Saturday, February 28, 2009

Why is APS senior administrator Tom Ryan YELLING at APS employees?

The following was forwarded to me with the explanation that it had been sent to all APS employees by,
APS Chief Information Officer Thomas Ryan Ph.D

APS employees,

Another reminder to all employees that the APS email system is for APS job-related functions. It is NOT to be used to voice your political views or for expressing political opinions. You are encouraged to use your own personal email accounts (gmail, yahoo ...) to contact legislators but, NOT your APS account.

What is the point in YELLING at everybody?

The overwhelming majority of the employees he emailed,
haven't even done anything wrong.

Petty? If this were a fluke, yes, maybe. But it isn't.
It is in fact, a reflective example of the attitude overall,
of senior APS administrators toward the great unwashed.

Still nothing from Alan Gutowsky

Alan Gutowsky is a member of the APS Audit Committee.
He is there to represent the community's interests
in decision making about APS audits.


He had a responsibility to accept a credible allegation of a fraud attached to the APS Moss Adams audit. He declined twice.
He wouldn't even take my card.

And, has made no apparent effort
to do anything about the allegation,
despite being urged to do so. link




photo Mark Bralley

Is UNM President David Schmidly a role model?

for whom? and of what?

Is he a role model for students, for staff, for community?

Is he a role model of a higher standard of conduct than the law?

Is he a role model of a standard of conduct which requires telling the truth?

Is he accountable as a role model? to whom? and by what process?

All of these questions are answered unequivocally with one act;
an audit is begun.

Somebody like Moss Adams, is hired to go into the
administration of the public trust and treasure at the UNM.
They are paid to look for practices that promote or enable
corruption and incompetence. They are paid to look for
the corrupt and the incompetent.

And they report to the public record.

Stakeholders have a right to the ethically redacted truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
about the spending of power and resources
that are fundamentally their own.

The person who begins such an audit would be a role model of character and courage.

Instead of having to perpetuate a myth about a man
who had enough character and courage to hold himself
honestly accountable to a meaningful standard of conduct,
we could point to one in real time.


There is no down side of an audit.

Cost? you wonder.

Calculate for yourself a number.
It is the number of pennies in every tax dollar
that you think are wasted by public corruption,
incompetence, and the practices that enable them.

My guess would be that 20 cents in every tax dollar
are wasted or stolen.

For the sake of argument, let's say it is only 1 cent.

I don't know what the UNM's annual budget amounts to,
but let's say a half a billion.

One percent of a half of a billion tax dollars is 5 million dollars.

You could buy yourself a damn fine Moss Adams audit
for a whole lot less than 5 million dollars.

Anything over a few hundred grand would be gravy.

Cost is not the downside. Rather, audits are money makers.
Talk about bang for your tax dollar.

So what is the downside?
In fact, there is no downside.

Unless you are one of the good ol' boys
whose record of public service cannot stand the light of day.

For them, there will be a down side.
Which is as it should be.

Whether university presidents, or district superintendents,
why aren't their salaries, even their continued employment
contingent upon passing yearly audits?

If the idea is to get taxpayers to feel confident
about the spending of their power and resources,
what better way to earn that trust than by clean audits
every year?

Good administrations accept accountability;
great administrations demand it.

That's why great administrators aren't afraid of audits;
they welcome them.

Rigo Chavez, APS Director of Communications

and Obfuscation, and APS' Custodian of Public Records.

I have made a public records request for
the JCMS School Climate Survey and survey results.

It was necessary for me to ask,
because it had been announced that the survey results
would not be universally shared with stakeholders.

If nothing else;
the expressed intention to secret some of the truth,
represents an unequivocal violation of
the APS Student Standard of Conduct,

which is the Administrative and Executive Standard
of Conduct
as well,
for obvious reasons.

They are role modeling conduct antithetical to standards
of conduct that they establish and enforce upon students.

In any case,
instead of just calling up Tom Genne, APS RDA Director,
the administrative division that administered and scored the
survey, and asking him to shoot me an email with the records
that I am looking for,

he has instead "

... requested a copy from the school and will let you know
when it is ready for your inspection within the 15 days
allowed by the Act."

The net effect is that if the request is ultimately complied with
at all, it will only be after the maximum amount of delay allowed by "the law".

The message told to students;
A person of character
often has to do more than the law requires,
and less than the law allows.
Role modeling, schmole modeling.

We should not be so worried
that
our children never listen to us,
as we should be worried
that
they are always watching us.
Upton Sinclair




"Roundhouse mystery"

Journal reporter Jeff Jones spins quite a tale; link.




House Majority Leader W. Ken Martinez, D-Grants,

introduced a bill that would have shortened the time that state
agencies could take to comply with public records requests;
from 15 days down to 10.



The bill also settled the question of whether or not emails and
faxes were acceptable means of submitting requests.
Incredibly, there is a record of public servants refusing
to accept public records requests if the requests were emailed
or faxed to them.

The original bill was replaced by another, by a process
which was not made clear in the Journal report.

An allegagator tells me that Martinez had grown tired of a discussion and said something like; OK, you write something then.

So "they" did. "They" wrote a substitute bill that would
effectively gut the Inspection of Public Records Act.


According to the Journal,
Kip Purcell of the Foundation for Open Government
said;

"The bill would almost define 'public records' out of existence,"
"In short, it would be a disaster for the cause of open and honest government."
And no one seems to know, or will admit,
whose bright idea it was;
to put an end to public records access.



If this does not build a case for transparent government,
what does?




photo Mark Bralley

Friday, February 27, 2009

David Schmidly "gets it". Does the faculty?

"I get it."
I thought the President of the United States, Barak Obama
delivered the line more convincingly, and a few days earlier.

But I digress.


UNM President David Schmidly.

He says he "gets it";
he needs to listen to stakeholders.

Do you really suppose that David Schmidly
got where he is, by "listening" to stakeholders?

Never mind a lifetime of ignoring stakeholders;
he promises he is going to change. From now on,
he is "going to listen" to the infernal whining
of the great unwashed.

