small tantrum, says they are micro-managing and insulting him.

    The board simply requests that he go back and write up a more detailed proposal for spending so much money on what essentially should be his job.

    Thurmond abruptly stands up and leaves the room.

    Hours later, the board approves some convoluted newly written agreement allowing Thurmond to negotiate an extension of the contract (even mentioning SACS as a driver) allowing him to spend up to $50,000 a month through June, 2013.

    A) How nice to simply be able to hire a law firm to do a major portion of your job (all leaders worth their salt should know how to set and implement governance).
    B) It still pays to have a temper tantrum in DeKalb.

  11. Stan Jester says:

    Financial Report FY2014
    The original MLA contract was for $150K and a $20K retainer. $170K shows up in the FY’13 closed out financial report in “Legal Services” for McKenna Long & Aldridge. On Monday, the board said MLA was 100% over budget.

    1: Where is that extra $170K in the financial reports?
    2: That extra $170K was never approved.

  12. teacher32 says:

    Not only did Thurmond get an extension of his contract, but we must now address him as Superintendent, not Interim Superintendent. He received a standing ovation…and an unspeakable monthly allowance to help him with “governance”. Meanwhile, as a DeKalb County teacher of 32+ years, I may just have to apply for free lunch! And my students will have to endure sharing one working (but frustratingly slow) computer in our classroom and old, out-of-date textbooks!

  13. dekalbmom says:

    I took the time to watch this entire video and was floored and now agree that we are exactly where we were before with the last several administrations. Some of the faces have changed but none of the attitudes or practices. Thurmond completely revealed himself on camera. He essentially told the Board that it was their job to rubber stamp anything he proposes. While he had that goofy smile on his face some of the time, it is my opinion that Thurmond appeared to be threatening the Board to not cross him (or his behind the scenes advisors).

    Thurmond has essentially hired a new law firm on retainer to personally advise him (not the Board) and to provide advice on the Board’s governance along the way. The Board previously authorized that McKenna Long Aldridge be paid $50,000 per month for 3 months. However, this stretched out to 6 months and now we TAXPAYERS have paid MLA $300,000 in (consulting?) fees for advising Thurmond. He bullied the Board enough to extract 6 votes to sign off on potentially paying MLA another $600,000 without a contract that sets forth the parameters and scope of their work (both legal and non legal).

    Is this a way for Thurmond to replace the Sutherland law firm with one more his liking?

    I was appalled by Thurmond’s statements that he has saved the school district $66M dollars. He needs some math remediation. See the tape beginning at 23.36. Thurmond claims that he personally saved the district $25M when he got rid of the prior CFO who wanted to cut 25M from the budget and layoff 300 employees. (how does spending 25M more than your predecessor count as “saving” money?). Next he says he “found” 27M in untapped revenue. (5.8M was from the after school program which he simply tried to take and there has been no accounting for the other phantom 21.2M). Then Thurmond claims that he has saved an additional 9.5M because there is now $9.5M in reserves in the budget. Thurmond sums up his financial “successes” by claiming that he has saved the district a total of $66M. Putting aside that the three items only total $61.5M, not $66M, this statement is astounding.

  14. dekalbmom says:

    I also have a question about the current DCSS policy on expenditures that the Superintendent can incur without Board approval. During the discussion, it was mentioned that the original policy limited such expenditures to $50,000 but this was extended under Atkinson’s tenure to $100,000. But even if this is so, is it a total of $100,000 to one particular vendor? Almost all laws and regulations prohibit breaking up a contract or arrangement in pieces (i.e. $50,000 per month) to evade a cap. Can someone direct me to the actual DCSS policy?

  15. Retired DeKalb teacher says:

    I listened to the entire presentation…how sickening! Thurmond plus his posse run the board. How dare Mayfield or Orson think independently and ask questions that gives reasoning of this “document”. Thurmond only read what a lawyer had written for him to read! Morley is really in his pocket…one of those loud know-it-alls wanting to be seen and heard! Makes me sick for I see NO difference in the board…no one strong enough to speak up for students and teachers. Thurmond’s little fit shows his true character…don’t question my decisions. Let’s just continue to spread money meant for education to as many minority law firms as possible! Deal really picked some winners, take away a few! I think the idea of a surprise visit from SAC would be great about now since he proposes to have done enough to warrant a new contract for two more years!!

  16. Concerned DeKalb Mom says:

    I am beginning to wonder if school boards everywhere are ineffective? What I mean is…people were excited to be relived of the old DeKalb board and somewhat excited about the new, credential-filled board…but now people are clamoring for this new board to be voted out as well. On paper, everyone looked good. Is it an issue of the paper not really illustrating the person?

    What I’m wondering is…by design, are school boards ineffective? Are we hoping for something that just does not exist? Can anyone produce an example of a Board that functions the way DSW writers and readers would like? Not being snarky or argumentative…just wanting to put a face on what we hope to see happening with the DeKalb Board and Superintendent.

