Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Esquivel and "accountability"

There is a document entitled School Board Member Code of Ethics.

Someone ask School Board President Candidate Marty Esquivel;

If someone believed and had evidence that he,
Marty Esquivel, had violated that code of conduct,
by what avenue, would they file their complaint?

He will have to answer as he has answered before;
there is no actual accountability.

I would ask him the question again at the candidate forum
except that he intends to have me arrested.

It's nine days and a wake up
until voting begins.

And still not a word of truth from the Journal
or from any of School Board Member Paula Maes'
NM Broadcasters Association cohorts,

about the ethics and accountability scandal
in the leadership of the APS.

The cure for achievement gaps is

eliminating individual barriers to individual excellence.

Equal protection for teachers

If elected, I promise; the APS Police Department will protect
the interests of teachers and all other stakeholders
as vigorously as it now protects those of administrators
and board members.

And just the legal and ethical ones.

Or I will see it disbanded.

50 APS Teachers Achieve National Board Certification

50 APS teachers have earned National Board Certification, link.

They will join the ranks of 237 other APS teachers who have
earned the prestigious certification.

Not one of whom
has a seat at the table where decisions are made.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Referendum on Character Counts!

... and other things.

Among other things, the School Board election is a referendum on the adoption of a higher standard of conduct than the law. Students and their adult role models, would then be held "accountable" to those standards.

There are many standards of conduct. It could be argued, there are as many standards of conduct as there are people. This discussion will be limited to the widely recognized, accepted and respected standards.

They are all higher standards of conduct than the law; the lowest standard of conduct accepted by civilized people.

There is no higher standard of conduct, that does not rest on truthtelling; the responding to any legitimate question by answering candidly, forthrightly and honestly.

When the question is; will you tell the truth?
any answer except yes, means no.

If you want truthtelling within public service, then you have to insist that politicians and public servants have to answer the question.

Consider that if you go into a courtroom to testify, you are expected to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Yet the people who wield control over every bit of your powers and every penny of your resources, never have to look you in the eye, raise their right hand and swear to tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the ethically redacted truth about the public interests and about their public service.

Those words by the way; candid, forthright, and honest, come from the Pillars of Character Counts!. They come from the APS student standards of conduct.

That stopped making any difference to the leadership of the APS, the night they removed from their own standards of conduct, the phrase and obligation;

In no case, shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
The Pillars of Character Counts! are not a legally enforceable standard of conduct. That is the conclusion of the State Auditor and the Attorney General.

The fact that they solemnly promised to step up as role models of the student standards of conduct, even during the measly few hours of their public service, and then reneged upon that promise, is not "illegal".

They are accountable only at election.

If transparent accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence wins in that election, then politicians and public servants will be transparently accountable, not only at the next election, but for every minute of every hour of every day of their public service.
Transparent accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence within public service meets every legitimate need.

There is no legitimate agenda that does not move forward on the day that government is transparently accountable to the people. There is no agenda that does not move forward on the day stakeholders take their seat at the table where decisions are made.

The Pillars of Character Counts! are one of a number of worthy standards of conduct. I have been considering it carefully since 1993, when I spent three days listening to Character Counts! Founding Father Michael Josephson.

Haven't seen him since.

If we chose, we can establish a government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people. That government cannot under standards of conduct that do not include truthtelling.

A commonly told tale, is meant to encourage children to step up to honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence.

If we really want them to do that, there is a sacrifice we must make on their behalf. We have to walk the talk; we have to hold ourselves honestly accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence. In our personal lives we are accountable to the stakeholders in our personal lives. In our public service, we accountable to the people.

There is no one of us as qualified as all of us together.

When you wake up Friday January 14 you will remember where you were the evening before.

You will remember having participated meaningfully in decision making that affects your interests, or you will remember doing something else instead.

What will you say one day, when a child asks you where you were on the day the people retook control over power and resources that are fundamentally their own?

APS School Board Forum offers limited seating

I'm curious.

What efforts will be made to stream the forum to the people?

Will Torches and Pitchforks home gatherings be able to watch it on their wide screens?

Will the video stream come to rest in a user friendly archive?

Will our power and resources be used to promote the event or keep it under wraps?

Will the parent newsletter encourage parents to pay attention to the forum? How will the million dollar communications division, communicate the need for voter parents, to get involved?

How widely will the truth be told?

Will the Journal encourage public participation?

Will any of the legacy media encourage meaningful public participation in the school board election, before early voting begins?

If Marty Esquivel and Steve Telles actually arrest me, will the legacy press report it?

They didn't when they watched me get arrested for standing silently against the wall in the back of a board meeting, minding my own business and wearing an elephant mask.

I will consult the Magic 8-Ball.

(shake shake shake)

"Don't count on it"



Sunday, December 26, 2010

The whole point is ...

The School Board election represents your opportunity to exercise the only real control you have over the administration of your power and resources.

It represents your only opportunity to institutionalize transparent accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence, into the leadership of the APS.

This is about the message, it is not about the messenger.

The whole point is; there is no one of us more qualified to do anything, than all of us.

You can't elect a person in place of establishing a process.

You must "elect" the process;

  • transparency, limited by only by the law and consistent with our own standards of conduct.
  • honest accountability, under an impartial system powerful enough to hold even the most powerful, accountable even against their will. Casino security on the administration of the public trust and treasure.
  • a seat for stakeholders, at the table where decisions are made.

If there is someone more likely than I, to establish honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence for politicians and public servants within public service, I will help to elect them.

Who else did you have in mind?



In days of olde, folks used to sit back and watch
as their champions defended their interests, in battle.

It doesn't work that way anymore.

Someone needs to do something.

Anyone who wants a seat at the table has first to earn that seat on the field. That is the way it works for the first few.

A champion is only the person who happens to be holding the flag. Though s/he might be willing to die defending the flag, it is not their main obligation to defend it.

It is up to others to defend it.

The people are the leader.
It is they, whose fists pound the table last.

Those who wait for the perfect circumstances to act
will find only the perfect excuse for never doing anything at all.

There is this time, this place, these players.

At stake; control over the people's power and resources.
government of the people, by the people and for the people,
which when finally won are, self evidently self sustaining.

There is no stopping an idea whose time has come
and it makes no difference at all, who points it out.
One withstands the invasion of armies;
one does not withstand the invasion of ideas.
Victor Hugo
There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

Tyranny can be overcome with torches and pitchforks.

