January 1, 2015 10:15 am ET
Condition of schools is systemic of administrator’s gaffs
There is an old story that was part of our history lessons long ago—Nero played his fiddle while Rome burned.
While none of us can attest to that actually happening way back when, we can sure see the modern day equivalent in our school system today—as our county schools crumble, Mr. Homan continues to fumble away millions of dollars that are lost to his own ego.
My question is what he holds over others to stay in power, because any lessor employee would have been fired years ago.
The Baltimore Sun, in a rather scathing article on the condition of our public schools, said 14 out of the 173 buildings have serious infrastructure problems.
And who knows how many others have problems that aren’t termed as “serious.”
It defies the imagination that Dr. Dance and his cohorts, one of which is Mr. Homan, would allow our school children to spend one minute, much less years, in a 90-year-old building containing asbestos.
I remember when I was working at the Essex Precinct many years ago and some asbestos was discovered in the station. The whole area was sealed off, tight as a drum.
It boggles the mind, folks.
How can the county say everything is safe in a 90-year-old building containing asbestos? I did not read in the Sun article where Dr. Dance or Mr. Homan guaranteed it was, or where they even addressed this issue.
If you want to know just how serious asbestos is, just watch your television—there is a huge number of commercials from attorneys seeking clients who were exposed to this menace decades ago.
But, to continue today’s lesson, one has to understand that this is a tale of money, more money, developers, and an out of control agenda where the County Government is more concerned with turning money-losing ventures into more money-losing ventures, despite the outright distortions of truth that can be counted in the number of the middle class taxpayers being fleeced.
How so, one may ask? Let me speak (or should I say “speaketh”) the truth, since we are discussing our history lesson on Rome, about how the county is following the same path On the Eve of Destruction!
Before the naysayers jump in and yell about our AAA bond rating relating to the fact that things are great, let me put forward more truth. To those who do not know what that AAA rating means, count how many credit cards are in your wallet. If you have several, then you have your own AAA rating. All that term means is that the county can borrow more money at a cheaper rate. However, what everyone seems to forget about borrowing money is that you have to pay it back! All of those bond issues you vote on is the county asking permission to borrow more money.
Just how does that equal “things are fine” in your book?
From my years of looking at the underbelly of county politics, Mr. Homan’s name appears on just about every penny that leaves the county coffers. Take the famous Yorkway deal, to which Mr. Homan’s signature is affixed regarding the more than $20 million paid for the property. You must understand that it will take decades before the county collects the balance in taxes on that boondoggle.
It is a real case of the taxpayers being fleeced, folks.
And then let’s move on to the ADA situation, where Mr. Homan was warned about violating federal law and chose to not only ignore the warning but then fought with the feds over his faux pas. To this date, millions have been paid out by the county to the victims of Mr. Homan’s actions.
Your tax dollars at waste…
Also waiting in the wings, after renowned labor attorney Cathy Kayhill is done with the Homan agenda, is another attorney (who, by the way, used to work for the County and who Mr. Homan tried to have disqualified in a court battle but failed)—Virginia Barnhardt is now representing 400 county employees in actions that will involve Mr. Homan’s decisions. Another large chunk of change is at risk.
On top of that, we have the Main Sail investment mess, where the county got sucked into an attempt to make a quick buck and ended up losing of whole herd of bucks—$25 million worth to be exact, as well as the recent $19 million+ that the county will have to pay over the pension plan contribution mess.
Anyone else seeing a pattern here?
Back to the schools, though. Along with the infrastructure problems, there are numerous overcrowding issues in our elementary schools. The Sun reports 2,900 more students than seats. I’ll give you three guesses about what caused this issue. Do the words, “Ninety percent of the recent influx of children crossing our borders failed to report for their court dates with immigration officials” ring a bell?
But don’t dare bring up illegal immigration to Mr. Kamenetz, Dr. Dance, or the County Council, as they are all too busy wheeling and dealing with developers and special interest contacts.
Even Los Angeles had enough sense to stop giving students laptops when the program flopped. I wonder what will happen here. Actually, I have a good idea, and I can’t wait to see the ultimate stats on Dr. Dance’s tap dance on this issue when all is said and done. There is another $205 million of your dollars, but—as the saying goes—it’s only money!
True, but it is our money.
Just be sure to tell the students at Dulaney to hold their laptops above their heads while walking through the flooded hallways.
For years, I have shouted from the rooftops about the lack of leadership in the County. Here is your final lesson of the day: do the math, and you can see that it does not take a whole lot of “cents” (misspelling is intentional) to see where the real problems originate.
Class dismissed. You may take off your respirators now, students.