Saturday, March 5, 2011

Minkoff settlement funded

The Cape Cod Times reported this morning that the Town of Sandwich issued a check for $165,000 to fund a settlement reached in January in its lawsuit with Maxine Minkoff, former assistant superintendent.

She was hired in June 2009 and notified of her firing on November 20, 2009, though she remained on the payroll on “administrative leave” at least through the end of 2009. The 2009 town annual report (which covers the calendar year) places her earnings at $68,750. Her annual salary was $125,000.

The firing was blamed on a 2% reduction in Chapter 70 aid and a circuit breaker funding cut totaling nearly $650,000, which was unanticipated when the fiscal year 2010 budget was finalized.

At the time, Superintendent Johnson said that it came down to a choice between laying off teachers or laying off Minkoff. The school committee voted 5-2 to confirm ending Minkoff’s contract, with Sherry Marshall and Jessica Linehan voting not to pull the trigger.

The settlement is being paid $80,000 by the town and $85,000 by the town’s insurance company. No one has speculated about the effect this settlement may have on the town’s insurance premium, but it’s probably wise for the insurance company to wait until after the current superintendent’s case is resolved before recalculating the policy premium.


  1. Maybe Greg will file a suit and give us the money that he will get!

  2. Ha ha, Anon at 6:51 you are a hoot. I am worried enough about the cost of MEJ's lawsuit against the schools and so should we all. If I thought there was a snow balls chance....I think I would try.... but I have learned thru the years that you can't win anything that way. By the way, don't you love the way they say $80,000 fromt he town and $85,000 from the insurance company? And....drum roll please....taaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr tap tap tap..who pays the premiums for the insurance company? We can't be this stupid can we? Anon, if only I thought there was a chance...something has to change the way the schools do business...something.

  3. Me thinks that MEJ should pay for this. I am totally unfamiliar with the workings of the town budget, yet I was still able to make the statement, when the assistant was hired, to know that there was not enough money in the pot for that job. Items that cost the town money are what caused MEJs downfall. She did this without reqard to the consequences. She ought to be charged for it. Instead, guys like Augustine, who are afraid to put their name in a hat simply go on and make hard trouble for people who, even if they were not capable, at leas put their hat in the ring. Johansen and Augustine are prime examples of why this town is in trouble. Gadflys are troublemakers.

  4. Carl Johansen stated Good Evening Mr. Hunt.

    It would appear that the 8.39 poster does not have all the facts in the above matter.

    The money for the employees of the school district come out of the school districts budget, not the town.

    The decision to vacate that position was made by the School Committee, not Dr. Johmson

    This desicion was based upon legal council, employed by the school district[This would be one of many errors in legal advise over many years]given to the school committee.

    In some way we all get to pay the bill in some way, especially when the insurance company makes up the next years cost for insurance.

    The legal advisor is really the one who should be paying bill, as it was his error in judgment that allowed the final choice of removal.

    It is also falls under the chair to be honest about what she signes when providing the payment of said judgment

    Gadflys are only troublemakers when they expose the truth to every one that can use common sense to determine its value.

    Carl Johansen

    A concerned citizen of Sandwich

  5. Greg, When you have your coffee on Friday morning at Double D's, please tell your good friend that the decision to hire was made by MEJ and approved by the school committee. MEJ should take the heat as well as the school committee, but she should in my most humble opinion take most of it. After all, as Miss Killion would say, the School Committee does not get involved with the everyday detail, that is the responsibility of the Superintendent.

    I noticed he did not comment on the troublemakers; I am absolutely correct about that.

  6. Let's see. MEJ decides she needs an assistant. MEJ as she always says, watches and tracks every penny. MEJ decides where the money is coming from. The SC never decided they wanted to bring up the assistant's job first. The SC voted the job based on what MEJ told them. The former majority had no backbone and did not question it enough. We got the assistant. We fired the assistant. Keep up all this crap and guess what, the people who are leaving Sandwich will continue to leave.

  7. 6:19, to clear up a lot of erroneous info on your post: There has been an Asst. Supt. for years. For budgetary reasons it was left vacant when Jane McDonald left and again when Dr. Johnson was promoted to Superintendent.

    The Asst. Supt. was in the budget proposal that was publicly discussed and passed by the School Committee because the Committee agreed that the Asst. Supt's position was important to improve test scores and revise the curriculum in order to meet the terms of both the State's EQA audit, and the School Dept's Strategic Plan.

    The Committee voted to hire the Assistant and took the heat for the decision because the position was seen as important to improving the District. Sandwich was also the only Town (other than P-Town) on the Cape without such a position.

