Archive for Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Board’s final vote is Monday

January 7, 2009

An official vote on whether to offer Tonganoxie Superintendent Richard Erickson a contract extension is expected to take place at Monday’s school board meeting.

At the Dec. 8 regular board meeting, the school board, by a 4-3 vote, expressed its intent not to offer a contract to Erickson, who has been superintendent of schools in Tonganoxie since 1996.

A final vote is to take place at the January regular meeting, which will begin at 6 p.m. Monday at the Tonganoxie Middle School library.

Board members have not commented on the subject.

During Erickson’s tenure, a $25.3 million bond issue passed successfully in 2004 that allowed for the construction of a middle school on the district’s 80 acres on Washington Street. Renovations also were done at the elementary and high schools. Erickson also established the district’s transportation program, which Erickson estimated had saved the district $550,000 through 11 years. He also initiated curriculum changes, such as college dual credit and advance and advance placement classes at THS.

During the last two years, however, Erickson was the subject of a contract buyout for former director of operations Jamie Brun. And, a mill levy filing error he submitted to Leavenworth County cost taxpayers nearly $370,000. Since then, Erickson has proposed that the mill levy be reduced to compensate for the error, with interest, which the board approved.


getagrip 7 years, 11 months ago

Okay folks, we have all said it at one point in time or another…..change isn’t always bad. I have heard about the “organizational” meetings and petitions to keep this guy as superintendent. Many of you who are part of these activities no longer have kids in school, and although you may live in the district and pay taxes, how much attention do you really pay to what’s happening now. This guy may have done some good things in the past, but as the old saying goes “what have you done for me lately?” Look at the last two to three years….contract buyouts, tax errors, lawsuits (and you need to realize that there are more of those out there yet to come because of him), unable to effectively manage employees, bullying and harassment of employees (I think we had to bear the expense of an audit of the central office jobs because of this), the mess and bailout of the district technology program, and I’m sure there is much more that I am forgetting. It’s great that he can stand up in public and hand out awards and send out congratulatory letters, but folks when you get to the bottom of it that is just show and tell. Let’s look harder at what’s really going on in this school district. Hasn’t he even gone to homes of patrons and yelled at them for questioning him on something? Isn’t that our right as taxpayers? Isn’t that bullying?

I recently heard someone using Mike Shanahan of the Denver Broncos as an example. When he came to that organization he did a lot of great things. However, when you get to the point that you are no longer effective, it is time to move on. I think the fact that this guy has put people up to writing letters of support, circulating petitions, and leading these organizational meetings shows his lack of professionalism and true leadership. A true leader would realize that the taxpayers of Tonganoxie have been through enough embarrassment due to his irresponsibility the last couple of years and would just move on to whatever awaits him.


katblu 7 years, 11 months ago

So there is a new political organization in Tonganoxie. "Supporters of Dr. Richard Erickson, superintendent USD 464" How many of the "supporters" signed the half page ad in the paper? Just one. So is there just one "supporter" or are the rest of the "supporters" to afraid to sign their names. It kind of reminds you of the old cockroach saying, they all run in the light of day.
If they truly "support" the superintendent why don't they explain in their half page ad, why the taxpayers had to buy out Mr. Brun’s contract? If the superintendent is such a good administrator surely he doesn’t have to yell at people to make a point. He should use all of his educational skill to lead the administrators without yelling at them. Do the "supporters" think that was the only time the superintendent had thrown one of his screaming rants? The "supporters" "believe the majority of the patrons in the Tonganoxie School District feel that Dr. Erickson has done an excellent job”? Ask the "majority” of people if, at their job, a supervisor lost control and the police had to be called, what would have happened to the supervisor? Would the “majority" work at a job where their supervisor screamed at them? Please would the "majority" explain if the superintendent has done an "excellent" job, how did your school district in up in federal court? READ THE FACTS its all public record. The superintendent knew about the bullying and harassment problem from the start. A good thing about a trial in open court, its all public record. The "majority" should read the superintendents deposition. EVERY board member has a copy. They would be happy to print you off a copy. READ it, Read the part closely where the superintendent "explains" sexual harassment. The “majority” should have explained in their half page ad, why if our superintendent was doing an "excellent job" did the federal jury find "that the school district was deliberately indifferent to the harassment" Would any of the "majority" send their children to a school that treated their child with deliberate indifference? I'm guessing not! So why would you support a superintendent that was in charge while the harassment was going on with his full knowledge? If a school board member has "miss-placed" their copy of the superintendents deposition, you can get a copy of your own from the Benson Law office. (Sorry, my rant is very long, so it continues on the next Blog below.)


