Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2967, June 24th, 2015


Our “Write On Wednesday” logo.


In her Zeroing In column this past weekend, The Times Leader's Betty Rocograndi highlighted the continued nepotism and cronyism of the Wilkes Barre Area School Board. Note carefully the actions of Lou Elmy (running for Council in District B, if anyone in that district DOES NOT vote for Tony Brooks they are really doing their community no good at all, only Mr. Elmy) and Ned Evans. Evans beat out Kathy Grinaway in the general election of 2013 mainly because Grinaway ran alone after being dumped by her so called running mate Christine Katsock,. Katsock pretty much sat like a bump on the log at events where Grinaway had to fend for herself. So instead of getting the fifth vote she needed to control the board, she got Evans whose claim to fame in the ’13 race was to make a fool of himself on The Sue Henry Show. Why that isn’t on You Tube I still can’t imagine. Anyway, here’s Betty’s piece from The Times Leader for this weeks "Write on Wednesday”.
Fresh off their unpopular votes to close Meyers High School, spend about $100 million to build a new one at Coughlin and not allow the public to have a say about the matter in November’s election, two Wilkes-Barre Area School Board members once again demonstrated they will do as they please.
What pleased them Monday night was hiring a few more relatives.
You GOTTA be kidding, you say. Why be surprised when this was simply business as usual for this group?
Remember the nepotism policy the Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center’s joint operating committee discussed back in February? It’s obviously still on the back burner collecting dust. But with good reason.
Board member John Quinn, one of WBA’s representatives on the CTC board, said in March that any such policy this board passes must be done right.
So meanwhile, with no obstacle blocking its path, the CTC board voted to hire the niece of Louis Elmy and the daughter-in-law of Ned Evans. Elmy and Evans both represent WBA on the CTC board.
Business as usual
Both directors are also kind of shameless. And so is the rest of the board’s WBA contingent, Denise Thomas and Quinn, who voted for both hirings, and James Susek, who voted only for Elmy’s niece. Don’t they see or care how the public they just snubbed in their home district perceives this?
Elmy and Evans didn’t vote for their relatives because they can’t. So they abstained. But it’s apparently acceptable for a board member to make the motion to hire his kin because Elmy, the personnel committee chairman, did just that. He wasn’t at the meeting but participated via a conference call, the Times Leader reported.
So after he got the ball rolling, his fellow board members did the rest. And that’s the way it’s done at this school.
Crestwood School District representative Gene Mancini, who in March brought up the preposterous idea of implementing a nepotism policy at a school where nepotism reigns supreme, said he asked for an update at the April meeting. He said Quinn first corrected him that it was a hiring not a nepotism policy that was being considered. Then he informed him a board committee was discussing it.
Now don’t laugh, but Ned Evans, who’s daughter-in-law was hired Monday, is on that committee. So we’re guessing nepotism isn’t a very big concern of his.
Regarding the job Elmy’s niece, Samantha Elmy, got, administrative director Frank Majikes reassured everyone that she was the only candidate who applied for the newly-created $32,000 position of child care group assistant. He also said the job was advertised “all over.” So what’s a board to do? Obviously be thankful that at least a board member’s relative wanted it.
As for Evans’ daughter-in-law Nicole Stella, Majikes said she was the best qualified candidate out of four or five interviewed for the $15.72 per hour custodian job. He didn’t need to tell us that. It’s a given that when there’s competition, more often than not the most qualified candidate just happens to be related to a school director.
$450,000 loan
In addition to expanding its family of CTC staff members, the board also voted Monday to borrow $450,000 for its new day care program. Mancini said when that program was first proposed last year, three of the five member districts’ superintendents were opposed, saying there were better programs to enhance the career center’s curriculum. But what do superintendents know about education?
He also said some on the board expect this program, which includes an on-site day care center, to be a money-maker. Maybe it will be after that $450,000 loan is paid off.
The loan was approved, Mancini said, so the school wouldn’t have to deplete its capital reserve fund. It will be used, among other things, to pay the salaries and benefits for the four people hired Monday for the new program, including school director Elmy’s niece. You can’t make this stuff up.
Also at the meeting, Mancini told the board to “stay tuned” because Crestwood has hired a Pittsburgh law firm to fight for an extra seat on the board.
Just what the CTC needs, two Crestwood representatives hounding the board majority to stop hiring their relatives.
So stay tuned.
Will Crestwood get a second seat at the table?
Will a nepotism, er hiring, policy ever see the light of day?
And whose son, daughter, nephew, niece or grandchild will be the next most qualified candidate hired at the Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technical Center?
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here is the link to this column from The Times Leader as well as the comments the article generated.


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