Blade Coverage/Copy of Letter to the Blade

I'm copying over a copy of a letter I rec'd - with a request to publicly post.

I truly wish I did not have to write to members of the Blade about a recent story, Toledo school board is urged to reopen Harner talks. However, I do believe it is incumbent on the public to challenge the accounts in the media when they are inaccurate.


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Its a masterpiece of the art of being legally correct, without reporting what really happened. I am so used to seeing that in our daily newspaper I was not inclined to act on it. I should have been.

Along the same lines, ever notice their lack of an inclination to report or editorialize Larry Sykes?

I don't get it, we can see the results of the old board, massive layoffs, school closings AND school building project, enormous budget deficits and poor ratings.

What would motivate a paper to try to protect people who have had such a horrific impact on the community?

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.

There is also the issue of his daughter getting the education that she and her family wanted through an international baccalaureate program which is not offered through TPS. For those of you who are parents, do we ask someone to compromise the education of their child for a job where education is to be valued?

I distinctly remember reading in the paper one of the hangups was Mr. Harner requesting his daughter's tuition be paid for to Maumee Valley, if that's where she was to attend. Or that the family be allowed to live in Ottawa Hills.

Is this not accurate and if it is, can the taxpayers of Toledo not expect a man who's salary is a comfortable six-figures to pay for his own daughter's tuition to a private school?

McCaskey - If you read the email correspondence and what Harner said in the newspaper the day after this bull was printed, then you would know that Harner never mentioned MVCDS. He did inquire about the board paying for tuition to a private school if he stayed in Toledo. He wanted to send his daughter to public school at Northview.

Sykes lied or some who want to give him the benefit of the doubt might say he exaggerated the facts. He did so because he never wanted Harner and he knew that mentioning MVCDS and Ottawa Hills would flame the flames and passions of those in Toledo.

I predicted that Sykes would blow up negotiations from the beginning (in one thread I talked about how Sykes messed up the negotiations in 2000 and how I could see it happening again. He had hoped that Harner would ask for the sun, moon.... when they did not make him an offer but asked him for his demands. When Harner came back and was willing to work for no more than Sanders was making, Sykes went to plan B. In the process, he lied and he has people such as yourself remembering this issue - which was his purpose even though he was called on it by Harner and then by Board member Fisher.

The emails are posted - you see if there is any mention of MVCDS and Ottawa Hills in the emails. Further Sykes can't say he got it first hand because he never talked directly with Harner...Hmmmm....

Can you imagine that neither the Board President (Barnett) nor the head of the negotiating team (Sykes) never called Harner to say welcome to Toledo and let's get the deal done!

Enough said!

He did inquire about the board paying for tuition to a private school if he stayed in Toledo. He wanted to send his daughter to public school at Northview

Obviously the question is why would he even inquire about the board paying for private school tuition if he wanted to send his daughter to a public school in Sylvania?

Look, I have no axe to grind here; I live in Sylvania and it isn't my taxpayers' money at issue. I'm just asking questions.
I'm fully aware of Mr. Sykes' reputation and am also aware it could certainly be well-justified.

Another question--is the TPS Superindendent expected to live within the city school district and if so, how could he send his daughter to Sylvania Northview? If he doesn't have to, what would the big deal be if he did live in Ottawa Hills?

Could a conversation between Mr. Harner and Mr. Sykes about private school (i.e. Maumee Valley) tuition/place of residency not be contained in the emails but be part of a verbal discussion between them and/or the attorneys representing them?

Further Sykes can't say he got it first hand because he never talked directly with Harner...Hmmmm....

OK, I see this question was answered. Didn't catch it the first time. Thanks.

Flagg is complaining as usual that The Blade reported it badly or bad ole' Larry Sykes was mean to him... boo hoo.
Get over it. You're just mad because you didn't get what you wanted.

The Blade articles have been fine and informative.
I read through ALL the emails on your little web site and it seems to me that the Blade reported the whole messed-up-pile-of-crap contract talks story. (which by the way, I think the whole board fouled up and Harner fouled up himself)

There was nothing misleading: Harner DID say, TWO TIMES: I dont want to work at TPS. What's misleading in the first sentence then?
You're the one twisting the facts. duh.