    As Randy pointed out, then Chapter 70 aid and circuit breaker aid were reduced far more than expected -- what he didn't mention were the expected 9C cuts in State aid which all municipal boards were expecting to come in the middle of the year. All boards were planning for potentially drastic mid-year cuts.

    Based on all those additional unprojected, and unprecedented, revenue reductions, the Committee had no choice but to cut staff. We were faced with eliminating classroom teachers, or reducing administration.

    The choice was, unfortunately, obvious to those of us wanting to minimize impact on the classrooms, so based on the advice of legal counsel, the position was eliminated and the committee took heat for the decision also.

    Unlike your anonymous blog posting, I think that showed "backbone".

    If Sears sold Crystal Balls, and we had known that there were going to be unprecedented mid-year budget cuts, we may have acted differently on the hiring decision.

    And, if we had received our Crystal Ball a little later, we might have seen that the State wasn't going to follow through with all of the expected 9C cuts. We also probably would have been more wary about the legal advice that was closely relied upon on the termination decision.

    Sandwich is now forced to compete with other school districts regularly. The increase in the Choice and Charter tuitions paid by Sandwich for our kids to attend other Public Schools is a clear indication that people are voting with their feet.

    The School Committee needs to focus on a sustainable long term educational and facilities plan that will encourage our students to stay in Town -- a far more cost efficient method than paying to send them elsewhere. Otherwise, we are paying for their empty seat AND paying another District to provide an education.

  8. I think, Bob, that you might have forgotten the many times that mej has said she's "been preparing for this budget since 2007" - implying she knew they'd be cuts in State funding. So I wonder why her crystal ball didn't prepare her for the lack of funds to keep an ass't supt.

  9. Bob, you seem to write more and more like Mr. Joahansen. You said you were going to clear up inaccuracy in my post, but did not. What I said was true. You simply told us why you did what you did and not whether or not you knew there would not be enough money for the assistant. I was on record the night of the vote that there simply would not be enough money as there would be cuts from what was expected. I also said that your committee should not count any chickens before they hatch. You made many many mistakes as a chairperson and you need to admit to them. This whold fiasco about MEJ would never be around except that you did not follow the law. As far as being anonymous, my suggestion is to let Randy know and maybe he will change the rules. The nice thing about being anonymous is that Randy gets both sides of an argument as opposed to one side in a fancier, but less of a blog. Besides, you know and I know that people post on this one that put their names on the other one. I ask why?

  10. I just read the Times this morning. I guess anonymous wins this every other so far.

  11. Yes, Julie, funny how the "other" blog has fallen silent.

  12. The other blog has fallen silent because the blog manager was a huge part of the problem.
    The ruling is a huge victory for the kids in Sandwich. Can we please, please stop talking about the literacy program now and just expect that our kids are being sent to school to become literate adults?
    The new Superintendent will need to address the number of kids at Sandwich High School that are unable to read, write and do basic math. What about the older kids that have been left behind? Where are the parents of these poor kids? Maybe they are moving them to charter schools, private schools or providing expensive tutoring after the school day to fill the gaps. Ask yourself, your family and your retirement account about the free and appropriete public education that every single child should be receiving.

  13. Mr. Johansen, Mr. Greg:

    Your silence is quite loud.

  14. As far as the highschool and the 8th grade lemmings. You are right. Do not. Do not blame the Superintendent. She was the one with the vision to get the kids on reading level and to understand math when they got to the high school. The high school is blocking it. The high school does not want new programs. The high school teachers (some) do not want the professional development because it means more work. My kids will joing the ranks in private school and it is not her fault. It will be very interesting to see who the chosen one is for the 30million dollar CEO seat at the table. Very interesting, indeed.

