by Linda Moore
Barry "Possum" Graham is no longer editor of the Bradley News Weekly or the Bradley News. I am not sure what they prefer to be called now, although if you check www.thebradleynews.com the name Bradley News was apparently trademarked by someone else. Somebody jumped the gun. Barry Graham joins the growing list of individuals no longer working at the BNW. In the last few years JM Leonard, Rich Dinsmore, Tiana Hubbard, Matthew Melton, Toby Pendergrass, Barry Graham, Leslie Christian, Kim Wills, Sorayah Kubba and several cartoonists have come and gone. Who am I missing? Currently working for the BNW are some names that I recognize but do not know personally.
Melissa Snyder. Mrs. Snyder is the wife of our Cleveland Chief of Police Wes Snyder. I have never heard a contrary or negative word about Chief Snyder. I very much appreciate Chief Snyder and know that he took a difficult job under challenging circumstances. Chief Snyder, you are very much appreciated; Thank you for the job you do for Cleveland! But I have a problem with the wife of the Chief of Police playing the role of journalist for any local newspaper. This is not a personal feeling or belief that I have against Mrs. Snyder. I'm sure she is a great citizen with much to offer the City of Cleveland. I'm sure it's difficult for anyone to be the spouse of an elected or appointed official. But I am uncomfortable with the spouse of a high ranking official writing for a local paper.
Journalism should be FAIR and without FEAR. We should never worry or have doubts of whether it is going to be fair and balanced and with this new addition to the Bradley Weekly, I keep thinking, "What if Rory Reese had been a writer for the Bradley Weekly when Tianna and J. M. Leonard broke the story of the Lee Reese fiascoes? Would the story have been broken? If it had would it have been biased with Chief Reese's wife working for the paper? Are you, the average citizen, comfortable with appointed and elected officials' spouses working for newspapers?
Do you think that it will always be fair and balanced and that we should have no fears of bias? I welcome any and all public relations articles that Chief Snyder may have for me. I want to know the crime stats and the current mode in which the Chief and his faithful staff are fighting these crimes. I have no angst against Mrs. Snyder. I just prefer journalist not to be the spouses of high ranking officials.
Welcome National School Board Association Spring Time thrills. The city board of education will be going up north to the wonderful city of Chicago April the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th allegedly to learn how to better educate our children. Last year the board of education went to San Diego for this same seminar. Last year many of our board of education members took their spouses. Included in the spouses that attended was Chuck Rockholt, principal of Cleveland High School. His wife Evelynn is a member of the board of education. I want to know if Mr. Rockholt is going this year? Perhaps Cleveland tax payers would be better served if Mr. Rockholt stayed at Cleveland High doing the job that we pay him to do? It is, after all, a school board association seminar.
Last year we spent thousands on the NSBA. It was more than enough to pay property taxes for many little old ladies on social security trying to buy meds. Last year spouses airline tickets were put on the city credit card. Yes, they did reimburse later. At least one of them after I railed to high heaven and back again over spouses being included on a tax payer credit card. It took me a coon's age to get copies of the credit card receipts.
I would love for all of you with online access to check out the NSBA Seminar site to see how your tax dollars are being spent, Here is the URL, http://www.nsba.org/conference/ For those of you witout online access I will give you just a very few highlights, taken from the web pages of the NSBA. These are your tax dollars in action.
Half-day Tours: Tiffany Glass Walking Tour. Glessner & Clarke Historic Homes Tour, House of Blues Gospel Brunch. Those are but a few, but how are these tours and a brunch going to help educate our children?
Full-day Tours: Chicago Botanic Garden and Baha'i Temple with Lunch. Chicago by Land and Sea. And there are more. Are our BOE members going to come back and teach all our students about Chicago? I don't see how these tours are helping our children to be educated.
Evening Tours: Chicago Style Cuisine and Comedy. "Wicked" - The Broadway Musical, and again there are more evening tours and again I am at a loss to know how these things help educate our children. Then there's this, 6th Annual National School Boards Foundation 5K Run/Walk, * Distance: 5K (3.1 Miles). How does this help educate Cleveland children?
In all fairness there are "workshops." I also read that Richard Simmons is going to be a guest speaker. Do our Board of Education members need to listen to Richard Simmons to be better able to educate our children?
It's not what one knows about public education governance that's so critical; it's what one doesn't know that causes the greatest problems. In an atmosphere of ever increasing complexity, this school Mom or Dad, recently elected to their children's school board simply because they 'care about the kids', has no more business directing this corporation than he or she would directing the municipality in which they live. And the municipality typically only has to manage its roads, its cats and dogs, the police and the fire department - hardly a concern as complex as an entire school district and certainly nowhere near as expensive an endeavor. And in most cases, the school district they were elected to manage is the statutory equivalent of a municipality, but with hundreds of employees, sub contractors, millions of dollars worth of capital investments to coordinate, all while trying to be all things to all markets - the #1 no-no taught in Business Administration 101.
My personal opinion is that this entire NSBA seminar, (vacation in lieu of the fact that spouses attend), is a waste of Cleveland City tax payer money. Two would be more than enough BOE members to jet off to Chicago; not a plane load with spouses. Indoctrination is the discomforting side-effect of that training. Spending the night at a Holiday Inn Express just doesn't cut the mustard. And folks, they are not staying at a Holiday Inn Express!
What would IMPRESS me is for one shovel full, (aside from the ground breaking shovel), of dirt turned over for the new Mayfield school. If you're a Mayfield parent.... don't bank on a new school being open next year for your child(ren). It's not happening. There's only four and a half months left until school opens for next year. In fact, at the rate we're going I would suggest looking for it some time in the next two years.
If you're an Arnold parent thinking that those two million in renovations are going to begin any time soon.... hang that up also. Don Shell has already been paid a chunk of that two million to give his personal opinion on what should be done. Looking into my crystal ball...... I would lay odds that the rest of it will be robbed to help pay for the new Mayfield. This is not fact: This is my personal forecast. My hope is that in letting you know the actual status of either school situation is that you can change things.
If anyone sees fit to correct me, or if you disagree with me; I will not be offended in the least. I hope to let you........ the tax payer..... know how much you spent for the NSBA trip and how much you have been paying Don Shell for his opinions in the near future. Do you think Melissa Snyder would or could report on a subject of this nature fair and without fear? We know that answer. It is not merely a criticism of her. But it is time we expect more than tabloid journalism and puff articles. If the Bradley Weekly or Bradley News had understood that fact would the long list of former employees been much shorter?