Right, and a pint of Häagen-Dazs serves four.





David Schmidly is an oligarch.
( wikilink refresher course)

Oligarchs rarely give a rat's ass about
anything except their position
in the oligarchy.


Oligarchs do things their way.


Oligarchs are decision makers.
They exist in order to make increasingly important decisions
by themselves.

He is not going to change.



The faculty at UNM have asked for an audit.

They want an impartial audit of the administration of
the public trust and treasure at the UNM.

Fat chance.

David Schmidly,
like APS Supt Winston Brooks,
will avoid an audit with the willing
support of the executive branch
of the Oligarchy.

Winston Brooks, in his effort
to avoid an honest audit, has the
support of the APS School Board.


David Schmidly, in his effort to avoid an honest audit,
will have the willing support of the Board of Regents,

who are every bit as loathe to an audit, as Schmidly,

and who themselves will enjoy the willing support of the
Governor of the great State of New Mexico,
Bill Richardson,
apparently.

It is simple.
There is either going to be an audit, or not.

If there is an audit,
it will reveal what an audit of any oligarchy will reveal;
the community best interests will have been sacrificed
in favor of the interests of oligarchy.

Auditors will find that the leadership of the UNM has
built the oligarchy, at the expense of the university.

The faculty "wins" if they can get the audit discussed
out loud and in public.

If the subject of an honest audit doesn't get discussed
out loud, in public and, rather immediately,

David Schmidly and the good ol' boys will have won.

News cycles being what they are,
the faculty at UNM has about three days
to get David Schmidly to admit that he heard the demand.



photos Mark Bralley

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Webcasting of the legislature is hard work

You sleeps when you can.


Luckily the legislature isn't
webcasting webcasters
webcasting the legislature.

Someone might have seen
me sleeping on the job,
and then put the photo up
on the internet.

(OK, so I'm not a morning person.)





In contrast, Gwyneth Doland NMI link, is wide awake and doing color commentary on NMI's live blogging of the legislature.


photo Mark Bralley; my buddy?

Some straight up good reporting on the meeting in Popejoy Hall.

can be found on Mark Bralley's blog; link

Bill Richardson promises UNM faculty the truth.

According to the Journal, link,
Governor Bill Richardson has promised UNM faculty members "open, direct, and constructive dialogue".

"I am hopeful that today's meeting will renew a mutual respect between all parties and lead to more open and constructive dialogue," Richardson said. "I have the highest regard for the faculty at UNM and would welcome direct discussion about their concerns."
Has he promised to tell the truth?

Does open, constructive and direct mean that
stakeholders will be told the truth?

Will their legitimate questions be answered candidly, forthrightly,
honestly, and on the record?

Unlikely.

The last time Richardson promised stakeholders the truth,
was when he asked taxpayers to approve a third of a billion
dollar APS bond issue;
"... despite APS' earned statewide reputation for
their lack of financial accountability."
He promised stakeholders open, constructive and
direct dialogue then too;
right after voters approved the bond issue.

There was no dialogue,
the truth was never told at all.

Which begs the question;

Why should UNM faculty believe Richardson now,
when he asks them to believe him when he says
he will dig for the truth "later"?"


Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Chinese proverb.

How about we start the open, constructive, and direct
dialogue right now.

Let's talk openly, constructively, and directly about
Bill Richardson's every intention to push
his campaign "money man" into a regent's seat at UNM,
even over the expressed objection of UNM Faculty
and other stakeholders.

Let's talk openly, constructively, and directly about
an independent audit of the administration of public resources
by the UNM; an audit that reports to the public record.

Who ya gonna believe; Jamie Koch, or your lying eyes?

Update; after posting this, I was informed that Koch's remark
likely referred to the fact that he had no opportunity
at that particular meeting, according to faculty rules,
to respond to faculty complaints made at that meeting.

A fair enough complaint.



On February 4, 2009, link,
Jamie Koch demonstrated that he was aware of faculty complaints.

According to the Journal link, on February 24, 2009,
Jamie Koch would have us believe that he was unaware of faculty complaints;

At a news conference after the meeting,
Koch complained that he wasn't given a chance
to respond to faculty concerns.


... ouch.

Let the sun shine in.

Photo journalist and blogger Mark Bralley, link, and I,
have gotten up before the sun three times,
in order to webcast from the
Senate Rules Committee.

Webcasting these meetings is not our responsibility;
it is the responsibility of our servants in public service
in
Santa Fe.

Three times,
I have made it clear to the two people who own the room;
Committee Chair, Senator Linda Lopez and a senior
sergeant at arms, that there is too much sunshine on
the process of creating more
sunshine on government.

Bralley owns a serious video camera; not state of the art, it weighs a ton, but never the less, a good camera. As the camera pans from one part of the room to the other, internal workings and hidden mechanisms adjust for changing light levels. Sophisticated as it is, it cannot separate a person from a bright background. The camera tones down for the bright background, and the person becomes a silhouette.

Also, if you pan past a bright window, you get a "flash" because the camera cannot shut down fast enough to prevent a good look at the sun. The camera arrives on the dark side with the lens choked down from staring at the sun, and unable for a moment, to resolve itself.


Bralley used a still camera to shoot a mild example of the effect.
The wall washing ceiling lights produce a similar effect as you can see. They aren't a problem because they're out of our shot. The window is directly on eye line; it cannot be avoided.

The video camera picks up something more like this, and worse.

Three times, I have asked for a little less sunshine, and as many times, the request has gone without a satisfactory resolution. The blinds were drawn part way on the third request. You can see how pulling the blind part way, would create plausible deniability, while at the same time affording no real relief. And they don't make it easy to argue about it.

Being a cynic, I see some deliberation: some push back,
from people who resent our intrusion into "their" space.
Bralley thinks I'm over reacting.

In my own defense,
just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean that
they
aren't screwing with our shot.


There is no good and ethical reason (that I can imagine)
that the blinds will not be adjusted in the public interest.

