Monday, March 3, 2008

[LCSD] Lebanon School Board Votes 3-2 Against Renewing Superintendent's Contract

UPDATE @ 11:45 PM: I just heard the vote was 3-2 to nonrenew with Shimmin, Alexander and Wineteer voting as a block.

(The offer to post any first-hand accounts, anonymously or otherwise, still stands. Email me or leave a comment that includes a note that you want it posted on the main blog.)

Where we go from here is anyone's guess - though since I don't have a first-hand account of the discussion, I'm hesitant to offer a concrete analysis. Call this one fuzzy...

Possibilities (not mutually exclusive by any means, and not all that carefully considered, either):

1. Robinson sues for breach of contract, or breach of state law, etc (I admit I've not followed the possibilities of a lawsuit that closely). The district spends money on legal fees, which is money not spent on students. I do not buy the argument that this makes Robinson a bad person, especially if he's found to be correct in his (potential) suit. Rather, it would make the three board members who voted to nonrenew look like idiots, since I'm sure the district's legal counsel predicted this.

1a. Robinson wins a lawsuit; what happens? Does he end up with a rolling three-year contract again? How does that work? Does the court reinstate the rolling bit? Does the LCSD eat crow for a few hours and change their vote? (If this happens, it will certainly look like Debi Shimmin learned nothing from Robinson's suspension.) Does Robinson decline the third year and instead get a legal settlement?

Most interestingly at the moment, how does Jim Robinson reconcile the following: a) Robinson supports education and children, and knows exactly how much money the LCSD does not have; b) Robinson is not going to simply let the Board do this, knowing full well that it sets an ugly precedent/Robinson is not going to let the Board do this because he is personally invested in Lebanon and has no intention of leaving without a fight; so c) What happens when those two collide, i.e. when/if justice for Robinson means spending money on his case that would otherwise be spent on students? (Is that even the right way to frame this? I ask because one could also argue that the Board pushed Robinson into such a position in the first place.)

1b. Robinson loses the lawsuit. He still has two years on his contract, and it's entirely possible that there will be big changes to the board by this time next year. I could see him getting renewed next year for one or even two more years. Definitely too early to tell - though I did suggest a rolling two-year contract in a comment at LT's place not too long ago, and that doesn't seem out of the range of possibility.

2. Robinson does not sue.

2a. Despite not suing, there is a backlash against the board's actions, and when next year rolls around, for whatever reason, there is a vote to renew for at least a year, and possibly even get back on the three-year cycle.

2b. No lawsuit, more non-renewal. Robinson goes away. The LCSD gets a tool for a Superintendent. Mirroring the national scene, the district spirals down in flames under the 'leadership' of some individuals who have no idea how to run anything larger than a push mower.

3. A recall is initiated for one or more board members - my guess would be Rick Alexander, then Josh, and least likely Debi. Said recall either a) succeeds, in which case the recall crowd would undoubtedly run the antithesis of Rick Alexander. Without Rick, the board's shenanigans calm down considerably. Or, b) recall fails - and then what happens?

I think I'm about out of steam for the night. Be sure to check the DH tomorrow - Moody's story is usually the first thing out, and it's usually pretty good. I intend to post a link to it as soon as reasonably possible. (Hint hint - would it kill the DH to post things on the web as they are done, not when they make it into the print edition?)

I knew the lull in insanity was too good to be true. Everybody wearing their seat belts? Good - because the crazy train is leaving the station.


Dew Sue said...

It might be of interest to note that there were eight policy changes quickly passed through the "reading" process at this meeting.

The board asked for no explanation and had no discussion on the policy recommendations of the Oregon School Board Association. Policies are the bottom line in a school district and the main job of these elected officials, but they rarely seem to get even passing attention. Has the board created even one policy on their own?

This board is far too busy politicking to do the actual work of critically examining their own policies.

Even Debi Shimmin, who ran on a platform of neutrality and promised to make informed decisions gave no explanation for voting to support policies about "Discipline of Disabled Students" or "Special Education Evaluation Procedures."

In one meeting these people both terminated the contract of the administrator responsible for the day-to-day and also demonstrated their own lack of interest in the key elements of running the schools.


Anonymous said...

The recall should be Debi S. She is not what she tries so hard to appear to be.
If she is gone Rick A. and Josh W. go back to being the minority.

Dennis said...


My analysis is simple: If Rick is gone, the amount of trouble goes way down. Josh won't be as proactive about causing trouble. Neither will Debi.

