01/27/07 Board Retreat Citizen Report

I am not HistoryMike, so don't expect perfect English.

I spent 2.5 hrs typing these notes and I don't want to go back and proofread. If you have any questions please ask. I will be happy to answer.

Today's board retreat -the scoop:

There was the chair incident in the beginning.
There seemed to be some progress, although there is no doubt the board has issues and a way to go.
Then there was after the meeting

The board retreat was long and the facilitator from Cleveland did a fairly good job at keeping things moving along and I believe she was mostly fair to everyone. There seemed to be one person talking a lot and the facilitator could have done more to play the fair role. The whole meeting was mostly about the facilitation process.

The board came up with some draft goals and a draft list of items that they want to accomplish in the next 6-12 months; mission control: there was some progress. You can download the audio at http://greatopenswamp.coms.com .

Sometimes the audio is clear sometimes not. It does get better after the first 15 minutes.

There really was not a good place to set the recorder.

There was a lot said during the meeting. I did not write everything down, but see below for what stood out

Here were the play-by-play of what happened:

When I first entered the room, I had to smile at what I saw. The chairs for the media and citizens were on the opposite side (see photo) of the room that where the board members were.
Seating
Retreat 2
Twila Paige and I were the only ones there so we decided that we were going to move the chairs up once the meeting started.

The Blade reporter came in after us and was also puzzled by the arrangement. The reporter left and called someone.

When he came back in I said this was odd, and he said he was going to stand up there if he had.

I told him we were planning on moving the chairs up once the meeting started.

I have been at 3 other retreats (2 where I sat at arms length from board members and one that was at the board office).

The meeting started, I did not hear what was being said but then Darlene stood up and walked over and grabbed two chairs.

I assumed it was she had a problem with the arrangement. Twila and I walked up and sat down. I brought a chair for the Blade reporter that was standing next to the beverage area.

Facilitator started out saying the community has high expectations. Larry was very angry with Darlene moving the seats up.

The group talked about ground rules. Larry then said that Darlene had no business moving furniture in my house for friends (Don't believe me? Listen to retreat 1a recording at the 8min 29sec). Larry went on for a bit before the facilitator stepped in and asked what everyone else thought. Robert Torres said that we need to focus on our work.

Larry said that the new board members did not serve on a board before and said they did not dedicate the time they should to the board. Larry said the board needs to talk more. He said that the time you serve on the board, should not serve personal agenda.

The facilitator said that she wanted them to talk about issues and communication. They talked about how to communicate together and also talked about how to respond to citizen requests. The treasurer talked about the problems they have.

Foley, who was also at the Board workshop, said sometimes he is put into a bad situation when he is in the middle of the board issues and it causes trouble for them. Facilitator says super and district has information that needs to be shared. Barnett says it is important for the right information go out.

Foley says sometimes the media will contact them with an issue he has not heard about and also contact the board members for comment. He can't talk on it. Foley said they have many routes of communication. Facilitator said there are two routes of communication, from super to board and between the board. The facilitator asked what is the process for requesting info. Barnett said she did not think there was a process. Barnett said her committee was there to do the grunt work.

Larry said that it is not fair that some individuals on the board make many requests for information and demand it now. He said that one request had (file1b 10min 30sec). 15lbs of paper for the response. He said he gets all of it and reads it and does not know what he is looking for. \r\n\r\nDeborah Barnett said that she did not want to hear about what happened in the past and wondered how they can move forward. There was an argument regarding this (file1b 11min 30sec) between Deborah, Larry and Robert.

The facilitator said that maybe they need to be more reasonable about demands. She said that she had a conversation with a board member. She also said there are some questions that do need answered. Sykes said he reads everything. He said other board members should sit down and ask questions of the appropriate people, especially finances. He said many people ask him for information, but he does not ask. He said it is not right that others ask for information and the board is granting it. Foley expressed concern about the information requests.

Romano asked what are the rules and guidelines. Sykes said that they can have a discussion and he said how do they prohibit people asking for information. Facilitator suggested they take it through the structure or have discussion about it.