  17. Insider says:

    Mom: Policy DJE Section V / C / 1

  18. Marney Mayo says:

    I would recommend the book “school boards in America, a flawed exercise in democracy”
    http://www.amazon.com/School-Boards-America-Exercise-Democracy/dp/0230109314/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381422664&sr=8-1&keywords=school+boards+in+america+a+flawed+exercise+in+democracy

    Unfortunately I lent my copy to the AJC reporter that had the Dekalb Schools beat before Ty and it disappeared when the AJC cut staff. (I think that the decline in readership that is willing to pay for professional reporting plays into the frustrations of the few and fewer who pay attention).

    My summary of the books conclusions is that the larger School boards are the worse they function. If they are elected they function worse than if they are appointed by others who have been elected. (Note that our state board, appointed by the Governor may generally lean in a political direction consistent with the party that controls the Governor’s office, but they can think and engage in dialog on issues in a much more thoughtful manner.) They function better when they are volunteers or are paid a very small amount for expenses than if they are well paid. They are better if they are NOT professional educators or parents of children in the schools, but from a variety of professionals that have succeeded elsewhere and can understand that they represent the taxpayers in the aggregate, rather than only the employees or the customers of the schools.

  19. thedeal2 says:

    Here we go again. A superintendent with a big head and a blank check. Must be nice to be in the Friends and Family network. $100K+ per year x 3 people (Tyson, Stepney, Beasley) for power point presentations that tell us (gasp!) that poor students, as a whole, are not achieving in school. Now we’re padding the wallets of (gasp) more lawyers to tell Thurmond how to do the job he says he’s already doing so well.

    Fool me once and all the rest of that, except now we’re on the 4th iteration (Lewis, Tyson, Atkinson, Thurmond). We are all fools. Do what you can to support DHCC and Dunwoody and hit them where it hurts. A successful DHCC will reveal their severe incompetency to everyone.

  20. Stan Jester says:

    The MLA Extension was Part II. Check out Part I, the MLA Presentation at the 09/25/2013 Called Board Meeting. Skip the PowerPoint presentation and go straight to the discussion. Orson talks about what a load of crap this is and Thurmond says he doesn’t follow their advice anyway …

    I compliment MLA, but at the end of the day they provide information. As it relates to the Superintendent, it’s up to me to make the decision … to be honest with you, I can’t say all or more or less, but much of the information I didn’t follow.

    Oh … and … where is MLA in the budget they approved? They were billing against legal services last fiscal year.

  21. This ridiculous billing idea came out of Jim McMahan’s brain. He posed it to the board to break it up into monthly fees. That is very enlightening about his character and fiscal responsibility to his constituents.

    Anyway – if anyone had chosen to look it up at the meeting they would have found this policy (as pointed out by Insider)

    C. Additional Approval Provisions

    1. When a vendor has separate contracts or purchases with the District, Board approval is

    required when the total of all contracts and purchases with that vendor would exceed

    $100,000.00 in any fiscal year.

    https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/ePolicy/policy.aspx?PC=DJE&Sch=4054&S=4054&RevNo=2.16&C=D&Z=P

    This is looking to be a very egregious fiscal end-game runaround. Of course, they played it legally, as it is all ‘board approved’. But it’s very disappointing.

  22. Stan Jester says:

    Dr. Elgart and SACS comes out against new Independent School Districts.

    “Georgia does not need to expand the number of school systems it has in the state,” he said. “It needs to contract it so it can use its resources differently than it currently does.”

  23. Stan Jester says:

    Dr. Elgart fails to realize this isn’t a Dunwoody movement. Smaller, independent school districts are for educating low income and minorities as well. Many city school districts, like Marietta and Valdosta, are getting it done for less. Their CRCT scores are much higher than DeKalb’s scores even though they have the same demographics …

    Demographic Information
    District —- Black – White – Hispanic – F/R Lunch
    DeKalb —- 71% — 11% — 12% —- 70% —–
    Valdosta — 74% — 17% — 04% —- 76% —–
    Marietta — 46% — 19% — 30% —- 66% —–
    Gainesville 20% — 20% — 55% —- 78% —–

    CRCT Scores
    CRCT Scores for DeKalb and all City Schools in Georgia

  24. Poster says:

    This video…this is absolutely ridiculous!!! What is wrong with getting, in writing, the scope of the contract with MLA??? I’m sick, sick and glad my kids are out of DCSS!

  25. teachermom says:

    I still find it hard to believe we are paying a career politician with no education background 300k a year. He is obviously in over his head. Who can forget how he even got into this job; no search and appointed by a board that was on their way out the door. Very few people make this salary. People are paid that kind of money because they are highly qualified. Thurmond not so much.

