A reader of this site from Dublin, GA asked me to write an article about some rather bizarre events at their Board of Education recently. I really do not have enough details to do any sort of in-depth analysis, however with what little I have learned I hope Dallemanditis has not infected our friends in Laurens county. I would love to hear from readers in Dublin with more details or even an op-ed.
Apparently very reminiscent of what Dallemand did to Ron Collier in Bibb, Tim Passmore’s title as director of finance was stripped and he was given a lateral move to a new position presumably to shut him up. Sound familiar?
“On June the 10th the board approved the 50 million dollar budget that I presented and it was bragged upon by the board chairman and talked about what a great job the finance department does here. And on June the 11th the very next day I was given a contract stating that I was the finance director. On June the 16th I was called into the superintendent office around 3 o’clock and he told me that I would be transferred because the board had lost confidence in my ability,” said Passmore.
What I find absolutely outrageous is the Laurens county BOE has a policy of signing up FiVE BUSINESS DAYS IN ADVANCE if you want to speak! That is beyond preposterous.
Speaking at a board is not some gift given to the peasants from the lords of the fiefdom. It almost smacks of noblesse oblige in that they feel obligated to let their minions speak their minds and we should all be grateful we can speak at all. News Flash to the Laurens County Board of Education, these people are not supplicants, they are your bosses not the other way around. A big part of your job is listening to their feedback and criticisms.
Here is what the superintendent was quoted as the rationale for this ridiculous policy. “So it’s best they come and talk to us, and ask us the questions they need, and if they don’t get a resolution, then they can go to the board and say I’ve gone to the superintendent, I’ve gone to the principal, they’ve asked the teacher, and I don’t like the answer that I’ve gotten,” said Johnson.” I will leave the rather poor grammar of that statement aside for the time being and simply say bollocks. What happens if what I have to say is a criticism of the entire board or superintendent and I want to speak my piece on record in front of an audience. Is that not my right? What happens if I do not have some minor quibble that can be addressed by speaking to a teacher or even the superintendent. If you are so desperately afraid of criticism that you have to make the people of Laurens county jump through proverbial hoops to speak for a few minutes, then you are in the wrong business.
If a constituent wants to address the BOE they have every right to do so far more expeditiously. I would think one hour before the BOE meeting is more than sufficient. Since the board does not respond to any of the speakers it matters little what they have to say therefore there is no need to list the topic five days in advance. This has my watchdog radar going off big time because I think this has a lot more to do with budgeting and new schools than any false pretense about shuffling a man to a new position where he can no longer be vigilant with the taxpayers money and making it as difficult for the citizens to speak their minds at board meetings. This also seems like a good old-fashioned grudge or vendetta by several board members. To that I say vote these nincompoops out of office as soon as you can.
We would love to hear more on this story. To all my readers in Dublin please keep us updated. If anyone from the BOE, the superintendent, PTA, Tim Passmore or anyone else would care to comment on this story we would love to hear from you and allow you to explain your rationale for these troubling moves.