  15. Anon at 8:37 and to the new library lover at 6:09 in time, the two of you will realize what is happening to your children. This once great school system will quickly become mediocre without someone (with an education) to actually run the school system. You can fault MEJ's management style all you want, you can cheer the courts decision yesterday even though the appeal process has to play out. The legal argument of MEJ's lawyer is a good one. Can a judge be the jury? Either way, the court case results in a financial loss and MEJ is gone. But now I ask each of you, seriously, to tell the truth. Is it really all about the kids? By the time to achieve my age you will have observed the endless battles over control. The ongoing boiling water in Wisconsin should be a warning to a union that does not truly represent its members. The school systems' reputation that you think is safe is long gone. You will not stem the loss of students to other institutions that truly put the good of the children above all the petty control issues. Democracy is a wonderful thing. Do you honestly believe all of the turbulence that has been created by the SC chair and the magnificant four will not stir an interesting election result this spring. A lot of folks are upset at the way a tough educated credentialed professional was treated. MEJ didn't give you what you wanted... your side of the equation remains broken... your belief that the current sitting school committee is looking our for your childrens wellbeing in education is flawed. This isn't a contest to win... you should be worried about where your kids are going from here. We have all know that MEJ could no longer work here, court suit or not. She was toast. You should be very concerned over who actually administers the education of your kids. Did you ever wonder why so many people think their 'boss' is a jerk? Could it be, that the 'boss' has to have the best interest of the mission in mind...always...and that should be the education of the children. Not employing people who are not qualified to teach, not allowing funding for education to be siphoned off so friends can swim in the pool for cheap. Blogs are funny sometimes. They tend to go silent when news is stale or unimportant. MEJ's case is stale. We should all be concerned about being hit with a financial loss should she win an appeal. The next hot button that will be pushed on the blogs will probably be the race for open school committee seats. If you want to see just how much trouble the school system is in....count the number of people who will pull papers. Who is willing to put up with the vitriol that has been so evident at the SC meetings? Not many. Yup, you two should be very worried about your childrens educations. And, just in case you are NOT parents and are perhaps members of the teachers union? Shame on you for pretending.

  16. Simple Man who knows lawMarch 12, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    To Greg,

    I shall breakdown your comments later. For now, I would ask, where is Johansen and Augustine. You talk like them. You now bring up, and strongly, and maybe properly so, that she should not have been fired. what irks many people in Sandwich is how you they take them for fools. Do you think that a judge doesn't know the law? I am somewhat informed. The AG for Massachusetts thinks that Simmons' meeting should have been posted. So, the AG, the Town Attorney, The School Attorney, many other legal scholars think that it was an illegal meeting, but they kept on beating the drum for illegal vote by the new majority. Read the judges decision. It is rather outstanding and puts in its place all those who so truly and still bad mouth the dedicated people on the school committee. Plain and simple, if argued the merits of firing the superintendent, then they would have had a better argument than the law was broken. Those two probably hurt the school system more than anyone except the true culprit in this situation.

    God Bless Sandwich, it needs it.

  17. Just to set the record straight, I am a parent with children in the district and I am not a member of the union. In my original post I simply stated factual information. A large number of students enrolled @ SHS are unable to read, write and perform basic math operations. The fix is not as simple as adding a couple of literacy teachers to the HS roster. I stated that the new superintendent needs to figure out how to remediate these broken kids. Ask yourself this question, if MEJ is doing such a phenomenal job then why are parents choosing to send their kids to other schools.

  18. Shame on you Greg. You are a man of many words, but of little action when it comes to running for something yourself. If you have read and try to take in some of the stuff written on this blog, you would have seen that much is said, but not addressed, by the protagonists in this soap opera. Do you think that people like Johansen and Augustine care about your kids or do they just care about saving money only. Shame on you for thinking that I don't care about the education of my kids. One of them is in High School and asks a lot of questions. One question is what is everyone arguing about. I tell her that some people in town "screwed Up" by not following the law when it came to posting meetings. The same person who did not follow the law also was a poor planner. If his intent was to extend MEJ's contract, then he should have put it on the school board agenda earlier than he did. A good chairman always acts conservatively and expects the worst...the worst came out when it was decided to ask the counsel for some answer to some question. When that was done, then he should have had it posted for Saturday or Sunday or Monday if the weekend would not work. He chose not to do that. If, and I repeat, if the judge had bought the bull about the "spirit of the law", then what would that do to future meetings? Does it mean that someone could say; "well we will meet next Thursday instead of Wednesday and there is no need to post it, because in the spirit of the law, we have told the public through cable". The problem with that is that not everyone has cable, reads the newspapers timely or goes to the high school for meeting information. Funny thing about democracy is that it is for all, it is strongly based on rule of law. The law states that meetings will be posted and states how and when and where they should be posted. It did not happen. That was the issue in the court decision. It was not whether or not MEJ should not have been extended. It was, read my lips, was the meeting valid. It was not. Who is to blame. What person would ever not cover himself by posting it (Mabe someone who did not have the time and thought the public was dumb). Two of the four people who voted not to extend the contract ran for office and everyone should have understood that they were going to get rid of MEJ if they could. The public voted these people in. What did you expect for them to listen to Johansen and Augustine, guys who have over and over stirred the pot rather than quietly let their feelings known. I like them both, but as individuals not as gadflys. They are well meaning but greatly misinformed of how the system works. My children will succeed despite all of this, but not because of the administration, the teacher, the Pols, or you, Johansen and Augustine, but because their father and mother watch carefully what is going on. During all this mess, one thing for sure that was stable and consistant was the majority of the SC kept their manners, were respectful, and did not go on the attack. The same can not be said of the three in the minority. Week after week they attacked Marshall, Linehan, Kangas and Crossman. They used, more so on another blog, a blog that looks like the old boy network, terrible names (much like you do)to describe them and their education. If I ever decide to move out of town for the education of my children, it will be for people like you, not for MEJs or SC people. They are doing what they feel is best. You must move on Mr. Greg and ask Augustine and Johansen to do the same. Actually, Johansen already has moved on to start his program to rid the town of a library, which in itself is educational by the way. I have had enough and will move on myself.

