On the night of Red Clay’s September 20, 2017 board meeting Red Clay posted the following:
“It is the recommendation that the Red Clay Consolidated School Board solicit interested community members living in nominating district “E” to serve on the board through July 1, 2018. Community members shall express their interest through a letter of interest and resume’ submitted to the Superintendent by the close of business on October 5, 2017.
Motion by Kenneth R Woods, second by Martin A Wilson Sr.
Final Resolution: Motion Fails
Yes: Martin A Wilson Sr, Faith R Newton, Kenneth R Woods
No: Adriana L Bohm, Ashley Sabo, Catherine H Thompson”
After I posted on Facebook Last night ( copied and pasted) board member Ashley Sobo says this: “ Kilroy’s Slower Delaware if you’re going to report make sure your facts are correct. Faith was No and I voted yes.” However, she went back and reviews the published BoardDoc and said this, “ I apologize Kilroy for seeming to snap at you. The minutes are incorrect and I am asking for them to be updated. This has been quite a topic of discussion and I want the facts correct.” And they were corrected. Ashley also said this; “It was also resolved that night when it was brought to Merv’s attention filling the seat was not optional and the board only could vote on the procedure.” Wrong !!!!!!
“Title 14, Chapter 10 Subchapter III § 1054 Vacancy on school board. “(a) If any school board member ceases to be a resident of the reorganized school district, that member shall cease to be a member of its school board.”
“(b) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, a vacancy on a school board, for any cause other than the expiration of term, shall be filled by the remaining members of the school board for the remainder of the fiscal year, and a new member shall be elected at the next regular school board election to serve for the unexpired term as specified below:”
Appears per law the remaining board members “shall” fill the vacant seat!
§ 1053 Oath of office of the school board member.
(a) Each school board member shall, before entering upon the duties of the office, take and subscribe to the following oath or affirmation:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States of America, the Constitution of the State of Delaware, and the laws of Delaware governing public education, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of school board member according to the best of my ability; and I do further solemnly swear (or affirm) that I have not directly or indirectly paid, offered or promised to pay, contributed, or offered to or promised to contribute, any money or other valuable thing as consideration or reward for the giving or withholding a vote at the election at which I was elected to said office, so help me God (or I so affirm).”
(b) The oath or affirmation shall be administered by the president or vice-president of the school board of the school district or in the case of a newly constituted board by a person appointed by the Secretary of Education to administer said oath.
Notice “laws of Delaware governing public education”.
Now Mr. Matthews if I error in citing the law whereas buried in some subsection of this law allowing board members not to fill the seat please lead me to it.
As for BoardDoc, when the school districts post information on the fly during board meetings they are no official board minutes. Before and during the next board meeting the board has time to review and correct minutes and then vote making them official. However in the meantime, the information is posted for the public and indeed someone can jump the gun assuming information is accurate. But it appears our DSEA President must feel citizens should verify district published information be for sharing it or commenting on it.
The question before the house is, why wouldn’t remaining board member want a vacant seat filled? Is it to protect the status quo or is that someone showing to fill the seat doesn’t appeal to certain members?
AN OPEN LETTER TO FORMER GOVERNOR MARKELL By Representative John Kowalko 25th District Delaware.
I’ve just finished reading your N.Y. Times op-ed and I feel it’s my obligation to Delaware’s taxpayers to respond. I’d like to think that your most recent missive has merely added to my disappointment in you but I think I’ve already passed the minimum expectations level in regard to your performance and legacy. I will try to be objective in my analysis and critique.
First, I find it unbecoming for you to use “revisionist history” as a crutch to support your crippling economic decisions. That pejorative explanation has become the trademark of Trumpism and the Republican Conservative ideologues and should be an embarrassing reference for any legitimate public servant who wears a “D” after his title. I’d suggest that you cease evading responsibilities, casting blame and rewriting reality or remove that “D”.
