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Dr. Kimbrel apparently asks D113 to resign

February 19th, 2015

Dr. Kimbrel has apparently given D113 notice that she wants to resign.  In my opinion, we ought to accept her resignation, and move forward.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/highland-park/news/ct-highland-park-superintendent-resigns-met-20150301-story.html

While this is undoubtedly a difficult decision for all involved, it behooves the Board to make the tough decision and release Dr. Kimbrel from her contract.

Going forward, we need to simply conduct the hiring process IN-HOUSE and sans any Search Firms.  We know what we’re looking for, and given all the business experience available on the Board, we ought to be  familiar with the hiring process and be able to handle it with aplomb.

D113 was mistaken or misled. Either way, it’s time to move forward without Dr. Kimbrel

February 15th, 2015contact
  •  December 17, 2014 – letter sent from Ram, Olson, Cereghino & Kopczynski, LLP (Attorneys) via email to the Board of Trustees of Tamalpais Union High School District regarding the online bullying by Dr. Kimbrel’s husband.

“Upon learning of the allegations, the board received assurances from the Superintendent that she knew nothing of the postings and was not involved in them,” – so Dr. Kimbrel apparently knew about these allegations prior to signing the contract with D113.  I’m not willing to accept her claim of not knowing what her husband was doing – it doesn’t pass the smell test for me.

  •  Dec. 22, 2014 – San Francisco attorney William Tunick wrote back to Wortzman (the victim of the bullying). Tunick, who said in the letter that he was writing on behalf of the district, wrote:

“The Superintendent did not post any comments about Mr. Wortzman on Facebook and has assured the District she did not have knowledge of any such action. To continue to suggest otherwise would demonstrate a reckless disregard for the truth which could only be seen as an attempt to damage Dr. Kimbrel.”

The letter went on to say, “As Dr. Kimbrel has maintained throughout her tenure with the District, while she understands there may be differences of opinion over the operation of the District, personal attacks have no place in District matters and do not advance the fundamental goals of the District.”

Wortzman said he would like to know who directed Tunick to write the letter, because the district board did not meet between Dec. 17 and Dec. 22. Tunick could not be reached for comment.

(source: http://www.marinij.com/social-affairs/20150211/husband-of-tamalpais-union-superintendent-accused-of-internet-bullying)

  • January 10, 2015 – Dr. Kimbrel signs the contract with D113 as Superintendent.

 

  •  Jan 12, 2015 – Margie Sandlow signs the contract as President with D113 and Dr. Kimbrel

 

  • Jan 13, 2015 – Dr. Fornero signs the contract as Secretary with D113 and Dr. Kimbrel

 

  •  Jan 13, 2015 – Tamalpais District hires an investigator to look into the issue.
  • Jan 30, 2015 – A presentation is posted to slideshare.net, apparently by Dr. Kimbrel which clearly illustrates her association with HYA – this is approximately 20 days AFTER Dr. Kimbrel entered into a contract with D113.
  • Feb 12, 2015 – A second presentation is posted to slideshare.net, also apparently by Dr. Kimbrel which also clearly illustrates her association with HYA. This is 6 days prior to the Feb. 18, 2015 revealing of ties with HYA.
  •  Feb 16, 2015 – Chicago Tribune article regarding the bullying incident.  Dr. Kimbrel’s husband admits to the bullying, but denies his wife knew about it.  How can we be expected to believe someone who created a fictitious moniker to bully someone in the District his wife worked at, ostensibly from his employer’s IP address?  The article also reports that D113 is investigating.

 

  •  Feb 18, 2015 – Ties between Dr. Kimbrel and HYA – the search firm that recommended her are revealed.

 

  •  Feb 19, 2015 – D113 Board issues a statement that essentially states they’re taking the matter “very seriously”.

Keeping all these events in mind, let’s take a little step back in time, to November 10, 2014 – when D113 worked with HYA to develop the Leadership Profile Report (“Report”).  This passage under “Desired Characteristics” on page 4 of the Report is as follows:

“According to respondents, the new superintendent needs to be transparent and consistent in decision‐making, follow a process, listen to input, communicate it to stakeholders and stand by the decision once it is made.  As desired by respondents, this visionary, highly competent, honest, truthful, and respected educational leader would understand and have experience in a community with high expectations for student learning.   Based on recent unfortunate events that eroded trust, respondents communicated a desire to have a new superintendent that is willing to make a long‐term commitment to the district, with the ability to establish a deep level of trust with all stakeholders…”

Compare and contrast the “Desired Characteristics” of the Community with what we actually received in our new Superintendent.

