BOE no-shows sabotage April meeting

Since joining the Board of Education in 2015, I have decided not to blog much about the school’s governing body. I’ve written (and spoken) a lot about the failures of American education as a whole, I’ve defended a controversial vote of my own, and I’ve even endorsed one slate of candidates – not counting my own election.

I once wrote a scathing critique of a local charter school “entrepreneur”, and of Adrian Mapp’s silly so-called plan for an elected board with a mayor-appointed superintendent (good luck trying to make that work, Adrian). But I have decided not to write about individual meetings, and the month-to-month operations of the Board.

There’s an exception for every rule.

This evening, I showed up for the Board of Education’s work and study meeting. Nothing particularly special about that. The meeting is held on the first Tuesday of every month, and I’ve only missed one of twenty-eight such meetings that have taken place during my tenure on the Board.

The difference tonight: no one showed up.

Five Board members were absent from a meeting that was expected to draw a large crowd of nervous staff and community members, smack in the middle of an overwhelming budget crisis. Tonight’s meeting was high profile enough to be moved to the cafeteria instead of the usual conference room.

I don’t doubt that a couple may have been sick or busy – I assume that to be the case – but five? Including Board president Emily Morgan who has yet to miss a meeting in her sixteen months on this Board? This is not coincidence. With only members Richard Wyatt, John Campbell, Dorien Hurtt, and I (David Rutherford), we were left just short of a quorum and the meeting was canceled.

If we had a policy against intoxication we would have had only three Board members. It’s common knowledge to those on and around the Board of Education that the middle member of Mapp’s Anderson-Hurtt-Pile team elected last year is a belligerent drunk during many of our meetings.

Liquor aside, there were four of us, and the reason may have to do with agenda item “XI. Transfer Agreement” which would officially remove Anna Belin-Piles as Superintendent – a position she has held for six years. She’d be restored to her previous position as Director of Student Intervention and family support services, over a year before the end of her contract as superintendent.

The buyout and other associated fees for such a move are always well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars – a big deal with an $8 million budget shortfall and recent Board proposals to lay off staff.

Maybe the missing Board members didn’t want to give an explanation of potential layoffs  – which prompted a PHS walkout – in the face of taking on such a large expense. Perhaps the absent members have no solid plan to replace the outgoing Superintendent.

Whatever the reason, conspiring to cancel a meeting is unacceptable, like a lot of things in our district.

Tonight I planned to start a public discussion about food service, but I was denied that opportunity. Luckily I have my own platform.

The district’s food service is garbage right now. It wasn’t perfect under Sodexo, but no one can deny it has decreased dramatically since Adrian Mapp’s the new Board members appointed Aramark as its food service contractors. I can’t go a few days without a parent complaining to me about the food.

These complaints don’t matter to the contingent of Board members who fight tooth and nail to keep Aramark in place. Word is the mayor has political connections there. So much for standing up for young people. We can’t even serve them good food.

But, apparently, we can cut their teacher assistants and security guards. This Board of Education, and its Board President, allowed the Business Administrator to present a ridiculous budget to lay off a large portion of the security guards and all of the teacher’s assistants in kindergarten. The proposal would make all of the other TA’s part time. That’s the BOE you have, Plainfield. And yes, they showed up for that meeting.

So I’ve broken my silence on the Board of Education. I made my best efforts to try to work with Mapp’s current majority – now in place for a full year – but I can’t any more.

I’ve likely ruined any semblance of a relationship I had with some of these Board members. After their behavior over the past year, I won’t lose any sleep over it. The least I can do is bring the truth to light.

The next meeting of the Plainfield Board of Education is a budget presentation tomorrow – Wednesday, April 5th, 2017. If Mayor Mapp’s crew decide not to sabotage it again, all the business from tonight’s meeting can be handled then – 7:30pm at Emerson School.

13 thoughts on “BOE no-shows sabotage April meeting

  1. The board president had about three months experience before being voted in by the Mapp team…

    The finance chair was appointed after serving about 15 minutes on the board. The outcome of the one mtg held was to make all the security officers part time…

    The Mapp designee for curriculum was appointed as chair without any prior experience.:.

    This is the same talent came up with the decision to remove our Superintendent in the middle of the school yr. it’s like the blind leading the blind and telling the blind they can see

    I remember Mapp used to come and cheerlead for his team and now he is nowhere to be found.

    I voted for this team. After what’s been transpiring lately, I’ve never been more wrong about anything in my life.

  2. Whats the process for recalling ineffective board members? Our children should not be mis-educated because of failed policies set by incompetent board members.

  3. Rev. Brown, can you please pray for our sick board members that they may heal and be able to show up and fulfil their civic responsibilities?

    I wasted yet another evening looking for answers. Btw is Superintendent Belin Pyles being paid? It’s been two months

  4. The time is now residents of Plainfield. If the elected officials want to play politics with our children than it is time for them to go.

  5. What is Aramark phone number? We need to call and keep calling this company to hold them accountable for the lack of food services standard’s. They have a responsibility to fulfill their contractual agreement.
    Shame on all the BOE members who did not show up. Gross incompetence on their part, Children first.

  6. This is way I have started “Prayers For the City & the District” around the Fountain at Library Park… each time there is Open Floor Board Meeting… I Will be there April 18th at 7:00 pm
    I ENCOURAGE ALL TO “MEET ME AT THE FOUNTAIN”
    …PRAYER CHANGES THINGS… AND RIGHT NOW IT WILL BE THAT HIGHER POWER TO
    BRING CHANGE TO OUR CITY AND SCHOOL BOARD

    ;

  7. Thanks David for not keeping your silence. Parents, taxpayers and concerned residents need a clear honest assessment of what’s really going on in the BOE. If you want any support for changing the things that are clearly not in the best interest of our children, let me know. There are several of us wanting to help change things.

  8. Mayor Mapp has total control of all things “Plainfield “. He and his “Mappets” will do and say
    whatever he tells them. The Mayor only cares about his supporters, donors, and of illegal aliens.
    Unfortunately, he also knows how to play the game of “Politics “. Even Jerry Green has stopped
    fighting him. This City will be be his playground for as long as he wants. There are no other residents who can beat him…YET!!! Bad for those of us who want to see this city as a whole thrive again, and not just his chosen areas. Anyone who reeks of alcohol has a problem, and
    should not be on the BOE!!! GET HELP!!! I hope he got a ride to the meeting.

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