Sunday, October 28, 2012

Why is the Journal hiding Winston Brooks' golden parachute?

In a recent editorial, link, in response to NMSU President Barbara Couture's half million dollar payout, editors argued that it was time to consider "clipping public employees’ golden parachutes once and for all".  Their interest in clipping APS Supt Winston Brooks' wings, not so much.

APS Supt Winston Brooks' parachute is 50% bigger than Couture's and gets no mention in the Journal; why?  Why is the Journal keeping taxpayers in the dark about Brooks' contract extensions?

In the Journal's story, link, about another sweet deal having to do with Brooks' state pension, the Journal call's Brooks' golden parachute a "three year rolling contract".  What is the difference between a three year rolling contract and a golden parachute.  It is fair to wonder how deliberate their decision to not call it what it is; a golden parachute.  A safe bet; the language comes from APS Executive Director of Communications Monica Armenta and the effort to improve APS' public perception unrealistically.

When the Journal finally investigates and reports upon Brooks' hiding evidence of felony criminal misconduct by senior APS administrators, he will leave with three quarters of a million dollars, two hundred and fifty thousand more than Couture and equal to the completely reprehensible amount they gave to Michael Locksley.

What makes this all so particularly distasteful is that there is no objective or empirical evidence that Brooks is even a mediocre superintendent, much less the wizard the board would have us believe.

Far from it, Reportedly, he is no more esteemed by the people who work with him than he is by those who work for him.

There is a reason there are no subordinate evaluations of his conduct and competence.

The increases in educational outcomes in the district are statistically irrelevant. He is widely regarded as a misogynist and bully. The number of lawsuits against the district, in which he is a named respondent, is significant.

They are significant anyway, to everyone but his media cronies.

Brooks is not evaluated by anyone but the school board members who hired him, regardless of the conflict of interest it creates.

School board members will tell you they are accountable to voters for their hire's conduct and competence.  If they make a bad choice, they can be held accountable in the election a few months distant.

If they admit to Brooks' incompetence and corruption,
they admit to their own as well.

The meetings where the board evaluates Brooks' performance and their own, are conducted in secret from the taxpayers for whom he and they work.

Brooks' and his administration, their standards and accountability, have yet to be evaluated by anyone but themselves.  Why?

School Board President Paula Maes has stated it rather flatly, she has no intention ever, of agreeing to any independent audit that individually identifies corrupt or incompetent administrators and board members.  And, especially, not Winston Brooks.

Maes is up for re-election February next

photos Mark Bralley

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