Dubious Awards and Squandering Tax Dollars

This is fun – WestieConnect has been around long enough to have archives that show how everything old is new again. Take our post about Dubious Awards for Errant Superintendents last year.  In the local edu-cartel, when a member screws up royally, they know they can count on one of their many professional organizations to come through with an award to take some pressure off and try to deflect attention from their screw-up.

This year, with good old Assistant Superintendent Clyde Dangerfield, Esquire retiring from Gilbert Public Schools, his buddies at The Trust wanted to send him off with a big fat wet kiss. There’s a full-page color ad (the expensive stuff!) in the professional organization magazine, The Edge, for their soul mate  buddy Clyde, who resigned as President of The Trust.*  Maybe they realized it will be just too embarrassing for The Trust as an organization to have their “thoughtful, effective leader” standing on a street corner with a tin cup in hand, so they’re helping him find a new job since he might have trouble doing it by himself. It might not be so easy, even with Good Old Clyde’s connections, because he’s personally named in lawsuits against Gilbert Public Schools. That title, Defendant, Clyde earned all by himself! (Scroll down below the ad, there’s lots more fun!)


In announcing his retirement from Gilbert Public Schools, Good Old Clyde gave himself an awful lot of time to follow the example of his former superintendent, Dave Allison in getting rid of evidence  public records. Time will tell how much of an archive of Clyde’s years in Gilbert Public Schools survive his tenure. That would require GPS responding to public records requests, which we know GPS does only when they want to, if at all.

More to the point is that the ad touting Clyde Dangerfield’s awesomeness raises some questions. We all know that Gilbert Public Schools pays more than a MILLION DOLLAR$ each year to The Trust each year. In turn, after spending what’s necessary to provide risk services, The Trust invests excess money for their clients. That’s a LOT of money floating around with little or no oversight. Problem is, that’s taxpayer money, but once it goes into The Trust’s coffers, it’s in a black hole as far as the public’s ability to find out what’s done with their money. That’s a feature, not a bug, by the way.

The Trust won an award for itself earlier this year. The press release from the company that manages The Trust’s money uses some big words to deflect attention from the fact that a professional organization recently made up this award … that’s what “inaugural recipient” means.

The Arizona School Risk Retention Trust, Inc. (The Trust), is the inaugural recipient of the Excellence in Performance Award granted by the Association of Governmental Risk Pools (AGRiP).

Just another case of diverting attention from embarrassing facts, it appears. Gee, that award came at just the right time, huh? Right when Good Old Clyde and The Trust were squirming out from under the lawsuit that GPS brought against CrossPointe with a whole bunch of other lawsuits pending. The big problem for taxpayers was that Clyde didn’t read the CrossPointe contract he advised the board to sign, and later, when there was a question, well … let’s just say our boy had to admit he hadn’t read it. Staff had begged Clyde to read the contract before it went to the governing board, which was expecting something really different than what the contract said. GPS was flush with lots of taxpayer money from a technology override, and for some reason or another, someone wanted to give a contract to a different company … perhaps to extricate Clyde from his dilemma of not reading the CrossPointe contract?

Those are awesome awards, guys. But seriously, couldn’t GPS have found a better use for their money? The tax-paying public is demanding better stewardship of their money and sending GPS a message: You’ve got to change your evil ways.

I’m getting tired of waiting and fooling around
I’ll find somebody who won’t make me feel like a clown
This can’t go on…
Lord knows you got to change


Big Fat Asterisk: Clyde Dangerfield is still listed on The Trust website as a director of the Alliance and as president of SCIP. Sure he resigned, wink, wink.  Thank you for the chirps, birdies we Trust so much. Couldn’t have done this post without you!

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