Foley said that all questions should go through him or Dan Romano. Facilitator said the staff reports to the super. She suggested they don't deal with the undercurrent stuff or they won't get anything done. What is a win win for everyone?

Barnett said all board struggle with what is appropriate level of control.
Darlene asked who is the board accountable to? The facilitator said they are accountable to each other and to the school system. Darlene asked what about the public? The facilitator said the public elects you.

Foley said that they need to do better with communication and hoped there would not be a lone ranger on the board. Steel said he wanted to focus on major requests

Torres asked about the 40%. He asked if he knew 40% of the population had an issue, could he address it. The facilitator said that there should not be a lone ranger.

Larry said that the mission is that they ensure each child gets a good education. Robert said there is an issue of trust. He said a board member told him, she does not trust him. He said he never has said any of that to anyone on the board. The facilitator said that we won't be able to establish trust today. Larry said that he is always willing to provide information and that they all need to work together. Sykes said we have everyone looking at us, as he held up an article from a Cleveland newspaper (file1b 41:19). Torres said that is irrelevant, we need to work to get to a place where we are so boring no one will take notice. Deborah said she is trying to work toward this. Darlene said she had trouble scheduling a meeting with Larry. Larry went back to the first meeting when he asked Darlene if she wanted to be president of the board. Larry said he solicited votes for her. Darlene said that was not true. Deborah said why are we going there? Focus on the task. Larry angrily said that I want to finish over Deborah. Larry continued. Said that they met another time and Darlene said that she felt she was set up. Facilitator said we have two perceptions (file1b 43:00).

The facilitator went back to the requests. Barnett said she wanted to funnel request through committee. Darlene asked about citizen comments she said that it would be good if the admin says that the matter was referred to them. Larry said that they can't get involved in personal issues and sometimes you can't meet with parents. He said there are two sides to the story.

Torres said sometimes you the board needs to play the role of listener to the community. Barnett seemed to agree.

They took a break. Right before the break Larry demanded that Deborah or Darlene move the chairs back. They came back after a five -10 minutes. File 2.

They next talked about e-mail communications. The facilitator handed out a list of mistakes school board members make (e.g. making fragmented actions, challenge board after decision, acting like lone ranger, no surprises, voting along party lines, hidden agendas, violating executive session, and putting the board ahead of family and business) The facilitator held up two headlines, opinions from the Blade editorial and two district stories. She asked what was the difference. Robert said one difference was the editorial statement from a newspaper that wants to help shape vision. They talked about the difference.

Next the facilitator asked to write their own headlines. Larry said his would be the district was the best and had 60k students. Steel said suburb schools closing because everyone is going to tps. Barnett said she wanted the district to be effective. I did not hear what Darlene said. Torres said 5 for children and that there were cost savings. Foley said he was vice fire chief. Sykes said seriously you have the nickname of Fireman, you put out fires all the time. Next the facilitator summarized some of the goals they came up with and wrote them on a white board. Student achievement, financial accountability, best/success, community support. The facilitator said that the difference between the headlines were separation of board and district. Reality is they should not be a headache.

Next they talked about the conferences. Barnett said it is good because they want to take the feelings and ideas and bring them back. Torres said sometimes he needs to make a decision between conference and job. Barnett said it is a good way to develop a network of people who do similar things. She said sometimes it is good to hear about how the district is doing from others. She also said it is good because she can call someone if everyone else is busy. Larry says he goes to get new ideas like painting doors different colors. Larry said other districts revere what Toledo is doing and you will find that when you go to these other conferences.

Facilitator stepped in and said that we need to talk about mutual interests not positions. She said that she wanted them to come up with some things that they will do next to help make the board work together (although it sounded like goals). Some of the items were, hiring a superintendent and leadership team, address low performing schools, budget process.

Darlene said the budget process could affect the goals. Romano said that he like to budget to vision not vision to budget. Barnet wanted to accept the goals. The facilitator said she wanted to type them up for everyone. When the facilitator asked what she wanted everyone to do. Larry said respond to antagonistic questions to the board. Steel said abide by ground rules and the pledge, Darlene said vision.

They talked about the next meeting. The facilitator wondered if this was a good time. They suggested Feb or March.