  19. In terms of hurting the school system, please don't forget the harm committed by the previous chair of the school committee - not just while serving on the board but with his crazy one sided blog.

  20. Wow, I guess that sure livened up the silence on the blog eh? My point and 'only' point remains to those of you who so loudly protest how MEJ's contract extension was made....that is a red herring. You hang your hat on that one opinion totally ignoring the destruction of a very qualified, albeit less than perfect, School Superintendent. You should be mourning the loss of a highly qualified manager. You should be concerned about the politics, not the politeness of the current SC members. You should be concerned about those issues that made MEJ so unlikeable to a minority of teachers. And Anon at 2:54 and at 5:21 thank you both for being parents who care. I was worried that you were being impersonated. Your protestations mean more to me. Disagreeing with you does not make us gadflys. Let the record show that I officially did not like the way MEJ's contract was extended because it made the entire issue stink. It still does. It allowed for her total destruction. See, we do agree on some things. I just hope you keep watching the way elected officials are hurting your excellent teachers. We have some great teachers...we really do.

  21. Carl Johansen would say good morning to Greg.

    I have been undergoing a few medical problems here at home, but I thought I would state that I have been reading the commontary by the usual folks who have decided to post under anomymous.

    It is also noted that you and I have been placed into a similar catagory. That is unfortuned, as we are all different in our own ways.
    However life goes on.

    Any comments in regards to
    my support for keeping Dr. Johnson at the helm has come from years of researching illegal practices by previous school dealings.

    I can also say it has nothing to do with increased taxes, but rather how the money was used in many cases to not do the job it should have, educationally for our children.

    Dr Johnson changed a long time practice and no longer allowed teachers to teach that were not qualified. This upset the union.

    Dr. Johnson focased more on the long term literacy problem and brought in technology to change that. This upset the union.

    She increased the work load of the teachers and forced many to multitask themselves into doing more for less. This upset the union as well.

    DR. Johnson would not front an override. This really upset the union and the fab four.

    One could find many other areas as well that upset the union

    I am full aware of Dr. Johnson's Flaws, they just, for me do not rise to a level that warrants dismissal.

    Her finacial back ground lacks experience in accounting dollars, no more then any other superintendent that has operated in our schools.

    She can come off at times rather on the stiff side, but when you are doing two jobs at the same time you would be as well.

    We both agree that the children of this town will suffer long term educational needs due to the process invoked by the Fab Four.

    I had stated many times we will not have any winners in this whole charade, but in the end it will be ultimitly the children of our district that will pay the actual bill of this vintictive group.

    I have and do care very much about our children of tomorrow that need a better education then what is in store for them once a new superintendent arrives on the scene.

    You will see changes that go back to the old boy network of hiring unqualified teachers, tell every one we need more teachers to do the job.

    Rather then assisting the town with the structural deficit it will call for an overide.
    We all know now that is not the case any longer.Dr Johnson found the way to change old thinking and put in some programs that get more for every one tax dollars and it did not affect the educational needs of our children., but it did affect the unions lack of control in the educational process.

    I understand that the interview process for the new superintendent is being held behind closed doors at the Police Station.

    I wonder what a canidate for a town position is thinking when the job they are applying for must be held in the local jail house, rather then where they will do a job. Is this to protect the fab four or the canidate.?

    I would think that any rational person interviewing for a job that is unrelated to the police department would be having some serious thoughts as to why?