They are the only tools that have ever worked,
and they're the only ones that ever will.

Usurpers do not simply give back what they have usurped.

It just not the way they roll.




photo Mark Bralley

Richardson's legacy

The Journal explored Gov Bill Richardson's legacy this morning,
in great detail. The conclusion of the headline editor was that Big Bill's legacy was "unclear".

It is in fact, a "mixed" legacy of impressions, all of which are very clear.

If you are believer that trains and tracks to nowhere are a good thing, yours is a clear impression of his legacy.



If you are a believer in transparency limited only by the law, honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence for politicians and public servants within their public service, and in a seat at the table for stakeholders, your impression of his legacy is diametrically opposite.

It is clear that legacy depends on perspective.

For anyone looking for the truth, for anyone trying to pry public records out of the hands of recalcitrant politicians and public servants, link, Richardson's legacy is one of obfuscation.




photo Mark Bralley

Saturday, December 25, 2010

How to vote in the school board election

Go to the County Clerk's website,
http://www.bernco.gov/wherevote/

Type in your name and birth date and click on submit.

You will find a list of all of the various political districts you live in; everything from County Commission to Soil and Water District.

Near the bottom; ALBUQUERQUE PUB SCH BD and the number of the district in which you are registered.

If you are registered in District 1, 2, or 4 you can vote.

Whether or not you can vote; you can participate in the election by attending forums and supporting the candidate of your choice regardless of the District.

Important dates, link, include;


Be Registered to Vote – 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 4 is the deadline to register to vote in the school board election. Must file with the County Clerk’s Office.

Absentee Ballots – Voters may request absentee ballots from Monday, December 13, 2010 through Friday, January 28, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.

Early Voting – 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 2011 and continuing on Tuesday to Saturday until January 22, 2011. For purposes of early voting, all Albuquerque Public School Board of Education District precincts are consolidated into three early voting locations as follows:

1. APS City Centre - 6400 Uptown Blvd. NE
2. Clerk's Annex - 620 Lomas NW
3. Coors Plaza - 3200 Coors Blvd. NW, Suite A

Note; I have updated this post with more accurate information. The mistakes were mine.
I cited The County Clerks web page incorrectly, link. APS' web page is here, link.

Early voting ballots may be marked in person at the Early Voting Locations from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 2011, and continuing on Tuesday to Saturday until January 22, 2011.

Election Day – Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 1, 2011. Know where you vote. Consolidated Polling Locations, link.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 – School Board Candidate Orientation, 6:00-7:00 p.m. DeLayo-Martin Conference Room Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday, January 13. 2011 - School Board Candidate APS-sponsored forum, 6:00-8:00 p.m. John Milne Community Board Room.

Public servant crossed the line

The Roswell City Councilor who recorded entire executive sessions and then indiscriminately distributed those recordings, violated the trust of the very people he claims to be championing. He crossed the line.

In fairness, their is some confusion over where the line is drawn and who gets to draw it.

There is a part of the whole truth, about the wielding of your power and the spending of your resources, that should not be handed over to you. For good and ethical reasons, some part of the truth is kept secret from public knowledge.

Past and current practice is to push the line as far toward obscurity as the law will allow. The law allows a lot of un-transparency.

Where on the continuum of obscurity to transparency
will the people draw the line on their right to know?

That is the issue that this election will settle at once
and for all.

Do the people have a right to as much transparency as the law will allow?

Or do politicians and public servants have a right
to hide as much as the law with allow?

A great deal of public resources have been spent litigating against transparency, litigating against the public interests.

Should the law protect the interests of the people, or
should it protect the interests of politicians
and public servants?

Whose prerogative is it?
Who gets to draw the line on truth telling,
the people or their servants?

Who decides who decides,
the people, or the politicians?

Whose fist pounds on the table last, voters or the elected?

The terms of public service are the prerogative of the people.

Clearly, we have no control over them at all.

Control over our power and resources has been usurped.
The usurpers will not give it back. They will not even
acknowledge their usurpation.

If "the people" want back, control over their power and resources, "they" will have to take it back.

"They" will have to demand transparency limited only by the law.

"They" will have to demand meaningful standards of conduct and competence in politics and public service.

"They" will have to demand a seat at the table where decisions are made.

"They" will have to pick a side.

We know the time, the day and the place;

Thursday, January 13, 2011
School Board Candidate APS-sponsored forum,
6:00-8:00 p.m. John Milne Community Board Room



Consider the sacrifices that have been made in the defense of democracy. Compare them with the 94 of 100 voters, who will not pay the least of their dues; casting their vote in the nest

There is a great deal of talk about involving the community in public education.

OK, here is the test. Everyone who thinks the community can be energized, please do. See if you can get any one of those 94 voters to step up and vote.

Long history indicates that you will be unsuccessful.

Your efforts will be opposed by people whose interests are served by voter apathy.

Early voting in this election will begin long before voters will know the whole truth
about the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Voters have a right to the ethically redacted truth about their interests and Marty Esquivel's public service, before votes are cast.

It would appear that a deliberate effort is being made to keep voters in the dark by people who have other and more worthy obligations than to the leadership of the APS.

Truthtelling precedes election,
or the election is a fraud.


Don't vote too soon!

Don't vote too soon!

Don't vote too soon!


Don't vote too soon!


Don't vote too soon!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pete the elder is a Founding Father of Character Counts!

Senator Pete Domenici
is a Founding Father
of Character Counts!

You have to wonder
what he thinks about
the propriety of the
Pillars of Character Counts!
as the standards of conduct
in the APS.




photo Mark Bralley

Marty Esquivel on the "Issues"

Clearly, what a man puts on his list of (most) important issues, link, says something about the man.

So does what he does not put on his list.

Nowhere on School Board President and senior most role model of student standards of conduct, Marty Esquivel's list of important things to do, is role modeling of the student standards of conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!.

This isn't about the Pillars of Character Counts!. It is about whether adults should be honestly accountable as role models of the standards of conduct they establish and enforce upon students, whatever those standards are; high standards like the Pillars, or low standards like "legal"; the lowest standard of all.

It is about whether we should put back the policy they took out, the one that used to read;

In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
If the Pillars of Character Counts! represent standards of conduct that are too high for administrators and board members, then they are too high for children. You cannot expect anyone to hold themselves honestly accountable to a higher standard of conduct than the standard to which you are willing to hold yourself honestly accountable.

If we really want students to grow to embrace character and courage and honor,
then those are the standards for their role models.

