Monday, July 21, 2014

Back to School!

Well, the brilliant minds that comprise the Sylvania Board Bored of Education have just cost the hoi polloi a bundle of money.  Keep reading for my somewhat disjointed rant about our elected officials and our no-fault system of government.

Back in March of 2012 the Sylvania BOE decided to get rid of Savita Jindal, the Sylvania school systems food service director.  You can read about it here, in Sylvania Schools Suspend Food Service Director.  From the article:
The Sylvania Board of Education Monday suspended without pay the district’s director of food service for allegedly poor record keeping on the number of students receiving free or reduced price meals.

The suspension of Savita Jindal is effective Tuesday. Superintendent Brad Rieger said the board action was the first step in a process to terminate Mrs. Jindal.

The resolution unanimously adopted by the board after an executive session states she "fabricated, falsified, and/or misrepresented the number of students and/or students’ identification numbers that received free or reduced price meals ..." and that she failed to maintain proper record-keeping procedures.
Like many elected officials, the Sylvania BOE is used to dealing with weak-kneed jellyfish that are often found working for the government.  Instead of slinking away quietly into the night, Savita Jindal determined to win this one.  Two years and several official hearings later we have this brand new news:

School Board Settles Suit

Sylvania school district reached a monetary settlement with former food service director Savita Jindal, whom the district fired last year. The board voted Monday to approve a separation agreement, which calls for a settlement of $525,741. The settlement includes two years of back pay, legal fees, and out-of-pocket-expenses for health insurance. A board document stated that $475,000 of that settlement cost will be covered by liability insurance.
Over half a million samolians down the tubes, and all because the fatheads on the BOE have egos large enough to rival any three rap stars.  Having discovered what they thought was a discrepancy, they failed to investigate.  Then they made a bunch of spurious accusations against Savita in public and supported these recriminations with the usual blather and pseudo indignation that commonly accompanies such political grandstanding.  Administering the coup de grâce was only a formality.  The trouble started when the first jack boot fell on a land mine instead of a thoroughly cowed but still servile ex-employee.

Glossing over the obvious problems in the school system, such as being unable to conduct an inventory audit or investigate claims of deliberate malfeasance, the real problem is responsibility.  The Sylvania Board of Education unanimously decided to persecute Savita, and the results of that unjust persecution didn't cost them a thing.  Instead, the taxpayer gets to foot the bill.  True, $475,000 is supposedly covered by liability insurance, but so what?  Where do you think the premiums for insurance are going to go next quarter?  After a stunt like this one the insurance premiums will skyrocket into orbit.  No wonder they wanted another levy; they knew this bill was coming due.

We the people, the great unwashed property owners who are forced to pay for these clowns to hold office don't have the authority to fire them.  In a case like this one, that's just plain wrong.  Moreover, past BOE members are no longer a part of the picture they managed to ruin.  There's no way in the world to hold them responsible for egregious errors like this one.

My congratulations to Savita Jindal for standing up for herself.

If you'd like to email the current Sylvania Board of Education members with a civil (or uncivil - what the hell) message about their latest shenanigans, here are their email addresses.

Sylvania Board of Education

Jim Nusbaum, President

Julie Hoffman, Vice President

David Spiess

Vicki Donovan Lyle

Stephen Rothschild

Be sure to tell 'em Mad Jack sent you.


Old NFO said...

Yep, they (and y'all) got hoisted on their own petard there... :-)

Mad Jack said...

We did. I'll bet that the real story is that Savita Jindal managed to piss off the school board somehow, or at least made an enemy somewhere who is trying for some payback.