Read the emails and make your own mind up - what really happened in the Harner negotiaions!

April 27, 2007 - Here is the correspondence received with regard to our open records request. The information is not in chronological order, but in the order received by us. Apparently this is a compilation from several sources. It would appear that Board Members Sykes, Barnett and Torres did not have any email correspondence to contribute. This is especially disconcerting when you realize that Sykes and Torres were appointed by the board to lead negotiations.

You can read the correspondence for yourself and come to your own conclusions. Though our review of the correspondence, we have the following observations:

See our observations and download the emails at

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I have often felt that my neighbor (who is over 80 years old) was just befuddled when she said that she would vote for no more school levies. I thought she was just selfish in her "disregard" for the schools. I, on the other hand, have been "liberal" in my voting.

I have voted for schools (what's another $20 a year for education; "it's for the kids"). Maybe this "carrion" should have been better left covered. I was blissful in my ignorance. Out of my $30,000 per year pension I accepted whatever demands were made for increased taxes with the mental argument "I pay more for McDonald's every year". I drove around in my 1996 van blissfully ignorant that you could get a $750 per month car allowance, or a 2.5% salary increase every year, or be the basis for a "me too" salary increase for every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the school unions.

Maybe it is time that we elect school board members by lottery (rather like being chosen for jury duty, or the draft). Perhaps any fool can do this job. All it takes is an open pocketbook, and a bleeding heart. I'll vote a $180,000 compensation package, and finagle the details ("a signing bonus"?) so the unions won't gripe.

Now I see why the Board wanted to keep these negotiations private. When you look at democracy in action it is rather like a bunch of vultures feasting on carrion. If this is the best we can do, then God (or whoever) help us.

Old South End Broadway

I'm sure happy to see this station pumping out the facts and getting on top of this story. This is a real service to the city of Toledo. And I'm glad for it.

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.

WTOL is right, the board should get this right. I hope the board can come up with a compromise with Harner.

Larry Sykes should resign immediately. This is scandalous.

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.

Make the Sykes resignation a condition of your employment. Its a win-win.

We all called this very thing a while back in a different thread- about how this would go down. How embarrassing.

Below is a link to an article that raises questions about Dr. Harner. Maybe we shouldn't be quick to rush to judgement:

Old South End Broadway

Solicitor Bob Ariail announced today that after review of all material related to the resignation of William E. Harner as Superintendent of the Greenville County Schools, he "has found absolutely no evidence of any criminal act."

during the interviews. I can surely see how things can be misrepresented by a school board member after the last few days too.

Has Mr. Sykes made any kind of a statement???

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.

A key sticking point in contract negotiations involved residency. The TPS school board says a superintendent needs to live within the Toledo school district. But Dr. Harner says he was looking at residency based on where his daughter could attend high school, to take advanced placement courses. "I told them it was my intent to live in the district and it still remains my intent to live in the district if it's what is best for my family," said Harner over the phone. "To make sure my daughter's education progressed upwards instead of laterally," said Harner, "I wanted to make sure that took place."

Ignazio Messinas' coverage of the press conference yesterday is here:

It starts out with a sentence that isn't true. "Even though William Harner has said twice that he doesn

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.

But the offer from TPS would have gone to his attorney - not to him. So while it sounds like it might have something to do with it - it doesn't.

February 20th the board voted to enter negotiations. Which in the real world means making someone an offer and looking at any outside issues, like where their kid needs to go to school and where you expect them to live.

March 8 - Nancy Noeske with Proact, the search firm, sent an email to the entire board saying "Deborah, after our phone conversation on Tuesday, I thought you, Steve or the boards attorney was going to call Bill Harner and let him know where things stand." "He nor attorney Maree Sneed, has heard anything to date. You voted to begin negotations on February 20 and have not actually done anything to communicate with him or his attorney. That sure is strange" (e.a.)

March 12 - Nancy Noeske sent Steve Steel - her official TPS board contact these questions, "Steve, what in the world is happening? Has the board changed its mind?"

Steel replies: "I have been told the attorneys are talking and we expect a set of contract expectations from Dr. Harner's side. We are moving with all deliberate speed."

On April 2nd Nancy Noeske sent an email to Steve Steel (looks like it also went unanswered) saying the board was not acting in good faith and if they don't communicate with Harner they will lose him. She says if that is 'your intent' to let them know.

April 3rd TPS's attorney sent over a draft of a proposal. That's a long time, between Feb. 20th and April 3rd.

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 don't know these people. I read that Larry Sykes was on the Metroparks Board. Is he still? Is at least part of the problem that members of the Board have spread themselves too thin with too many commitments? And will this problem be solved with new members, or will we face the same problem in the future? The problem with "go getters" is that they tend to involve themselves in many things. Is that what is happening here? Should we make sure that the people we elect will take the time to do the job right, or will this be just one commitment among many?

Old South End Broadway

Toledo needs more pain before a cure becomes desirable.

At some point, the world becomes more attractive than Mom, Dad, Sykes, and Carty's basement.

Ask any kid during X-mas about what happened to Burger Miester Miester Burger.

You've got a valid point, but there are enough people coming out against this that it won't be able to stand.

But you sure do have a valid point about some people in Toledo. But there are enough of the ones who have 'had enough' that they're making change and holding people accountable.

FYI I asked my 27 year old son if he knew who the Burger Meister was and he said no.

I don't either. What's the deal w/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.

:-) Funny nobody here knew the name.

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.

You've got people like me who've always voted the "straight ticket" on taxes (especially for schools) wondering what the hell it was all for?

I've helped negotiate union contracts. I know what happens when the process has gone on for a while, and you're tired, and the other side isn't budging. I know that you "compromise", and hope that you've done the right thing. While all around you are the "hard-liners" (who won't come to the table) sniping about your efforts.

But I see the large number of people who are on fixed incomes, who are laid off work, or work minimum wage, and who see a "leadership" negotiating a $150,000+ contract with a $750 a month car allowance. Maybe this is "representative" of what other people receive, but is it fair to the taxpayers of this town?

Maybe you aren't going to have an even worse time than you've had trying to pass any continuance of taxes (let alone increases) now that people begin to see where their taxes go. The lid is off, thank God.

Old South End Broadway

What I find disturbing is that the board of education in Greenville, South Carolina, accepted his resignation by a vote of 11-1, and that a trustee (and I quote) said "

Old South End Broadway

Old South End Broadway

He's the evil mayor in "Santa Claus is coming to town" who hates toys...

...about why our board was waiting for "a proposal of any kind" from Harner's attorney. If you offer a person a job, you offer a starting package, at the very least.

Why would the TPS board wait for Harner to start off with the first offer? Is this something unique to school boards?

And negotiations can certainly begin without criminal background and credit history reports - especially if the hiring offer was contingent on such. Not having those two items is not an excuse for not beginning negotiations.


Yes that is a trustee unwilling to name him/herself.

This district does need reform, that is for sure.

I read the e-mails and Harner says he will be away but his attorney "is ready to talk anytime"

Also, I see that on 3/8 they said the background checks were all OK.

Someone at the board was obviously asleep.

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