Also, when you put "quotation marks" around text from an email, it is not paraphrasing ... it's "quoting."

By the way, the news channel 11 poll showed 90 percent of repondents want John Foley. Guess you are in the minority here.

Oh, BTW, what do you do for a living anyway Flagg Pole?

Run away little fella' the grown ups are talking.

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.

The board went into executive session to talk about an employee. When they came out after about an hour, Ms. Barnett said that they would meet again on Friday. Then they adjourned.

From the news accounts obviously Ms. Barnet had a press conference and said that Harner would not reconsider. That was never said at the board meeting this morning.

This is all a ruse to get Foley on board to be the superintendent, just what we all suspected in the beginning.

This town is something else.

My question is who is pulling the strings?

Ex-Mayor Jack Ford said something on Bridges yesterday that struck a chord with me. He asked the question of why does Gladieux get all of the contracts with the all of the Concessions, such as at the Mud Hens game? Why not open it up for others and entrepreneurs, he asked. The same people get the same money. No one else has a chance to advance in this city if you are not connected to the old Toledo families.

Relating this to the search for a superintendent and the non negotiating team of Torres and Sykes, Mr Harner was an outsider and therefore not welcome in Toledo. He might make some changes to improve the quality of life for all children in Toledo.

There are e-mails that tell the story and the media spins them the way they want or have been told to spin the story.

This community needs to stand up and demand an overhaul of the public school system whether or not we have children in this school system.

When you keep doing things the same way you keep getting the same results.

What difference does it make what Steve Flagg (not Pole) does for a living? Whatever he does for a living he devotes an awful lot of time volunteering for the children of Toledo.

It's not that he didn't get his way. It's that none of us got anything out of the deal including you. YOU are the one who should be mad at your friend "bad ole Larry Sykes." Steve Flagg has nothing to be ashamed of and he has nothing to defend or be mad at.

Over 50,000 dollars spent to hire a search firm, for what? So that you get to keep the person you already had? Why go through the farce, just so Toledo can continue with it's reputation and make national news.

You are really silly and typing nonsence.

Murph I remained out of this until now because you have aroused my interest.

First, I think they have a valid claim on the Blade's coverage. To report heresay as fact without validation is bad journalism.

Secondly, you quote a poll. Well if you'd note on here we discuss polls sporadically. Any poll that wishes to be taken seriously needs to have some form of randomness. Now you link no reference to this poll so I must assume it's as every other WTOL poll I've ever seen. That would be an online poll. Now those are not scientific nor random in any measure of the word. So I don't believe the 90% to be a representation of the Toledo populace.

In the future please post links to any "facts" whenever possible. This will either add to your credibility or hurt your credibility.



I supported the board's 5-0 decision to hire Harner! I am extremely disappointed and find it embarrassing for Toledo that a solution could not be found that would have successfully concluded negotiations with Harner!

I read all the emails and correspondence and could not believe how the reporter paraphrased Harner's words when he had access to the quotes. By paraphrasing you run the risk of altering the meaning - and Harner never said he did not want the job! He also was not saying that TPS schools were inferior, but that he had other issues involving district politics and being able to get the coursework his daughter needed.

Because of such reporting, you sway public opinion without the public having the materials to make up their own minds. A poll such as that on WTOL is not scientific and has no real meaning except for gossip and speculation - if you know about the web, programming, etc. you also know that you can manipulate such polls!.

I'm not sure what you mean by this - Also, when you put "quotation marks" around text from an email, it is not paraphrasing ... it's "quoting." as the reporter never used quotes in his article for the two sentences in question. Perhaps you are confusing the use of the quotes in my letter as posted above.

All that concerned me was that the public get an accurate story. I can't read minds so I don't know what the intentions of the reporter are or were!

Why the personal attack? Sure is easy to go after someone behind a screen name!

There is never a reason to cast dispersions on one's character and my how I make a living has nothing to do with my opinion! I can only take away from this that you seem intent on disparaging me so that my message is lost. This is not appropriate and you should apologize!

Here is the link to the story in question -

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