I wrote a quick note to Ramon Miramontes on Thursday evening. An interesting pice had shown up about the whole Miramontes consultation thing with PUSD on the Pasadena Bleakly (click here) earlier in the day. Andre Coleman had done a follow up piece and requiring minds wanted to know, um, what's up?
Besides, it was as good a time as any to be sidelined from the recent burst of youthful exuberance (click here) that had been locking me into hysterical fits of cackling delight.
So. I sent a quick note over to Ramon, like I said.
Hi Ramon. Nicer write up today. Any feedback I could get from you on it? Either John or i or both are going to blog on it. John got the sense that they are backing off on drip dreiers piece.
Yes, thank you in advance Spelling and Grammar Special Forces. I was typing on my phone and vanity requires that I not wear my glasses when I am at the supermarket. The glass doors in frozen foods section on Aisle 3 cast the wonders and miracles of my blind-sighted narcissistic beauty. Oh, and I can draw a face in the window fog, too.
Ramon's brief but not unexpected response came to me in a misguided angelic vision on Aisle 5 twenty minutes later.
thanks for the offer but I will stay silent.....
I erased the halo I'd etched in the glass with my gris-gris-fingers and shrugged. Oh well, it was worth a try. It was not a totally unexpected answer.
I know Ramon's attorney had zapped a letter over to Drip Dreier recently (click here) over troubling statements made by The Nutty Professor earlier this month. Oscar Acevedo's letter cut right to the meat and potatoes of the matter:
It is my belief that you submitted the article for no other purpose than to deter third persons from associating or dealing with my client and/or his company, and to cause my client economic and personal harm. The article specifically injures my client with respect to his profession as a counselor and educator of young people, by imputing to my client that he should be disqualified from holding elected public office or do work with the Pasadena Unified School District or in other such venues ...
Failing a retraction by February 10, 2014, that unconditionally retracts the false and defamatory statements, you leave my client with no choice but to pursue whatever legal action is necessary to redress any and all injuries caused by your blatant spurious allegations.
Well, um. I have been poking around looking for that retraction and, um, February 10 came and went. I assume Ramon's silence is more than just golden right now. I think it's the promise of good things to come.
Ramon had allowed that letter, and his rebuttal that ran on the Meekly, to be shared on The Tattler. Titled Don't Drink the Kool-Aid (click here), Miramontes stated:
Mr. Dreir all but accused me of forming illegal contracts with the PUSD. There is no law or board policy that prohibits a former board member from working with the district. Mr. Dreier alleges that there were some shenanigans between PUSD Superintendant Jon Gundry and I that led to my firm being given a contract to do work. The fact of the matter is that the superintendant has discretion to enter into contracts without board approval as long as those contracts fall below a certain monetary threshold. Mr. Dreier was fully aware of this.
I tend to agree with Ramon on this. I also believe, and he appears to concur, that this was all a political ruse that had nothing to do equity - or morality - or ethics, and everything to do with with good old fashioned ACT inspired politikin'.
Even the follow up by Andre Coleman (click here) to Herr Dreier's original snub (click here) leaves us with visions of regressive pseudo-progressive Pasadena political plumper-dump. Even this half blind townie (click here) can see that far.
On Valentine's Day, in the appropriate Pasadena Weekly comments section, a poster named Dreier Watch (click here) asked these valid questions:
Did Dreier object when Dreier's chosen PUSD candidate Bob Harrison's business (Green Street Restaurant) was paid money by the PUSD while Harrison was a Board Member?
Did Dreier object when his Dreier's chosen PUSD candidate Tom Selinske's business (Encore Awards) was paid money by the PUSD?
Nope. Because "All Animals Are Equal. But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.”
Almost comedic in its predictability, a quarter was donated to the deja vu kitty when Andre Coleman wrote on February 20 that:
Miramontes is not the first board member to have a contract with the district. Several other former board members also held contracts for goods and services, including Bob Harrison, who owns Green Street Restaurant and once catered district functions, and current Board member Mikala Rahn, who owns Learning Works, a nonprofit organization dedicated to getting dropouts back into school.
Interestingly, both of these bytes sound vaguely familiar to something I read earlier in the month by some tubthumper. Any guesses as to whom (click here) I speak? No?
Well, uh, on February 4th (click here) the following nugget was tossed:
I also agree with Mr. Dreier regarding information from "the source" about the length of time between stepping down from the Board to engaging in business with PUSD. Maybe it shouldn't be allowed at all. Nothing, including donations which could be used for tax deductions. Nothing. That would mean, however, no more supports from Carol Liu's education guru "Mr. Ed" Honowitz, and no more catering from former PUSD Board President Bob Harrison, or signs from Tom Selinske.