They decided to meet again 2/24. Larry said one more thing-he wanted to request Ms. Fisher-then Deborah interrupted Larry and asked about the date. Larry finished what he said quietly after the date discussion.

Steel reminded the board to bring their notebooks. He said the search firm will not have extra books tomorrow.

Adjourned around 12.

The following is what occurred after the meeting. I don't have exact conversation, but it is how it happened. I did not have my tape player playing.

The last part is what happened after the meeting. Darlene and Robert left quickly after the meeting. Larry demanded Darlene return the chairs. I told Darlene I would return them. The board members, super and business manager began taking down the room. 13abc reporter Zach began interviewing Deborah Barnett. I went over to listen to her. When she was done she went over to the Blade reporter. I walked over, but then Deborah Barnett told the reporter to come over to her. She said Chris, I don't want you to listen. I told Deborah, what you are saying to the media is public. Deborah said Chris you are not the media. I was shocked at this and went over to tell Twila what just occurred. So then Twila and I were waiting for the Blade reporter to finish. Larry came over and said you two need to leave. I said we will leave when everyone else does. Larry did not like this and went back and said damn something. Larry then went back to putting away tables. He started walking back toward us and said we need to leave so he can lock up. Twila and I said we will leave as everyone else does. Larry then mumbled "mother f-----g something (I could not hear)" as he walked by. I said to Larry, you should not swear. Larry turned around and said pointing at me, you better watch what you say. I said you should not be swearing and that you don't want another court case. Deborah Barnett came over and said Larry and got him to stop, Larry put away the rest of the tables and banged them in the back. Twila and I left while Larry, Deborah, the Blade Reporter and Dan Romano remained. That is when I noticed Larry parking in the handicap spot. Deborah came out and I said to Deborah, if you say it to the media, you are saying it to the public you should not be afraid of me hearing. Deborah said read it in the newspaper then. Twila talked with Deborah and the facilitator then we all left.

No votes yet

Darlene asked who is the board accountable to? The facilitator said they are accountable to each other and to the school system. Darlene asked what about the public? The facilitator said the public elects you.

Does the facilitator not realize that the board members are accountable FIRST to the public which elected them? Why are they accountable to each other? If each one of them is focused on being accountable to the citizens, they won't have to worry about being accountable to each other.

But perhaps I'm just misunderstanding the conversation - Chris takes goods notes but they are just notes, not the entire conversation.

I'm actually quite shocked by what I am hearing/reading. I'm going to finish listening and reviewing your report Chris.

I'd only say that after an encounter of the same nature as it sounds, to me, that you (and Twila?) had today - MY attorney defined this conduct as a clear incidence of "Menacing". This was a new term for me, but fit the conduct quite well. I did feel menaced. Actually I felt ill afterwards. Let me know if you'd like the particulars of that event.

On this counsel I filed a police report, against Mr. Sykes, to that effect. I was told if it happened again, I would be provided local representation to bring the matter to the local Prosecutors' "attention". If it happens again, that's exactly what will occur.

I suggest that you confer with counsel over the matter. What I was told was that when I am in a place that I have every right to be and doing activities that I have every right to do - when someone approaches you in that manner to try to upset and bully you, this is menacing. Consult your legal council. I've been a victim to far, far too much bullying in my life. I don't have a real clear handle on what to do about it - but reporting it to the authorities is apparently the first step. I just know that I - personally - have decided I have had it. No more bullying. Mr. Sykes should be ashamed of his conduct and his language.

Do we really want this man as one of the five that represent our school district? How'd all this happen anyway??? Was this man actually elected onto the board by the voters? I've seen some strange things happen in Toledo since moving here in '01 - but I cannot fathom that.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Larry Sykes can't make it any more obvious about how much he either fears or hates public participation in the Toledo Public Schools, at least as the public can involve itself with the Board.

Myself and others have well predicted that actions against public participation are only going to escalate unless We The People do something. Some of us used Detroit's loathsome public-school history as the basis for prediction. Since the Toledo Blade is just about useless for stopping the trending of that prediction, I have no hope for media support (even fair reporting, which in the media sense would be supporting, since the common citizen would be fairly disturbed by the meeting-after-meeting actions of Larry Sykes). Hence, I place my hopes upon another route: election of other, meritorious folks to serve as Board members in place of at least Sykes.