Leadership is by example. It starts at the top.

Marty Esquivel will not raise his right hand and swear
honest accountability to the same standards as students.

He will not step up as a role model.

Role modeling doesn't even make his list.












It is at the absolute
top of mine.








If you support me, I will return to you, control over power and
resources that belong to you.

I will do that by establishing transparency limited only by the law. I will establish honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct with public service. I will establish a permanent seat for stakeholders, at the table where decisions are made.

Those are all tenets of Character Counts!, a standard to which I will hold myself accountable for the measly few hours a day I hold students accountable, and Esquivel will not.


If Kent Walz is unaware of this,
he's not much of a pressman.

If he knows about it and is
covering Esquivel's ass, then
he is much worse.






photos and frame grab Mark Bralley

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Marty Esquivel's website

School Board Candidate Marty Esquivel has a campaign website; link.

It is unbelievable.

Esquivel bills himself as "accountable"

By what stretch of the imagination?

Is he willing to be held honestly accountable as a role model of the APS Student Standards of Conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!?

Is he willing to be held honestly accountable to any standard of conduct at all that requires him to tell the ethically redacted truth?

Can he point to clear and unequivocal standards of conduct and competence that apply to his public service?

More importantly, can he point to a system under which a legitimate complaint about his conduct or competence, can be filed and be guaranteed due process?

Can he point to an impartial system under which he can be held accountable, that is powerful enough to hold him accountable, even against his will?

If he could, he would.

At this moment he is denying due process to more than 300 whistle blower complaints, at least two of which will lead to him personally.

Is he willing to look you in the eye, raise his right hand
and swear that he will tell you the truth, the whole truth
and nothing but the ethically redacted truth (so help him God) about the public interests and about his public service?

Is he willing to point to a time, a day and a place where he will stand and respond any legitimate questions about the public interests and his public service, by answering candidly, forthrightly, and honestly?

It is pretty obvious that he is not.

When the question is; will you tell the truth?
any answer except yes, means no.
Stonewalling means no.

How "accountable" is someone who cannot summon the character and the courage to hold himself, within his public service, honestly accountable to meaningful standards of conduct and competence?

The first ethical use of power is to ensure that the power
cannot be abused, ever, by anyone. Esquivel has not only
failed to protect your power and resources from being abused,
he is himself abusing them.

With the apparent blessing of his crony Kent Walz.
This can't be a bed of roses for Walz; before he can report
credibly on the APS ethics and accountability scandal,
he first must report credibly on his failure to report credibly
on that scandal, heretofore.

I could ask Esquivel those questions face to face at the candidate forum, except that he has ordered the APS Police Force to arrest me if I insist upon exercising my constitutionally protected human right to participate.

The Chief, Steve Tellez, has
already signed off. He intends
to have me arrested if I violate
the illegal restraining order.




photo Mark Bralley

Time to revisit NCLB

Whatever else the No Child Left Behind Act is,
it is a deliberate and concerted effort to take groups of children with nothing in common but the year of their birth, and then try to make them think as one for twelve years.

It is doing more harm than good.

It is also the elephant in the room,
everyone can see it, but nobody is doing anything to stop it
from trampling our children.

It is time as well to deal with all of the elephants;

  • the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS,
  • the abdication from accountability as role models of the student standards of conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!, a nationally recognized, accepted, and respected code of ethical conduct.
  • the ongoing denial of due process to more than 300 whistleblower complaints
  • the hiding of evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators,
  • a complacent or complicit District Attorney
  • a complacent or complicit State Auditor
  • a complacent or complicit Attorney General
  • a complacent or complicit Foundation for Open Government.
  • a complacent or complicit ACLU NM,
  • a complacent or complicit Chamber of Commerce, and
  • a complacent or complicit press, even in the face of elections


Not to mention, the illegal use of a publicly funded private police force, to deny the free exercise of constitutionally protected human rights.








“The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference” Bess Myerson

All that is necessary for this evil to prevail, is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

Over time we will forget the words of our enemies, but we will never forget the silence of our friends. Martin Luther King

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

Someone has to show them what it looks like to hold yourself
honestly accountable to meaningful standards of conduct.

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




photo Mark Bralley

County PIOs get raises.

The Journal reports this morning that four County PIOs are getting raises. County officials are quoted as saying, the County is in good financial shape, compared to city and state governments, and can afford the raises.

Which misses the point entirely.

The question is not whether we can afford the raises; the question what are we getting for our investment? The County is paying more than a half million dollars a year to field a team of eight PIOs; two of whom make more than $90K. To do what?

It is clear to any but the most casual observer, that PIOs are the first line of defense for corrupt and incompetent politicians and public servants. Whatever else they do, they will first "spin" the truth in favor of those they work under, at the expense of those they work for.

For government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people, there first needs to be the people. And if they are to exercise any real control over the spending of their power and resources, they must be fully informed with information that is candid, forthright, honest, and timely; none of which is the stated goal of any government PIO Office (I will bow to controverting evidence).

None of those four qualifiers apply; not one. First and foremost, PIOs are there to "spin" the truth. There is no "spinning" of the truth which does not corrupt it.

PIO staffs are not increasing due to public demand, they are increasing to fill a need that not only fails to reflect the public interests, but in fact, works against the public interest.

PIOs who serve politicians and public servants at the expense of the people, are not worth 90 cents a year, much less, 90,000 dollars a year.

APS spends closer to a million dollars a year on its effort to spin the truth; their top PIO makes more than a hundred thousand dollars a year. She herself, admitted that her main job is to publish a world class school district calendar.

Which begs a question; how many students even know there is a calendar much less benefit from it? It isn't so much how much she makes, but what are we getting for our investment?

The answer; spun truth. Spun truth, which is not the truth at all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Don't make me tell Larry Barker"

reads the tee shirt that KRQE weather guy Mark Ronchetti is giving to select viewers.

Truth is, I already told KRQE and Larry about the role modeling scandal, the corruption in the APS Police Department, and the denial of due process to hundreds of whistle blowers by the leadership of the APS.

It didn't make any difference.

KOAT TV isn't the only TV station that won't investigate the allegations, KRQE won't investigate and report on them either. Nor will KOB TV or KKOB radio.



photo Mark Bralley

Is KOAT covering up for Esquivel or for Maes?

KOAT TV knows that more than 300 APS whistle-blowers are being denied due process of their complaints.

I know they know because
their reporter Lacey Crisp
shot some videotape of me
pointing to the scandal.