Rick is a conduit into the board for a different section of Lebanon than Debi is - and Rick's section is far more likely to ignore the law to the district's peril, to be blunt.

Rick is also the person on the board with the least interest in governing a district - and probably the least ability. Given that, his replacement offers the best possibility to increase the capacity of the LCSD Board to be effective.

At least that's my read.

Dennis said...

Dew Sue,

Good point about the policy changes. I would that add while board members are, strictly speaking, not generally as qualified as education professionals to evaluate policy, a lack of interest is telling - and dangerous.

That said, my feathers are ruffling a bit at your use of the term 'anarchy.'

If by anarchy, you mean 'no leader' (archy = leader, an = without, no), then I would... no I wouldn't. Even then, I would not agree.

The closest I think the LCSD gets is a messy, fractured set of factions. Certainly Robinson wants to lead, even if he's encountering, um, resistance.

'Anarchy' several years down the road? Only if Rick and Josh succeed in installing a tool for a superintendent.

'Anarchy' in some ill-defined sense, used as some sort of slur (like 'communist')? Keep that away from this blog, please. We like anarchy around here.

... also, technically, did the board "terminate" a contract, or did they choose to not renew it? There's a big difference there.

Dew Sue said...

Fair enough. Language is so hard. How about I replace the "Anarchy?" with "Anarchists?"

That is really what I meant. Are the school board majority anarchists?

Of course not.

Anarchists would disdain law. They would disrupt process. They would rail against the "establishment." They would not be bound by civility and so would misrepresent fact and by whatever means necessary, overthrow government. They would recruit fellow angries, threaten others and...

Uh oh. This sounds too familiar.

Dennis said...

Due Sew, do I know you?

Because it's almost like you wrote the best possible comment designed to piss me off =)

"Anarchists" are possibly the single most varied political group on the planet'; not only is confining them to a simple definition wrong, but the characteristics you apply to 'anarchists' are mostly wrong.

Do anarchists misrepresent facts, threaten others, or feel "unbound" by civility? No more or less than anyone else - which means they are not attributes of anarchists. Certainly Rick Alexander is not an anarchist by any stretch of the imagination.

Future comments that use the term 'anarchist' as a slur or otherwise misrepresent the term will be judiciously deleted.

I would suggest you do some reading before you use the term again.


Anonymous said...

Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST 1% HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT. Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives. ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy. Their wealth has been gradually transfered to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars. Transfered FROM US TO THEM. Over a period of about 27 years. Thats Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They will never settle for a reasonable share of ANYTHING. They will do whatever it takes to get even richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductable crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any 'humanitarian' progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. So don’t fall for all of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM. Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductable contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggrivated because of GREED. If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah, Ellen, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. WAKE UP PEOPLE. ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Vioxx. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed credit card, pharmaceutical, love-sick, celebrity junkie. Their idea. All of which concentrate the world’s wealth and resources and wreak havok on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for their ‘ good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTABLE PR CRAP. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. EXTREME WEALTH HAS MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, how did the anonymous comment get in among the comments on the Lebanon School Board? This person needs to take a breath or do some exercise! Wealth isn't just about money and compared to most of the world we are doing just fine. I assure you I didn't listen to some politician or some Hollywood type to get my answers. Sounds to me like you are the one listening and careing too much about what they do and what they say. Not all wealthy people are pigs and not all middle class or poor are deserving of anything more than what they have. Wanting the money that someone else has is called greed. The rich may suffer from that in some cases, but you too sound like you have a case of greed. Spreading money around to everyone in the world is a noble cause, but it is very simplistic to think that money alone will end poverty and the hopelessness you obviously feel. Get a grip!

Dew Sue said...

Thank you for the link. Obviously I have not studied up on the various schools of anarchy. Pretty much I thought of one of the definitions found in the link that you sent:

libertarian anarchism[1]) refers to any of several traditions that hold that "individual conscience and the pursuit of self-interest should not be constrained by any collective body or public authority"

So if somebody seems to be anti-government, offering no vision of different or better government, but just dedicates himself to throwing a wrench in the works, I might ask if he is an anarchist.

If he refuses to pay his taxes or follow the law and spends his nights and days fomenting discord about government entities like city councils and school administrations, I might ask if he is an anarchist. If he doesn't put his kids in public schools but instead seeks a collective.... If he runs for office not to add anything but just to stop everything...

If anarchist is the wrong term here, then help me find the word.

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