Of course, there is no good and ethical reason either,

why webcasting is left up citizens to provide for themselves,

rather than the legislature owning the installation and operation
of the most the most robust webcasting setup
that tax dollars can buy, and rather immediately.



The right time to do the right thing is always right now.
(the Great Debaters link, derived)



UPDATE; our fourth sojourn into webcasting the
Senate Rules Committee saw a little less sunshine, the blinds were drawn per our request.

UNM Faculty has "standing" after all.

Three weeks ago, UNM Regents President Jamie Koch,
suggested that UNM faculty had no "standing" to take a confidence vote on he and his cronies in the leadership of the UNM. link

He argued that a recent report that UNM teachers are hard to find in their offices, meant they had no business challenging his performance, or anyone others'.

UNM faculty demonstrated the flaw in his reasoning by going ahead with the (no) confidence vote anyway. Journal link

My best advice to those brave souls who have established standing in the process; cement in place, your standing.
Before you get sidetracked on endless bunny trails and
red herring issues, establish first, that you have a right to
a seat at the table where decisions are made.


The issue of an independent outside audit of the administration of the UNM, is the only issue to press right now. Get some auditors in to look for the waste, the cronyism, the mismanagement, and the gluttony.

You have no seat at the table, if you are not told the whole truth
about what will be decided there.

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

All of it. (except as specifically and explicitly protected by the law,
or by any other good and ethical reason.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

UNM faculty "no shows" at Confidence Vote meeting today.

UPDATED
Monahan pulled this quote later in the morning,
and recanted it the next day.



There is a meeting scheduled for 3 pm today.
At the meeting a vote of (no)confidence will be conducted.

Blogger Joe Monahan reports this morning, link
that at least some faculty members will not be allowed
to attend the meeting. He wrote;

"Paul Roth who is one of the VP's at the UNM Health Sciences Center has ordered HSC staff and faculty to not attend the faculty protest Wednesday. Paul was elevated to VP status by President Schmidly..."
emphasis added

Say what?


At what point in this process, exactly,
did faculty members at the UNM Health Sciences Center,
forfeit their constitutionally protected human right
to petition their government?


Somebody should do something.

APS Quality of Education Survey Results SY 07-08

Link to an executive summary of the annual survey
that is required by the NM Public Education Department.

Parents are supposedly able to participate in a survey for
their school here link, although at least some schools (13)
reported no participation at all (according the the executive
summary linked above.)

It looks to me, like the APS is avoiding asking some questions,
in an effort to suppress the likely responses. For example,
the negative effects of chronically disruptive students, and
the failure to enforce discipline policies is grossly under surveyed.

The Director of APS' RDA Division, Tom Genne,
has admitted for example, that the RDA has never asked APS
teachers;

What do you think is being done wrong, and
what do you need done differently to succeed?


The APS used to have a Citizens Advisory Council.
Paula Maes, et al, disbanded the Council,
over the objections of its membership,
because she "didn't think it was working".

She did not replace it with anything any better;
it was not replaced with anything at all.

And now citizens have no voice in APS' decision making process.
They are disenfranchised stakeholders.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

If you stand alone for long enough, you have to begin to wonder why.

I seem to be the only one who would argue that;

If a member of the leadership of the APS will not stand up and pledge honest accountability as a role model of the Student Standard of Conduct,

by which is meant,
honest accountability to a nationally recognized, accepted,
and respected code of ethical conduct,

it can only be for one or both of two reasons.

The only two reasons that these people will not stand up as role models of the student standard of conduct;

  1. they lack the courage, and or
  2. they lack the character.

Now if there is any other reason at all, what is it?

Wouldn't you suppose;
some one of the people whose character and courage are
being besmirched,
would point to the third reason in defense of their character?

It takes character and courage
to step up as a role model of character and courage.


Any member of the leadership of the APS who will not step up
as a role model of the Pillars of Character Counts!

does so because they lack the character and the courage to
do so.

Marty Esquivel's moment of truth.


I have tried very hard to give APS Board Member Marty Esquivel the benefit of the doubt. He is after all the only board member in the history of the APS to propose a district wide administrative accountability audit.









The idea was quashed, I believe,
by Board Member, Paula Maes,
who said at the time;

"I will never agree to an audit
that will come and address personnel."

"I do not want an audit that would say, ..., Tom Savage is a horrible administrator"

Never the less, I just asked Board Member Marty Esquivel to stand up as a role model of the Student Standard of Conduct, specifically the Pillar of Trustworthiness and he is apparently unwilling.

I want him to tell the truth about the closed meeting of the Audit Committee, and he will not. He is apparently satisfied that he has fulfilled the requirements of the lowest standard of acceptable conduct; the law.

There are higher standards of conduct, and he is accountable as a role model of one of them; whether he likes it or not, and
whether he will admit it or not.

He is obligated to demonstrate by his own personal example;
what it looks like to tell the truth.

It behooves us to pause briefly,
to clarify the definition of "telling the truth".

I offer the following illustration of "telling the truth",
according to the Pillars of Respect and Trustworthiness.
Imagine a small pile of Cherrios on the table.
The Cheerios represent the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth.

To whom does that pile of truth belong?
With whom must that truth be shared?

To begin with, the law requires that some of the truth
be kept from public knowledge.
There are likely other good and ethical reasons,
beside the law, to keep some truth secret.

Separate from the whole pile of Cheerios,
an amount of Cheerios equal the the truth that is kept
secret for any good and ethical reason.

The Cheerios that are left, represent the truth that enjoys
no exemption
from the rest.


To whom does that pile belong?

Students, according to their standards of conduct,
forfeit their good character,
if they do not push the entire remaining pile toward
stakeholders at the earliest opportunity.


Marty Esquivel is a role model of
the Pillars of Respect and Trustworthiness.
In that capacity, he has the responsibility to role model
telling the truth about the Audit Committee's closed meeting.



