Tuesday, August 11, 2009

APS Board Member David Peercy said the right thing, but for the wrong reason.

On the table for discussion/action in the APS Policy Committee meeting;

Conflict of Interest for APS Administration, Staff, Board Members.

Peercy announced several times that he would not allow discussion of anything other than his narrow agenda, and even then, discussion would be limited to 15 minutes.

Before he could stop her, Board member Delores Griego slipped a little turd in his punch bowl, and brought up the subject of Peercy's intention to vote on a contract that applies to his wife.

Peercy claimed there was no problem, in that he had a "legal" opinion from the district's lawyer Art Melendrez, that gave him permission.

It is "legal" to create the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Two points that I expect are not given much attention in Melendrez' opinion;
  1. "legal" is the lowest acceptable standard of conduct among civilized human beings, and
  2. "creating the appearance of impropriety" is specifically and explicitly prohibited according to the board's own recently adopted code of "ethics", link.

Robert "the weasel" Lucero
immediately insisted that the
legal opinion must be hidden
from public knowledge, and
the board agreed.

"Open government" lawyer Marty Esquivel voiced no objection to hiding the opinion from the public record.

Remember also please, he also voiced no objection, when Delores Griego told the board that the NM School Board Association's lawyers, suggested that the board write a policy that would allow them to destroy records of board meetings upon approval of the board's own minutes.

I have tried to think of a reason that this guy is still on the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government; without success.

Peercy tried to limit the discussion to the incident where an APS vendor bought dinner and drinks for a bunch of APS employees, employees who at some point would be asked to evaluate the vendor, their services, and/or their product, link.

Peercy pointed out that, no one had done anything "wrong".

Robert Lucero reported that any thing the law allows him to accept, works for him. Two points;
  1. "legal" is the lowest acceptable standard of conduct, and
  2. he holds students accountable to a standard of conduct that requires;
doing more than the law requires, and
less than the law allows.

David Robbins offered his two cents; he would like to see some limits set. He would like to be able to accept gratuities up to, let's say, $25.00.

Although he claims that he is still pushing the role modeling issue, he did not take the opportunity to point out that as role models of the Student Standards of Conduct, standards were already in place.

Peercy replied that he didn't want to see a "deuteronomy" of rules, in which every possible situation would be addressed in policy.

Then he asked the administration to tell him what his "principle" was. Like an actor asking a director for his "motivation" in a scene, Peercy wants someone to tell him what his principles are in this situation.

He informed the board that, his personal policy was not to accept anything; but for the wrong reason. He accepts nothing, for pragmatic reasons, and not because he recognizes his responsibility to role model the APS Student Standards of Conduct. If he were role modeling the Pillars of Character Counts!, or even recognized them, he would know that his guiding principle is that in any given situation, you pick the most ethical option.

Superintendent Winston Brooks accepted the board's charge. He reported that it will take him a month to figure out what their guiding principle might be.

The school board has three primary responsibilities.
One of those is to write district policy; to establish for the
administration, the guiding principles of their administration
of the APS.

Why is the school board is asking the good ol' boys, to tell them
what the guiding principles are ?

Winston Brooks steadfastly refuses
to hold himself honestly accountable
as a role model of the Pillars of
Character Counts!;
the APS
Student Standards of Conduct;

a nationally recognized, accepted, and
respected code of ethical conduct.

Why is anyone asking him, of all people, for ethical advice?

During the discussion, Marty Esquivel reported that he is quite familiar with state law, and very little of it applies to school boards. Apparently they are able to hide behind some NMAG ruling that excepts them from accountability to Conduct in Government laws.

If you look up the word disingenuous, you will find as an example, what Esquivel did next.

He asked Delores Griego, who is the board's representative to the NM School Board Association, to communicate to the association, that they needed to do something to bring themselves under the law.

Remember, it is the NMSBA that hires lawyers to offer training entitled; the "Open Meetings Act, your greatest enemy".

They are also the ones who have told school boards to destroy any public records that they can, lest they become "a problem at some later date".

And, they are advising them that they can get away with limiting the topics allowed to anyone wishing to petition their government during a public forum.

Yeah, they're going to get right on it; holding themselves
honestly accountable to the law.

photos Mark Bralley


Anonymous said...

Monica Armenta's mom selling Phone systems to APS.
Peercy's wife selling God knows what to APS.
APS Admin getting Free/reduced roofing jobs on their home from APS Contractors.
PRevious APS Supes and Admin using the inmate work program to work on their private homes and party with.
"This is how we do it in New Mexico" I supposse.
I thought MARTY ESQUIVEL's goal and life's calling was to change a lot of that. Guess not anymore...
PEERCY never passed a warm feeling on to any constituent that I know of,...but he'll pass the buck.. to his mom.
TRAITORS to the public...One and all!

Anonymous said...

This doesn't surprise me with the little cabal there at APS all looking out for each other's interests using secrecy while shafting us taxpayers. Where is the transparency we were promised by Brooks?

Superintendent Winston Brooks even condoned the lying in 2007 and 2008 by his people when they knowingly gave false cost and schedule information to citizens for the construction of the new Georgia O'Keeffe Elementary School in the NE Heights. Even after a concerned citizen made an early 2008 request using the NM Inspection of Public Records Act for the real costs and schedule to create a second wasteful new interim school of portables on the nearby park there, only to tear it down two years later and build a new park on the site, APS still refused to provide the real cost data for all this. The $1,877,017 to do all this told us was a joke. Likely it is 3-4 times that amount.

School completion is 18 months later than told us and the real total costs are still being hidden. Millions of our taxes are being wasted and our State AG Gary King and his local AG enablers are condoning APS's withholding of the requested information. Robert Lucero would attack those who dared ask for the truth. What a loser! Dave Robbins may be the only honest one now serving on the Board.

"Character counts" apparently only in the classroom-not in the APS halls of Uptown. Brooks talks a good talk but is part of the problem here. No integrity-a typical bureaucrat. He needs to be sent packing back to Wichita.

Anonymous said...

Peercy's wife works at City Center as a Speech Pathology liaison. As of 2009 she had direct negative influence over the poor working conditions of 200 other SLPs.