Staying Classy When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Many Gilbert citizens have expressed concern about a “retaliation budget” being pushed through the last board meeting of 2012, before the newly elected board members take their seats. Hints about this maneuver have appeared in the Arizona Repubic and East Valley Tribune. We wrote about Superintendent Dave Allison’s editorial in the Arizona Republic; now we’ll take a look at an earlier article that portends possible doom for GPS teachers.

First, Dave Allison and the EJ Anderson, President of the GPS Governing Board, commiserated about the override being defeated in the November 6th election, all due to that dreadful “opposition” that wouldn’t do what they were told to do:

“In Gilbert, there was certainly a very active and well organized anti-override group and that had some effect on it,” Allison said. Governing board president EJ Anderson agreed. “I am very, very disappointed and very sad. The Gilbert school district has always supported quality education in the past. This time, I think there was a lot of confusion. The opposition put out a lot of lies and distorted facts,” she said.

Really classy. EJ Anderson was defeated in her bid to be reelected to the GPS Governing Board, and she was frequently heard to bemoan that “her good name” was being besmirched, presumably by the same “opposition” that “put out a lot of lies and distorted facts.” Apparently, these two class acts just can’t accept that the opposition is actually what is known as popular opinion, which prevailed in the election.

Allison had more to say about the effect of the election and the override’s failure on the GPS budget:

Superintendent Dave Allison said the Gilbert district will start exploring ideas soon, with more budget discussions coming in January after the governor puts out a budget proposal for the next fiscal year and the Legislature goes back into session. Allison pointed out that the full budget picture won’t be known for several months. “Obviously, we’re going to be cutting $5.8 million. So we do need to start looking at some preliminary things,” he said.

There’s your hint: “the Gilbert district will start exploring ideas soon…”

Then, just two days later, on Novermber 23, 2012, Allison took vengeance. No hints this time, just a pronouncement:

…Therefore, because the override failed, the first item that will be cut from the 2013-2014 budget will be the stipend to all employees, which amounts to $3.74 million.

Compare the “class act” displayed by Allison and Anderson with the reaction of Bob Steiger, a candidate who was not elected to the Higley School Board in the same election. Steiger initially was announced as a winner, and it took two weeks for all the ballots to be counted. In the end, Steiger lost by 88  votes to Jake Hoffman:

Steiger said it’s a good news/bad news situation. He’s glad that the final votes have been tallied, but sad he lost by such a small margin. However, he said Reese and Hoffman have the “same concerns and focus” that he does. “I will be supporting their efforts to change the culture, develop a strategic plan, reduce teacher attrition, and increase trust and transparency,” Steiger said in a statement.

Thank you, Bob Steiger. Congratulations, Jake Hoffman. Higley’s override lost, by 189 votes. We haven’t heard any sour grapes.


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