According to the Student Standard of Conduct,
if I ask APS senior role model, Esquivel a legitimate question,
his responsibility is to respond candidly, forthrightly, and honestly.

His duty as a role model, is to push over every single Cheerio
that does not enjoy good and ethical exemption.

That is the very response that he requires of
the 87,000 of our sons and daughters in the APS.

With reasonable specificity, consistent with
the requirements of the Pillars of Respect and
Trustworthiness;

What happened in the closed meeting?

Marty Esquivel
has an opportunity, and a responsibility
to step up as a role model for students; to test his mettle;

a moment of truth, as it were.

This is not Mr. Esquivel's first failure to step up and
tell the truth. link


cc Marty Esquivel upon posting




photos Mark Bralley

Typical APS thinking; parent-teacher conferences.

Parent-teacher conferences are not what they could be
according to Journal Education Reporter, Andrea Schoellkopf, link

The oligarchical response is to solve by edict.

oligarchy;
  1. a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.
  2. a school district so ruled.
  3. the persons or class so ruling; the good ol' boys.

Their edict; "require a universal parent-teacher conference."

The Student Standard of Conduct suggests that the proper response is to
engage stakeholders in the decision making process.
Let them decide what they need.

The responsibility of the School Board is to create a district wide policy that requires administrators to engage stakeholders in the decision making process that will establish guidelines for parent-teacher conferences at a particular school.

The board has the authority to charge the Superintendent with ensuring meaningful participation in the decision making process, for all stakeholders.


Instead, Winston Brooks will stuff his parent-teacher plan down stakeholders throats.

He has no choice. If he lets stakeholders participate meaningfully in this decision, there will be no turning back. The cat will be out of the bag.

Once stakeholders have tasted meaningful participation in decision making, why would they ever give it up?

Why wouldn't they demand meaningful participation in every decision that affects their interests?

This is why the leadership of the APS has excepted themselves from accountability to the Student Standard of Conduct. They cannot be role models of either Respect or Trustworthiness.

They cannot afford to let stakeholders into their decision making process.

They will do everything they can to prevent being held accountable to any standard of conduct that requires them
respect stakeholders rights to participate meaningfully in decisions that affect their interests.

Their real intention is manifest in their
ongoing refusal to tell stakeholders the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

About parent-teacher conferences, or about anything else.

Who is this man? update

Despite his own efforts, and the efforts of Director of Internal Audit, Margret Koshmider, the mystery witness at the secret audit committee meeting has been identified, and before the end of the day as predicted. link

He is Arbie Aragon.

What he and Koshmider hoped to gain by keeping his identity secret for a few hours, still unknown.

All he and she accomplished in the end, was making
the Internal Audit Division look like they are hiding something.


cc Arbie Aragon upon posting.

photo Mark Bralley

Monday, February 23, 2009

Audit Committee minutes; current history.

The Audit Committee met on January 22, 2009.
The minutes, according to state law, were to have been
ready ten days later.

They were never posted on the APS website,
as was past practice.

The Audit Committee approved the minutes without having
first surrendered them to public knowledge. And without
allowing any objection to be raised before voting.

Had Robert Lucero allowed it,
I would have pointed out that the minutes made no mention
of the remarks by APS CFO, Gina Hickman,
that implied that APS' SilentWhistle met "federal regulations".


Unless federal regulations recognize programs which
do not offer fair and impartial adjudication of complaints,
the representation was fraudulent.

Margret "Peg" Koshmider is
the Director of Internal Audits.

I am led to believe that
her admin was responsible for
the minutes of the
Audit Committee meeting.

The thick plottens when we look at
the reason why, SilentWhistle cannot
be represented as anything but a fraud.

SilentWhistle is a forwarding mailbox.
It forwards complaints directly to Margret Koshmider
who then decides what will become of them.

Margret Koshmider closed a SilentWhistle complaint
against Winston Brooks without a principled resolution.
Then she closed another complaint against herself.


It was her conduct that made Hickman's remark untrue.

Hickman's remarks are still missing from the minutes,
which were themselves missing, for more than two weeks.


Who really knows what's going on here.


The only thing we all know for certain is that there is
an appearance of a conflict of interest.

It is expressly prohibited conduct,
if APS board policy were to be believed.

cc Koshmider upon posting


photo Mark Bralley

Robert Lucero's latest brainstorm.



Robert Lucero chairs the
APS Audit Committee.

He looking to find someone
to fill an empty community
oversight seat.




He thinks it would be swell, if the empty seat was filled by one
of the three board members who leave office this week.

Just to keep it in the family; you know,
so they could still hang out together.

Gosh Robert,

don't you think that stinks just a little of
the appearance of a conflict of interest?
Current Board Policy reads;
The Audit Committee will also include two non-Board/non-APS employees. ... The non-Board/non-APS members, one of whom shall be a CPA, will be selected by the Audit Committee and approved by the Board. ...

Do you suppose that he really can't see the appearance of
a conflict of interest, or that he just really doesn't care?


All of which begs a more fundamental question;
Why are the community oversight members
appointed by the very people they will oversee?


If Audit Committee members were corrupt or incompetent,
wouldn't that policy allow them to appoint someone
who was just as corrupt, and just as incompetent,
in order to hide their corruption and incompetence?



Wouldn't it be stupid if they didn't?

This is Allan Gutowsky


He sits on the
APS Audit Committee.

He represents community oversight
over the APS Audit Committee.

He is there to watch over
the community's best interests.






I asked him if he had been told that there was an allegation
of fraud attached to the audit which he approved.

He said that he was not aware,
nobody in the leadership of the APS apparently,
has told him that an allegation had been made
that false testimony had been given at the meeting where
he signed his name under the recommendation for its approval.

Although he is not a government employee,
he is part of a governmental process.
He has an obligation to allow the petition of one's government.


I told him twice;
there is a fraud attached to the APS Moss Adams audit.

He refused to take the complaint, twice.

And then left by a back door.


It's not so much
how badly that he performed his duty at that moment,
as it is about what he has done about it since.


