Thank you to all residents who attended the Public Works Session and Board Meeting. A big congratulations to Mr. Thomas McDaid, Ms. Christina Moser and Ms. Lorraine Kramps for getting tenured!!! The speeches were beautiful and we are so happy for them and our District. We also want to thank Dr. Seniuk for addressing the Meet the Candidates Night confusion. Dr. Seniak clarified that Meet Candidates Night is not District run event and neither she nor District has a say in the format chosen by the PTA regarding to how residents would be able to ask questions. Per Dr. Seniak, the PTA Presidents have addressed the lack of uniformity for the format and have advised that moving forward there will be a uniform format established for Meet Candidates to come. Thank you to all three PTA for working together and coming up with the uniform solution! The meeting was video taped by the District. Their copy is way better than ours. We hope that they put up the video soon. In case they don't', we will post our video shortly. The agenda for the meeting can be viewed by clicking below:
Link to the Work Session on Programs. We encourage all residents to see what wonderful programs our taxes have been used to provide for our students. We wish that this was shown to the residents at the beginning of the year instead of week before elections.
Link to the Board of Education Meeting (3 Parts):
Part 1 Tenure Awards and Speeches
Part 2 Legislator McKevitt helps our school secure $150,000 grant for security
The meeting was generally innocuous until we got to "New Business” part at the end. For the next 40 minutes Tracey Miller, Ed Corona and Vincent Lentini, attempted to address what they believed was misinformation on social media and what the Board could do to stop being portrayed in a negative light via social media. Nothing that either of the trustees addressed could be characterized or classified as new or old business. What each three did, which was obvious to any resident who was present at the meeting and anyone viewing the tape, was attempt to electioneer and undercut the candidates who were running for election. They specifically took apart and complained about posts on two Candidates Facebook pages that discussed District financials. We really are struggling to understand why the BOE is so focused on how they appear on social media instead of focusing on our children their programs. The Board wants to know why the residents are distrustful and their negative posts on social media. This is why. If they trustees want to stop being portrayed negatively, they need to stop behaving improperly.
Perhaps the most troubling and concerning of what occurred was that BOE Trustee Tracey Miller brought up Proposition 4 under the guise that she received concerning emails or calls from residents in the community about this proposition. She then went on to state that in her opinion, this proposition takes away residents' voices and it wasn’t well thought out Tracey then tried to get a discussion about the proposition 4 with the rest of the board trustees at which point the board lawyer politely pointed out that discussing and then providing an opinion on a proposition which is on ballot, by a sitting trustee, during a meeting, was not appropriate. Tracey Miller's attempt to discredit a proposition that she obviously disagreed with during a board meeting could not have been characterized as new business or old business, or any board business. It was electioneering at it finest and completely inappropriate and unethical. While Tracey is not running for a Board seat, if Proposition 4 is passed her tenure will end in 2020 and she will not be able to run for re-election until 2021. Her agenda for bringing up the proposition was the only thing transparent as the reason behind her statements.
During the last Public Comments section of the meeting, A resident came up to the microphone at the end to express her frustration with the BOE, specifically addressing how inappropriate it was for Tracey Miller to voice her opinion about Proposition 4 and Ed Corona to attempt to discredit social media posts. She was vocal but not disrespectful. You can view for yourself once the video is posted and come to your own conclusions. Instead of Jenn Hyland responding, which is the rule, Vincent Lentini decided to address the concerns raised by this Resident. Specifically telling this resident and the community how he objected to Residents coming up to the microphone and expressing their concern and frustration with how our current Board was behaving towards residents in community. Mr. Lentini basically said Residents "should think twice before they come to the microphone angry and make public comments." Its interesting that Mr. Lentini is objecting to Residents making complaints about BOE actions during public comments. We seem to remember Mr. Lentini being quite vocal and upset during an June 13, 2017 Board meeting about there being only one Kindergarten class at Fayette and Superintendent Seniak moving a teacher from Fayette to Camp Avenue. The Board Minutes memorializing Mr. Lentini's impassioned address from that meeting are attached.
About 5 minutes after the meeting ended, and our camera was off, the resident who made the public comment that was upsetting to Lentini went up to him to ask if she could speak to him about what he said. We did not hear the question asked. However, we did witness and overhear Mr. Lentini remark in an what we observed was an aggressive and angry manner to this resident, that she "better think twice before speaking - I can have you banned from future meetings" and was over heard by multiple witnesses yelling “you better watch your back!” at the resident. The resident then yelled back "are you threatening me?". At which point Mr. Lentini was observed walking up to the resident and getting into the resident's personal space, in a more aggressive and threatening manner, this time, sticking his finger in her face, and restating: "watch your back" and “you better watch what you say." The Superintendent, BOE Trustees, and other people in the room all saw this unfold. Another female resident had to physically place herself between the resident and Lentini and was overheard telling Lentini that his behavior was completely unacceptable, and unbecoming, and inappropriate and he needed to back off. Most importantly, " no man should get in the face of a woman like that." Lentini stormed off and yelled "watch your back" multiple times. We cannot believe that a BOE Trustee would behave this way. Mr. Lentini's behavior was disgusting, unacceptable, and in direct violation of his code of ethics and conduct as a Board Trustee.
This dysfunction has to stop. The current trustees (with the exception of Megan) have demonstrated that they have an utter disregard to the code of ethics and fiduciary responsibilities to this community. The only way to change the climate of our Board of Ed is to vote in new trustees. Trustees who will take their oath seriously and represent all residents, even those who disagree with their politics.
Please share this on your social media pages and let all residents know what is happening. We need to get more than 1,200 residents to vote on May 21, 2019. Otherwise nothing will change.