Regardless of what actually happened, and who allegedly knew what and when, this is a lousy way to start off a new relationship.  Especially one which is supposed to be honest, truthful, and respected as a leader who is to establish a deep level of trust with all stakeholders.

The existing D113 Board needs to part ways with Dr. Kimbrel, and ECRA-HYA.  We can’t trust these people, and this event will only serve as a continuation of the cancerous levels of distrust in D113.  Cancel the contract.  And start searching for a new Superintendent – without the services of a search firm.

We’re intelligent, highly competent people living within the confines of D113 – let’s start acting like it.

Can you help me please?

February 5th, 2015

Good day to all:

 

I am running for election to the District 113 School Board and I would greatly appreciate you help in the following ways:

 

1) Please vote for me.

 

2) Please ask your friends to vote for me.

 

3) Please send out emails supporting me, and consider hosting a coffee to introduce me to your friends.

 

4) Please let me put a sign in your yard supporting me.

 

5) Please donate to my campaign.

 

If you’re willing to host a coffee or a yard sign, please let me know so we can coordinate accordingly.  If you’d like to donate, thank you, and please contact me.

 

About Me:

 

I have lived in Highland Park for over 37 years, have a BSCS, and MBA degrees, have completed work toward Masters Degrees in Computer Science and Manufacturing Engineering, hold a certification as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (process control), and am engaged in the pursuit of other certifications.  I am also a member of and actively engaged in many civic, professional and charitable organizations, including the HP Chamber of Commerce, Ravinia Neighbors Association, and Shriners.

 

I m a fiscally responsible individual with a wide breadth of experience encompassing Business Management, Education, Local Government, and Process Improvement methods.  I have been beating the drums of fiscal responsibility for over 15 years, have been a zealous advocate of becoming more effective and efficient with taxpayer dollars, and my advice has saved millions of dollars.

 

I have appeared countless times before the City Council of Highland Park, and the Boards of the Highland Park Park District, School District 112 and School District 113 to reinforce a commitment to focus on our needs instead of our wants, and rein in spending.

 

Besides appearing before these taxing bodies, I have also been honored to be a member of the Wolter’s Field Neighborhood Advisory Committee, the District 113 PE/Athletics/1914 Buildings/DHS Athletic Fields Referendum Study Group, and the District 112 Citizens Finance Advisory Board.  Most recently, I served as a Judge in the DECA Regional Competition, a competition which is well-attended by students from District 113.

 

I am not afraid to take the time to research and study the issues, nor to ask “why”.  As a lifelong learner, I am committed to a well-rounded and high quality education at minimal burden on the taxpayer.  Our community has a longstanding commitment to the pursuit of excellence, and as a graduate of Elm Place Jr. High and Highland Park High School who returned to our community after college, I am running for the District 113 School Board in order to help continue that tradition and to help guide District 113.

 

District 113 needs:

 

  • To implement processes and controls to ensure that the facilities are adequately maintained.

 

  • To refine its forward looking cost analysis methods.  The three cost models promulgated by PMA (the District’s financial advisors) vary greatly which has led to uncertainty and difficulties in effective Board governance.

 

  • To ensure that the referendum projects are completed on-time and within budget (if not early or under budget).

 

  • To review its salary and benefits model for all administrators and staff to ensure balance between our desire for high performing educators and facilities and the impact to the taxpayers.

 

  • To become more transparent in all operations and plans.  There is absolutely no reason why the Public should not be fully informed (to the extent legally permissible) in all operations of the District, and particularly those operations of a financial nature.

 

  • To actively update and refine the District’s long-term plan so that we can avoid expenditures on “Wants” which will have a negative impact on future “Needs”.

 

  • To work closely with the feeder Elementary districts on curriculum so that students from those Districts are adequately prepared for success when they enter our High Schools.

 

Other Candidates:

 

Other candidates are running for election, and have formed a so-called “Slate” that asks for your vote.  “The Slate” states that “…the Board cannot simply rubber-stamp its way to excellence…” – yet by voting for a “Slate”, that seems to be precisely what they desire.  I would ask you to look at the issues that have arisen in the past (a lack of transparency, community angst over terminations of Staff and Administrators, issuance of additional bonds when we were told that the Referendum bonds would suffice for the District’s needs, etc.) and WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN.