Your statement that “I was as guilty as any elected official at playing this game” fails to adequately express the reality that you were much more “guilty” then other Delaware elected officials. You blithely dismiss the seriousness of this ongoing “economic/corporate welfare” threat by writing “And I don’t blame public officials, either, for their efforts to attract businesses with enticements, since they otherwise would risk losing out on new jobs, the transfer of old ones elsewhere and the bad publicity that could come with abandoning efforts to entice or retain companies”. That attitude and admission would be better relegated to a confessional for your personal “mea culpa” and forgiveness ask.
In your article some of the revisions you make to your economic tenure as Governor are merely omissions, others are misrepresentative of reality and others seem to be deliberate distortions. So I will attempt to briefly summarize what you’ve conveniently forgotten. During your 8 years as Chief Executive your DEDO/Strategic Fund doled out over $250 million (in grants and subsidies) in taxpayer money. Approximately 37% of the recipients where huge fortune 400 companies. This number does not include the more than $80 million in lost corporate revenue from your hastily contrived “Delaware Competes Act” (House Bill 235 quickly ushered through the Delaware General Assembly during the first few weeks of 2016 session) along with the “Commitment to Innovation Act” (SB 200). You mention the failed Fisker debacle but choose to ignore/deny your other expensive yet failed economic enterprise the “Bloom” subsidy. Not only has the cash grant/sunsidy failed to produce the promised jobs but you’ve ensured that 300,000 individual and commercial Delmarva ratepayers would be burdened with an additional 20 years of subsidies to a private speculator/entrepreneur at a cost of $12-$15 million per year. Your remarkably optimistic speculation that the two of three Dow/DuPont spinoffs was a victory belies the reality that a preponderance of the research jobs are gone and Delaware is left with a comparative handful of jobs at the two headquarters. This type of Pyrrhic victory should not be heralded as the sign of an economic boon to Delaware. You also failed to mention the layoffs of 1700 (six-figure) DuPont researchers especially in light of your Secretary of Finance Tom Cook’s testimony on the House floor in response to my query that those jobs are gone and not coming back despite the Competes/Innovates corporate tax cuts and the 13 million cash giveaways that Ed Breen publicly said would not affect DuPont’s plans for job cuts. To paraphrase Mr. Breen’s remarks in the News Journal article “that money won’t make a difference in our plans but I’m not going to turn it down”. And lest we forget Jack, $10 million to JP Morgan (declared $24 billion in profit the year before) $2.5 million to Sallie Mae ($71 million profit 2nd qtr. 2017), $70 million infrastructure improvements to the Astra Zeneca campus (dramatically improving the value of their property now being sold) housing an ever dwindling workforce.
I do agree with your sentiments expressed as such “but it would be better for taxpayers if these kinds of cash incentives could be invested instead in such things as schools and infrastructure”. Maybe that will happen under your successor’s tutelage via the newly minted taxpayer giveaway mechanism named the “Delaware Prosperity Partnership”. Perhaps that corporate dominated cabal will accept applications for funding to restore the $27 million in cuts to education you made in 2009 that have continued to date (under the guise of flexible spending block grants) or the additional $31 million in cuts to public education in this year’s budget or maybe some of those poor and elderly former pharmaceutical assistance recipients could make their anguished cries heard.
One of these days we’ll see a weather reporter die before our eyes during a live weather during a hurricane !
Like many foreseeable tragedies, its after the fact something will change to prevent another!
So sad !!!
On the table of possible school funding reform is reassessment of all property! Sure sounds like a possible solutions to address education funding shortfalls. However, why is there funding shortfalls?
Another possibility is school district consolidation. But the gains in savings is a drop in the bucket and a short-term fix.
Organized labor within public education would love to see property reassessment. Sure their own property taxes would go up! Part of share to pain I guess! But dare ask for more contributions from employees toward healthcare cost. The impact of property reassessment would cause hardship on seniors, struggling middle-class and small business. And don’t for get those renting do pay school taxes factored in the rent.