The following is just amazing, but it shows about how the problem Board members (Sykes, Barnett and Steel) are living in a fantasy world inside their skulls and they need to either return to private life or get upon some serious behavior-modification medication:

The following is just amazing, but it shows about how the problem Board members (Sykes, Barnett and Steel) are living in a fantasy world inside their skulls and they need to either return to private life or get upon some serious behavior-modification medication:

Next the facilitator asked to write their own headlines. Larry said his would be the district was the best and had 60k students. Steel said suburb schools closing because everyone is going to tps. Barnett said she wanted the district to be effective. I did not hear what Darlene said. Torres said 5 for children and that there were cost savings.

Sykes and Steel are showing that they aren't living in the same reality as the rest of us. Their mentally-retarded level of hope for Toledo population and TPS participation explains why they want to continue spending tax money in deep disregard for fiscal prudence. 60K students?!?! That would require about a 50% jump in Toledo population -- yet Toledo's economy is collapsing and is only headed in the Detroit direction, fiscally speaking. Steel's derangedly-imagined headline (closing of suburban schools?!?!) also shows that he has no understanding of Toledo's present and future conditions. We must prepare for a time of scarcity, yet Sykes and Steel (and most likely Barnett) are only preparing for taxing and spending.

The people who moved out to Sylvania, Maumee, Perrysburg, Oregon and the other exoburbs are JUST GONE. They aren't coming back. They are set for 30 years and more. So, Sykes and Steel (possibly Barnett) are living a good 1-2 generations in the future. Fuck THAT! They should be thinking about the upcoming budget! And the $12 million they need to cut from it!

In today's Blade article:

Board member Larry Sykes rose from his seat in disgust. "I'm

out of here," he said.

After an aside with colleagues, Mr. Sykes sat down and explained that he was not trying to keep the meeting discussions secret.

Rather, he said, he was angry that Ms. Fisher was making decisions without group discussion, and acting as though she - not the Toledo Area Metroparks - owned the place.

Mr. Sykes also is a member of the metroparks' board of commissioners.

"If someone walks into my house and starts moving furniture without discussion on it, I have a problem with that," he said.

"This was given to you; you didn't pay for it," he added.

_____

Larry is on the new PR committee BTW, did I mention this? There is no reason why Larry should be angry for Darlene trying to move the furniture closer.

_____
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070128/NEWS17/70...

Chris & Twila,(and I guess you have to throw in the Blade reporter too) I know you had every legal right to be at the retreat, but I always thought of a retreat as being a way to go off by yourselves and clear the air. Now that we all have 20/20 hindsight, did you really belong there?

chris, thanks for doing this and keep doing what you're doing. this group is incredible and we, the public, need to know how bad they are. unfortunately, i don't think many understand how absurd these board is.

finally moving past the noe case, maybe the blade will try to do some good by putting them under the microscope. think it will ever happen?

Thanks for the compliment, Chris, although I must admit I've been the King of Typos of late.

McCaskey busted me on a big one yesterday.

Twila posted this in the parking thread. I thought I would copy it here.

Since I am one of the "all three of them" as reported in the Blade today, I will report what I saw, heard and when I saw and heard it.

I arrived a few minutes before Larry Sykes and I parked. He drove past my van and parked about four spaces away from me. He kept backing up and moving forward as if he was having trouble parking his vehicle. I didn't know that it was a handicapped space until I left the building. Looking back at the pictures, he was also parked in the spot where runners run. You can see where my van is parked back, in front of the line, where his vehicle is parked over the line where if a person was running they would have to go around the back of his vehicle, thereby possibly running into traffic. What I think happened is when he saw my van he lost all control of rational thought.

When I walked into the room and saw the set up of the chairs I knew that there was going to be a problem. The meeting started and the facilitator began talking about the ground rules and Darlene stated that she did not want to have the meeting started until the chairs were moved. Ms. Barnett started yelling and Mr. Sykes began yelling as Darlene got up and pulled two chairs closer to the meeting. Chris helped Darlene move the chairs. And he and I sat in two of them.