After reflecting upon it,
has he begun some kind of investigatory process, any kind?
or is he going to continue to pretend that
he has no obligation to do so.


Time will tell.


cc Allan Gutowsky upon posting.

photo Mark Bralley

Somebody googled "examples of public school fraud"

and ended up with a link to the leadership of the APS. link

Bingo!

Who is this man?

I have raised a legitimate question about the legality of
the last meeting of the APS Audit Committee.

During that meeting, this man gave testimony.
He was a public servant acting within his public service.

After the meeting, he was asked for his name, repeatedly.
He refused to identify himself, repeatedly.



His official response;

"My mother taught me to never talk to strangers."

His boss,

APS Director of Internal Audit,
Margret "Peg" Koshmider
later
admitted that the man is an APS auditor.
She also refused, as a public servant,
to surrender his name.





The meeting was conducted in secret, for
"the purpose of discussing limited personnel matters
in connection with Internal Audit."
The fact that the audit committee has no authority to
talk about "personnel matters" at all, not withstanding;

if they needed to talk about it in secret, it was for a reason.

If the "personnel matter" made the leadership of the APS
look good, they wouldn't be talking about it in secret;
not under a cloak of secrecy this broad.

So, it seems fair to assume that
somebody has done "something" wrong; "something"
that points to the lack of standards and accountability in
the oligarchy that leads the APS.


Now public servants, at work, are arrogantly trying to
keep this man's name a secret. To what end?

Do they really supposed that his name will not be known
by the end of the day anyway?


If you ask anybody in the entire leadership of the APS
to tell the truth about what is really going on;
the ethically redacted truth; candid, forthright, and honest,

they will stonewall you.

Because as bad as role modeling dishonesty is;
and it is really, really bad, it isn't nearly as bad as
the consequences for role modeling;
telling the truth.



This is manifest lack of character and courage.
There really is no third alternative.
If there were, someone in the leadership of the APS would
post it as a comment on this post.

Go ahead someone in the leadership of the APS, give us
any other reason to refuse to tell the ethically redacted truth,
except that you lack the character and the courage to do so.




photos Mark Bralley

Sunday, February 22, 2009

They call it a "news cycle".

You can't run every story forever.
Three days seems to be about the max.

I will never forget the reporter who ended his newscast
every night with the number of days that Americans
were still being held hostage in Iran.

Just so people would not forget about them altogether.

It is based, I suppose, on the length of time that
the average person will stay upset about something.

After awhile, they say to themselves, who cares, forget about it.


There was a time when a lot people were upset about what
happened at Rio Grande High School, and at Ernie Pyle,
and at every other place in the APS where stakeholders
were left out of decision making that affected their interests.


They haven't forgotten about it; it still eats at them,
they just aren't that pissed off anymore.

Not enough anyway, to get in their cars,
go to a board meeting, to do anything about it.


The School Board just postponed the public forum five days,
without justification.


More than enough time for stakeholders to "cool off".

UNM a house divided during a recession? So what?

The Journal reports this morning, link, that;

UNM President David Schmidly says;
In the midst of a deep recession ...
this is not time for the UNM community to be
a house divided against itself."
If the Journal had pressed a little harder they would have
found that;
  • Winter would not be a good time.
  • Nor would Spring.
  • And Summer would not be good.
  • Oh, and Winter of course, would be a bad time, too.


If you are among the privileged class, the power elite;

there really is no right time for the peasants to rise up
and together, throw off the yoke of abusive power.

Schmidly's only defense against legitimate questions and
complaints, a red herring; "bad timing"



The right time to rise up against tyranny is always, right now.

Audit Committee Meeting violates the law?

The APS Audit Committee met last Thursday. The meeting
was closed according to the following agenda item.

II. Executive Session pursuant to (§ 10-15-1 (H) (2))
for the purpose of discussing limited personnel matters
in connection with Internal Audit.
Except that the Audit Committee has no business discussing
"personnel matters", limited or otherwise.

The Committee's charge is limited to review and discussion
of audits and whistleblower complaints. Board Policy reads;
... review and recommend approval or action(s)
associated with the District’s Annual Audit, any internal
audit(s), audits associated with the Capital Outlay and
Technology, and any employee whistleblower complaints.
They have refused to disclose what was discussed in the
meeting with "reasonable specificity", as is required
by law.


And it would seem, they met in secret to discuss matters that
they had no business discussing at all, much less in secret,
in violation of the law.

Board Member Marty Esquivel, attended the meeting,
and is a lawyer specializing in "open government".

If anybody knows whether or not that meeting was
conducted in violation of the law, it would be him.

I have asked him to address the apparent discrepancy.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tell your money goodbye; State Auditor Hector Balderas


Hector Balderas said that
if someone doesn't give him
the money he needs,
to hire the auditors he needs,

millions and millions
and millions of tax dollars
from the stimulus package
will be wasted or stolen.






It would not surprise me to hear that
State Attorney General, Gary King,
feels the same way.








Dear Legislator, (you must insert the correct name here)
What are you going to do personally, and right now,
about the underfunding of the
Offices of the State Auditor, and Attorney General?

Please respond at your earliest opportunity,
and over your name.


I am grateful for your time and attention.


ched macquigg (your name goes here)



If a child asked you right now,
Why aren't you emailing your legislator?
(despite how incredibly easy it is; link.)

What would your tell the child?

Remember now, your excuse has to be in words
that a child can understand.




photos
Mark Bralley

Friday, February 20, 2009

APS School Board Member Robert Lucero.


This is Robert Lucero.

He is the Albuquerque
Public Schools
Board of Education,
Audit Committee Chair.




I tried to tell him that
there is a fraud
attached to the
Moss Adams Audit;

the audit to which he
and six other board
members have just
attached their names
and reputations.





He refuses to hear the complaint.

How is this OK?



No evidence has been gathered, no testimony has been heard,
no attempt has been made to determine the truth.


His constituents have placed their trust and treasure
in his hands. He responds by refusing to hear credible
allegations of fraud attached to an audit.

