Some time ago, Gilbert Public Schools board member Daryl Colvin posted the following on Gilbert Watch’s Facebook page. After giving the points he made some thought, I responded.
Here is Mr. Colvin’s post:
"In the midst of some frankly rather predictable commentary no one has yet to address the points I raise in my letter head on….so I’m posting it here for the benefit of those who haven’t read it yet.
Gilbert Watch Response:
"Daryl, before I address the points you have made in your letter, and the reasons for my stand against this override, I want to state the following.
You, Julie Smith, and Staci Burk are the best, most effective, most responsible, and hardest working board members on the Gilbert Schools governing board. You eliminated the power of the unions; you stood firm in not passing out raises to administrators; you found money for teacher raises (using Prop 301 monies appropriately). You did not lay off teachers or coaches or nurses. In fact, you hired teachers. You did not cut programs. You reduced spending and were still able to lower class sizes.
You did this under extreme pressure from a large group of pro-tax temper tantrum throwers who have been accustomed for years in getting anything and everything they have ever wanted. You were subjected to unrelenting harassment, including union-organized “tailgate parties” where employees taunted you as you walked from the parking lot to attend board meetings. The meetings were sometimes so rude and ugly, extra security had to be called in at times.
I recall especially how nasty this crowd was to Harriet and Bill Bathman. They are elderly people, on a fixed income. They were against the override and were interrupted with jeering as they tried to speak. Years ago, they were missionaries who served in the name of Christ behind the Iron Curtain. See more here: Frontline Fellowship – Support our American Missionaries.
I have touched the tip of the iceberg in identifying what you have accomplished and what you have tolerated. Through it all, you have maintained your gracious, respectful demeanor. All of you have performed remarkably on the board with no compensation. You are all volunteers.
There are many reasons I am against the override. However, one of them is identified in your letter to Mr. (Name Redacted). (I have underlined the relevant phrase.) It is found in this sentence: “I also plainly stated at the time that if after having done those things it still appeared that such a thing was needed we would come back to the voters with numbers that we could all trust and for likely a reduced amount.”
I don’t accept your premise that you have numbers you can trust. No, you don’t. You have been dealing with a bureaucracy that is extremely experienced in resisting attempts to provide conservative board members with “numbers you can trust.” This is a bureaucracy that despises conservatives and wants more than anything to get rid of all of you.
Here’s an example of one of those people who has been responsible for providing you with numbers you can trust: former Superintendent Dave Allison. Outwardly gracious, but we recently learned that he and/or GPS staff saw to it that his emails got shredded, thus destroying evidence and obstructing justice. See Gilbert Public Schools: Destroying Evidence and Obstructing Justice.
While you were fighting against the time-wasting antics brought down on your heads by the unions and their supporters, the budget took a back seat. Time passed. Once you could focus on it, your backs were up against a wall. You were presented with budget options that were carefully designed by GPS staff. You could “pick one.”
You couldn’t focus on the critical details of Budget C. You couldn’t get a budget that YOU wanted. GPS Staff gave you “multiple choice.”
In ‘trusting’ the 6.6% override, I have to ‘trust’ the numbers presented by GPS staff. GPS staff members have not demonstrated to me that they can be trusted."