Monday, December 1, 2008

Well, that was different

Customarily a new president and vice president are named at a reorg meeting, but only half of that formula was present at tonight's event. After Rich Webb was named president by a 5-4 vote (supporting votes were Cummings, Eccles, Koutsouradis, Koziol, Webb), the board failed to reach a consensus on vice president. After three sets of votes for the nominees (Blasch, Koutsouradis, Koziol) failed to produce a winner, the board agreed to revisit the VP spot at its first meeting of 2009.

In other moments of interest, the law firm of Begley, Carlin and Mandio was once again approved as solicitor by a 6-3 margin (affirmative votes from Boyle, Cummings, Eccles, Koutsouradis, Koziol and Webb). And former Neshaminy educator Howard Lindner spoke up at public comment to take shots at our former superintendent, Paul Kadri, until Mr. Webb asked him to move on.

It was announced that the board's Strategic Planning Committee will meet next Monday, December 8th, at Hoover beginning at 7pm.


Levittowner said...

What is the set up of the board? Who are the Republicans and who are the Democrats?

I know politics shouldn't be in the decision making process, but the voting has left me with the question.

William O'Connor said...

The following post from Levittownerwas edited for content.

At the end of the day, Mr. Kadri pushed out and Mr. Eccles still in control with-what it seems from past history-a very accommodating super.

Mr. Linder is even back ranting.

Looks like all is in place for another *great* decision making machine-just like the one who gave us our "on budget and on time" renovation.

What is that sucking sound?'s our school district going down the drain.

William O'Connor said...

To Levittowner, everyone voted along party lines.

The Republican majority is comprised of Rich Webb, Rick Eccles, Frank Koziol, Kim Koutsouradis and Susan Cummings. The Democratic minority includes Joe Blasch, Bill Spitz, Irene Boyle and me.

I must be living in Jersey said...

When Medvedev replaced Putin as the Russian president, everyone knew that Putin was still calling the shots. Is it any different here in Neshaminy? Webb was just as vocal against Kadri as Eccles was. Is it any surprise that Mr. Lindner returned to the board meetings to see Webb elected president, just as he supported Eccles repeatedly over the years? If Koziol is appointed to vice president again we will have another Levittown board. We needed a change in direction but didn't get one.

Tim said...

The reorganization meeting was a referendum on Paul Kadri. Those who voted to keep the Levittown members of the board in power - the ones who forced Kadri to leave - supported their undermining him. Why else would they reward them with more power? The person above me is right when he said a vote for Webb was like a vote for Eccles. If Koziol becomes vice president, we will be controlled by a levittown group with an agenda. No offense to levittown residents, but we needed change not more of the same.

News Flash said...

Hey wait a minute. Lindner showed up because he knew that Webb was going to be elected. That means the republicans made an agreement who would be in charge before the meeting began. When the democrats did something similar in the township, the republicans filed a court ordered injunction. Foul! Foul! Somebody call an attorney so we can stop this farce of a reorganziation.

finance-101 said...

Question ????

What does it mean to be Democrat or Republican, and what does each believe?

Anyone, Democrat, Republican or any board member, please answer.


William O'Connor said...

Interesting question, Finance-101. I'll take a stab at it . . .

There really is no difference between Republicans and Democrats on the local level. National platforms hold no relevance to local issues, and you probably couldn't tell one from the other by their opinions on most issues impacting our community. I'm not a mind-reader but I'll bet your next question is why did we all vote along party lines at the reorg meeting. That question isn't as simple to answer.

Some people believe in party unity above all else and will never, ever vote for a person in the other party no matter how qualified they may be. In some cases, politicians may want to support someone from another party but they fear the backlash they may get from their own party officials. And in some cases, it just may be the case that the best qualified person is from your own party.