In fairness, he is not alone.

There is not a single person in the entire leadership of the APS,
who is willing even to acknowledge that an allegation
has been made.

There is not a single person in the entire leadership of the APS,
who will defend the decision to prevent an independent audit
of standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS;
an audit which will report to the public record.

There is not a single person in the entire leadership of the APS,
who will explain why they are not honestly accountable
to meaningful standards of conduct and competence.

There is not a single person in the entire leadership of the APS,
who will deny that public resources are being used to litigate
exception to the law for administrators and board members.

There is not a single person in the entire leadership of the APS,
who will hold themselves honestly accountable to the same
standard of conduct they establish and enforce upon students.

There is not a single person in the entire leadership of the APS,
who will defend their decision to remove the role modeling
clause
from their own code of conduct.

They took out the words which read;

In no case shall the standard of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standard of conduct for students.

There is not a single person in the entire leadership of the APS,
who will even acknowledge that there is a standards and
accountability scandal floating in their punch bowl.



APS Audit Committee Chair, Robert Lucero refuses to give a principled resolution to credible allegations of fraud in the Moss Adams Audit,



just because he can.


And he could not be
more pleased with himself.













(file) photos Mark Bralley

Inspection of Public Records Request, JCMS Climate Survey and results

I have filed a public records request with Rigo Chavez,
APS Custodian of Public Records

regarding the recent Climate Survey at Jimmy Carter MS
and for the results of that survey.

Mr. Chavez is required by the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, to surrender immediately, any requested public record which is easily available to him. This Survey and the Survey Results are easily available to him; he is in the same building with the RDA folks who wrote and administered the survey, and who will score the results.

Worth noting; it has been two months since I requested an original copy of the subordinate evaluation instrument, and he is yet to surrender it.

From: Charles MacQuigg

This constitutes a request for public records.

1) I require the opportunity to inspect and/or copy the School Climate Survey
which was just completed at Jimmy Carter Middle School.

2) I addition, I required an opportunity to inspect and/or copy the survey results.

3) A recording of the Audit Committee Meeting of January 22, 2009.

4) Finally, you are reminded that you are way overdue in surrendering;

a) the subordinate evaluation instrument, an original, not a xerox, originally requested almost two months ago; December 22, 2008.

b) the portion of the contract with Access Investigations, to investigate the APS Police Department, which contains any confidentiality agreement between the District and Access Investigations.





Thursday, February 19, 2009

Frank Foy's lawsuits.

Frank Foy is having to sue public officials in order to exercise his rights under the law, to inspect and/or copy public records.

Taxpayers are paying the salaries of lawyers who are arguing that because Frank Foy is suing them, his has forfeited his rights under the Inspection of Public Records Act.

It bothers me considerably to be underwriting with my taxes,
the legal weaselry that makes it difficult or impossible
to inspect public records.


Modrall did the same thing to me.
They argued that because I was litigating against them,
I had no more right to inspect public records.

We pay Modrall, a lot of money
to litigate exception to the law for administrators and
board members.

We pay lots of lawyers, lots of money
to litigate against the public interests.

Why?

It is now less than 24 hours before the Audit Committee meeting.

And the draft minutes of the last meeting,
which will be approved at this evening's meeting,
are still not available for public inspection;

an apparent violation of at least the spirit of
the New Mexico Open Meetings Act.

A situation about which, the leadership of the APS wonders;

... and your point?

Rigo Chavez, APS' Custodian of Public Records

I have reviewed my records, and would like to present
an overall picture of "truth telling"
by APS’ Custodian of Public Records.

I am still waiting for the truth to be told on the following issues;

  • A record of compensation paid to Paula Maes’ husband’s law firm, Modrall,and any record of compliance by Paula Maes with board policy prohibiting the creation of a conflict of interest.
  • A record of payments to the Albuquerque Journal, which might influence their willingness to investigate and report upon the truth about the leadership of the APS.
  • A list of aps.edu email addresses or any contact information for APS stakeholders who deserve to know the truth about the failure of the leadership of the APS to stand up as role models of the Student Standard of Conduct.
  • Records of APS administrators who have attended NMIPRA training by the AG’s Office or any other.
  • The results of the Access Investigations, investigation into public corruption and criminal conspiracy in the APSPD, despite the fact that the investigation has been kept secret for so long that statutes of limitation have already expired on felony criminal misconduct.
  • The portion of the contract with Access Investigations that covers their obligations with respect to keeping the investigation results secret from stakeholders.
  • Any recordings of my various arrests at board meetings.
  • Records of communications that ended fire safety inspections in schools, thereby freeing funds to build the completely unjustifiable new board room.
  • Copies of the instruments used to survey school staffs in the annual subordinate evaluation of their principals.
  • The identity of student newspaper sponsors.
  • Contact information for the members of the Character Counts Leadership Council, or an honest accounting of the federal grant money that was appropriated for them.
  • The identity of the person responsible for delivering falsified records of board meetings to TalNet for broadcast to the community.
  • APS Police Department yearly budgets.
  • The name of any senior APS administrator willing to respond on the record, to legitimate questions about the issue of an administrative standards and accountability audit.
  • A candid, forthright and honest accounting of spending at the Uptown Administrative Complex, including a candid, forthright, and honest accounting of spending on the new board room.
  • A request to be put on the emailing list for Winston Brooks weekly message.

It seems just a little more than preposterous that
we are paying $80K or $90K a year to a public servant
whose job it is, to hide the truth from stakeholders.

Truth telling, as it is required of APS students.

From; Making Ethical Decisions - link
based on the Pillars of Character Counts!

There is no more fundamental ethical value than honesty.
We associate honesty with people of honor, and
we admire and rely on those who are honest.

But honesty is a broader concept than many may realize.
It involves both communications and conduct.
Honesty in communications is expressing the truth
as best we know it and not conveying it in a way likely
to mislead or deceive.