  26. howdy1942 says:

    I am amused at McMahan’s proposal – That is so very naive. I have seen people fired in business for doing just what he proposed. Spending limits are normally associated with management levels to prevent abuse by covering up larger amounts. Jim knows that is wrong and is not a solution. Given the amount the DCSS has spent on legal fees over the years and the attention it has drawn from both SACS and the State Board of Education, serious questions ought to be asked, such as

    1. Is this a specific requirement set forth by SACS in order to address its concerns or is this just what we think we need to do in order to do that? What happens if we don’t do this? What are our alternatives?

    2. What capabilities will this give us that we don’t now have?

    3. How are we going to measure the results? And will those results enhance significantly our efforts to regain full accreditation?

    There are many others. Mr. Thurmond seems to think that the answer to lawyers is more lawyers. If the DCSS would start by simply doing things right, above board, treating people right, overseeing its projects, having clear standards for measuring results, our needs for lawyers would be sharply diminished. I, too, was also amused and even laughed at all of the “I defer to, I defer to, Is there a legal opinion in the house, I defer…”. That is not the way most businesses are run and it is not the way a school board should be run. Lawyers do not run the Dekalb County School System. Melvin Johnson is a Dekalb School administrator, he thinks like one, leads like one, talks like one and that is where change needs to begin.

  27. Funny. We’re paying what, $900,000 for ‘governance consultants’ yet Nancy Jester, a former board member IS one! The Georgia Charter Schools Association enlists Nancy’s services in helping charters with governance issues — How ironic…

    Read on >>> The Marietta Daily Journal – Georgia has a long way to go but Common Core is no path to prosperity

    Nancy Jester is a governance consultant for the Georgia Charter Schools Association and previously served on the DeKalb County Board of Education.

  28. Sarah says:

    Someone please tell me that Nancy is running for the Board again next election…

  29. Stan Jester says:

    Sarah,
    The Georgia Supreme Court will make a ruling on DeKalb County School District v. Georgia State Board of Education by Dec 3. If there’s any bright side to a ruling in Walker’s favor, is that Nancy will be back on the board and the canary will be back in the coal mine.

  30. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    I saw this on Todd Rehm’s Georgia Pundit this morning:

    Galloway’s bold prediction

    Yesterday, I mentioned an Op-Ed by former DeKalb County Board of Education member Nancy Jester on why Common Core’s a problem, and Georgia’s own educational standards may be a problem too.

    Jim Galloway, writing in the AJC Political Insider, made this prediction.

    Consider the above to be evidence that she’ll be part of the GOP field in next year’s race for state school superintendent.

    And this morning, she told Tim Bryant and Martha Zoller that she will announce whether or not she’s running for Georgia State School Superintendent.

  31. dsw2contributor says:

    Stan @October 11, 2013 at 9:40 AM – “If there’s any bright side to a ruling in Walker’s favor, is that Nancy will be back on the board.”

    But Nancy resigned from her seat, per this Fox-5 article from March 6, 2013:
    http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/21534165/dekalb-school-board-member-nancy-jester-resigns
    Having resigned her seat, why would she get it back if Walker wins?

  32. Stan Jester says:

    Nancy Jester’s Resignation
    Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 20-2-53, Nancy tendered her resignation to the Governor. Friend Nancy on Facebook to see that resignation email chain.

    To date, the Governor has not accepted Nancy’s resignation. If the Ga Supreme Court finds in favor of Dr. Walker, Nancy will return to her seat on the board unless the Governor decides to accept her resignation. At that time, Dr Walker’s majority will select Nancy’s replacement.

    O.C.G.A. § 20-2-54.1. Procedure for filling vacancies on local boards
    If the vacancy does not occur more than 90 days prior to the date of a general election … the remaining members of the local board of education shall, by majority vote, select a qualified person to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.

  33. Dunwoody voters had better hope that Nancy is reinstated if Walker wins his case. Who knows who Walker and crew would appoint?

    Speaking of Dunwoody schools, a popular community blogger took a poll for local politicians asking what voters considered the most important political issues for the next election. Hands down schools were the main concern.

    http://www.theahaconnection.com/2013/10/survey-results-think-single-important-issue-city-council-concerned/

    That said, if Nancy doesn’t run for State Superintendent, hopefully she’ll consider running against Fran Millar for State Senate. We could really use some of Nancy’s intelligent, forward, honest thinking at the Capitol.