The story was never reported.

I doubt that was Lacey Crisp's decision.

Above her, the news director, the station manager and
who knows who else.

One of them decided that the scandal will not be an issue in the upcoming school board election. Nor will the cover up in the APS Police Department, nor their abdication as role models of the student standards of conduct.

School Board Member Paula Maes, a named respondent in a federal lawsuit alleging her abuse of power, also runs the New Mexico Broadcasters Association.

A circumstantial connection yes, but the seed of an appearance of a conflict of interest; respect for their obligation to voter viewers v. protecting  cronies from the consequences of their corruption and their incompetence.

Maes is not standing for election.
She does however, still benefit
from the cover up of the ethics and
accountability scandal in the
leadership of the APS.

She will not have to defend her
stated position; "I will never agree
to any audit that individually
identifies ..." corrupt or
incompetent administrators or
board members.


Marty Esquivel
benefits as well,
and for the same reason.

I believe they know as well that Esquivel has expressed his intention to use his Praetorian Guard to arrest me if I attempt to attend the school board meeting hosting the Candidate Forum.

They won't report on that either.




photos Mark Bralley

3 seats, 17 candidates

When the dust settled in the County Clerks Office yesterday, seventeen people had filed as candidates for the three open seats on APS School Board. I was not able to find a link to the story under either the headline or the reporter; Hailey Heinz.

In District 1, there are six candidates; (incumbent) Delores Griego, Phillip Chavez, Paul Crickard, Analee Maestas, Clara Pena, and Jay Zook.

In District 2, Robert Lucero's seat, there are seven candidates; John Herrera, Katherine Korte, Callen Martinez, Feliz Nunez, Peter Sanchez, Greg Snyder, and Ronalda Tome.

In District 4, there are four candidates; (incumbent) Marty Esquivel, Candido Archuleta Jr, Cheryl Ann Harris, and me.

At the end of the day, names were drawn to determine the order that names will appear on the ballot. There in no indication in the report whether the order of the names in the report reflects the result of the drawing or the reporter's bias; all else equal, there is an advantage to having one's name on the top of the list or, dead last.

I am going to keep track of course, of the Journal's coverage of issues in the election.

Reporter Heinz raised two; splitting the District, and the fallout from the scheduling fiasco at Rio Grande High School.

Heinz wrote; "Griego may face a tough election ..." as the debacle created a great deal of frustration and anger in District 1.

My positions on those two issues are; I am against splitting the District and, I don't think Griego should be held personally accountable for the District's handling of the scheduling mess, as she had no power and no authority to intervene.

Griego has plenty of things to be held accountable for, the mess at RGHS is not one.

Advocates of splitting the District say it will make the smaller Districts more responsive to stakeholders. I disagree. The argument is specious. The truth is that a school board of any size district can choose to ignore or respect stakeholders, and that decision is unrelated to its size.

Heinz did not mention in her report, the cover up of corruption in the APS Police Department, the denial of due process to whistleblower complaints, or the fact that both Esquivel and Griego have abdicated as role models of the APS student standards of conduct.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What you can do; what I will do.

Today, I will file my notarized intention to run for election in APS School District 4.

Doing so will awaken a giant.

At stake, control over power and resources that are fundamentally your own.

Those who have usurped that control are loathe to give it back. They will not give it back; not without a fight.

Corrupt and incompetent administrators and board members who will not survive transparent accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence, will resist establishing those standards and providing that accountability.

They will fight back.

They are powerful and they are resourceful.

They have a publicly funded private police force to defend them. It is certified, certificated and accredited by no one; no one except the leadership of the APS. It is a praetorian guard in every sense of the concept. It reports directly to, and only to, the leadership of the APS.

They have what is arguably the most powerful lawyers in the state, and an unlimited litigation budget. Their record is of spending millions of public education dollars litigating exception to the law for APS administrators and board members.

They have an attorney general who is fine with the praetorian guards investigating their own corruption and then hiding evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators from the DA.

They have a district attorney who will not demand the immediate surrender of evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators.

They have a state auditor who is fine with the APS Board of Education making a solemn promise of due process for whistle blower complaints and then reneging. And who will not reveal the name of the senior APS administrator who lied to his investigator when she reported that the APS Audit Committee had in fact given complaints their due process.

They have every administrator, politician and public servant who knows about the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS and has done nothing.

They have a foundation for open government, that not only won't fight for public records of the corruption, but actually gave a transparency award to the hero who's hiding them.

They have a local civil liberties union who has expressed no interest in intervening in blatant abuse of the civil rights of those exercising their rights to free speech, to petition the government, and to be a free press.

They have a chamber of commerce willing to abandon Character Counts! providing more cover for the administrators and board members abdicating as role models the APS Student Standards of Conduct.

And maybe most importantly, they have a newspaper editor
and news directors who are willing to sit on it all;
even in the face of an election.

For my part, I will carry and fight for our standard;

government that is transparently accountable
to the people.
As a role model for students,
I will hold myself honestly accountable to any standard of conduct that I establish and enforce upon them. I will insist that the role modeling clause be restored to the adult standards of conduct; which will read;
In no case shall the standards of conduct for adults,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
In response to any legitimate question about the public interests or my public service, I will stand and deliver a response that is candid, forthright and honest.

Or I will resign.

For your part, you must pick the right side,
recognizing that when you pick no side,
you pick the wrong side.

I'm not saying these people are evil, but when Edmund Burke wrote; all that is necessary for evil to prevail in the world, is for good men to do nothing,
these are the people he was writing about.

Stand up for what you believe in.

I once helped hand out some tee shirts to students.
On the shirt's front and back, it read;
Stand up for what you believe in ...
... even if you are standing alone.
Any student standing up for what they believe in,
should not be standing alone.
There should be an adult behind them offering support,
an adult beside them helping to carry the load, and
an adult in front of them, leading by their example.

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

Telling children a fairy tail about embracing honest
accountability to meaningful standards of conduct isn't
enough. Someone has to show them what it looks like.

Someone has to walk the talk.

Anyone who is not willing to step up a role model of the
APS Student Standards of Conduct, has no business sitting
on the school board, or in an office at 6400 Uptown Blvd,
or in a principal's office, or behind a teacher's desk.

Character counts.

Students have a right to role models of their standards of conduct.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chronic Disruption of the educational process in the APS

Ask any teacher how much of their day they spend "teaching" and how much of their day is wasted instead, dealing with chronically disruptive student behavior.