I can only speak for myself regarding this last Reorg meeting. I supported (and still support) Joe Blasch for president or vice president because of several key reasons:
1) Joe is a smart, caring man who is a former district employee, and is still maintains friendships with many people in the district.
2) He has a demonstrated history of bipartisanship, and is willing to work with anyone.
3) It's been a long time since we've had executive representation from Lower South.
4) Joe is retired and has the time to devote to the position.

Prior to the reorg meeting, I made a suggestion to several board members about a bipartisan solution for this reorg meeting in which one Democrat and one Republican would be the president and vice president. The idea was well received at first, but then a couple board members changed their minds, presumably so that they could vote their party line.

Edward said...

The reorganization should have been a referendum on Mr. Kadri, and a clear majority were outspoken in their support for him but that did play out. When politics gets in the way of doing what is right, we are witness to a miscarriage of justice. At the end of the day, each Board member must live with their conscience.

Yes, you can be certain that your affiliated party may well shun you if you do not do as you are told – some had the audacity to support a high school facility that was better suited to meet our district’s long-term needs.

At the school board level, you clearly see those in favor of a quality education (at an affordable cost) opposing those who seek to reduce the cost of education by virtually any means possible.

Then, there are others who position for power & control, which results in the award of contracts and employment positions, etc. This latter group is most dangerous as their objectives supplant what may be best for our children and/or taxpayer. Their actions are gauged more by which way the wind is blowing, relying heavily on their political support base to advise which course to follow.

Ed Stack

sk.langhorne said...

I said this months ago and I'll say it again. I don't blame Rick Eccles or Rick Webb for what happened to Paul Kadri. They had their reasons for not liking him as superintendent. The problem is that the majority of the board supported Kadri but failed to stand up for him. How do 3 board members from Levittown force out a popular superintendent when 5 or 6 supported him? Simple, because most of the 5 or 6 lack the courage and/or conviction to do what was necessary to protect him. Then those same people vote in a president who (from all appearances) was instrumental in driving Kadri away. They did the same thing last year and they did it again this week. Do they believe that being consistent is better than being right?

JS said...

I will put you on notice to speak up Mr. O'Connor that any favors done in the direction of Mr. Lindner (or his relatives).

There is no surprise he has been missing while the cost and quality of the renovation project have spiraled in opposite directions. He just couldn't resist himself to come and take jabs at our former Superintendant and laud his political puppets.

William O'Connor said...

To put your mind at ease JS, I will speak out (and have already done so) any time I believe best practices are violated in favor of favoritism, no matter who is involved. Having said that, please keep one important thing in mind - just because someone may be a friend or relation to someone who is "connected" doesn't mean that they aren't deserving of an opportunity. If someone is qualified and has gone through the same consideration as all other candidates, then that person deserves to be judged on their own merit. A politically-connected advocate should be neither a benefit nor a hindrance to their career.

Gabriel said...

While Mr. Webb may see the world with the same eyes as Mr. Eccles, I do think any change in leadership is a positive one. Your idea, William, to have the Lower South leadership is a good one but it just wasn't meant to be. I hope all of you will pledge cooperation with Mr. Webb and give him a chance, and I further hope he takes this opportunity to rebuild board unity. It doesn't matter that all 9 of you disagree on certain issues, but what is important is that you trust each others intentions and are willing to work through disagreements.

Good luck to all of you, and thank you for your hard work and dedication to our children.

finance-101 said...

Mr. O:

Thanks for your 4 points on Joe Blasch. At least now we know a little about him. How about the other VP candidates? I know Koziol always votes "No" on everything and we don't know much about the other VP choice.

Maybe at the next school board meeting, those supporting each VP candidate can give a few points on why they should be voted in. Otherwise it becomes a vote for Homecoming King/Queen.

I guess my point here is that this Democrat, Republican thing is very damaging to our financial well being (AKA real estate prices).
Maybe for just 1 time there can be a vote based on qualifications, ideas and the best interests of education. That result reaps financial rewards for us all.

Again, we should be a model to the outside world on why they should move in, not move out. Right now we are constantly being told that the outside world does not want to move in.