  34. Below is the text of Thurmond’s full lecture to the Board:

    They (MLA) advised me on how to solve a problem that nobody could solve. That had bedeviled the district for years. That potentially saved 30 million dollars. Let me go on. And some of the other things that might help you understand it. In April of this year I walked in to a meeting where the former CFO was getting ready and was directing my staff to cut an additional 25 million from the budget and layoff 300 more people. And some of the people in this room was in that meeting that lasted throughout the day. What I had done prior to that, cause I had had some concerns, was they had had the opportunity to interview, and I’ll go ahead and say it, Dr. Bell. And they also, through their research, helped me to understand that there may be some sources of revenue that our former people who had been in position had overlooked. Based on that I was able to engage with a [long pause] neighbor to look at our budget. As a result, we didn’t lay off 300 people, we didn’t cut 25 million from the budget AND we were able to find 27 million dollars that had been overlooked. That’s gets me the 57 million dollar impact. As a result of that, we have 9.5 million dollars in the reserves. That’s 66 million dollars.

    When we talk about fiscal impact, we really need to look at it in a more global sense. And I’m back to where I was when I came in February. The one thing I – and you were in the room, Mr. Orson, Dr. Johnson and Mr. McMahan – you know, if I’m going on Mission Impossible, I get to pick who goes with me. I’m not going on Mission Impossible and YOU choose who my people will be. I said to the Board then that if I’m going to take this job that nobody else seemed to want, that everybody thought was impossible, a job that no one would ever believe that we’d avoid losing accreditation, or remaining in deficit for then next 3 to 4 years. We had an agreement and the Board at that time – said ‘look, if you will take this risk to your reputation and your career, we’re going to support you.’

    DSW Note: The agreement he describes as with the “Board at that time” means the Board dismissed by the Governor, except for Orson, Johnson & McMahan. This is perhaps why his anger is mainly directed toward Marshall Orson for going back on what he probably thinks was a promise to give him free reign.

  35. H.A. Hurley says:

    SuperThurmond …..such an eloquent speaker. Missed the sharecropper story – was ready for it. He found the pot of gold and now what? Will he spend any of it on kids, teachers, updating schools, 2013 technology, potholes in school parking lots, trailers, textbooks, eBooks, SmartBoards, instruction…….?
    Who are his posse?
    BTW, the @dekalbschools Twitter account was launched yesterday. The $100K+ salary of his communication specialist is paying off with the FREE Twitter account. Way to go DCSS!

  36. dekalbmom says:

    But he didn’t find any such pot of gold. We have yet to see the alleged $27M in new revenue. Instead, we are paying Thurmond an outrageous salary for a non-elected public servant plus another $50,000 per month for a law firm to 1) get up to speed and, 2) advise him on how to do his job. Plus we are paying two other law firms to handle the day-to-day legal affairs of the district.

    And nothing on how we are going to improve student achievement which should always be the first priority but seems to be the last priority in DeKalb county.

  37. @dekalbmom: We agree. We have never heard an actual breakdown of where this previously unfound revenue came from. Has anyone? If anyone has a clearer understanding of Thurmond’s accounting, please share it with us here on the blog. Thanks!

  38. Duplicating a comment from another post:

    Just wanted to emphasize that the hearing [in the TSA – teachers lawsuit] is on again for this coming Monday, October 14, in Judge Mark Anthony Scott’s courtroom at the DeKalb County Courthouse in DT Decatur, starting at either 9 AM or 9:30 AM. Teachers have off that day, and it would be great for folks to show up in support. It will also provide everyone a first-hand look at what is going on with this suit, and Roy Barnes in action.

    Of course, this will be followed later this month by jury selection in the criminal trials of Dr Lewis, Pat (Pope) Reid and Tony Pope, beginning October 28. 750 people were sent a summons for jury duty hoping to find 12 who are impartial enough to serve on this trial in DeKalb Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker’s courtroom.

    https://dekalbschoolwatch.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/looks-like-we-may-have-a-trial/

  39. howdy1942 says:

    You know, if Mr. Thurmond doesn’t like this job, if he finds it to be too challenging, if he doesn’t like to be questioned by the Board (and that’s not many questions), then he can simply leave. Then this Board can do what it should have done in its first month on the job – initiate a search to find a permanent superintendent. Maybe he is just getting frustrated because he promised so much and has delivered so little or maybe he should have stuck to law or maybe he is just in over his head. I just wish he would quit blowing his own horn and blaming everyone else for his shortcomings. It is really very small to continuously blame those before you at a time when they are in no position to respond. It seems to me that there are many people in State Government who could advise us as to what governmental monies are available to us and that should also be written in the job description of one or more of our highly paid administrators. I’m certain that we have people on staff who are supposed to be “specialists” in government funding.

    I’m looking forward to next July – I plan to be one of the first in line to vote!

  40. I’m curious about these new sources of revenue that apparently the staff knew about but never applied for. In fact, apparently they didn’t bother to clue in the former CFO as he didn’t have these revenues in the budget. Or, did they tell him and he didn’t agree? Who knows? It’s distressing that the implication is that staff knew places to get more money, but they are all too happy to throw the former CFO under the bus. Especially Thurmond – I’ve never witnessed anyone so willing to throw others under the bus. I guess he really is a politician!

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