The facilitator who acted like she was afraid of Sykes chilled him out by saying in a calm voice, "the meeting is open to the public and the meeting is right here," pointing to the table and the occupants. That kind of calmed Sykes down into a full pout.

The facilitator moved the meeting forward and began to talk about Communication and said that she was the Accountability Cop. Since Sykes was next to her, he started off. He stood up and said, "you don't go into my house and start moving furniture." Barnett told him to move on and he started again somewhat disoriented, said that the room cost $500 but that he got it for $250 and they had it until midnight. He stated again about people coming into his house and moving furniture. He also said something about what people do for their friends, meaning Darlene moving the chairs. He was stuck on the chairs being brought up to the table where the retreat was being held. At one point Chris got up and Larry said that he was being distracted by Chris.

Romano then asked the news media to move back.

The retreat moved along with Three Acting Like Children, actually acting like children. Darlene was a little subdued and Robert was on point and holding his ground. Barnett was trying to control Sykes and his insanity but all she could do was play president. It was very amusing after what they put Darlene through this past school year.

When the meeting was adjourned, Barnett told us to leave. Foley, Romano and Steel made themselves busy (putting stuff away, packing up the food from Panera, etc.) so as not to be a witness if anything happened. Larry told Chris and I to get out of his building, used profanity, and almost hit me with a table. He was moving tables, banks of chairs and garbage cans, all the while harassing Chris and I with profanity and threats and murder in his eyes. I figured if he did anything to me at Wildwood Metro Parks his tenure at TPS would be over and while I didn't want to make that kind of sacrifice, that is the only reason I was not afraid of him. I figured he could maintain his sanity long enough for Barnett's voice to get through to him. He was really mad.

Today I went to the Clarion for the board meeting to interview the superintendent contenders. The room was so small that you could not fit anything else into the room. When Chris and I walked into the room Larry gave us this really, really, big, smile and asked if there were any more chairs? When they went into executive session and we left the room this guy pulled two chairs out into the hallway. He sat in one chair and put his papers in the other chair. I asked could I sit in the chair with the papers and he told me no. When I asked why, he said that, that, chair was for the candidates. I said well can I at least sit in the chair until a candidate came(it was 9:30 and Foley was due at 10:30). He again said no, if I wanted a chair go find one. I asked his what his name was and he asked me didn't I know what his name was. I said, well, no, and that was why I asked. It turns out his name is Jeff Schroeder, acting interim treasurer or something like that. Now this man deals with a budget of $400 million dollars and is fixated over a chair.

Toledo Public Schools is out of control in it's budget, it's accountability, in the way they engage the public and in the way they act in public. They also need to be about the business of educating children, all children and stop getting fixated on who is sitting in what chair.

As far as the handicapped parking space goes, Sykes was in the space without any kind of sticker, sign or any kind of display on his vehicle stating that he could legally use that space. Today he parked his car next to the handicapped parking spaces. He was parked on a slight incline. He is not well.

Bobthedad,

Interesting question. Ohio law says meetings like this need to be open to the public. I am sure that they might think they wanted to work this out in private, but that is not what the law says. They don't get to change the law just because they want to do something.

My interest: At retreats they talk about a lot and it usually goes into depth. Previous retreats presented reports and detailed information, so for someone who wants to observe the meeting and you can stand the length, you can get a lot and see policy making and details that you don't normally get. In addition the board members and admin talk candidly. Board meetings are pretty much scripted, so there is not as much seeing what really goes on. While I knew a big chunk of the meeting was going to be dedicated to facilitation, I did not know if they were going to talk about anything else. I still would have been there regardless because you get to see better who they are and what they think than anywhere else.

The behavior of Mr. Sykes is disgusting and disturbing. His bullying tactics and temper tantrums are visible evidence that this man does not maintain any people skills.

When a person operates with the idea that they are above everyone else and that they can use intimidation to maintain control of the masses, then this person needs to be brought down a peg or two.

