In a recent article we reviewed a few of the arguments made by members of the Colonial School Board in defense of its decision to appoint a new solicitor. In Part 2, we will revisit the issue of school district policies not being updated, RFP’s, and the mixing of politics and the school board.
Policies – Part 2
As we pointed out in Part 1, Eunice Becker-Franklin stated that the prior solicitor not advocating for updating school district policies was one reason she felt a change was needed (there seems to be confusion as to whether the un-elected solicitor should be advocating or simply providing requested legal advice).
In the above video, Felix Raimondo, who has served on the School Board for a few years and was recently elected its President, is asked by a Colonial School District parent if he can direct her to minutes where he can be shown advocating updating school district policies. He was unable to do it.
In this video, Board President Felix Raimondo responds to a question from Board Member Susan Moore, who asked why it was necessary to terminate the solicitor’s contract early.
Raimondo responds that it is good to review professional service contracts and one hadn’t been done for the position of solicitor for eight years.
What is strange about Raimondo’s argument is that he is also Chair of the Conshohocken Sewer Authority, where Rudolph Clarke has been the solicitor for at least as far back as 2010 and we are told probably back to 2008ish. Minutes are only available online through 2010, but we asked around.
We read all of the minutes (if you need help falling asleep, here is the link). Tell us if we are wrong, but we didn’t find one instance of any discussion of issuing a RFP in regards to the position of solicitor.
Where is the transparent review of professional services at the Sewer Authority that Raimondo advocated for at the School Board?
Mixing Politics and the School Board
This one isn’t related to the video, but today School Board Member Adam Schupack attacked this website on social media and via email.
We want to address a few points of the attack:
Out of Town Blogger (But where does all their money come from?)
They keep referring to us as an “out of town blogger,” which we find amusing. We do not live in the school district. You got us!
However, neither do the majority of the donors to Building Colonial’s Future, the campaign umbrella used by Schupack and the other Democrats running for Colonial School Board.
Together, four people weren’t capable of getting more than 15 donors who used an address in the district. Even when we included $500 from Friends of Jason Salus, which has a Norristown address, the total only came to $3,860 (we know Salus lives in the district).
However, fundraising efforts outside the district were more successful. There were 38 donations from outside the district totaling $16,880.
Schupack is very selective on when it matters if you are in or out of the district.
Did He Attack Us as a Democrat or a Member of the School Board?
The above email from Adam Schupack came from a Colonial Democrats email account with Schupack representing himself as a member of the School Board (for the full text click the links below). Note we added the “cheese” for fun.
There were also similar posts on the Conshohocken and Whitemarsh Democrats Facebook pages (Schupack gets pummeled in the comments on the Whitemarsh page).
Since he was representing himself as a member of the School Board, did every member have input on this messaging? Is this an official statement from the School Board?
Does the School Board have a social media policy?
Is it ok to mix the messaging of a political party and the elected School Board into an attack on the local media?
In the email and social media posts, Schupack refers to all of this as a “manufactured controversy.”
As we have pointed out before, this all started when another member of the School Board, Cathy Peduzzi (who is also a Democrat), made the below Facebook post:
There was also two public meeting where the public dressed down the School Board for its actions. Watch them here (well we were going to link to the video, but the video system seems to be down).
All we have done is highlight the concerns of three members of the School Board and the public. We also took the responses from the members of the School Board and compared them to campaign literature, past actions, etc.
As we have shown the arguments made by the School Board in defense of their move to replace the solicitor do not hold up.
Why was the past solicitor allowed to serve as the solicitor during the meeting when the vote was taken to replace him? That doesn’t make any sense at all. If a legal issue came up during that process, who was going to answer it? The guy you are replacing?
Tell us what you think in the comments…