katblu 7 years, 11 months ago

   If the "majority" has a few extra minutes put in any search engine, click on Benson & Associates, scroll down to school bullying case Tonganoxie

Get a cup of coffee and do some reading. Please Mr. and Ms. majority read the "school district post trial motion denied. There are some very good quotes from school administrators. After reading it, ask yourself who is doing an excellent job? Who was supervising these administrators? When your finished reading ask yourself, why didn't our superintendent that is doing an “excellent job” take the witness stand and explain all of this away? Just read his deposition, and you will understand why he didn’t. In the half page ad it says, " you have a very short time to make yourself heard". READ the facts for yourself, then call our school board members. Ask the school board members that have voted to keep the superintendent, why? How many more trials where our schools look incompetent in the national press will it take before people realize there is a problem? How many more people will have to be bought out with taxpayers money? Ok last question. How many of the "majority" have attended a whole school board meeting. Not just sat through the part where your child was given an award by the superintendent and then you hurried out? How many of the "majority” were at the school board meeting when the superintendent stopped board member Smith rudely in mid sentence and told her to "listen to me!" She was not allowed to make her point. Why? Because she was trying to give her opinion on a subject that he didn't agree with. Ok that was two questions but they were good ones.
Clearly it is time for a change.


Bob_Busk 7 years, 11 months ago

The board voted to not renew the Superintendents contract. They did this in spite of overwhelming support this evening at the Board meeting.

Kay Smith, board member and NEA activist/teacher from Leavenworth USD has an agenda against administrators because of her own frustration in the Leavenworth School district.

Leana Leslie is out of touch with the community. At board meetings she seems out of touch with the proceedings as they're unfolding in front of her.

Kathy Baragary has had an agenda before she got elected. She, Jamie Brun and Mr. Theno have publicly displayed a vendetta against Dr. Erickson.

It is a shame that the new guy on the Board, Mrs. Tate acted like the rest of the female activists and voted her agenda instead of representing her constituents.

It is important to note that a recall election of these feminist activists is the only recourse remaining.

Ashamed of the School Board,

Bob Busk, Voter/Tongie Resident


getagrip 7 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Busk, apparently you are out of touch with the community. There were people there last night that didn't even live in this school district. What gives them the right to have a say how my tax money is spent? Maybe now our board can get to the subject at hand, education. God bless Leana, Kay, Doug, and Kathy. It would have been easy for them to backdown to a mob mentality and I applaude their courage for doing the right thing.


Bob_Busk 7 years, 10 months ago

getagrip, If you mean the people that live outside of the city limits of Tongie then you're out of touch. They still belong to or are represented by the board of the USD 464. I was there, if there were individuals there that are not living in the district then it had to be between 2 and 4 people. Most people there I knew and can attest to their business at the meeting. It was easily 80% for Dr. Erickson and 20% I'm not sure about. That is a pretty strong statement from the community!!

Baragary, Smith, Tate and Leslie should do us all a favor, do whats best for the district and resign immediately. Their personal vendetta was put before the needs of the children. Under Dr. Ericksons leadership the Children have increased in scores and assessments each year.

The four activists must GO!!


katblu 7 years, 10 months ago

 Bob did you read any of the blogs?  Did you go to the Benson web site and see what went on in our school while the superintendent did nothing?

Would your wife work in an office for a boss that slams his hand on her desk and screams at her? Bob , Bob, Bob.. do a little reading and find out the truth. Or are you unwilling to know what was going on in our school district? Did you ask your buddy the superintendent for a copy of his deposition? Did you ask the board president for a copy of his deposition that she has? She won't read it. Why? ask her! So what your saying Bob is You think a superintendent should hide problems from the board. Let a problem go on for years until it ends up in federal court. Cost the insurance company $440.000. Embarrassed our schools and town.. You think the mark of a good superintendent is someone who will scream at, and berate his staff, then scream at a parent at a school board meeting, because the parent didn't agree with him? Didn't the superintendent's bullying rant cost the taxpayers $57,000. Yep, our superintendent did a heck of a job there. The "good-ol-boys are gone.. We have a board that wants to straighten up the problems, so as a school we can move forward. Bob, everyone needs a buddy, this school district just can't afford yours.


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