As the School Board election race morphs into the junior high popularity contest we know it will become I admit my allegiance to several Board Members is forced at best. Mary Ruth Kapsiak's seat is up for grabs as is Roz Taylor's and Sharon Belton-Cottman. These three in combination with Florence Johnson and Barbara Seals Nevergold stonewalled Amber Dixon's chances of becoming anything more than an interim Superintendent. A fellow Board member admitted to constituents at a community gathering that they would never allow Amber Dixon to have the job or any white woman for that matter. Instead they brought in Pamela Brown who has underwhelmed everyone with her stealth like profile in all matters educational. The ladies were really taken with her Harvard PhD and have said as much since bringing her here. She claimed a while back that she was bringing in some of "her own people" from her last job in Philly. But as she was a holdover from a previously hated regime (think James Williams' appointees here folks) the remark has rung somewhat hollow as it doesn't appear she has any "people" to bring in from Philly.
What nobody knew but we've since learned is that Williams and Friends were willing to hand over 4 Buffalo Schools to corporate privatization. A quick perusal of the West Buffalo Charter School's Board meeting minutes reveals some very eye popping backroom deals being made between -- you guessed it -- none other than the Head Chamelon himself -- Steve Polowitz and Jimmy the Pimp. The privatizers made it VERY CLEAR that they wanted Waterfront. Williams was also willing to pimp out Herman Badillo #76 and it almost looks as if they were willing to accept it if it meant they would also get their hands on Waterfront. Williams admits the union is not going to like it and almost seems to grasp that the Board might have an opinion on the giveaway as well but in typical Jimmy Dubz fashion the old bullshitter was wheeling and dealing now and not worrying about the chips falling in his Chop House lobster bisque later. Amazingly, Williams states that he and his executive committee would all be on board with handing over 4 Buffalo Schools to corporate privatization. If anyone is good at history can we draw up a list of who exactly his cabinet consisted of ? I am thinking several of them took quick demotions as soon as he left town and Dixon took charge.
Here are a few priceless snippets from the deals that almost were. Note that Williams claims to have spoken with "his board" and that several of them will support this. I wonder which Board Members he was talking about ? And I wonder how hard it will be to support some of these sad sacks in the coming months simply because they appear to be the lesser of two evils.
August 15 2011 WBCS Board Minutes
Mr. Cozzo and Mr. Polowitz met several times with Dr. Williams, School Superintendent. We presented to him our interest in WBSC restarting Waterfront School. School 45 (International School) was also discussed at one point and Dr. Williams proposed School 76 (Herman Badillo), but we indicated that we are really interested in Waterfront. Mr. Cozzo felt that Dr. Williams was in favor of the plan. Dr. Williams indicated that he had spoken with his Board and felt that several members would support this plan. He met with his executive staff and there was seemingly no objection. We were told that everyone supported it except the union. He stated that he also spoke to the State about getting them enjoined in making this happen. The school board subsequently announced that they were terminating Dr. Williams’ contract.
Mr. Polowitz stated that he met with Dr. Williams in early July, at which time Dr. Williams asked for a proposal to do 4 schools. Mr. Polowitz provided that proposal. Our concern right now is how we make this proposal survive the end of his tenure as superintendent. We don’t want to lose momentum if he’s out. The only school that would be ready to go as a charter is Waterfront...
Dr. Whitehorse suggested that we hold a press conference to present our plan. We need to talk about where we are and about the various options we have with closing a PLA school and doing a restart. We need to talk about what we need – a response from the school board, a response from the superintendent, a response from the State with regard to funding and a response from the community supporting our plan. We need to let people know why it’s in their interest – the interest of the board, the governor, the superintendent. Mr. Cozzo stated that we should wait to see whether Dr. Williams serves this up for us as he’s promised. It is most important that we engage the parent community before we do any press conference – perhaps set up a parent meeting at Waterfront.
We saw what a colossal FAIL their attempts to infiltrate parents and the community were when the Chameleons tried that quick snap meeting last July at Waterfront giving less than 24 hours for anyone to make plans and show up. And whaddya know but they FAILED to provide ONE parent or member of the community who'd support them. The opposition, however came DEEP and essentially told the Chameleons, Polowitz, Val Nolan and their frothing point man Emilio Fuentes, Thanks but no thanks. There was no doubt as to the feelings of those assembled that nobody remotely connected to Waterfront School or its Community had any use for this merry band of outsiders in a hurry to do them good and make a buck off it in the process.
Now that we're getting a look at how this stuff goes on, who's to say they aren't making the same private offers to the latest Superintendent brought here by the Block of 5 on the Board,. Carl Paladino calls them "The Sisters" to the horror of some sensitive members of the community. I prefer the more poetic "Sorority Majority." You can throw in Ralph Hernandez to the majority voting block too since he's shown all the loyalty of a Pashtun warlord in his on again off again allegiances as a Board member. Remember when he wanted to be Board President and threw in with the Williams agenda claiming that's what anyone does to get votes, go where the votes are? Oh and in case anyone's wondering, James Sampson the guy running against Ralph happens to be the Chairman of the Erie Country Fiscal Stability Board, a Cuomo appointee. He is also a founding member and trustee of West Buffalo Charter and a Board Member of BuffaloReformEd. Talk about hold your nose and vote. And as for Dr. Brown who seems to love posing alongside charter school wunderkind and political appointee NYSED King John King, does anyone really think she'll stand up for public schools when the Deformers wave an offer sheet under her nose? I'm not holding my breath folks.