It is not an insignificant disruption.

The leadership of the APS has chosen to not quantify the waste. If you ask them for any scientific survey they have done, they can point to none, not one. I believe their refusal to compile data stems from their lack of character and courage; their cowardice and their corruption. If there is a third explanation; I cannot imagine it and they have yet to articulate it.

Student discipline is an administrative responsibility.
The evidence of their failure is incontrovertible.

They cannot write effective policy because they have no philosophical foundation upon which to build; they have no written discipline philosophy.

Ask APS Asst Supt Linda Sink why there is no written Discipline Philosophy.

She will not respond (candidly, forthrightly and honestly).







If you ask APS Supt Winston Brooks why APS has no written discipline philosophy, he will not respond (candidly, forthrightly and honestly).









If you ask APS School Board President Marty Esquivel why APS has no written discipline philosophy, he will not respond (candidly, forthrightly and honestly).






Side bar; If you ask APS Supt Brad Winter how much money he spent on the Susie Rayos Marmon Boardroom, link, he will not respond (candidly, forthrightly and honestly).








If you ask APS Chief of Police Steve Tellez why he cannot complete the four year old investigation of felony criminal misconduct involving the senior leadership of the APS Police Department and the APS itself, link, he will not respond (candidly, forthrightly and honestly).




Sidebar; If you ask District Attorney Kari Brandenburg why she does not insist that evidence of felony criminal misconduct be surrendered to her Office, she will not answer (candidly, forthrightly and honestly).






If you ask Journal Editor Kent Walz why none of this is newsworthy, he will not answer (candidly, forthrightly and honestly).








If we expect children to grow up to be trustworthy,
if we expect them to grow up telling the truth,
someone has to show them what it looks like.




photos and Walz frame grab, Mark Bralley

School Board Election begins in earnest tomorrow

Candidates for election to the APS Board of Education
must file notice of their candidacy tomorrow. Election day
is Tuesday, February 1st and early voting begins on
January 7th.

Though this is an important election for many reasons,
only five or six voters out of 100 will take the time and
make the effort to vote.

Historically, there are a number of reasons the turnout is so low; election fatigue after the November elections and the concurrent legislative session which normally sucks all the air out of the political environment.

We can also expect very little media coverage in local print and broadcast media. For reasons known only to them, they all but ignore school board elections and the discourse that surrounds them.

For my part, I will try to bring the issue of transparent accountability to the table. For their part, the leadership of the APS, and their candidate Marty Esquivel, will try to keep the subject from being discussed ever; not in public and certainly not before the election.

Expect the Journal and local media to accommodate them,
as has been their past practice. The Journal's practice is to
limit their coverage of school board elections, to chiding voters,
after the election is over, for their lack of interest.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hiatus

I'm taking a few "mental health days".
Back on Monday next.
Be well.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

County spending $620K "... so someone can avoid accountability."

The Journal editors smacked one over the fence this morning, link.

Let's face it, Bernalillo County politicians and public servants have a lousy reputation. Journal editors note that it isn't so much for a long list of screw ups up and down the chain of command, but more for their handling of the screw ups. More specifically, their lack of candor; if they had just been candid, forthright, and honest about who did what and when, and how it was handled, they would not have forfeited our trust.

We might have been disappointed to learn that the County employees are human with human weakness, but we would not feel betrayed by efforts to hide the truth about them.

County leaders could have prevented the problem, and they can now fix the problem, by simply deciding to be candid, forthright and honest; letting the chips fall where they may.

They have chosen another tack; instead of changing their ways, they will hire PR flacks to minimize the fall out by spinning the truth. They will hire experts to spin the truth in the interests of the people they work under, at the expense of the interests of the people they work for.

"Instead, taxpayers are expected to ante up another
$280,000 to the existing $340,000 PR budget
so someone can avoid accountability."
The editors, Kent Walz et al, expressed no outrage that
the leadership of the APS spends closer to a million dollars
a year on its army of PR "specialists"; the Communications
Department
, including the highest paid pio in the state,
for exactly the same purpose
; so someone, read; an
administrator or board member, can avoid accountability.

Apparently Walz has different standards for politicians and public servants in the APS, than he does for those who work for the County.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Martinez looks for self incrimination

Gov Elect Susana Martinez plans to save some money by asking people to expose the indefensible spending that they might still be doing.

It is contrary to human nature to expect people to point out their own incompetence and or corruption.

It makes far better sense to ask the rank and file to point to the waste.

That was what the Governmental Restructuring Task Force tried to do, but "Big Bill" shut them down.

Why is it in New Mexico redaction of the truth, whether by hiding it, ignoring it, or blocking a survey of it, is always left in the hands of the people with the most to hide?

Does Martinez have the inclination to open Pandora's Box; wikilink an honest and impartial survey of state employees that would enable them to expose waste?

Does she have the character?

Does she have the courage"

Transparency as armor

Personal corruption is about surrendering to temptation.

If there is no temptation, there is no corruption.

A pile of money in a dark back room is tempting.
The same pile of money with cameras on it, is not.

If it is impossible to be corrupt or incompetent without
being exposed, temptation and personal moral weakness
no longer play. Transparency eliminates temptation.

That coupled with the self evident benefits of transparency
make a compelling case. So why isn't government today
as transparently accountable as it will ever be?

Any politician or public servant seeking deliverance from
temptation, need only shine light on their public service.

Conversely, if any politician or public servant seeks to
dim the light on the public interests and their public service,
whether by omission or commission, you have to wonder
if they have not already surrendered to that temptation.,
and now just need to cover it up.

The PIO pledge

In exchange for the handsome salary you pay me,

I promise to answer your any legitimate question
about the public interests, candidly, forthrightly,
and honestly.

I promise to tell the truth, the whole ethically redacted truth, and nothing but the truth.
How different would it be if Public Information Officers actually served the public? Is there a PIO anywhere who serves the public first and the boss last? Is there a PIO anywhere will promise to tell us the truth?

APS' Executive Director
of Communications
Monica Armenta

one of highest paid of pios,
has not taken the pledge.







Director of Communications
Chris Ramirez
,
among the lowest paid of pios,
has not taken the pledge either.









and why should they?
The people they really work for won't take it.

APS Supt Winston Brooks
has not taken the pledge.











APS School Board President
Marty Esquivel

has not taken the pledge.









Mayor Richard Berry
has not taken the pledge.










Governor Elect Susana Martinez
has not taken the pledge.










