The Perfect Candidate for GPS Superintendent

The biggest responsibility for the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board in this new year of 2014 will be hiring a new superintendent to follow Interim Superintendent Jack Keegan. With all due modesty, we announce the perfect candidate: Westie for GPS Superintendent!

From what we hear, the superintendent search firm, which at first seemed to be not tied to the Arizona School Board Association, has been talking to folks in the community and to GPS employees about the qualities sought for the new superintendent. Those search dudes apparently were talking out of school at times. Birdies chirp to us that it might be the same old, same old: they’re half-expecting the search firm to pull a Dick Cheney and anoint one of themselves to the post.  Like that’s going to help GPS <sarcasm, disgust>.

We remember that the goal was to find a new superintendent via an independent search firm that would bring a new GPS superintendent who was equally independent of the ties that bind the GOBs and their pals in AZSBA and The Trust and other cronies.  Fact is, time’s a-wasting. Which is where Westie comes in.

There can be absolutely no doubt that Westie will be a totally independent superintendent. We’ve got no ties to the GOBs or their cronies, acolytes and sycophants. We spent our careers in the Air Force knowing that federal law prohibited government employees from engaging in partisan political activity (the 1939 Hatch Act, officially titled “An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities”). So we know what to do, and it will be a breath of fresh air for GPS admins who currently play way too much politics on the job and get paid far too much for doing so.

Westie is experienced! We have managed organizations much larger than GPS, organizations that relied on federal funding with all the strings attached thereto.

We know Human Resources: heck, we pioneered what is now known as Human Resources, and there’s no doubt that the lack of HR knowledge and experience is killing GPS. Where else would the sole qualification for the top level jobs be experience as a school principal and that’s all? (Yes, we know there’s at least one dude at the top with an extremely famous loose zipper, but now is not the time for that discussion).

We can sum up what bad HR has cost the district in one word: LAWSUITS!!!  BTW, we expect more to be on the horizon, given that a principal recently shared that she wanted to involuntarily transfer an employee because the principal regarded that employee as disabled. Sheesh – you guys thought you whitewashed discrimination by portraying yourselves as “concerned” for an employee’s health (and you said so under oath)? There are words for you guys, but Keyboard doesn’t know them (yet) so we’ll delay this discussion until another day.

One of the first things we’ll do is get some REAL Community Relations going. This time, it will be genuine news for the community, not just the adulation of a sycophant with a hidden agenda (like folks setting themselves up as white knights for a future board seat candidacy). It’s going to take expert advice and assistance to rehabilitate the GPS online reputation. GPS had such a good reputation a few years ago, BD (before Dave); that good reputation has been squandered through negligence and wrongdoing that has been broadcast throughout the media instead of being dealt with properly when it occurred. GPS will be paying for what the GOBs have wrought, but even that can be overcome in time with genuine change and progress.

GPS ran through Million$ of tax dollars in an override dedicated to “technology” but the GPS Information Technology apparatus is living in a cave somewhere (probably in Hawaii, but we digress). Westie built and ran some of the biggest, most complex computer projects in the Air Force, so running GPS IT on a professional basis will be a cakewalk. When Westie is superintendent, techies will LOVE being able to do their real jobs and earn peer appreciation for doing what they really want to do: produce professional results.

Jobs go unfilled because GPS IT has such a bad reputation. Techies do side jobs instead of the jobs they’re paid to do, and collect money from GPS for doing so! GPS only recently discovered the need for an email back-up system – and this is an organization that spends more than a quarter of a Billion Dollar$ a year? Sheeesh – that was a feature, not a bug, believe you me! Good Old Barb VeNard called in a couple of “family friends” to advise her on a multi-million dollar hardware contract … business as usual in GPS. Good Old Clyde Dangerfield didn’t read the contract GPS signed with a software vendor, even though GPS staff begged him to become involved … business as usual in GPS. Good Old Dave shredded his files and deleted his emails and sent word out to his minions to do the same … business as usual in GPS.

GPS also ran through uncounted sums of money in the procurement arena, obscured by smoke and mirrors that have been deployed to flummox inquisitive board members and citizens. When Westie is superintendent, the board will have a second* employee: an Inspector General who works directly for the board to solve problems at the lowest level. No more lawsuits for GPS! When Westie is superintendent, there will be a Citizens Audit Committee to advise the board, based on independent professional review  of procurement activities. GPS will no longer perch employees in positions as president of other organizations that seek to launder tax money by throwing it down a dark hole of unaccountability … like, perhaps, The Trust or Mohave Educational Services Cooperative.

The citizenry of Gilbert has spoken loud and clear to GPS: no more overrides. The unspoken tag line is “Clean up your act, we don’t trust you with our money.” In order to regain the trust of the citizenry, GPS will need new blood (not literally, guys, we won’t give you transfusions). You can’t expect real change with Good Old Boys at the helm.  When Westie is superintendent, the Good Old Boys will self-select and run for the hills. No more drama about renewal or non-renewal of contracts at board meetings! No more litigation brought about by admins behaving badly! See, Westie will be the perfect superintendent!

A really good deal with Westie at the helm: GPS gets a two-fer (two for the price of one). That’s because you never get one Westie, you get both.  We’ll even start at the top in aligning salaries to job descriptions so GPS can fix the HR mess that’s grown over recent years, putting sycophants into custom-made top level positions and negotiating extreme salary divergences among employees who should be paid according to the same scale. No more paying new employees more than the loyal employees who stayed with GPS during the Great Recession. No more paying guys more than gals because they have families to support, and “we would have paid gals more if they had negotiated.” When Westie is superintendent, everything will be transparent and fair. That’s how we roll.

So, fellow Gilbertarians, we will humbly accept being drafted into the job of GPS Superintendent.  You can thank us later for making this whole process so simple and effective. Wait til you see how much better GPS will run! Westie for GPS Superintendent!


* Big Fat Asterisk: The only GPS employee who reports to the board now is the superintendent.

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