    Carl Johansen

    A concerned citizen of Sandwich

  22. Prince of the AnonymiMarch 13, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    I would say that Mr. Johansen should long ago stuck JUST to the notion that Mary Ellen was a great superintendent. Instead he said things in public that were untrue about breaking the law and the meaning of the open meeting law. I hope that Mr. Johansen's research into the illegal things done by the majority of the school committee is much better than his research and reading of open meeting. If he had simply looked at the AG's guidelines to open meeting, he would have seen that the AG said that an adjourned meeting should be posted. So now we have the AG, the DA, the school lawyer, the town lawyer, and many more who agree, but alas, they are all wrong because Mr. Johansen's research shows that those enumerated above do not understand the law and that only a judge could determine the legality of the meeting. Oh wait a minute, a judge did rule, but again Mr. Johansen wants to rehash, but not using the law, but Mrs. Johnson's ability. He very well may be right on the ability, but he is out in left field about the law. Before he criticizes, he should double check his research. Frankly, some of the things he says and rights deserve some "commentory" (sp?) from others. He says that other superintnedent's did not know about finances??? How about Mr. Cannone?? He knows more about education and finances than most, if not all municipal managers. We were at the top of our game when he was here and we now have to get back to that. One should ask George Dunham if he would rather deal with Connone, Young or Johnson and I am sure he would say Cannone. Cannone did not have a learning curve. He was there. The main thing about this post is that you got it wrong bringing her abilities into the question of the suite (sp?) when you should have been talking about the legality of what the prior majority did. Cheers for the judge who truly does understand and knows the law. Shame on you for not knowing it and pretending you did. As for being anonymous, and mentioning to Greg about the usual anonymouses, do you happen to know who Greg is? He seems to be usual and also anonymous.

  23. Important to remember the Open Meeting Law changes are new. New laws must often be put to the test to provide case law. This is such a case. No one person is right or wrong in their belief. The judge's job was needed to dissolve the ambivalence, and so it was done. No use attacking each other. A positive brought to light is the focus on a history of conduct that did not provide transparency to the taxpayer. The public is better off for having some of what was behind the scenes, brought out. Mr. Johansen was not wrong. You don't have to look far or wide to see proof of his claims. This is a man who is known for carefully weighing and evaluating what he has to say before he speaks out. He is not an individual that seeks to harm anyone in anyway. I believe our community owes a debt of gratitude to a person, such as himself, who, has proven his dedication to integrity within our Town. How can we lose if everyone is kept honest? What does Mr. Johansen have to personally gain from that? This is a man that has the Town Citizens' backs, when most of them do not even know someone is looking out for them, not to mention many do not even know his name. Mr. Johansen is an unsung hero for calling out those in public positions for dishonoring the trust instilled in them. I for one will be a much more vigilant observer of some of the Town's characters, as not one of them has the right to provide anything less to a hardworking contributing taxpayer than the truth. In my view, the Town of Sandwich is crumbling from loss of solid integrity. Changes are due. The call for a leadership that reflects that is coming from the grassroots. Let us all be supportive of vigilance for integrity and those that speak out in its support.

  24. Prince of the AnonymiMarch 14, 2011 at 4:51 AM

    I certainly do not impune the integrity of either Greg, Mr. Johansen and Mr. augustine. They are good men who do try hard. My point is that they do so to the peril of the town. Do you think that the law we are talking about was new one? If you do, you don't know all the facts. The AG refused to get in the mess because she was the ajudicator of the new law and the DA was of the old law (or as many argue, the judge). Your confusing your facts when you think that this was a "test" of the new law. It certainly was not. Mr. Simmons should have known under the old law that the AG had guideliines our on open meeting and they clearly said that adjourned meetings needed to be posted. When he says that an adjourned meeting needs to be done within two days and without notice because he decided that it met the "spirit of the law", he was clealy in the wrong with respect to both the old and the new law. The three that sort of bother me in their argument do so because they cloud the only real issue in the court decision. That decision was wether or not the meeting and what took place was legal with regards to the decision made. It was not, I repeat, was not. I doubt Mrs. Johnson is going to appeal the decision. It takes quite a lot, including time, to go forward. It would take years at best. She was not granted the injunction and a Dr. Minkoff will now get the job. By the way, the old majority voted for her.

    Again, Greg, Mr. Johansen, and Mr. Augustine are very good men, but their actions would be better served if they were in a position where they themselves could do something. The only problem being is that they are afraid to run. I wish they would, it would be great for the town. There is still time and I know either would make a good SC member.

  25. To anonymous of 9:53 PM. Mr. Johansen was wrong in his arguments. He extolled the virtues of the Superintendent, but failed to speak about the point of the problem we faced with the court case, namely that the issue was the legality of the contract. The SC has the right to extend or not extend. I agree with Mr. Johansen that Dr. Johnson was a good leader, but I disagree with the idea that the contract was valid. Mr. Johansen or anyone else in this column never gave any idea to us to why it was legal. All we heard is that the other side was wrong. I saw no evidence that would persuade me to agree with the argument that it was a legal contract. What made it legal. Was it the fact that the intent of the open meeting law was met. If that is the case, I wonder why the legislature decided to change and tighten the law. They tighten and the SC loosens. Is that it?

