Saturday, March 22, 2014

Missouri Education Watchdog Says Local School Boards Should Be Abolished!

A recent article on the Missouri Education Watchdog website says that Local School Boards Should Be Abolished.

Missouri Education Watchdog is based in the Kirkwood School District. I highly recommend reading their article.

Fox C-6 uses the same law firm as the Camdenton School District that is mentioned in the article above. Last November Mickes Goldman O'Toole attorney Ernie Trakas told the Fox C-6 School Board that he didn't recommend having open discussions with the public like they do in the Rockwood School District. Some of our Fox C-6 school board members like John Laughlin were open to speaking with the public while others such as Dave Palmer were not.

I mentioned what happened at the November 2013 Board Workshop in several articles last fall. This was the meeting where the District's attorney recommended that the Fox C-6 school board go into Closed Session for reasons not permitted for Closed Session. Here are some of those articles:

It's important for you to find out how your Fox C-6 school board candidates feel about speaking with the public prior to the upcoming April 8th election. Responding to the public has been a problem for years and needs to be resolved. Fox's current school board is being shutdown from responding to patrons by Superintendent Critchlow and the district attorney.

The Fox C-6 community will need to vote for 3 school board members in the upcoming April 8th election.

The Fox C-6 community will most likely have to contend with current Fox C-6 School Board Vice President Dave Palmer being selected as the School Board President in April. Mr. Palmer has been a friend of Superintendent Dianne Critchlow ever since Dianne recommended that Dave Palmer's wife Gee Palmer be promoted to District Head Nurse in 2006 while Dave Palmer was the Fox C-6 School Board President. Dave Palmer's wife was given a 75% pay increase when she was promoted and given a 12 month contract instead of a 9 month contract.

I recommend reading what Dave Palmer had to say at the November 2013 board workshop about speaking with the public. I transcribed his comments in the following article:

2014 Fox C-6 School Board Candidates

Here are your choices for Fox C-6 School Board on April 8th, 2014 (pick 3):
  • John Laughlin - Incumbent (John has my vote! - John's been helpful in improving transparency.)
  • Mark Jones - (Fox Alumni. Very honest! Interested in accountability and transparency.)
  • Chris Hastings - (Wife - Seckman 2001, Mother in Law - Fox Grad)
  • Dawn Mullins - (I know very little about her.)
  • Vern Sullivan - (Former Board Member and Former Employee (retired))
I don't know much about Dawn Mullins. I met her at the February 2014 Fox C-6 school board meeting. She told me that she has children in the district. She did not graduate from the district. I need to find out more information about Dawn Mullins before deciding on whether or not I would support her.

I have very strong concerns about Vern Sullivan. Vern Sullivan is a close friend of Dianne Critchlow and worked for her in the district for many years. Many in the district (not administrators) are concerned about Vern Sullivan as being "an insider". 

Vern Sullivan is a co-founder of the Politcal Action Committee "Friends of Fox C-6" which has its address listed as 745 Jeffco Blvd, Arnold, MO. This is the same address as the Fox C-6 School District. 

Vern has two sons working for the school district. One of Vern's son's, Brad Duncan, is the Athletic Director at Seckman Senior High School. Vern Sullivan will never be able to approve Bill Payments each month without abstaining unless the district breaks the Bill Payments into separate sections. Every month Brad Duncan has multiple checks written to him. We don't know what the checks are for because our current Bill Payments don't have descriptions included with them anymore on the Bill Payments report. However, the checks are for thousands of dollars each month. This will be a problem!

I believe that voting for Vern Sullivan would be like voting for another raise for Dianne Critchlow.

Superintendent Dianne Critchlow doesn't need a raise and we don't need Vern Sullivan on the Fox C-6 School Board!