Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Scoop on the BOE Superintendent Contract

The Middletown Insider would like to shed some light on the recent drama of the BOE administration this morning. In recent weeks news has broken that there is a $1 million deficit in the budget found by an independent accounting firm hired by the City to perform an annual routine audit. It also should be noted that the "temporary" hire for the BOE payroll position is past the 90 trail period and has become permanant earlier this week.. The person who was given this job by Superintendent Michael Frechette is the son in law of Councilwoman Hope Kasper (D). The conflict of interest arises in that Kasper was on the Hiring Commitee to fill this position.. This applicant did not score in the rankings for the position.Prior to the re-election of Kasper, then candidate Councilwoman Linda Salafia wrote letters published in the Middletown Press and on the Middletown Eye Blog condemning the blatant practice of nepotism that occurred; despite the proof of this, Kasper was elected anyway.
According to Councilwoman Linda Salafia (R) as posted in her facebook group this week: "The City of Middletown's charter states that the Mayor is the hiring authority for the City and BOE for all non-certified positions. The State upheld the Union's complaint, the BOE appealed and subsequently has withdrawn the complaint and the position is currently posted. However, the position that the BOE created illegally is still occupied at the BOE??? Because the rumors that I am hearing are saying that the emcumbent employee has an employment contract until the end of the school year, the BOE is not addressing the illegal position. I requested the employment contract of this employee under the FOI Act and was given a copy of the contract which is actually anybody's right to do so. What I found interesting was that the contract has as a term: until termination. ??? Appparently this contract does not expire at the end of the school year. Also, what was interesting was that, even though this has been a issue of several years, this contract was executed in August of 2011. So... a contract with no specific length of term, open ended, was written and signed in August of 2011?? Why?"
"There are some facts that need to be posted: right after the election, the press printed that the BOE had withdrawn their appeal of the State of CT DOL decision against the BOE in regards to Ms. Haynes' position and the union position of business manager. Although that was printed in November, the actual withdrawal was not done officially until the very end of December. Took awhile. Should be noted that the employee who applied for the position has declined to take the position and now the position is posted to the general public."

Good questions Councilwoman Salafia! So far only you and Councilwoman Kleckoski have publicly questioned the sanity behind the continued employment of Superintendent Michael Frechette and Business Manager Nancy Haynes.

The Middletown Press article that was published on Super Bowl Sunday, although the deficit in funds was initially brought up during the Finance Committee meeting that previous Wednesday explains the deficit that the annual audit found. The Press writes:" Councilwoman Deborah Kleckowski, a Republican, called for the immediate termination of both Frechette and Haynes on Friday.
“The irresponsible behavior is endless...and it’s more than fiscal irresponsibility,” she said. “The Board of Education comes before the council and requests money. Once the council allows the allocation to go forward, the board of ed can do whatever it wants.”
Kleckowski said Frechette and Haynes have “demonstrated an inability to follow general accounting practices and provide clear and effective transparency.” She said the education board was granted an extra $1.3 million last fiscal year and the money “was squandered.”
“Frechette got a raise, Haynes got a raise and Senges got a raise,” Kleckowski said. “Not a single instructor got a raise.”
Kleckowski also called for an immediate review of administrators, including special education administrators, for receiving large sums of money for mileage reimbursements"."

According to his contract, Frechette does indeed have carte blanche to do (or not do) whatever he wants. This includes, hiring and firing staff at will, without necessarily publicly posting the positions, paying or not paying janitors and aids in a timely manner, giving himself and his administrator's raises, while teachers receive none and students are sent home with "supply wish lists" which parents are expected to go out and purchase for classrooms that are not properly stocked with things like paper and pencils you would expect that tax payer contributions would normally fund in a public school. Sound like a fairytale? 
Well, it is all true and available to for the average citizen to read. Written plain as day for all to read, according to his contract the superintendent is employed until terminated; he is perpetually in his second year of a three year never ending contract. In previous weeks before the discovery of the discrepancy of funds in the BOE budget (which mind you, Christine Bourne then City Treasurer & BOE administration employee brought to the attention of then Mayor Sebastian Giuliano a year ago, but thats a whole other story). According to the same Press article Mayor Dan Drew claims the deficit is merely an "over spend" and "difference in accounting practices." Is this like an "over share" or too much information moment? The Insider would like to point out when the average citizen over drafts his or her checking account, we do not get an "opps my bad" free pass from our banks as it seems the BOE administration is getting from the Mayor. The Insider would like to think that we can all agree on how to add and subtract; we would like to know what differences in accounting that Mayor Drew is talking about. Apparently, we the tax payer, have yet to get the memo on the new math being used by the BOE administration.
The bigger question is will Mayor Drew step up and call Frechette out on the carpet for all the issues that have occurred in his tenure? These include countless grievances by staff, delays in pay for staff who have worked overtime, complaints about transportation from parents over unsafe bus stops & recent action by the State Dept. of Education over this, complaints by parents about the closing of the DEAL program and cuts to Special Education,, improper hiring practices,, reports of bullying in schools, issues with requiring police to be present in the hallyways of the high school, low test scores, supply shortages in classrooms, and less than two weeks ago news that made Farm Hill Elementary the center of national controversy because of the use of what parents called "scream rooms." A truly sad moment for Middletown was when CNN & the Dr. Drew Show chimed in on un-padded, lockable, windowless, converted concrete block janitorial closets that Frechette knew staff were using to isolate both unruly students and special needs students. The Insider asks : Are we just at the tip of the iceberg with the BOE Administration as to what is really going on?
Bottomline:Today, when it comes to the budget deficit, it appears Superintendent Frechette's new nickname should be " Super Fullashitte."


  1. About time someone put the info about the Board of Education and Michael Frechette out there for the public to see.

    Thank you Councilwomen for your work.

  2. I cannot believe people voted for Kasper!Frechette had $6k in mileage stipends ridiculous! no wonder special education was cut in Middletown all the money when to the administrators!


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