  26. My write in is for Johansen.

  27. Prince of Anonymi, it would appear that you are trying to argue law here, or maybe educate, however, the one point you and others are missing is that some of us respected MEJ's qualifications and abilities in spite of her personality. The entire argument and NOT the legal one, is really one of control. They (the Mag 4)wanted payback and used the law to get to their end game. Thats why lawyers love these fights. They make their money on our ignorant interpretation of the law. So if you are a lawyer, my hats off to you for your education as well as your desire to teach the law. Unfortunately this isn't about law to me, its about the way small town politics can be hijacked by a whopping majority vote in the last election that didn't represent even 10 percent of the town. I think I would have argued for a different judge, lets say one from South Carolina....or even Wisconsin these days. Prince, since you appear to be new to this blog, it is obvious that you don't know many of us our here. Afraid to run? Fear is a word you should use carefully my friend. Until you have sat in the cockpit seat next to me, you would never be able to apply that word to me personally. Is it possible that all of us have already done our part? Is it possible that we, in our phase of life, have a lot going on that does not allow us the freedom to fight yet another battle for you? I for one, offer my opinions on this excellent forum hoping it helps. Someone has to present thoughts that don't always agree with the democratic republic of the Sandwich School System. Out here, we are the jury of opinion and everyone can speak their peace even if it is wrong to you. However, Prince of the hidden voice...never, ever assume that Carl, Mr Augustine or myself are afraid of anything that life has left to serve us. Walk a mile in our moccasins before you throw down that gauntlet hoping we will pick it up to suffer pain for you. Impune....? Hmmmmmmm.

  28. Prince of the AnonymiMarch 14, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Mr. Greg, let me tell you that you are afraid to run for office. You are probably a brave and courages person otherwise, but those who constantly complain and attack as you do need to run for office because you will then find if people believe and support what you say. I am neither a lawyer or someone out to educate. I do know how to read and have researched, much as Mr. Johansen does I would imagine, and, that research clearly shows that the AG in her guidelines, the DA in his ruling, the judge in his ruling, the attorneys for the SC, and the attorney for the town all have supported the fact that the original meeting was not legal. Now, that being said, yes, perhaps only 10% of the town voted, but, if so, then does that mean that maybe it was in the "spirit" of an election that these people were put in; should we consider that maybe by not voting, folks were just giving those who voted the power to vote in whomever they want; what does it mean; was the election illegal. You just don't get it. The court case was about the legality of having a meeting without posting it. It had nothing to do with anything else. Dr. Johnson may have won the Nobel Prize for Superintendents, but that still does not take away from what the court issue was...that the meeting was either legal or illegal. You just don't get it and probably never will. You are the one, along with your friends that call the majority names, you were the ones, that told us that what they were doing was illegal, but you do not run for office, why, just tell me why. You must have a reason, just tell me, please tell me why. Why do I ask, because you are afraid. Kangas had a problem and ran for office, Crossman had a problem and ran for office. Although I don't know for sure, based on what Mr. Johansen has said, I surmised that Linehan ran to protect her husband and the SEA. Imagine if you, Mr. Johansen and Mr. Augustine ran and won, then there would not have been a problem. The law is on the side of the winners of the election. They were voted based on who ran and they won. To the victor belongs the spoils America and Sandwich.

  29. Funny thing is that I thought Greg was a conservative. Conservatives believe in the rule of law. Liberals believe in the rule of "what's right" even if it does not follow the law. The law states that meetings must be posted at least 24 hours in advance. The meeting where Dr. Johnson was voted a contract was illegal. That simply means it was against the law. Even though she is an outstanding superintendent and leader of people, she did not have a contract. I believe that the two new people had every right to vote the way they did. I, for one, will not vote them the next time they run. I will not vote for the other two in the majority either. I do however feel that the ruling the judge made, though seemingly unfair, was right on target.

  30. Prince of Anonymi, Though I find your name quite charming, I've gotta tell you, one can commit to a cause and positively affect it in more ways than running for office. Your last post made me wish for a more broadened scope from you. You have some good points outside of that. We all don't know each other's personal do you know someone on this blog isn't typing it out with their toes and can't get to the meetings for lack of simple physical inability to do so? Let us appreciate each other's input, even if we don't agree with them. Those that are out there in the political arena are going to experience unfairness from their fellow man. It is just the way it is. If you think someone has not done their research and is being unfair with their statements, why not ask them for their source of information and check for ourselves. It's rather a bit of mumbo jumbo going any other route. Thanks for listening.