The thought that Mr. Sykes feels it is appropriate to use profanity when dealing with the public, and act in an aggressive manner to those that (by law) are permitted to attend a meeting, makes me very leary of how much we (the citizens) are going to pay as damages in a lawsuit when he finally crosses the line and actually hurts someone because he doesn't want them knowing what goes on in a meeting. What are you hiding, Mr. Sykes? Why does public involvement and the idea of accountability bother you so terribly?

I am going to pray that there will be someone (you listening Chris?) that will step up to the plate and run for TPS Board so as to unseat the pompous and dangerous Mr. Sykes.

And as an aside ---- while watching the TV coverage of the retreat....Mr. Sykes, a gentleman removes his hat when inside a building. Or is that what defines you as the "Original Cowboy"?

My thanks to Chris and Twila for their efforts.

Carols mentioned Sykes hat, which remained on his head while indoors. That is rude behavior at best. I see Sykes refusal to remove his headgear as a function of his stupidity and arrogance.

From the description, Sykes was menacing you two, which is against the law. Try and proved it, though. What you need to do is get him on video menacing someone, and have a few reliable witnesses around. Sadly, the prosecutor doesn

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Def

Does this match? I think it is ORC 2903.22.

(A) No person shall knowingly cause another to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to the person or property of the other person, the other person's unborn, or a member of the other person's immediate family.

(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of menacing. Except as otherwise provided in this division, menacing is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If the victim of the offense is an officer or employee of a public children services agency or a private child placing agency and the offense relates to the officer's or employee's performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, menacing is a misdemeanor of the first degree or, if the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to an offense of violence, the victim of that prior offense was an officer or employee of a public children services agency or private child placing agency, and that prior offense related to the officer's or employee's performance or anticipated performance of official responsibilities or duties, a felony of the fourth degree.

I had the one experience of menacing - and through the taping and reviewing of Mr. Sykes interaction - I also have a concern about his mental health.

I wanted to just make a flip comment about his remark of the 'best' school district headline having 60k students and move on. Like 'Gee whiz, that kind of explains his budget position if in his head we have 60k students'.

But I'm not comfortable just being off the cuff about this after everything I've seen.

I think that for whatever reason - this man has begun to come unraveled. Isn't there any way that we can get a psychological evaluation or something to that effect? He's surely exhibiting enough behavior that it would be irrational and irresponsible not to stop and question his status.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

I believe that I was menanced but going to court would take up too much of my time and I am trying to make changes in the Toledo Public School System. I have had my accelerator cable cut on my car while attending a meeting on Board property. I spoke about it at a board meeting. After the meeting I was discussing it with Mr. Sykes and I stated to him that I could have had my children in the car with me. Mr. Sykes told me, "you ain't got no damn kids!" He said this because he knows that all of my children are adopted or I have legal custody of them.

With raising children and doing my work for children I don't have time to be caught up in the court system.

Thanks for the excellent coverage!

Sadly it confirms my earlier suspicions about Cowboy Larry. . .

Hooda Thunkit

Everyone who knows you knows that you have children. The fact that they are not your birth children has little bearing on who is clothing, feeding and educating them. You keep up the good work.

Filing a complaint about having been menaced is not necessarily going to involve the courts. The police department takes the complaint. You can pick it up and take it over to the Prosecutors' office if you feel action needs to be taken.

At the time I filed my complaint, my attorney told me that it was important to record the event. That it was unlikely a Prosecutor would take action on the incident as it happened. So what I needed to do was to make a record by filing a police report in every instance that this happened in. If there are multiple incidents, as in a pattern of menacing, then the situation is taken to the Prosecutor for action.

But it is important to create a record of what is happening and what we are experiencing. Menacing is against the law - and it is because we are not the first to experience this type of conduct. At some point in time the people of Ohio came together, collectively, to stand up and say this behavior is not acceptable and we believe it to be criminal activity. That's why it was included in the Ohio Revised Code as criminal conduct.

We need to document it as unacceptable behavior. Because that is what it is....that's my thought...

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Do you know what my first thought was before I even saw the article/this thread about the retreat? What the hell kind of getup is a "bad guy" cowboy outfit for a retreat where you are going to work on moving forward??? Anyone else get this impression?

