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Category — Guest Post

Leopold: Ashe and Wright Knew

Here is the video of Jonathan Leopold telling Matty Tanner and “Mike Jones” that the Board of Finance was briefed in May of 2008 about Burlington Telecom’s inability to get financing and of its continued use of pooled city cash in violation of its certificate of public good.  May 2008 was about a year before the story broke and almost a year before the re-election of mayor Bob Kiss.  If Kurt Wright had wanted to, or had been smart enough to, he certainly could have used that information in the last election, and he probably would have won. You may recall that at the time the Board of Finance was made up of the following five people- Mayor Kiss, Chief Administrative officer Leopold and a city councilor from each party.  Democrat Andy Montroll, Republican Kurt Wright and Progressive Time Ashe.

Assuming Kurt Wright is the Republican nominee- he’s going to have to answer for this soon enough, but right now the Democratic party has a choice to make in about a week.  Are you telling me they’re going to be stupid enough to nominate Progressive Tim Ashe with that kind of baggage?  Jesus Christ!  I almost dare the Dems to do it because it would be so comically self-defeating.  First of all, he’s not even a Dem.  Duh.  Secondly he would lose!  Given the choice between Wright and Ashe, many moderate Dems and Indpendents like me would vote for Kurt.  People feel the city needs a change and a shake up.  Tim Ashe loudly proclaimed Kiss, Leopold and BT to be resounding success stories when he nominated Kiss for re-election.  He’s about as far from “change” and “shake-up” as it gets.

And Where’s Lloyd Benson when you need him?  This week the Vermont chapter president of the American Federation of Teachers called Ashe the best choice saying  “Tim Ashe is a young Bernie Sanders.”  That’s like saying The Phantom Menace is as good as the orignal Star Wars.  Ridiculous on its face.   Somebody’s got to say it…

“Senator, I served with Bernie Sanders. I knew Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Bernie Sanders.”

November 6, 2011   9 Comments

Ed Scott Running for School Board

Breaking News

The post below the row of stars to follow was written by Ed Scott, candidate for Ward Seven School Commissioner. I appreciate guest posts like this very much. It’s less work for me. Thanks Ed.

Hello Haik, Hope you had a good break and happy new year. I’ve filed my petition, written a My Turn criticizing the budget process that should be in soon (don’t take it personally–also have copied my correspondence to board members to you), have had an announcement in North Ave News, and now I am taking you up on your offer to use your blog to say why I want to run. I appreciate this as I cannot afford to place ads, etc., and I am becoming more and more committed as I see Machiavelli at work such as the travesty that is the decision about after school program–that never should have gotten off the ground in the first place! Thanks

Why I am running from Ward 7 for the Burlington School Board

Thank you, Haik, for offering to let me use your blog to state why I am running for the school board.

Sixteen years ago, in 1994, I moved from the Northeast Kingdom where I had been a teacher and guidance counselor, to Burlington to take a job as guidance director at Burlington High School . Surprisingly, the rural union high school I left was state-of-the-art in many ways, but to my surprise when I got to Burlington, I found the guidance department I was taking over was still operating in the paper age, and the high school was entrenched in outmoded practices; teachers, not the administration, not the school board, were running the school.

Before the first bell rang on my first school day, tedious paper add/drop procedures so long in place, went out the window as I found it was possible to computerize such things. But other issues that elicited my ideas for change were often met with, “The teachers will never go for that.” While I can attest that the guidance department has been transformed, delivery of services continues to be outmoded and unsuccessful for a large number of students. Scores on the NECAP tests are low, and 15% of students do not make it to graduation. This information is on the department of education website for anyone interested.

I am retired now and have a 9-year-old, who with her friends, is closing in on middle school. I feel I must to do more than critique from the sidelines but to get involved in the decision making. With my background I can make meaningful contributions about how instruction can be improved. I have ideas about how to replace the current structure of leveling that puts a ceiling on academic and personal growth with a teaching model that is student centered and reflects individual differences. As a former teacher who likes kids and wants the best for them, I can be their voice.

Generally, we have a good school system with many successes. Acknowledging these as well as problems is important. However, like many voters, I am often suspicious of how decisions are made. Just recently, for example, the final decision was made about how to restructure the after school program. You can read about it in Haik’s blog, but quite frankly, the way the process worked out was Machiavellian. Now a BSD employee is the site director at Smith, Susan Carter and her sister have lesser, part time roles, just as was proposed last year. Our rep on the committee, Shireen Hart, voted no, but it happened anyway. I feel an obligation to be involved in these matters from the beginning so that perhaps I can help hold off such ill-advised, unfair decisions before they get off the ground.

I have held offices and community positions before where I lived in Derby , VT. Town moderator, community mental health board member, boy scouts committee, little league, always actively involved. I am a veteran who served as a helicopter pilot in Korea and Vietnam . Currently I am a guardian ad litem in Chittenden Superior Court. I am a good team player.

I believe I have the background, the ideas, and the energy to contribute meaningfully to the school board, and I hope you support me. Thank you. And thank you, Haik.

January 7, 2011   9 Comments