 

Thank you for your kind consideration,

 

Vote for change.  Vote for fiscal responsibility and transparency.  Vote for David S. Greenberg.

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OK, we’ll tell you what the millions are for!

February 5th, 2015

I traded several emails with the District, and ultimately they agreed that I could come review the Draft of the 10 yr Life Safety Plan as it was compiled by Perkins + Will.  I reached out to Dan Mortensen, the Director of Facilities Management for the District and we arranged an appointment to review the documents on February 10, 2015.

On February 9th, I appeared before the District Board and made public comments regarding the process involved in obtaining the necessary information, the fact that I’d made an appointment with Dan, but that I was most disappointed in the apparent lack of transparency by not posting the information on the District Website.  I found it most interesting that the District desired to issue millions of dollars in Working Cash Bonds (for Life Safety purposes), that they’d have to hold public hearings before doing so, and would solicit input from the Public, but that the Public would be unable to comment cogently because the Public had no idea what the money was to be spent upon.  An article along with a photo of me making the presentation appeared in the Chicago Tribune.

Later during the meeting, the Board discussed this issue, and decided to issue $4.5 million in Working Cash Bonds instead of the previously discussed $6 million.

The next day when I arrived for my meeting with Dan, I was informed that the District had just posted the documents I was to review to their website.  Dan was quite cordial and explained that they couldn’t post the cost estimates for these items because it would adversely affect the integrity of the bidding process (which I understand and agree with).    Dan answered all my questions, and I greatly appreciate the time he took out of his busy schedule to do so.

District to Public: We want to spend millions of your money, but we won’t tell you specificially what it’s for!

January 23rd, 2015contact

I think history is repeating itself.  D113 wants to spend MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars on Life Safety projects, but they won’t tell us specifically what those projects are!

 

District 113 has been considering the issuance of $5.5M in Working Cash bonds, which they intend to use for Life Safety Purposes.

They discussed this matter at length during their most recent Finance Committee and Board Meetings.  Barry Bolek (Asst. Superintendent for Finance), the Board Members, and Dr. Fornero (Superintendent) referenced a 10-year Life Safety Survey that they received from Perkins+Will (their construction managers working on the Referendum-related projects) – this Survey was also referenced during the D113 Oversight Committee meeting in their minutes as having been delivered to D113 (The minutes are at this link: Oversight Committee 12-2-2014(LifeSafety_Survey_discussed)).

The discussion at the Finance Committee by the Board members was lively and lengthy.  Some board members wanted to spend less than $5.5M, some wanted to spend over $8.0M.  When the Board moved from the Finance Committee meeting to the regular Board Meeting, they chose to remove the matters from consideration of their Board Meeting agenda because they wanted more information.

After the meeting, I went searching for the Survey that was publicly cited during the meetings, and when I couldn’t find it, I asked a representative of D113 where I could find it on their website.

The response was that the document wasn’t available because it’s considered a “Draft”, and therefore isn’t considered “Public”.

My counter to their belief is that their claim that the document isn’t Public doesn’t pass muster because the District is proposing to spend millions of dollars of the taxpayers money, but they refuse to tell us the specifics of what they want to spend it on!

The District has to hold several hearings regarding the issuance of these Bonds, and during those hearings the Public is allowed to comment.  Just how, praytell, is the Public to comment in a cogent manner if they don’t know precisely what the money is to be spent on?

Besides their claim not passing muster with any reasonable person, there’s some legal implications as well.  Once the District publicly cites the document, it can no longer be considered a “Draft” exempt from disclosure.  A review of the IL FOI Act, deals with exemptions from release, and specifically 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(f) which states:

“(f) Preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, memoranda and other records in which opinions are expressed, or policies or actions are formulated, except that a specific record or relevant portion of a record shall not be exempt when the record is publicly cited and identified by the head of the public body. The exemption provided in this paragraph (f) extends to all those records of officers and agencies of the General Assembly that pertain to the preparation of legislative documents.”

As the the 10-year Life Safety Survey which was referred to and publicly cited and identified during the District 113 Oversight Committee (attended by Dr. Fornero – Superintendent, David Small – Board Member, Stacey Meyer – Board Member, et. al), the Finance Committee Meeting attended by Barry Bolek, the Board Members, et. al.; as well as the Board of Education Meeting attended by by Barry Bolek, members of the Board of Education, and Dr. Fornero, it no longer falls under the preliminary draft exemption and I’ve requested a copy of it.

