Visitors, I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine about what it would take to make evil repulsive again.
It was an interesting concept, from an interesting man- Code name “Swede”. Swede and I are like most of you, very concerned about the moral freefall our country has found itself in during this election season.
It seems as if NOTHING is repulsive anymore. Hillary Clinton a liar about national secrets? Phht. Pilferer of her own ‘charitable’ foundation? Big deal. Arguably a murderer of our own citizens in Benghazi? Yawn. (That Benghazi has not raised national ire simply astonishes me)
Donald Trump a selfish, shady businessman? Who cares! An abusive pig who treats women like objects, on camera? What of it? A man with no moral compass, leading what used to be the most moral nation on earth? Truly, truly alarming.
Swede, like me, found himself nonplussed. How could we, hobbyist authors, get a message of shock and concern to you, the unshockable electorate?
It’s a matter of focus.
Remember this picture, Visitors? The so-called Clean Slate Gang. This group, the current Jeffco Board of Ed, was inserted by a campaign funded entirely by various teacher’s unions, all the while claiming to be parent-driven. This board instituted closed door meetings. Drastically curtailed parent input. Made unilateral budget choices. Ignored the achievement ghetto that is Jeffco- God help if you are a poor child of color or a special needs kid with this gang.
(For reference and fact checking, search the #NotAnotherDimeJeffco on this blog, The Endless Lies of Wendy McCord, parts One and Two, and Education/Local Politics in the search bar above).
This gang has run out the surplus my brother, John Newkirk and the other recalled members developed. They have paid off the Jeffco Teacher’s Union with unmerited bonuses as a reward after the recall election. They have sat for a full calendar year of catastrophic achievement failure, which can be fairly laid at their feet. (See the previous column for the dismal achievement statistics that define Jeffco).
Most importantly, they are counting on the ignorance of you, Jeffco Visitors, to support this unprecedented money grab that is the Jeffco Bond Issue.
Focus on just the money with me, Visitors. This single aspect of this issue is very, very easy to understand.
Meet Steve Bell, Jefferson County Schools Chief Operations Officer. Bell is the chief architect of this bond issue, which is run on the idea that Jeffco needs nearly a BILLION dollars to fix crumbling schools.
A chief operations officer is the one who is in charge of building projects. Bell has written bids to replace boilers, repave parking lots, replace concrete, roofs, and ‘general upgrades’. Are you tracking with me, Visitors? This is pretty easy to understand. We have school buildings, and school buildings fairly need to be maintained.
Here’s the stumper, friends. How often has Mr. Bell written an accurate bid in his 12 year plus tenure at Jeffco?
Not once has Steve Bell ever written an accurate bid for a building project in Jeffco. Never.
Anyone (like me, and most of you) who has even gotten a bid for a construction job knows that these things can be fluid. Fair enough, how far off would you allow, Visitors? If you got a bid for paving your driveway, would you accept a five percent variation? Ten? What would you allow?
Mr. Bell’s overruns have hit over TWO HUNDRED PERCENT, Visitors. Process that. What if you needed a new water heater in your house, and got a bid for six grand. After it was installed, you got a bill for twelve thousand? Would you stand for it?
Stick with me please, Visitors, be the informed electorate. Here is a copy of a public document written by John detailing these STAGGERING overages-
Leslie Dahlkemper, one of the previous board members called Bell a ‘financial wizard’ who was ‘excellent’ at his job, and castigated John for insisting on accountability. What on earth is going on? Why is this financial incompetence accepted, even encouraged by the Jeffco BOE?
Visitors, I get why you’d be wearied of all of this. I certainly am. But, reasonable people that we are, we must consider the answers. There are only two.
- The Jeffco BOE is incompetent. They don’t know what they are doing. They encourage incompetence like Mr. Bell’s, they are not to be trusted with any more of our money.
- The Jeffco BOE is corrupt. These incredible, unaccounted for overages are going somewhere. To who? Jeffco BOE friends? Unaccounted-for payoffs for election advantages? Illicit payments for personal enrichment? Where?
Shawna Fritzler writes for the pro-union Support Jeffco Schools page, and refuses to answer these questions of accountability. Wendy McCord, who foisted this current board on us in a successful crusade of lies and deceit, will not address this issue either.
Therefore, it is up to us, Visitors. It is up to us to stand up and be counted, stand up and demand accountability for our children and vote NO on 3A and 3B. We must get answers.