Celebrating the Future Return of Sunshine to Gilbert Public Schools

National Sunshine Week is March 12-18, 2017, and Westie again awards the Darkest Recesses Award to GPS Superintendent Christina Kishimoto. Karma marked the superintendent’s proclivity for secrecy in Gilbert Public Schools with a most perverse development: Christina Kishimoto’s daughter Maria, an aspiring journalist in the tradition of sunshine in governance, just won a big honor.

For some unknown reason, the news on a GPS Twitter feed was deleted. Westie to the rescue!

[Keyboard: Did Gilbert High School delete a public record from Twitter?]

Take a moment to applaud Maria Kishimoto’s achievement. It’s a big deal:

GHS student Maria Kishimoto will travel to D.C. for prestigious Journalism conference! Congratulations Maria! wjmc.gmu.edu

The news of Maria Kishimoto’s celebrity roared throughout Gilbert High School media outlets. Maria will be attending a George Mason University confab this summer; the famous university is the host of the Washington Journalism and Media Conference (WJMC). Each summer, the WJMC welcomes high school student leaders from all over the country as National Youth Correspondents.

Maria Kishimoto’s announcement and Christina Kishimoto’s Darkest Recesses Award are two sides of the same coin. Sunshine Week was started in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors to educate the public about the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy. Happy birthday, James Madison!

Sunshine Week and Open Government — It’s Not a “News Media” Thing, It’s a “You and Me” ThingThere might be an inclination to dismiss Sunshine Week and the concepts of open government and transparency generally as “something only the media and journalists care about.”  Anyone who takes that view, does so at his or her own peril – perhaps literally. In fact, it is often said that “transparency is the bedrock of democracy” because it is our ability to obtain information about our leaders and directly participate in our own governance — be it at the local, state or federal level — that allows our society to function.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the fact that for National Sunshine Week of 2017, GPS superintendent Christina Kishimoto has again won Westie’s *Darkest Recesses* Award. Her achievements include a lack of transparency in government operations due to excessive secrecy, refusing to produce public records when requested by citizens and delaying for as long as a year before providing some records and denying others … on nothing more than a whim, it appears. Christina Kishimoto is a champion at disregarding laws she dislikes and giving middle finger salutes to people she really, really dislikes.

What does this have to do with Maria Kishimoto’s trip to Washington D.C. to attend a *prestigious Journalism conference*? Karma laughs at the cognitive dissonance between the daughter’s aspiration to a profession that honors truth and justice, juxtaposed against the mom’s loathsome determination to evade scrutiny of momentous decisions and extravagant expenditures of the public school district that employs her. Never mind such inconveniences as Arizona public records laws and open meeting laws, Christina Kishimoto’s continual violations are intended to induce fatigue: she seems to believe the public and the board will simply give up trying to hold her to account for anything at all.

There’s another element to Karma’s satirical wit during this Sunshine Week. Tuition to attend the WJM Conference is $1965. Plus airfare, etc. Seeing as how Christina Kishimoto is so adept at making the public pay for much of her daily expenses for food and entertainment, among other things, will Maria Kishimoto figure out how to attend the Washington Journalism and Media Conference at someone else’s expense? Like mother, like daughter? Will Christina Kishimoto, a six-figure salaried public employee, hit up *pals* in Gilbert to pay her daughter’s tuition and expenses? Even if it’s not illegal, is it ethical?

Here’s fundraising advice from the Washington Journalism and Media Conference organizers:

Identify your Potential Sponsors:  Start by making a list of all the people and organizations that could be potential sponsors. Think outside the box! The list will likely include family, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, church members, local businesses, and other community groups. Don’t leave out your parents’ friends, co-workers, your doctor, your dentist, or anyone else in your life. Use the Sponsor Form to begin listing all of the individuals and companies you will contact. Organizations to Consider: · Knights of Columbus · American Legion · PTA or PTO · Church and Temple groups · Alumni Associations · Junior Chamber of Commerce · Elks Clubs · Women’s Clubs · Local Political Organizations · Law Firms · School Board · Local Retail Stores · Car Dealerships · Restaurants

The monumental question underlying Sunshine Week is, “How long will the GPS Governing Board continue to allow Christina Kishimoto to flout laws and district policies?” While GPS students and employees enjoy their Spring Break, we’ll be putting finishing touches on Westie’s next series of posts about Fraud, Waste and Abuse in Gilbert Public Schools. Violating public records laws and open meeting laws is part of the problem, but there is so much more that needs to be put out into public view.

In the past, GPS has been able to sweep lawlessness under the rug, sometimes by initiating a so-called investigation by pet lawyers funded by The Trust. Phony labels such as “confidential” or “due process” or “executive content” have been slapped on to any complaints, investigations, reports, conclusions and (perhaps) corrective actions so the public never knows what really happened.  Westie to the rescue again!

We’ll post public complaints here, on this blog, along with evidence that shows the truth of the lawbreaking, wrongdoing, misfeasance, malfeasance and betrayal of the public trust. What’s different from what Westie has been doing for the past five years or more is that EVERY ONE OF THE COMPLAINTS will already have been lodged with federal and state enforcement agencies, along with extensive evidence proving the allegations. A public record already has been made.

What this means for Gilbert Public Schools is that it won’t do any good for GPS employees to destroy evidence or forge or *manufacture* public records in attempts to obstruct justice. Enforcement agencies already have the goods on GPS, so to speak. GPS doesn’t know exactly what public records have been distributed and shared among citizens who cooperated in building these cases against rampant wrongdoing and self enrichment, due to their own proclivity for secrecy and lousy record keeping.

There are many citizens of the Town of Gilbert who already feel betrayed by the aftermath of the GPS governing board’s decision to *hit pause* on relocating Gilbert Classical Academy. Exhibit Number One is Christina Kishimoto’s email to a portion of the public  about a new initiative to combine Mesquite Junior High School with Mesquite High School so that GCA can take over the Mesquite Junior High School campus … which was their going-in position a year ago. Once again, it appears that the GPS board will reward the special snowflakes and their loud-mouthed, insatiable parents at the expense of families on the west side of the town.

Kishimoto’s email pronouncement was an extension of the tried and true GPS tradition of “It’s a holiday, let’s fire someone!” This time, GPS is turning fire on the resistance fighters of Mesquite Junior High … Kishimoto is working on kicking those students out of their neighborhood school, and she’s giving them the entire Spring Break to worry about what’s happening behind closed doors. Again.

Maybe Karma wants Christina Kishimoto to experience how it feels to know that doom is just around the corner. Birdies, thank you for all you do in the name of truth, justice and the American Way. This time, the public will know exactly what has been going on in Gilbert Public Schools. Cheers!

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