Lily Tram: Please Forget My Dismal Record as a GPS Board Member

Lily Tram wants to be re-elected to the Governing Board for Gilbert Public Schools. Lily Tram hopes that citizens don’t have very good memories of her time on the board.  Please forget that Tram was placed on the board in sleazy political processes that could have taken place only in a smoke-filled back room. Most of all, please forget that Lily Tram made promises to raise GPS employees’ salaries … which she gleefully abandoned at the behest of her new BFF, Superintendent Christina Kishimoto.

First and foremost, please forget that Lily Tram pulled a bait and switch maneuver with money from Proposition 123:

Here’s what the community is saying about the long, long wait for putting Prop 123 funds in teachers’ hands and into classrooms (at least, the part of the funds that are going to classrooms, but that’s another story: 

I fully understand the skepticism of the public regarding 123 funding when too much of it is going outside the classroom. Prop 123 was sold as the way to improve teacher pay, and hopefully in the next school board election, voters will support candidates who will give much more to teachers and staff.

This is why we have lost community support ~ every time you tell the public that this proposition or that bond will help teachers in the classroom and they vote for it, then the teacher doesn’t actually benefit, voters get mad…I don’t blame them. Misrepresentation has degraded community trust.
Spending way too much on technology. Any successful business person will tell you the most important piece to a company is people. Business drives technology. Technology should never drive business. [Also true in public schools!]
Kishimoto had her contract renewed a year early and included for herself a substantial raise. This seems woefully backwards; our teachers still make less than the surrounding districts and there is a huge turnover rate with both teachers and within the business department.

Voters were sold a bill of goods, empty promises that the new funds from Prop 123 would be used for teacher pay and in the classroom. So what did Superintendent Christina Kishimoto and Her Three Votes on the GPS governing board do? Board president Lily Tram made sure the board took those new Million$ and parked them in slush funds! See Board President Tram Falsely Claims GPS Budget has $4.5 Million Deficit.

Lily Tram also wants you to forget that she helped GPS incur huge legal fees that have been paid to her BFF attorneys.  Tram was famous for complaining about the cost and inconvenience of complying with public records laws, but please forget that little detail.

More Monkey Business with Public Records in Gilbert Public Schools:  As for all the redacting, plenty of it was to hide the fact that board member Lily Tram had filed an Open Meeting Law complaint  against a fellow board member. Good Old Lily Tram thought she was being anonymous (or at least, the complaint was not signed) and she got pretty p*ssed when the whole board found out about it.  

Good Old Boys Are Proud of Destroying Public Records:  We wondered why Jill Humpherys and Lily Tram are keeping the public in the dark and objecting to a police investigation about what happened to a GPS server that housed Electronically Stored Information (ESI) that was part of the public record that the GPS board is charged with preserving.

Tram’s disdain for complying with Arizona’s Open Meeting Laws was on full display in November 2015 when she tried to brush off OML violations substantiated by the Attorney General’s Open Meeting Law Enforcement Team. Tram knows full well that when the Attorney General dismisses a complaint without findings that OML was violated, there is no question that there was no violation. Click the link to see a letter about 2014 OML complaints that were not substantiated. Compare that to the letter putting the GPS board and superintendency under six months of OML monitoring. One more comparison: the letter telling GPS to talk about their OML violations during a public meeting because they continued to violate OML.

Please forget *Tram’s Rule* that turned parliamentary procedure into a Rubik’s Cube of maneuvering to prevent board members from putting stuff that Tram didn’t like on board meeting agendas. Tram has been board president a few times, and she’s famous in Gilbert political circles for Tram’s Rule, where she refused to put anything on the agenda for a board meeting until the board members first voted on putting that topic on an agenda. Arizona’s Open Meeting Law doesn’t allow board members to discuss something that’s not on a properly posted agenda, so GPS board members had to vote on whether or not to consider agenda items without knowing what the proposed discussion would be about. Convoluted? You betcha!

Lily Tram wants you to forget that she didn’t show up for some important votes during her years on the GPS Governing Board. One of her most infamous absences was the original vote to close Gilbert Junior High School and *repurpose* the campus for Gilbert Classical Academy.  That vote infuriated voters, who promptly removed two board members who were running for re-election. Lily Tram also managed to alienate a broad swatch of the citizenry with her attitude toward a major controversy, the same controversy that swept EJ Anderson from her seat on the GPS governing board. Westie shared a series of communications between Lily Tram, journalist Hayley Ringle of the Arizona Republic, and a parent of a student at Gilbert Junior High School about Lily Tram making accusations against Gilbert Junior High School parents:

How can you have an opinion that GJH parents are trying to stall when you weren’t at the board meeting when this was decided AND you never bothered to attend any transition committee meetings to see where everyone was coming from? Your presence would have made YOU better informed and then you wouldn’t have accused the GJH parents of trying to “sabotage the focus of student education and in this case students at Gilbert Junior.”

Lily Tram wants you to forget the years she has been on the GPS Governing Board. No wonder citizens are rallying against her!  #SAVEourNeighborhoodSchools

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