Good Question: "Why doesn't the BOE just show us the books?" Answer: THEY DON'T HAVE TO.
A much loved reader The Blue Cat asked an intelligent question in our comments section the Insider would like to address. " Why doesn't the BOE Administration just show the public the accounting books?" We don't mean to pick on you kitty cat, its a really good question; good for you for taking an interest in where your tax money goes. Many have asked this over and over in various letters to the media and statements given and its a fair question answered below.
It is clear that the BOE had over-spent their special education budget. They did it two years in a row.
Thing is.. thats the norm. And normally there is a grant check that covers a lot of that expenditure. Problem is.. the City used that money without BOE permission. Should the City have done that. No. Did the BOE overspend their budget? Yeah. Thats what happened.
But in the end the city has to fund the BOE no less then the year before. And all of this is over two institutions sharing money. For a few years they have been getting less from the state and the spat between Guiliano and "Evil BOE Empire" didn't help the sharing process.
Now I do have my doubts about some of the accounting practices at the BOE. It appears that some things are left in the dark. Why cant we get a "completely detailed receipt" from the BOE? Isn't that a fair request?
Thank you thank you for the question Blue Cat! in a nutshell here is the answer...
I have to correct you a a few points Blue Cat- the City did not spend the BOE's money. The City told Haynes it was not going to receive the grant money from the State and she and the administration played dumb and kept spending anyway. Mind you, she and all the admins got raises, not a single teacher did. In fact students have been sent home with supply "wish lists." SO the City never had the money. Chalking this up to Giuliano having a spat is inaccurate and unfair and a rumor perpetuated by some of the local Democrats. Again not all, newly elected are doing a fine job asking the right questions. Frechette actively campaigned for Tom Serra and Dan Drew so you have to see that connection. This set the stage for any questioning of Frechette by anyone in public office from either party to have the preconceived connotation of being strictly politically motivated.The crew enlisted the help of Wesleyan student Dem presidents Ben Florsheim and Gabriela D'Golia who accused Giuliano supporters of felony voter intimidation. Employees employed by the City working as aids, janitors, secretaries etc have filed numerous grievances citing real mistreatment, discrimination, and unlawful practices by the BOE administration that has gone unnoticed for years. The then Mayor trying to remedy this only to find no communication on the part of the BOE admin namely Frechette is anything but a spat. (So Giuliano took the BOE Administration to court, which the public grossly misunderstood. Dan Drew ran his campaign on the premise "end the lawsuits save money", and badda bing badda boom, gets elected, no more lawsuits basically giving Frechette carte blanche to continue the madness of the BOE acting like a soverign nation and he the big Chief.) The only instance of this gross mistreatment of workers, out of dozens, that made the Press was when cafe workers and janitors were not paid for 2 months for the hours they worked at the storm shelter. The only person to blame for this is Michael Frechette. How would you feel if your boss told you he was not going to pay you money you were owed for 2 months? Wrong and illegal but it happened!
By law, which no one seems to understand is the BOE Administration does not have to show line items or be transparent. THATS THE LAW. So if they don't have to all the cries of transparency, talking, hugging, sharing "fair request" will continue to fall on deaf ears. It is not or never was a matter of the BOE and Mayor Giuliano being stubborn, its a matter of the fact Frechette and Haynes by law do not have to show the public the books, and therefore won't. By standing up Blue Cat, we as tax payers do not have to pay for it. Some people have jobs illegally (Haynes) and some people got huge raises (Frechette & Senges) and and mileage- that certainly will cover a lot of the million deficit. Also did you forget Frechette gifted Datco a magic bio-diesel or something school bus a year ago? He spent what he called a $100,000.00 overage!
The Insider pulled the contracts of Frechette and Haynes, and there is not exit clause. Frechette's 3 year contract auto-renews in its second year. Therefore he is always in his second year of three, employed for life. However, contrary to rumors there is no buy out.A vote of no confidence on the part of the elected BOE board would give Frechette, the Insider feels, the much deserved boot. (hint hint) Frechette was the highest paid public employee of Middletown the past two years; his salary is comparable with other superintendents around the state, however, they do their jobs without making headlines- they do not have scream rooms or deficits of a million dollars. Haynes was hired last spring, however, did not sign her contract until August. Why? And, remind you, she was hired illegally as the State has since ruled. Now, the position will be filled again, and taxpayers will be paying for Haynes's salary and that of a person duplicating her duties. Have you ever seen "The Shining" where the twins come down the hall ? Yeah....double the pleasure, double the fun.
One would think if there was nothing to hide the books would be public, however, so far it hasn't happened, and I wouldn't hold my breath. The Insider says if we had a dollar for everytime Mayor Drew says "communication" or "transparency" the million dollar deficit would have been long paid by now. By law, the BOE does not have to give the public a "detailed receipt", which everyone and their mother has asked for over and over, therefore it will never happen.
Blue Cat you are right in the fact by our charter herein known as "Our Stupid Charter," taxpayers must fund the BOE no less than the previous year, therefore the deficit is in fact compounded. This is possibly how DEAL and Special Education got shafted. Oh Our Stupid Charter.
**Correction: according to State Law- the BOE must provide no less funding than the year before.** Apologies for the misinformation. Also a better choice of words is that our Charter is confusing rather than stupid.
Anyone else who would like to submit a question please do! The Insider is here to answer!