Journal Editor Kent Walz
has not taken the pledge.










Nor will any of them ever take the pledge, ever.
Else, sign here 1. ______________

I will.
Within my public service, I promise to hold myself honestly accountable to the truth. I promise to answer any legitimate question about the public interests, candidly, forthrightly and honestly, or I will resign.
Politicians and public servants are first and
foremost, public information officers.

It is their primary responsibility.

It is how they protect from abuse,
the power and the resources that have been entrusted
to their use.

It is in fact, the only way to protect them.



photos and frame grab Mark Bralley
Monica Armenta
photo ched macquigg

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Finals before the holiday.

For APS students, the week before the holiday is finals week.

There is a great deal of energy invested in starting school early enough in August to be able to end the semester and administer final tests before winter break.

One of the main reasons for doing so is, if kids took their finals after the break, they would perform less well on them; considerably less well.

The situation speaks to the longevity of their learning.
I have heard it argued that most of everything you learn
is forgotten if you don't use it rather immediately after learning it.

The situation is aggravated by children's reaction to having to "learn" something that they don't want to learn. Whatever learning there for recalcitrant learners, it must be among the most transitory.

Yet another effect of cemetery seating thinking.

APS to crack down on energy waste, again.

Every lean budget year, when the leadership of the APS needs to show stakeholders that they can do something to cut waste, APS announces a crack down on "energy waste".

Their solution, of course, grows the oligarchy. They want to hire an independent energy consultant. The Journal would have you believe the whole thing is saving you money, link;

APS is soliciting bids for a contractor to examine the district's energy practices and look for ways to save. The contractor's pay will be based on how much APS saves in energy costs.
The whole truth is, regardless of how much money you are "saving", you are paying for the solution. There is no one in the entire leadership of the APS who can complete this task.


The fact that in that entire building they don't have someone, already earning north of $100K a year, can't figure out to turn off the lights when you leave a room, escaped the Journal's notice.

Energy savings are of course, more complex than that,
but not so complex that an administration costing taxpayers
millions and millions of dollars already, cannot be expected
to be able to handle it in house.

We have paid enough already for administrative "expertise".
We should spend more tax dollars underwriting their
corruption and incompetence.




photo Mark Bralley

Monday, December 06, 2010

I hate to say I told you so but ...

Heath Haussamen points to a legitimate question, link,
asked by the Santa Fe New Mexican, link, to which

Gov Elect Susana Martinez responded other than candidly, forthrightly and honestly.

This is not the first time legitimate
questions have enjoyed less than
candid, forthright and honest responses from Martinez.

Within politics and public service,
the limit on transparency is the law;
not in hiding behind it;
not in technicalities, loop holes and "legal" weaselry.

Public access to the truth about the spending of their power and resources, is limited only by the law and honest accountability to a higher standard than the law; a standard that includes truth telling according to ethical and "legal" standards.

According to the APS Student Standards of Conduct,
people of character, Governors of character,
are willing to do more than the law requires and
less than the law allows when it comes to telling the truth
or hiding it.

You can't hide from the truth because the "law" allows it;
not if you are honestly accountable to any standard of
conduct at all, that is higher than the law.

Just because it's legal, doesn't make it right.




photo Mark Bralley

Btw; anyone know how Martinez feels about
Character Counts!, link, as the standard of conduct for
about 10% of her constituents or more.

I'd ask, if I thought I'd get an answer.
I won't, cuz I don't.

Students need grown up mentors

argued the Journal editors this morning, link.

"Athletes need positive role models who set high standards and then help them reach them — not adults who want to be their friends or look the other way."
Of course, the editors only mean that student athletes need role models who don't pay for strippers to entertain them on road trips. The editors would concede also that student athletes need role models who don't allow them to drink alcohol on the bus on a road trip.

The editors apparently don't get that it isn't just student athletes who need role models, and they don't just need role models of self restraint. All students have a need for, and right to, role models of a broad range of personal attributes.

Which makes it all the more confounding that the editors, Kent Walz et al, don't see any problem with the leadership of the APS abdicating as role models of the APS Student Standards of Conduct. They saw nothing wrong when the school board voted unanimously to remove the role modeling clause from the standards of conduct that apply to board members and administrators; the clause which read;
In no case shall the standards of conduct for adults,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
Journal editors see nothing wrong with adults holding children accountable to a higher standard of conduct than that to which they will hold themselves accountable. The accept apparently, do as I say, not as I do as a workable premise for guiding the personal development of young people.

Either that, or Kent Walz
pretends to not get it,
only as an excuse to let
Marty Esquivel
off the hook
for his corrupt and cowardly
failure as the senior most
role model of student
standards of conduct.

If the Walz asked the
many members of the leadership of the APS if they, individually, were willing to hold themselves honestly accountable to the same standards of conduct that apply to students, the would answer, no. They would not actually say "no" of course, they stonewall the question.

Stonewalling means, no.

Any answer except yes, means no.

Count on Kent Walz to do everything he can to keep the subject of administrative and executive role modeling of student standards of conduct, off the table and out of the discourse,
at least until after his crony Esquivel runs for re-election.




frame grab Mark Bralley

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Journal coverage v blog coverage

More than three and a half years ago, some APS senior administrators were involved in the felonious misuse of a criminal data base entrusted to the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office. It happened on Sheriff Darren White's watch.

Stakeholders still do not know the truth; evidence of felony criminal misconduct still awaits surrender to the DA's Office.

A blogger would ask Darren White to tell the truth, the whole ethically redacted truth, and nothing but the truth about the incident.

He would not answer of course, but a blogger would still ask.

The Journal will not.

The Journal has access to government (because they own a printing press). Bloggers do not.

In fairness, it likely isn't White's ass the Journal is covering. Their (read; Kent Walz') interest, is in covering up the APS end of the scandal, and including covering up, the cover up.







This in deference to Marty Esquivel and his need to avoid any truth telling that might interfere with his re-election in an election that begins in one month. All he and Walz have to do is keep things under wraps until February 1st.

Crazy? Nut job?

Keep in mind the Journal hasn't printed a word about the fact that the leadership of the APS is still investigating their own corruption, even after 3 1/2 years and long after statutes of limitation on criminal misconduct have expired. Nor have they investigated and reported upon Esquivel's part in the denial of due process to more than 300 whistle blower complaints. Nor has Walz seen fit to investigate and report upon Esquivel's abdication as a role model of the APS student standards of conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!