There are three dimensions:

1) Truthfulness.
Truthfulness is presenting the facts to the best of our
knowledge. Intent is the crucial distinction between
truthfulness and truth itself.

2) Sincerity.
Sincerity is genuineness, being without trickery or
duplicity. It precludes all acts, including half-truths,
out-of-context statements, and even silence,
that are intended to create beliefs or leave impressions
that are untrue or misleading.

3) Candor.
In relationships involving legitimate expectations of trust,
honesty may also require candor, forthrightness and
frankness, imposing the obligation to volunteer
information that another person needs to know.


Currently,
the student standard of conduct requires them to tell the truth.
The standard for the leadership of the APS is; "not lying".

There is a world of difference between "telling the truth" and
"not lying".

It is the difference between a higher standard of conduct,
and lower standards of conduct.


If telling the truth is too high of a standard of conduct
for administrators and board members,
how is it not too high a standard for students?

Does anyone really expect students
to hold themselves accountable to a higher standard of conduct
than the standard that applies to their Principal?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This in from Jimmy Carter Middle School

The truth at Jimmy Carter Middle School
has been documented. A survey has been done.
There is some dispute over how the truth will be handled.

It is pretty clear to me that the Pillars of Character Counts!
require telling the truth.

Students are taught that they hide the truth
at the forfeit of their good character.

If we are going to continue to try to teach children that
their character counts, it must be our standard as well.
There is no getting around it. There is no equivalent gesture.

If it is too high a standard for us,
how is it not too high of a standard for our children as well?

Every generation expects the following generation
to be the first generation
to hold themselves honestly accountable to the truth.

Every generation tells the next,
about George Washington and the Cherry Tree,
and then leaves it at that.

If we really want our children to grow up to embrace character
and courage and honor,
someone has to show them what it looks like.


If Character Counts! at Jimmy Carter Middle School,
the student standard of conduct requires that the truth be told;
candidly, forthrightly, honestly.

The survey results, except for good and ethical redaction,
belong to all stakeholders.


The survey and the survey results are public records
created by public servants acting within their public service.

The "RDA lady" reportedly told teachers that, she will discuss
the results in a future meeting.

She also reportedly claimed that;

The principal has the right to let loose the results and
interpret "as she sees proper and fit".


I don't think so.

JCMS' Principal, is the senior most administrative
role model of the student standard of conduct;
the Pillars of Character Counts!

A nationally recognized, accepted, and respected code
of ethical conduct,
it has been the student standard of conduct since 1994.

It was the administrative standard of conduct as well,
until they removed the role modeling clause from
their own code of conduct, which used to read;
In no case shall the standard of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standard of conduct for students.
According to the Pillars of Character Counts!;

the truth; the survey results, belong to all stakeholders.
(Except for that part of that truth, redacted for any ethical reason.)

The rest of it;
the whole truth and nothing but the truth, belongs to
stakeholders.


If the Principal actually lays claim to the truth,
and insists upon sharing only what suits her interests,
she will be role modeling behavior that is
prohibited by the student standard of conduct,
the Pillars of Character Counts!

Unfortunately, there is no place to report her misconduct.

My complaints through APS SilentWhistle,
of the ethical misconduct by Superintendent Brooks,
manifest in his refusal to hold himself honestly accountable
as a role model of a standard of ethical conduct,
were denied a principled resolution.

They were closed with no evidence gathered,
no testimony taken, and no effort made, to determine the truth.


The truth is;

there is no where,
where you can report the ethical misconduct of a Principal,
and expect a principled resolution of your complaint.


If the teachers at Jimmy Carter Middle School are up to it,

insist that your principal model the Pillar of Trustworthiness,
by being candid, forthright and honest.

Insist that she show students what it looks like to tell the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,
even when it is not in her personal best interests;
especially when it is not her best personal best interests.

Insist that she show them what it looks like
to step up for chopping down a cherry tree.


Upton Sinclair wrote;
We should not be so worried that our children
never listen to us, as we should be worried that
they are always watching us.

If we really want these kids to accept accountability to
meaningful standards of conduct and competence,
someone has to show them what it looks like.

They don't know who George Washington really was.
They don't know a cherry tree from an oak, and they may
never have seen manifest character and courage and honor.



I used to give T-shirts to kids who "graduated" from
Character Counts! training. On its front and back, it read;
Stand up for what you believe in ...
... even if you are standing alone.

And shame on us if we let them.

Any child standing up for character and courage and honor;
should have
  • an adult behind them offering encouragement,
  • an adult beside them sharing their sacrifice, and
  • an adult in front of them, leading by their example.

Edmund Burke;
All that is necessary for evil to prevail in the world,
is for good men to do nothing.


You pick a side, when you don't pick a side.


Good luck, Godspeed.

Robert's Rules of Order

I did a little research on Robert's Rules of Order.
I found a great site called, oddly,

Roberts Rules of Order
www.robertsrules.org


It is hard for me to see where this goes wrong.


The NM Republican Party Central Committee
made a huge mistake when they decided to continue
"rule of the gavel".

I hope NM Republican Party Chairman, Harvey Yates
rethinks this whole thing, and if nothing else,
gives New Mexico Republicans his personal assurance that
he will abide by them, himself.

Why not audit everyone?

State Auditor reveals significant problems in the
Office of the Secretary of State. link

Most state agencies have had a century, literally,
to get their books in order.

Yet, with almost monotonous regularity,
every special audit seems to reveal gross mismanagement.

It is obvious that there is a need for auditing other than the
audits done by the same people who are wasting or stealing
millions of tax dollars every year.

I can't begin to tell you how much independent forensic
auditing of contracts would cost, but whatever it costs,
it has to be much less than the amount that is wasted or
stolen, year after year, after year.

It would be cost effective to perform a forensic audit of
every agency, every year.

Corruption and incompetence would end with regular audits,
because like vampires,
neither can survive in the sunshine.

Accountability is 100% fatal to corruption and incompetence.

It can be made impossibly difficult to waste or steal
without getting caught.