At this time, I’m waiting for a response from the District, and I’ll update you all when I have more information.

 

$785.00/day to come out of retirement

January 20th, 2015

After the Matt Castle incident (some would say ‘debacle’), D113 was able to work out an agreement with the IMRF (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund) and TRS (Teachers Retirement Service) to life the 100 hour cap on employment for Bobbie Monroe so she could come back and help get the HPHS Athletic Department through the remainder of the school year.

According to this Board Information Packet:

12-08-14 Board Meeting Information   (Original sourced from here: http://www.dist113.org/boardofeducation/Board%20Meeting%20Information/Board%20Packet%20Information%202014-2015/12-08-14%20Board%20Meeting%20Information.pdf)

Page 43 – we’re paying Roberta (“Bobbie”) Monroe, the Assistant Athletic Director (who took back over from Matt Castle) at HPHS $785.00/day for the period of 12/1/14 – 6/30/15

If we assume NO holidays, the net number of work days during that period is 152.  This comes to $119,320.00.

Because of the way Athletics schedules often work out, let’s assume she works a few Saturdays and maybe the odd Sunday to fill in some Holidays.

The number of days in the period is 211, and that works out to $165,635.00.

So we’re essentially paying someone between $119,320 and $165,635 to be an Assistant Athletic Director.

In my view, this is too much money.

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DECA was very enlightening!

January 19th, 2015

I had the distinct pleasure and honor of serving as a Judge at the North Suburban Regional DECA Competition this morning for the Hospitality Team Decision Making contest. There were a number of simultaneous contests taking place, both individual and team-based, with a broad range of business disciplines. There were approximately 1300 contestants across all the disciplines, I was quite impressed with the quality and caliber of competitors, and look forward to judging future contests.

It was nice to be able to give back to these future business professionals.

Dr. Kimbrel – Contracts, and other information

January 18th, 2015contact

Attached are Dr. Kimbrel’s employment contracts.  From her prior position in California, and for her position here in District 113 (Illinois).  Interesting that she’s moving from an arguably higher cost-of-living area (California) to Illinois, and we’re giving her a pay increase of over 20%.  Also interesting that she states she wasn’t looking for a job, and we somehow lured her away…

 2015-2018_Superintendent_Employment_Contract_Dr_Laurie_Kimbrel_D113

Supt_Contract_Dr_Kimbrel_Tamalpais_Union_HS

Dr. Kimbrel’s Resume: Dr Kimbrel resume

Desired Characteristics of a new Superintendent as detailed by D113 and input to the Board from surveyed individuals throughout the District: D113 DesiredSuperintendentCharacteristics Final

 Results of the surveys, and the “Leadership Profile” that D113 was searching for: D113 LPR Final nodesiredchar

 

How to solve the so-called parking crisis

January 17th, 2015

I’ve been informed that the Referendum Oversight Committee is wrestling with providing additional parking for students.

 

Honestly, I don’t really see the NEED for more parking, and in my opinion the problem is easily dealt with.  Here’s my process for dealing with parking:

1) Determine how many parking spaces there are.  Call it X.

2) Determine how many handicapped spaces are needed.  Call it H.

3) Subtract H from X, and call it Y.

4) Determine how many spaces are required for Certified and non-certified staff, administrators, and visitors.  Deduct that amount from Y and call it Z.

5) Z is the number of spaces available for students.

If Z is more than or equal to the number of students over 16 years of age, this is a non-issue.  Issue everyone who wants a sticker one, and move on with life.  

If Z is LESS than the number of students over 16 years of age, then the fairest way to solve it is to issue them is via lottery.  Set a lottery date.  Give EVERY student over the age of 16 years of age, and who has a driver’s license a lottery ticket with their name on it.  Encode the name/student ID in an encrypted QR code on the ticket.

If someone wants to enter the lottery, they bring their ticket to the office and put it in the drum.

On lottery day, the school holds an AFTER SCHOOL assembly in the auditorium.  The drum is put up on stage.  Anyone who wants to attend may do so.  A randomly selected FRESHMAN is selected to pull the tickets from the drum.  This is someone who has absolutely ZERO interest in the outcome.

This person opens the drum, pulls out a ticket, and scans the QR code with a scanner.  The name on the scanner is compared with the name on the ticket.  If they match, the ticket and scanner are shown to a nearby administrator for confirmation, and if confirmed then the name is read out and that person gets a sticker.  The ticket will be stamped as “VALID FOR STICKER” and given back to the student if they’re in attendance, or retained by the Administration if the student’s not in attendance.