Nor will they investigate and report upon Esquivel's illegal restraining order preventing me from exercising my constitutionally protected human rights to free speech, to petition my government, and to run for office.

Nor has the Journal investigated and reported upon any aspect of the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

I would argue that, that is why the Journal gets to ask softball
questions of government, and bloggers don't get to ask
any questions at all.




photos and frame grab Mark Bralley

Journal happy with their access to Berry Administration; bloggers, not so much.

In the Journal this morning, link, we read between the lines;
the previous mayor required an inordinate amount of media
attention and the Berry Administration does not; excepting
of course, Public Safety Director Darren White.

The Journal is on Mayor Richard Berry's "approved" list; they get invited to press opportunities. The Journal meets Berry spokesman Chis Ramirez' criteria for equal treatment under the law; the Journal owns a printing press.

The fact that Berry won't recognize bloggers as part of a free press, was not mentioned in the lengthy Journal report applauding Berry Administration transparency.

Apparently, it isn't newsworthy.

Richard Berry has no control
over bloggers. He can't call our
boss to call us off.

Perhaps he finds that threatening.








Perhaps he is just accepting really
bad council from Ramirez.




photos Mark Bralley

Friday, December 03, 2010

$14M spent on negative ads

Blogger Steve Terrell reports, link, that Diane Denish and Susana Martinez spent $14M on their gubernatorial campaigns. Except for overhead, nearly all of it was spent on negative campaign ads.

There is no indication that the same thing will not happen again, in four years.

NCLB mandates cemetery seating

Cemetery seating is a term that describes the educational
model that takes 30 kids with nothing in common
except their chronological age , and then moves them lockstep
for twelve years, for no other reason than that;
on any given day, they can all take the same test and be
"compared" to each other.

"To each other" is not a useful standard of competence.
All achievement gaps are individual.
They cannot be closed in unison; not for all students at once,
not for some students at once, not for any arbitrary grouping
of students, all at once.

We need to interact one on one with every student; find out what they want to learn about, then help them learn how to learn. Students who are busy learning do not need the attention of an adult, much less a "teacher".

This plan does not except students from passing some kind of valid and cumulative measurement of the specific skill sets that make diplomas and certificate useful to employers and institutions of higher learning.

To the extent we are able, we need to free students from the rigidity of twelve years of standardized testing.

If we simply must, I would suggest beginning every class period, the time when teachers take roll, deal with tardy students, accept homework, and listen to lame excuses, be used instead for testing via computers. The results should be immediately available to the teacher. Failures could be mitigated immediately real time.

Each student would have a computer because we would stop wasting money on textbooks and spending part of it instead to buy a connection for students, to the world body of knowledge.

Submitted for discussion in the upcoming school board election.

The school board election, let's talk issues

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011, will be one day too late for you to take part in the election of 3 of 7 members of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education.

Early voting begins Friday, January 7, 2011 and ends January 22.

Election day
is Tuesday, February 1st.

It is not too early to start talking about issues;
at least in venues other than the Journal.

I will begin my specific effort to articulate my positions
beginning with the seemingly antithetical rights of privacy and transparency.

As vocal advocate of transparency; I draw a line between right to know and right to privacy on the line between public service and private life.

On one side, transparency unlimited except by the law.

On the other side, the constitutionally protected human right to privacy.

I have long argued, independent of running for any office, that politicians and public servants have a constitutionally protected human right to private lives, and that that privacy cannot be violated except with a warrant. I would invite anyone who would argue that politics or public service create a such a warrant; to please show me that warrant before they attempt to violate my privacy.

Politicians and public servants have a right to privacy. It is a constitutionally protected human right. It may not be violated except with a warrant. (Running for) a political office or public service does not create a warrant to violate candidates privacy.

The supposed need to invade candidates privacy, flows from the need to "trust" the candidate. Instead of trust, I offer inescapable accountability to unequivocal standards of conduct and competence within my public service.

Casinos don't "trust" their employees not to steal;
they make it impossible to steal without getting caught.
When temptation is removed, betrayal of the public trust
is eliminated; the need to trust no longer plays.

If a politician or public servant's service is transparent,
if there is no opportunity to betray the public trust in secret,
there is no temptation and there is no public corruption.

The line between public service and private life is crisp.
My private life will remain private;
my public life will be 100% transparent.

Beyond transparent, I will make every reasonable effort to
illuminate the spending of your power, your trust and
your treasure.

I am not asking anyone to "trust" me to do anything except to stand and deliver a candid, forthright and honest response to any legitimate question about the public interests and my public service.

In response to any legitimate question; I solemnly swear
to tell you the truth, the whole ethically redacted truth,
and nothing but the truth;

or I will resign.

I am asking the people to look at evidence, listen to the
testimony, and to stand up for what they believe in.

Instead of asking you to trust me, I will hold myself
so transparently accountable to you that your interests
cannot be betrayed.

I am prepared, within my public service, to hold myself honestly accountable as a role model of the same standards of conduct and competence as students. I am prepared to hold myself accountable to the APS Student Standards of Conduct under a system over which I have no undue influence, and powerful enough to hold me accountable, even against my will.

I would ask that you ask other candidates to make the same pledge. I would also ask you note that the question is not among the questions that incumbents want to answer, link.

What are the APS Student Standards of Conduct?

I believe that the APS Student Standards of Conduct are the Pillars of Character Counts!, link, a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.

I have been a vocal advocate for Character Counts! since 1994; the year the school board unanimously adopted them as the student standards of conduct.

I believe in Character Counts! and am prepared to hold myself, within my public service, honestly accountable as a role model by means of honest accountability to the Pillars themselves.

The current board, responsible for establishing and enforcing student standards of conduct, find the Pillars of Character Counts! too high a standard of conduct. They cannot summon the character and the courage to hold themselves honestly accountable to any standard of conduct higher than the law, even for the few hours a day they hold students accountable to those same standards.

I will do everything in my power to restore the role modeling clause to the standards of conduct that apply to adults;

In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
If the Pillars of Character Counts! are too high a standard for adults, they are too high a standard for students. If the Pillars are not too high a standard for students, then they are not too high of a standard for their role models.




photo Mark Bralley

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Esquivel is running

I've been told that APS School Board President Marty Esquivel has decided to run for re-election.

One of two truths must play; either Esquivel is ready to look voters in the eye and explain to them

  • why records of corruption in the APS Police Department, are not available under the NM Inspection of Public Records Act, and
  • why the school board is denying due process to more than 300 whistle blower complaints, and
  • why he is not honestly accountable as a role model of the Pillars of Character Counts!
Or, he is convinced that the questions will never be asked during the election; saving him from that onus.