  31. Prince. Let me try to explain my position to you in a very simple, uncomplicated and meaningful way that I think, even you will understand. One last time..... The magnificant four COULD have voted to renew MEJ's contract. Period. Now do you understand? She could have been a continuing force in the development of the schools, its programs and the BOSS! I do not disagree with you that the judge has made the decision. I do not disagree with you that he found that last minute appointment to be illegal. One last is the simple vote to throw out a very qualified individual because of the axe that they had to grind for special interest groups within the system. They could have..oh yes, they could have, even in the face of that last now illegal meeting. Your last blog entry shows that you are a member of the club that is happy with the destruction of MEJ. You are attempting to gloat while questioning an individuals right to speak his peace unless he wants to run for office? You are simply a bully. You taunt others to run, not invite them. You do not understand what it means to 'serve' unconditionally. Try it yourself rather than taunting others to jump in. It is rewarding, it is hard work, and it can be frustrating with little reward. However, like everything else in life, one must weigh their responsibilities to family and to the energy remaining within ones' battery. I am beginning to see new names appearing that are going to offer their service. I commend them. They may be what is needed to take the vindictiveness out of the current SC. I also hope that the legal decision you cherish so much will serve as the catalyst to move the voters of this town to change the way your special interests operate and control the current school committee. Prince, I do not have to prove my service to you, the hundreads of hours spent in public meetings....and if there was one reason why I could no longer serve it would be because of you.

  32. Question time! Could someone please tell me where the Town of Sandwich Code of Conduct and Ethics might be found? Would you happen to know if there is a separate Code for the School Committee? I tried doing an internet search for these in our Town, no luck. We surely must have them?

  33. Anon at 12:00am, I think Randy might be able to help you out. I thought that people who worked in certain positions, like the School Committee had to receive instruction/education/test on Ethics and then sign off on the rules. I hope this requirement is for all elected officials. It may be what you are looking for. I think Randy is a good source for the answer because he was a Selectman and of course now our State Representative!

  34. Just a point of clarity: While it is fun to blame Dr. Johnson completely for the Minkoff debacle, the School Committee and Dr. Johnson naturally sought the advise of their lawyer.

  35. @Anon at midnight: Greg is right that public employees must read a state developed booklet about ethics, take and pass a test, and submit the certificate to the Dept of Ethics (or something like that).

    As far as a code of conduct, you might try Marie Buckner, human resources director, to see if there is a separate town publication for this or if it is part of the employee manual. These, to my knowledge, would be public documents so you could request a copy. While you're at it, ask that it be posted online.

    It is likely that the school department also has a code of conduct or something that comes close to that. I know they have a student handbook at the high school that is their code of conduct for the kids.

    The MTA may also have a code of conduct for its membership.

  36. Carl Johansen would state,

    Good morning Greg and fellow citizens of Sandwich.

    Many still seem to find fault with those of us that are willing to speak up against the way we present the public, with questions of ethical behavor in todays society.

    I have stated many times that I am not always right, nor am I always wrong. If I can get you to ask yourself one question in regards to any matter of concern I have accomplished my purpose.

    In rewgards to the illegal activity by the school board that I have made comments about over the past years. This information is garnered from a paid study of the Community School, that stated this fact. This was nothing new to me as I have been aware of of this violation of MGL for a period of time and only due to DR Johnson and the previous chair did this illegal activity get the day of light. If one, was to go back into the vidio of these meetings all of the above facts speak for themselves.

    The whole process of retaking a vote purely to remove any one from any position for vintictivness and spite to me is an illegal abuse of power and ethically wrong. Just think about that for a moment. You have a job that your performance level was outstanding, but a new boss takes over the helm and because you dissed him in a personal way, unrelated to your professional responsibilty, you get fired.

    By the laws imposed you can justify your actions, but for me it is not the ethical and moral thing to do.

    As far as Dr Johnson goes she still does have another path she can follow should she so choose to do so. It will not get her back into Sandwich, but perhaps get monentary compensation for defamation of character by the fab four.

    The judge has ruled in the case and he favored the defendants, one can say he followed the laws in place.

    Does that mean they won, the case?

    Legally a desicion was made under the jurisdictional law, but it has not been made under mans laws for due process of that law.

    We have a higher burdan to bear when it comes to ethical and moral judgements and for me that page is still open.

    So I hope that clarifies some objective comments I have made in public in regards to the above matter.

    Greg looking forward to coffee, I know we still have not found the time as of yet.
    Perhaps we can discuss further on the beatdown by some here who do not understand the lessons in life we have experienced.

    Carl Johansen

    A concerned citizen of Sandwich

  37. I hope concerned citizens of Sandwich are paying attention to the order of business the school committee agenda's states. Tonight the short list for Super. candidates will be revealed. The next meeting is scheduled for 6 April but the job of Super will be filled by the end of March.