Then I read the article and this thread. I am now more enraged than ever over how the public is treated by a few people on this board. First of all, where does Larryboy get off ranting about paying $250 for this metropark retreat site??? HELLO DUMBASS ****WE**** the public paid for your damn retreat site!! Not you, Larry- I have a pretty strong inclination that you don't pay a dime out of your pocket for ANYTHING when it comes to board related duties. And then some!

Look, the beauty of all of this is that it is documented on video/audio and will continue to be. I love the freedoms we have in this country that we are able to have that.

Twila and Chris, when he told you to get out of his building how did you not laugh your batooties off? Once again, Larry ole pal, this is OUR building, WE PAY FOR IT!!!! *sigh* Both of you should be filing a police report to document these happenings. It's downright ridiculous that he acts this way in front of WITNESSES! And Twila, I am deeply concerned that you've had your cable severed while attending a meeting. That is extremely disturbing.

All of this behavior points to one thing, we- as a community- need to take better care in electing a school board member in the future. Because it's damn hard to get rid of them once they're there. And the more the spotlight is on them the more the media will be forced to shine the spotlight on them as well.

Keep it up, and thank you. As a mom to two elem. kiddos (with two more in the pipeline), thank you.

Public participation is highly needed. There is strength in numbers. And the only thing that has happened that allowed things to get as out of control as they were is that the public did not know what they were doing.

B/c we would have put a stop to it. But now we know :-)~

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

maggie, actually that is pretty much what she said. I too perked up when she said this, because I did not believe it. You can hear it on the audio, it is on file1b around the 35-40 minute mark

http://toledopoliticians.com/01_27_07_tps_board_retreat_audio

My family moved from Toledo in the early 90's and a big factor was because Maumee had a much better school system.

MikeyA

MikeyA

Perhaps Mr. Sykes needs to realize that the Metroparks aren't "his" house either...wonder how much of the metropark budget comes from the tax levy?

Let me add the ditto to thank Chris for doing what he does.

I'm not sure we can count on The Blade to put the school board under the microscope, particularly Mr. Sykes. They endorsed him both times he ran for the board, and basically gave him a pass when he made his infamous remarks about Anita Lopez. For most people in the public eye such a statement would cost them their jobs, but Sykes caught surprisingly little heat. If The Blade really wanted to get him, he has certainly given them enough rope.

Bobthedad,

Interesting question. Ohio law says meetings like this need to be open to the public. I am sure that they might think they wanted to work this out in private, but that is not what the law says. They don't get to change the law just because they want to do something.

My interest: At retreats they talk about a lot and it usually goes into depth. Previous retreats presented reports and detailed information, so for someone who wants to observe the meeting and you can stand the length, you can get a lot and see policy making and details that you don't normally get. In addition the board members and admin talk candidly. Board meetings are pretty much scripted, so there is not as much seeing what really goes on. While I knew a big chunk of the meeting was going to be dedicated to facilitation, I did not know if they were going to talk about anything else. I still would have been there regardless because you get to see better who they are and what they think than anywhere else.

LOL

What I think happened is when he saw my van he lost all control of rational thought.

Now THAT'S funny!

He kept backing up and moving forward as if he was having trouble parking his vehicle. I didn't know that it was a handicapped space until I left the building. Looking back at the pictures, he was also parked in the spot where runners run. You can see where my van is parked back, in front of the line, where his vehicle is parked over the line where if a person was running they would have to go around the back of his vehicle, thereby possibly running into traffic...Today he parked his car next to the handicapped parking spaces. He was parked on a slight incline. He is not well.

It sounds to me like he may have tipped a few before these meetings. Maybe there should be a police officer station at the fromt door conducting sobriety test before anyone is allowed to participate!

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth. ~Japanese Proverb

Isn't there any way that we can get a psychological evaluation or something to that effect? He's surely exhibiting enough behavior that it would be irrational and irresponsible not to stop and question his status

Probably not. A licensed psychologist or psychiatrist would have to observe the behavior, then would have to be convinced that the behavior was irrational and not just an expression of anger, then would have to determine that Sykes was a danger to himself or others. This is a huge jump from anything that I've read about.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

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