Whatever Andre. Maybe you should put the facts first? Dreier Watch, you rule, whoever you are. When you feel like sifting through my hell, let me know who you think PUSDAD is.
I should point out that the Blogger who wrote that was probably kidding about a lot of that stuff, and maybe was misunderstood when he generalized that NO former Board Members should be contracted.
And as fast as you can say … ah dunno ... the backpedaling comes in a fury of blight, bite and sound:
According to the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPCC), there was nothing improper about a proposed contract between former Pasadena Board of Education member Ramon Miramontes and school Superintendent Jon Gundry shortly after Miramontes left office.
Um, let's go back in time to think about the above referenced blog/blogger one more time. You know, that one by the father of that autistic kid - you may remember them, right, you know - the family you doubted (click here)? He said something pretty damn similar to that on February 4th:
But it is also clear that the discussion between the two took place some time back, so this contract discussion is hardly a sudden revelation. Superintendents everywhere enter agreements with consultants. So do school principals. That this one flew under the radar of the school board until a, ahem, "source" finally got around to noticing it should come as no surprise.
Dig it, y'all. Just because the above blogger statements are written as opinions doesn't make them invalid. Or wrong.
I have found a myriad of things that have been out there regarding this stuff for a while. I have already told you what is going on, and what I thought was driving all of this crap.
Andre Coleman has tons on his plate, but his source is clearly from within the PUSD hierarchy, and that source is not providing him with any good pictures to smear on his pallet. I suspect the same source provided Speaky Pete with many of his sour incites (intentional) as well.
Jon Gundry is now up for a renewal of his three year School Superintendent contract I assume (I don't know OK? I assume), and my dollar bets that someone doesn't want him to come back. I am also betting that someone wants to get some other someone on the PUSD BOE to back that play.
If Gundry comes back, he's nuts. He's been treated like crap and that's really a shame because he has done nothing but offer support to this dysfunctional and ungrateful school district.
Check out the second paragraph from Andre Coleman's February 20th PW piece:
But the deal might not have met standards set in the Los Angeles Unified School District, which has a code of ethics prohibiting contracts with former district officials who participated in deciding matters related to any proposed contracts in the previous 12 months. The LAUSD also has a two-year ban on district officials who formally participated in the development of any contract’s request for proposal (RFP) process, and former district officials are prohibited from lobbying the district for one year.
Does that strike anyone other than me as a political dig, once again? They can't just give this one to Miramontes and Gundry? Is it so hard to admit that maybe that special insider is wrong about this? Does this PUSD insider ever just give up? I mean, really? LAUSD is now our guiding pillar of ethical light?
Holy Mother of Mercy pray for us all.
to: Jon Gundry,
cc: Renatta, Mary, kenne.kimberly, phelps.scott, pomeroy.elizab., Thomas, Ramon, Mikala, hampton.tyron
Dear Mr. Gundry,
I read the Pasadena Meekly today and noticed that the CFPPC found no impropriety in the decision to contract a former board member.
While the Meekly's author, Mr. Coleman may have felt it was necessary to comment on the position of the LAUSD on the same issue, many of us who actually pay attention to things like this know that the bar for PUSD is higher than 7 inches from the ground.
In any event, I believed before, as I do now, that the agreement was a legitimate one, and I for one am sorry that elected representatives who are supposed to serve the needs of the taxpayers and consumers felt the need to speak on this issue to the press in the first place.
The Brandenburg Family have always believed you were an agent of change and a person of integrity, and we realize that there are some in elected roles that use staff members as political futbols without giving it a second thought.
We wish to thank you again for the service you provide to the children of our family and to the children of Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre.
Tony and Mary Brandenburg
Keeping The Community Schools Drools Dream Alive, Year 2
Greetings Community Partners,
We are proud to finally be able to showcase the many outcomes resulting from Pasadena’s School/City/Community Work Plan during year one of implementation. For those of you who have been with this effort and shaping it since its inception, thank you! Your time, dedication, support and input in seeing this effort through and to the next level is commendable.
This Monday evening, February 24, 2014, at 6:30 p.m., the Pasadena Unified School District’s Board of Education and the Pasadena City Council will have an opportunity to review the Progress Report as well as consider, in concept, a proposed Governance Structure and Work Plan for 2014-15. We invite you to attend the meeting to be a part of this important discussion. Details on the meeting location, the agenda report providing background on the project, and the actual progress report and related documents can be located by clicking on the link provided below.
Thank you your participation and interest in this project. We look forward to seeing you on Monday and welcome your involvement as the process moves into year 2.
City of Pasadena
Director of Human Services and Recreation
You are just going to want to be there. If only for the comedy alone.