We lack only the will to do it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More specificity, please.

According to the law, the notice of a closed meeting
must state the reasons, and the subject to be discussed,
with reasonable specificity, and the minutes must
identify the subject discussed with reasonable specificity.

The School Board is going to meet in closed session based on
the following level of specificity;

... the purpose of discussing limited personnel matters
in connection with Internal Audit.
That is isn't very specific. It does not tell the ethically redacted
truth. It is not candid, forthright, and honest.

The School Board can be more specific without breaking
the law.

The message given students in their standard of conduct
is that a person of character often must
"do more than the law requires,
and less than the law allows".


Are School Board members being
  • more honest than the law requires, or are they being
  • as dishonest as the law will allow?
Surely the law requires them to tell us,
which of the acceptable justifications they claim;
  • hiring or firing,
  • promoting or demoting,
  • assigning or reassigning, or
  • investigating or considering complaints
    or charges against an individual public employee

Where are the draft minutes of the Audit Committee meeting?

This is from the notice of the Audit Committee meeting.

Audit Committee Meeting
Thursday, February 19, 2009
5:00 PM
Albuquerque Public Schools DeLayo-Martin Community Room

Call to order

Adoption of Audit Committee Agenda and
Approval of the May 9, 2007, May 16, 2007 and
January 22, 2009 Audit Committee Minutes.
(Discussion/Action)
Past practice is; draft minutes are available for inspection
by means of a link on the APS website.

The law states that draft minutes must be prepared within
ten working days after the meeting.

There are no draft minutes to inspect.

There is a dispute surrounding the minutes.
They may be evidence in future litigation.

Where are they?

Audit Committee meeting agenda.

The APS Audit Committee is meeting this Thursday, Feb 19.

The agenda includes the following items;

Executive Session pursuant to (§ 10-15-1 (H) (2))
for the purpose of discussing limited personnel matters
in connection with Internal Audit.

SilentWhistle procedures, statistics.
It would seem that my allegations are on the table.

On the table in a secret meeting; but on the table, nevertheless.

Whether that means, I will ever be allowed to defend them,
on the record, is still up in the air.

I keep asking.
They keep not answering.

The School Board has the authority to decide who may attend
a particular closed meeting.

They can invite in, anyone they want.

They can invite me in. They should invite me in.
They are the senior role models of a standard of conduct
that requires them to provide principled resolutions
of complaints.

Barring that,

I am of the opinion that the board members elect should be
in the room, since they are going to own the mess
if it is handled inappropriately.

There is after all, an ongoing complaint filed with the
Office of the State Auditor over what I suspect is the

"limited personnel matters in connection with the audit".



Worthy of note; the draft minutes are not on the agenda
as is past practice. They should be available for inspection.

"Special Event" Meetings, February 13th and 14th

According to the APS website, link, the training in Santa Fe
was entered into the board book as; "special event meetings".




It has been reported to me that Delores Griego was the only
sitting board member to take advantage of the training.







All three board members elect, attended the training.

Lorenzo Garcia









David Robbins






David Peercy


photos Mark Bralley

the Battle Between Good and Evil

It is hard to write "the battle between good and evil"
without sounding histrionic.

That said;

if the battle for and against accountability to meaningful
standards of conduct, is not a battle between good and evil,

what is?


You pick a side when you don't pick a side.

the Open Meetings Act - Your greatest threat

The APS School Board attended some training recently.

One of the break out sessions was called;
the Open Meetings Act - Your Greatest Threat.

My hackles rose when I read the title because my experience
with the leadership of the APS is one of callous and arrogant
disregard for all Open Government law.

I assumed that the title implied that the Open Meetings Act
represented a threat to how the board would do business if
there were no law.

I didn't miss by much.

There was a slide included in the Power Point presentation;

Who will use it against you?
  • the Foundation for Open Government
  • Newspapers
  • the Attorney General
  • Committees seeking recall
Is the law really used against anyone;
except someone who is breaking the law, or
who intends to break the law?

In different circumstances the slide would have read;
Open Meetings Act Resources
  • the Foundation for Open Government
  • the Attorney General
But it didn't, and
I feel like my initial concern has been validated.


The APS Board of Education regards Open Government laws
as a threat.

They are a threat because
the APS Board of Education has no real interest at all
in open government, or in ensuring that stakeholders know
the truth about their power, their resources, and their
public servants.

You can't legislate ethics or morals.

All of the corruption and incompetence in government,
is proof on its face that "the law" is inadequate
to prevent corruption and incompetence in government.

Clearly there is a need for higher standards of conduct and
competence than the law provides.

But when anyone brings up the need for a higher standard
of conduct than the law, like ethical standards of conduct,
the response is; you can't legislate ethics.

Nonsense.

If standards of conduct and competence called "statutes"
can be legislated, and accountability to those standards
can be provided,
then accountability to higher standards than the law,
can be legislated just as well.

The resistance is based on the specious argument that
"everyone" agrees on what "legal" means, but
"no one" agrees on what "ethical" means.

Au contraire;
every written code of ethics is proof that agreement can be had;
codes of ethics can be written.

One can simply point to a code that is already in existence, or
one can go through the process of writing their own.


It can be done. The proof is; it has been done.

All that is necessary to legislate ethics, is

  • agreed upon standards of ethics, and
  • provision for accountability to standards.

For example;

the leadership of the APS, by their own deliberate choice,
is not accountable to any standard of conduct higher than
the lowest standard of acceptable conduct; the law;
a standard easily ignored by those with lawyers, guns and
money.

If they really had any interest in holding themselves accountable
to a higher standard of conduct than the law, all they have to do,
is to point to the Student Code of Ethics,
and then provide for accountability to that code.


It isn't that ethics cannot be "legislated". Rather, it is;

they just don't want to be held accountable to a code of ethics.


It isn't how to hold the good ol' boys accountable for their
conduct and competence,

it's whether whether to hold good ol' boys accountable for
their conduct and competence.

And so far, their answer is, no.