Saturday, May 31, 2008

Save the drama

I'm getting really, really tired one specific type of comment I keep hearing from pro-Shimmin folks. It goes something like this:

Someone makes a comment along the following lines: 'Ms. Shimmin's vote to do X (usually suspend Robinson or approve the PIE contract) was a very poor vote because it failed to take into account the law (or other relevant fact regarding the situation).'

Nowhere is it mentioned that the vote was anti-Robinson. It's usually a criticism of Shimmin based on the lack of apparent good reason for her to have voted the way she did.

Another commenter, or perhaps IE, respond with something like this: 'I see that the pro-Robinson crowd can't deal with it when Shimmin doesn't vote with them/now that she's thinking for herself, the pro-Robinson crowd can't take it/etc.'

There's a small problem here. The second comment, the comeback, does nothing to address the point made in the first comment - namely, that a specific vote of Shimmin's is problematic not because it opposes Robinson, but because it fails to follow the law, be in the best interests of the district, or just make any sense (see, for example, approving the PIE amendments).

I would really like to see a principled defense of anyone's voting to approve the PIE contract or suspend Robinson that doesn't rely on some sort of "but you're just a pro-Robinson tool" argument (update: Or an appeal to secret information). I haven't been able to think of one myself - in fact, as I have stated, I think those votes are pretty indefensible on the merits.

Remember: I don't necessarily agree with Robinson's policies. I just think there are obvious and available ways of changing those policies that are both legal and democratic. That's maybe my biggest problem with this whole situation: That Wineteer, Shimmin and Alexander are using just about the worst, least democratic processes possible, and that doing so is hurting the district.

So, go ahead: Enlighten me. And for f*ck's sake, stop claiming that all opposition to Shimmin is due to her refusal to blindly follow Robinson. It's insulting to be told what I believe.


Anonymous said...

I for one, think Shimmin is voting as she thinks is best. Easily arguable, obviously. I can't stand watching Robinson and Rick or Josh try to work together. Any time Rick or Josh say something, anything, Robinson rolls his eyes or just plain looks disgusted, even when they were looking at slides discussing graduation rates. Josh and Rick do about the same thing when Robinson talks. I don't see it so much with Debi. She does seem awfully timid, and easy to distract, but her vote for non renewal of Robinson's contract had to take some guts. She had to know she was the swing vote, and would know it would be controversial. I look at her as a very naive Sprenger. Trying to do what she thinks is right, but not to sure how to figure out if she IS right. Hence, she votes for things that she probably should have questioned or researched more.

I think the recall is a mistake. I see it failing and emboldening the others as you mentioned. Also, if it is a sure thing that Josh and Rick will be gone next year, why take the risk? Why not just let them get voted out if that is what is going to happen anyway? Then the "problem" will be solved. But, what do I know.

Dennis said...

"Also, if it is a sure thing that Josh and Rick will be gone next year, why take the risk?"

Perhaps CARES feels like Shimmin needs to go based on her actions alone. I really don't know, but that's my guess. I didn't know members of CARES were once pro-Shimmin people. I can easily see them feeling betrayed (rightly or wrongly).

"I for one, think Shimmin is voting as she thinks is best."

That's actually an argument for a recall, to be honest. If voting to approve a contract for PIE without having any time to look at it was really what she thought was best, well....

Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

In regards to your comments about Shimmin supporters, the only reason this witch hunt on Debi started is because she voted to no renew Robinson's contract. As you stated to must have taken some guts. Once that happened those supporters that she had who thought she would lay down and follow suite with Sherrie and Chris were angry because they thought she would continue with the way things were going. I am not saying she has done everything right, but frankly nobody has given her a fair shake at this. She is new and is learning. If the other board members were under this scrutinity from day one I am sure things would have gone down much differently. I just think it is sad that she has taken the fall for Josh and Ricks prior offenses.

Dennis said...

"I just think it is sad that she has taken the fall for Josh and Ricks prior offenses."

Interesting take. I can't say I think it's completely wrong.

Anonymous said...

You give her too much credit.
Because she is like-able people are giving her a pass.
You don't have to be an experienced Board member to follow the law; Board policies; rules.

no small minds said...

I'm sorry, I completely disagree with the "poor Debi" sentiment. Taking ONLY the vote on the Sand Ridge contract, for her to vote on a contract she ostensibly had not read, had not given to an attorney, which did not have the supporting text from the existing contract and which obligates the District to hundreds of thousands of dollars was either a) an illustration of her complete ignorance and incompetence or b) proof that she colluded with the Rick and Josh illegal prior to the meeting. That alone is reason for recall.

Lebanon Truth said...

"the only reason this witch hunt on Debi started is because she voted to no renew Robinson's contract."

Your logic is flawed. The nonrenew vote occurred in early March. CARES was formed before then so the recall effort could have been started before then. The recall effort was launched AFTER the Sand Ridge amendment vote and that is cited by CARES as a major reason for the recall.

Anonymous said...

Then maybe CARES should have cited their real reason, their personal agenda. This has all started because of the Jim Robinson non renew. You can say that isn't the case, that it is a vast theory but you believe Debi had other motives and I believe CARES does.

Anonymous said...

Actually CARES started to keep an eye on Alexander and Winteer according to the original story in the LE.

I believe that the recall of Debi started because she called JR on the carpet during a public meeting because he lied to her. Which by the way, the fact that he did lie to her face, seems to have been forgotten. Remember the quote earlier that JR made to Bo Yates. "Nobody pisses on the shoes of the CEO". I applaud Debi for not just pissing on his shoes but taking a crap on him in front of an audience.

It's a well known fact within the distric that if you cross JR your days are numbered. Debi is just another example. It's so sad the JR and his buddies have so much infleuence in this community.

Remember, McHill is JR's buddy, and Kennedy works for McHill.

IE said...

anonymous June 5 @ 5:22 a.m.

You are so right! Thank you for that well-written frank comment! I'm still smiling after reading it!

Anonymous said...

JR "lying" to Debi was a he said/she said lack of communication.
People will take "sides" depending on who they like and get along with.
To suggest that Debi "crapped" on JR in public is really disgusting and not something to 'smile about'.
If that really IS the attitude of Debi, and/or her defenders, no wonder our kids are in trouble in Lebanon.
To say it is wrong for JR to take a certain stand or to say things a certain way and then to defend Debi (or anyone else) for the very same thing! is truly sad and wrong.
Tit for tat never solved anything.
It might make people feel better--for a little while--but then when you look in the mirror and see your "enemy" and his behavior staring back at you it is the most rotten feeling.
Don't applaud bad behavior.
On anyone's part.

Anonymous said...

What anonymous @ June 5, 2008 5:22 AM and IE want is REVENGE, not a forward looking change from the status quo.

Anonymous said...

"forward looking change from the status quo."

I think this should be the goal of everyone. The question is, how is this best acheived? Does Robinson and the board need to go in order to move forward? Will anything less be maintaining the status quo? Any ideas?

Almost Anonymous said...

CARES was not started to keep an eye on Josh and Rick. Debi's recall was not because of her calling anyone on the carpet. Her recall is because of her poor actions as a Board member. Her track record speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 11:28

If it's about track records then Rick and Josh would be on the recall list also.

Dennis said...

Except, of course, that both Rick and Josh's terms expire next summer, while Debi's does not.

I suspect another part is that people had expectations of Debi that they did not of Rick or Josh.

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