Before we make any radical moves we must ask hold did we get into such a position? Damn right I am going to blame former Governor Jack Markell! Damn right I am going to blame many Democrat elected offices that were is lapdogs. Makell’s obsession to build a world class public school system pissed away millions of dollars. Then there is his mismanaging of Delaware economy which is still relatively stagnate! Delaware’s middle class is still shrinking and Delaware homes are going into foreclosure higher than national average.
Do we do noting? No!! However, we need to hold our state legislator more accountable and requiring them to fund traditional public school and charter schools the same a votech schools would fit the bill. In case you didn’t know, Delaware votech local share taxes is set by the legislators. Take a look at you country tax bill and you’ll see a separate line for votechs and local school districts. When was the last time you saw a tax referendum for votech schools? Never! Our state legislators don’t want more burden by setting local taxes for all public schools. Get this, they claim they don’t want to infringe on local control! If they took on this responsibility they would think twice about getting in bed with the like of Jack Markell and Rodel. Reassessment of property doesn’t end the political football with education funding. We need radical change as follows:
1. fund all traditional public schools the same way as votechs
2. Make the Delaware Secretary of Education an elected official rather appointed by the governor, Currently the Delaware Secretary of Education is nothing more than the extension of the governor arm. Much of the problems with Delaware public schools system is rooting in intrusion of self-serving governors.
3. Yes ! Increase gasoline tax by 5 cents and those funds goes towards supplement funding high needs schools.
4. Purge those legislators who supported Governor Markell’s education agenda. Wait ! Make this number
5. Purge Rodel of the education ! They were Jack Makell puppet master!
We need radical changes how we fund our public schools but can’t move forward until our state legislators step up to the plate and realize their failures and accept responsibility that can only be achieve by funding all public schools and charters the same way as they do with votech schools.
IS DELAWARE COMMITTING ECONOMIC GENOCIDE ON THE MIDDLE CLASS?
If you’re still upset about Hillary Clinton’s $600,000 price tag for delivering inspiring speeches to Corporate American entities than consider the following in the matter of Delaware taxpayer giveaways and job creation:
By my calculations JP Morgan can afford 16.6 Hillary speeches paid by Delaware taxpayer money alone. DuPont/Dow can buy about 20 H. C. inspirational talks. Sallie Mae can afford about 6 sessions. The list goes on and on. So if you’re looking for job and business creation from the Chamber of Commerce’s Corporate extortion/welfare extraction of taxpayer money (eagerly and equally supported by Republican and Democrat politicians alike) look no further than the opportunity for a newly created Clinton venture. Godamighty can you imagine all the hall-rental, catering and logistics support jobs that will be created if those motivational/inane speeches are scheduled for Delaware. Maybe that’s the criteria that the Governor can insist that his newly created (albeit extremely secretive) public/private job development include as a prerequisite for filling those greedy little corporate mitts with your money. Happy days are here again. Step right up to the (“$$$ buffet”) trough Chamber and friends. Your waitstaff for the evening will be a bi-partisan group of dedicated (to their reelection?) legislators and your meal will be creatively crafted by the improved and freshly funded son of DEDO. Sponsors of the event include the 5,000 seniors and poor who have gladly donated their pharmaceutical assistance money to help fund the activities, the local public school districts, teachers and students who are contributing an additional $36 million of their expected revenue this year and those poor wretches on General Assistance (cash money) who have historically received nearly $3 dollars per day until that item was removed from the budget. We could go on and on here crediting the 300,000 Delmarva ratepayers who are generous enough to pay $15 million per year to subsidize private businesses such as Bloom. Next year those ratepayers may take heart in the fact that they will be able to each contribute an additional $120 per year when DP&L (re-birthed as EXELON) receive its recently applied for Gas and Electric infrastructure increases. No need to conclude with the standard politically ingratiating “God Bless America” he apparently already has blessed (Corporate) America and that blessing should trickle down any time now.
Representative John Kowalko