In, order to keep me from asking them in the APS School Board Candidate Forum, Esquivel has ordered his Praetorian Guard to arrest me if I attempt to enter that or any other meeting of School Board.

In order to keep the questions
out of the Journal,
Esquivel
can rely upon
Journal Editor Kent Walz;
Esquivel
crony and champion
of champions of transparency,
who before he can report credibly
on the ethics and accountability
scandal in the leadership of the
APS, will have to report credibly
on his failure to report credibly on the subject heretofore.

All under the watchful eye of
the State Auditors Office,
the Office of the Attorney General,
the
NM Public Education Department
the NM Foundation for Open Government, and
the ACLU NM




photo and frame grab Mark Bralley

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Journal "reports" on APS Character Counts!

Normally, I try to leave reporters out of the fight.
I hold editors responsible newsworthiness decisions.

In this case, link, I hold the reporter responsible, if for
nothing else; the content. It is (deliberately) misleading.
The average Journal reader of this article will probably come away believing APS is doing an ok job on character education. They are not.

Read the resolution by which the APS School Board unanimously adopted Character Counts! as the model for character education, link.

Take a look at the search of the APS website for "character counts!", link.

If you ask APS Director of Communications Rigo Chavez for a public record indicating that the District has spent even one penny on any concerted district wide effort, he will admit there is not one.

Carole Smith who is apparently being paid to be the district wide coordinator, admits that there is no district wide effort to coordinate; the "... emphasis looks different at every school."

Tell me that the District's effort for Character Counts! is not an abject failure by any honest measure.

The most glaring omission in the piece was the subject of role modeling. How can you investigate and report up character education and not investigate and report upon role modeling?

Character is taught by role models.
Character is taught by personal example.
Character is taught only by personal example.

There used to be a role modeling clause in the standards of conduct that applied to administrators and board members.
It read;

In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
The statement was important because it represented our promise that we would not expect more of students than we expect of ourselves. If we really want students to grow into adults who embrace character and courage and honor, someone has to show them what it looks like.

The role modeling clause was removed by board members who did not want to be held honestly accountable to the same standards of conduct that they establish and enforce upon students; the Pillars of Character Counts!, a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.

The leadership of the APS has no intention of being held honestly accountable to any standard of conduct higher than the law. The law, being the lowest standard of conduct among civilized people. There is ample evidence that they have no intention of being held honestly accountable even to the law.

The leadership of the APS has no intention of being held honestly accountable to any standard of conduct that requires them to tell the truth.

They have abdicated as role models of the Pillar of Character Counts! and reporter Hailey Heinz didn't report it. (Neither has she investigated and reported upon the cover up of corruption in the APS Police Department, nor upon the denial of due process to whistle blowers.)

The buck stops on the desk of Kent Walz who either
encouraged her, or allowed her to write a story that saves

School Board President
Marty Esquivel
any embarrassment over the fact that he cannot look voters in the eyes and promise them that he will hold himself honestly accountable as the senior-most role model of the student standards of conduct even for the few hours a day he holds them accountable to those same standards.

There just might be a few "nut job" voters out there who think that the character and the courage necessary to step up to as a role model of honest accountability to the student standards of conduct, are important qualities in a school board candidate.

cc Hailey Heinz upon posting.




photo Mark Bralley

Whistle blowing requires a whistle

APS Assoc Supt Ruby Ethridge blew the whistle on the bully in Supt Winston Brooks. She blew the whistle by means of emails to a number of people.

She is taking some heat for the "manner" in which she blew the whistle; mass emailing. Though electronic, it is fundamentally no different than blowing an actual whistle. The idea is that a number of people will hear you, and maybe some of them will help.

The idea in any mass mailing is the hope that you will hit upon someone who isn't potentially complicit or complacent in the conspiracy to keep your complaint under wraps.

There is nowhere in the APS where a complaint against an administrator or board member is guaranteed due process. Brooks has the authority, and has exercised the authority to close complaints against himself.

So where was Ethridge supposed to have complained?

To the School Board? That is in fact, quite logical.
The Superintendent reports to the Board; they hire him.

School Board President Marty Esquivel has no right to be upset that the complaint was brought to him. His upset was that the whole thing was not handled in secret. He is running for re-election to the school board. He does not want his handling of the allegation to be used against him in February. His handling; sweeping it all under the rug.

To the Journal? The Journal is holding the rug up while Esquivel sweeps. Brooks, Esquivel, and Journal Editor Kent Walz are thick as thieves. Walz just gave Brooks a Dixon Award, does anyone really suppose he will investigate and report upon credible allegations of a hostile work environment, created by his crony?

To the court system? It looks likely that we will see how she fares there. But things have a way of disappearing. What ever happened to the federal law suit against Brooks and school board heavy hitter Paula Maes?

Tax dollars, lots of tax dollars, will be spent by APS/Modrall to litigate exception to the law for both Brooks and Maes. Ethridge's row to hoe is going to be a tough one. Modrall is one of the most powerful law firms in the state, and enjoys an unlimited budget by means of a large bore pipeline to tax dollars for education.

To Silentwhistle? The School Board's Audit Committee is required by School Board Policy to provide review and approval of every single whistleblower complaint. Marty Esquivel and the rest, have yet to review a single complaint.

He too was in on the Brooks' Dixon Award.

He goes down with Brooks, he hired him.
He extended his contract, twice.
He gave Brooks a half million dollar golden parachute.

To the APS PD? Maybe she should have gone to APS Police Chief Steve Tellez. He is currently the subject of a vote of no confidence from his rank and file, and happens to be the person most responsible legally, for the fact that evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving APS senior administrators, has still not been surrendered to the DA for prosecution.

He hasn't responded to either of two emails asking when he expected to complete the now 3 1/2 year long investigation of public corruption in the leadership of the APS Police Department.

To any internal APS office? Been there done that.
Lost my tee shirt.

Bottom line is that there really is no place within APS where a legitimate complaint is guaranteed due process.

So Ethridge blew a whistle in the hope that someone would hear it, and that someone would do something.

A person drowning calls out to everybody within earshot.

There is no indication that her call was heard. She has been exiled to Siberia and likely, will think twice about rocking the boat again.

There is no impartial investigation underway.
The investigative final report will not require hiding,
it will simply be, never created.




photos Mark Bralley