    So what began with a SC member not being able to vote on Dr. Johnson's contract until a legal question was answered, there-bye setting in motion the meeting be recessed till Friday, the mysterious call to Town Clerk (after the election) claiming the Friday meeting was a violation of open meeting law, the revote of Dr. Johnson's contract in the negative because of two new school committee members who did not run on a strict platform of getting rid of Dr. Johnson (in fact one respected citizen was careful not to play that card at all, fooling many who voted for her), and the months and months of nothing being accomplished by the school committee expect workin to get rid of Dr. Johnson, (including not really doing anything for the budget and watching over $300,000 of local appropriation taken away from the schools, not to mention no work to communicate or work with other town committee...all the while Dr. Johnson was working hard at her job and for the schools---now their dangerous destructive anti-schools anti-town agenda and game has come full circle. They are trying to pull a fast one on the town, hire the new Super and hope new sc members won't do to them what they did to the last sc. They need to be stopped. Full stop to all of this till after the election. This group should not hire our next Super.! period, especially if they want to hire someone to take us backwards! If the new SC votes Dr. Johnson't original contract back in, what then. Is this committee seriously going to let someone sign a contract with more legal appeals to their ridiculous behavior in play and open the town to more legal liability?

  38. Prince of anonymiMarch 16, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Hey, here is a good one for you all. The other bog has a write-up concerning the Sandwich pool and naked people. Read the thread carefully and you will see it is just the pro-simmon/minority. They all now blame the majority and are even deciding what the majority will do tonight. They talk, but fail to read. Mr. Augustine in particular should read the thread. It will show a total misunderstanding of the CORI check with relation to the visit by French students. At the time the visit was brought up last year, Mr. Simmons, the then chairman said that doing a CORI on the hosting family members would cost a lot of money to the town. Of course, he stated something to fill the needs and arguments that he did not want it done, but he did not know that it was not expensive. Why did he lie? Also, did he not put the whole town in potential peril by pushing not to have the CORI checks. Can you imagine, and it could happen, that the was some pervert in the hosting families and something did happen. Oh, I guess it would be fine as Mr. Augustine will recover the money through a suite (sp).

    I would answer the blog, but I am truly afraid that my cover would be compromised through Mr. Simmons and his blog tracking. He probably knows that I watch the blog. I can't believe the garbage I read in there. One thing about this blog is that it is well managed and the main players are all great with their arguments regardless of where those arguments go.

  39. New on Craigs List this AM. 'For sale, 600,000 gallons of chlorinated water. Buyer must pay transportation costs. Contact Sandwich Community Schools for additional information'. White's move: KB1-QN5 ... Check. Can anyone tell me how much more ugly this conflict can become? When things get ugly, it is always the innocent who will suffer. Now, EVERYONE, make sure you follow all the rules or you might be sued.

  40. Carl Johansen would state,

    Good afternoon Greg, Another front page story about another long time issue within the school department and Community School.

    Having naked adults with our children is not news, what is news that when Dr. Johnson became aware of this she called for a change in the policy. That was anounced last night[No adults in the school swimming area between opening and 230 in the afternoon.} Words to that affect.

    The leadership of the union led four did not have any answers, so they postponed the discussion to a further date[Very typical given that we may have a conflict of interest from MS. Crossman}

    It may affect her income, if the schedule is changed as directed by Dr. Johnson. I do not understand why she did not excuse her self from the discussion at hand?

    Another interesting tid bit was a motion was made by a member to have the chair represent the school committee to the board of Selectmans meeting tonight.

    She has recieved countless request to present the school budget to the selectman over the past severel months and they are still waiting for her to show up. Great leadership qualities.????

    Be sure to watch Fox news , the nude adults in with the children made for some intersting viewing and one would wonder when is the next hammer going to befall our fine town.

    Carl Johansen

    A concerned citizen of Sandwich

  41. Much of the befalling hammers come from too many people making too many comments concerning what they do not understand. Stifle them a bit and you won't get the front page of the newspaper. Again I will say that if one knows everything they should run for office. It might help the town.

  42. Carl Johansen stated,

    The beginning of the dumming down in Sandwich of the educational process for our children has bugun.

    Four canidates chosen from a field of 28
    None have any financial background and experience with budgets.

    None of them have ever served as a Superintendant of Schools.

    It would appear from the onset that they all lack litteracy background as well.

    At least one has some personal conflictions that if hired may create more of a storm then the school district can handle.

    Who knows after the four read what is going on here with the present school committee, they all may decide to look elswhere.

    We all get to watch this unfold starting on Monday at 6.

    Should be some interesting viewing

  43. Hopefully Randy will allow me to post the following url that is very meaningful to those of us considered too old to think about the schools. I hope this will lighten the pot for folks with children in the school system. We are one big family afterall! Enjoy. I believe you have to copy this link and paste it into your internet address location. I have virus checked the site with Norton Antivirus.


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