Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Taking Jen Smith to Task

Enough is enough. Let's take a hard look at board member Smith and her agenda. What does she want?

According to the newspapers, the audio files of board meetings, and the email recently blasted to OFK members, Smith is a real troublemaker. As proof, consider this: Smith wants to see the actual expenditures made by the district. Can you even imagine? What nerve.

Think about this OFK folks: A sitting board member, and member of the board's Finance and Audit Committee, wants to see how the district spent your tax money. That's it.

Yet, to the rest of the board, this request is a burden for the treasurer and her department -- yes, she has a department.

Now this is 2008, so the Smith request does not mean employees thumbing through filing cabinets and paper folders, looking for receipts, etc., to be followed by days running the copy machine.

No, this is the computer age. The info that Smith wants is likely three or four mouse clicks away. Yet the other board members see this as an unreasonable request. Really?

A six month cat-and-mouse game just to stop a board member from reviewing expenses. Hmmm.

OFK folks, email Feasel and ask her: "What is the district hiding? Why can't Smith have her expense report?"

Smith's other issue is also a non issue. From what I gather, Smith wanted the board to discuss (inter alia) replacing a few art classes with a few new technology classes. This was to be just a discussion. Yet ...

This simple request rattled the district. The union flexed its muscle while Hooie read the ultimatum:

Board, You must play by our rules. No independent thinking allowed.

The district employees showed their teeth and the rest of the board rolled over in submission.

Folks, that's it. That is the Smith agenda. Seems reasonable and sensible. Yet the board, administration, and employees are afraid. Do they have something to hide?


note: OFK folks, while you're at it, ask Feasel about an assistant treasurer collecting two salaries over the summer. That's just a hint, let Feasel fill you in on the rest.


Anonymous said...

Jen Smith's problem is she is a grandstander. She waits to do everything at the board meeting where the people she accuses of wrongdoing are not able to respond unless they want to play into her scheme.

Based on the public record, she waits until the day of or the day before the meeting to request information and then complains when it is not forthcoming.

She'll read a long list of allegations in the public meeting and then wonder why there is no discussion.

She needs to work with the administration during the week, sit down and go over the information and understand what it means and then if an issue is left unresolved, bring it up at the meeting.

But that would mean work and that would mean she would really have to understand finance and financial reports. It is much easier to throw firebombs and wonder why she gets such a harsh reaction.

Anonymous said...

How dare any of us tax payers, let alone an elected official, ask to see where our hard earned tax dollars are going! Back down tax payers, this isn't your district, this is the districts district!!!

According to Julie Feasel, we, the public, know how hard some of these great people work tirelessly selling hot dogs and football tickets, watching over wieght lifters in the wieght room, coaching girls basketball, lacrosse, golf, and butterfly chasing so they can earn a paycheck? OK.... sorry for the vicious attack on a board member who is taking advantage of her position of power and violating board policy in the process.

Enough non-sense.... OLSD is a district that will spend $124M of your tax dollars in FY2009. We are obligated as tax paying citizens to ensure that this local institution is spending our money wisely and budgeting in a fiscally responsible manner and acting truthfully and within the confines of the law. Trusting our district without any oversight or validation is a recipe for disaster. Just look at Fannie and Freddie, the Ohio AG's office (AKA Fraternity Party), Bob Taft and Golfing w/ Former CEO's, School Board Officials hiring their spouses, School Board Officials resigning to take a District Position that pays more, etc. etc. etc. Where there is no oversight, corruption exists. Where there exists no checks and balances, there is no balance.

Smith is the only board member willing to "check" and try to apply the appropriate counter wieght to balance the district. Right now, we are an open check book district.

That "checking" process starts with a request for last years actuals and this years budgets. If that is a difficult request to fill by our Treasurer, then we have MUCH bigger problem on our hands.

mother of olentangy kid said...

It appears that Jennifer Smith cetainly had a victory at the Board meeting last night. Listen closely OSBM and OFK, it looks like the parents of Olentangy Kids have had enough of your nonsence. Why don't you try to focus your attention on getting your jobs done, saving the tax payers some money and STOP THE B's!!!

Anonymous said...

By my estimation that email trickled down and across to at least 1,000 email addresses. Add spouses and other word of mouth and the distorted legend of Big Bad Jen Smith and Her Horrible Agenda must have reached 2,500 residents.

So, where were the troops? Who came out last night to witness Kristen Fenker's initiation into the OTA Civilian Corps? No One. Well, no one of importance--only the usual OTA squawkers and sycophants, including ThisWeek--with a video camera no less, which indicates just how incredibly hyped-up and widely promoted last nights "Smackdown In The Boardroom" was.

But it all boiled down to just poor, lonely, frustrated Kristen Fenker who poured every tear of anger into that email and looked like she was going to cry during her silly, overwrought castigation of Smith. Poor Kristen put everything she could into that Custeresque assault on Smith and the troops failed to charge with her. In fact, they failed to even show up. Boo hoo.

Oh, yeah. Wacky Cathy Boone spoke, too, but nobody listens to her silly rantings anyway--not even her colleagues, I'm told.

Kristen--and I know you're tuning in to this blog, and if miss this then reliable OTA Civilian Corps General Julie will relay this message to you. I have some advice: get on the right side of the issues. Right now you're on the wrong side--I know it and 90% of the people on your email string know it. The community know what's really going on, despite your best attempt to lead them to believe otherwise. Last nights bust said it all.

Anonymous said...

Me: Can't we all just get along?

You: Nope.

Me: Rats!

You: Yout got it.

Me: Got what?

You: Rats... that's what we're dealing with.

Me: Ah, now I get it.

Anonymous said...

Too bad This Week didn't report what really happened. They forgot to report that four members of the public spoke out strongly against the board, the administration, OFK, and The union.

Yes, the 2 OFK sympathizers re read the email....but what did the other 4 who supported Ms Smith say?....perhaps the young reporter should report what really happened. They should review the video tape...and include everybody's type written statement.

This week is in the district's pocket. Objectivity be damned!

Anonymous said...

ThisWeak needed to include the fact that there was support for Smith from the community. But this is how they qualified it, "At least one speaker defended Smith". So, the reporter knew that Smith received support--and knew that it was more than one person--but declined to report that it was four people.

Conversely, the reporter wrote that "Several people said they were disappointed in Smith's behavior". For the record, two spoke against Smith--not "several". If they were counting Gallowaste's and Jenkins's comments then they should not have been misrepresented as speakers in order to make it "several". How dishonest.

Add to that the advance notice they got that someone was going to ask her to resign, so they brought out the cameras. In the tank?

So, ThisWeak has been caught, once again, being the official mouthpiece of the OLSD.

Can someone sue them to take "Community" off their header? They should be forced to rename themselves a "District" newspaper.

Jim Fedako said...

8:43 --

Here's the thing ... You only see the board meeting. You do not have privilege to the nonsense that goes on outside the meeting.

Likely Smith is fed up and frustrated. So what you see at the meetings is the result of the administration and fellow board members playing silly cat and mouse games.

Likely, you would have less patience than Smith if you had to go through what she appears to have to go though. I know I did when I served.

Trust me on this: Smith knows more about finance than the treasurer. Give Smith a call and you'll learn more in 5 minutes than Jenkins could impart in a year. And I'm not exaggerating. Again, you see very little of what really goes on.

So be careful making assumptions about how someone should act when you only see a small piece of all the interactions.

note: When I served, it took the district sometimes 6 months to give me reports and data that they legally had to file with the state -- I am still waiting on reports that I was promised. Yet these same folks could turn around a salary survey of local administrators in a matter of days.