Sunday, May 15, 2011

ASD Board Members Appalled by Administration's Actions

ASD Board members Chris Choncek, Jim Rearic and Joe Close issue the following statement:

Over the last few days, the Armstrong School District Administration has orchestrated a public relations campaign at taxpayer expense to promote the political agenda of the board majority. To spend district funds on such PR just days after voting to eliminate nearly 70 jobs in the name of cost cutting is a slap in the face to both the taxpayers and those employees about to lose their livelihoods.

As stewards of the taxpayer dollars, we are appalled at these blatant actions. For a 'newsletter' to be mailed to all district residents extolling the virtues of the proposed $80 million renovation arriving in homes just days before the Election reeks of politics. As board members we were never consulted on the content of this mailing and are troubled by the fact its contents are far from the norm of previous newsletters.

Coupled with the paid ads appearing in local newspapers 'explaining' the referendum questions it is clear these media efforts are coordinated to promote the agenda of the board majority at taxpayer expense. To state a no vote on the referendum means approval of the $80 million renovation plan is subjective at best. There is only one question on the ballot and the rhetoric contained in these taxpayer paid advertisements is not only opinion - but a main platform of those members of the board majority running for re-election.

Mailings and advertisements are not cheap and for the ASD to send out such propaganda at the taxpayer expense less than one week before the election is insulting to the constituents we represent and highly unethical behavior by professionals paid by taxdollars to serve the public - not a certain segment of the ASD board of directors.

This board majority has already spent millions to pay architects, bond agents and attorneys who do not even live in our district to advance this ill-conceived renovation plan. Now they are wasting more tax dollars promoting this boondoggle. It's bad enough the taxpayers have been stuck with the bill for the projects; they shouldn't have to foot the bill for the promotion of political agendas.

We demand the Armstrong School District administration and the board members responsible for this action personally reimburse the district taxpayers for this unauthorized use of taxpayer funds.