The ticket puller then closes the drum, turns it at least 2x, opens the door again, and retrieves a ticket.

This continues until ALL available spaces have been awarded.

During the following week, Students can visit the Bookstore to exchange their validated ticket for a sticker.  The QR code can be matched against those already scanned to prevent anyone from creating a “Valid for Sticker” stamp on their own.

6) Determine the percentage of spaces utilized by non-handicapped students, and then multiply that against the expected cost of repaving the parking lot when it next needs to be done.  Divide that amount by the expected remaining lifespan of the parking lot.  That’s the cost to charge for the stickers.  Set those funds aside in an account for repaving.

The idea behind the encrypted QR codes is to prevent stuffing the drum by some scam artist.  They can print up however many tickets they want, but they won’t be able to produce the correct QR code to match the name against the results on the scanner nor be able to coerce the ticket puller to “misread” a name because an administrator (with no interest) will be available to verify it.

7) Anyone not getting a sticker award has the following options:

a) Walk

b) Bike ride (we’d need to reinstall the bike posts outside the PE teacher’s office windows so kids riding to school could park them safely)

c) Skateboard

d) Jog

e) Run

f) Roller blade

g) Rolling push scooter

h) Ride with someone who does have a sticker

i) Cab

j) Limousine

k) School bus

I’d specifically RESTRICT drop offs by personal vehicles piloted by parents or guardians so as to prevent traffic jams, promote environmental awareness, be kind to the neighbors, etc.

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Parking Lots and DHS Artificial Turf before Academic Building Needs?

April 24th, 2011
The Board Agenda Packet Discussion Item 8.H references an “attached agreement…drawn up by our attorneys, [delineating] the Boosters’ Club financial obligations to District 113″.

No such agreement was attached to the packet linked.  Is it available online for review prior to the meeting?  If so, where?

That a portion of the total $1.1M amount is to be funded by the Booster’s Club is certainly nice, but I have to ask myself what NEEDS could the District’s portion ($637,307) fund at DHS?  HVAC issues?  Library Flooding issue?  Roofing issues? Ceiling tile replacements?

Could the Booster’s Club fund the repairs to the Pool @ DHS instead?

As I’ve stated previously, and per the information I’ve provided to the Board during the Wolter’s Field turf discussions (available on my website at www.davidgreenberg.org), many more questions involving artificial turf need to be answered:

  • Handling water run off from the turf.  It’s been proven to be dangerous to aquatic life.  Given that the field is within a wetland area, this is of concern.  How will the run off be dealt with?  What will that cost?
  • Excessive heat – studies have proven that the turf is typically 30 degrees hotter than the surrounding air during the day.  This requires temperature monitoring and mitigation (typically via water being sprayed onto the surface for cooling).
  • “Green Issues”: Creation of heat islands.  Artificial turf doesn’t produce Oxygen, but the production of it does increase carbon dioxide.
  • MRSA Infections – MRSA doesn’t do well during bright sunlight or hot weather, but since the turf can’t be used during such times due to the dangers of excessive heat – that means it will be used after it’s cooled, in the dusk or night hours when it’s cooler.  MRSA does well in dark, cool periods.  What is the plan for preventing such infections and mitigating such dangers?  What will the cost of sanitizing the turf be?
  • Rubber crumb infill replacement costs – what is the cost to replace the rubber crumb infill after 5-7 years due to compaction issues?
  • Weeding/Pesticides – weeds can grow in the rubber crumb infill.  What’s the cost of weeding/pesticides to be used on the turf?  What are the dangers of using pesticides on such a surface?  How long must athletes remain off of the surface after the application of pesticides?
  • Annual maintenance costs compared with current grass turf?  Including labor costs.
  • Eventual disposal costs?  When the turf has to be removed at it’s end of life, what will that cost?
Regarding items 8.D. and 8.F. As long as the buildings have NEEDS which have a direct effect on academics (e.g.: HVAC, roofing), paving parking lots should be the lowest priority on the list – given the high cost of oil and how that factors into the cost of asphalt, communities are choosing to forgo asphalt paving and are finding compacted gravel to be less expensive and easier to maintain.

In particular, I see absolutely no reason for any additional paving to be done at Wolter’s Field.

If the most recent vote on the referendum said anything – it’s that the voters and taxpayers want the District to focus on it’s NEEDS instead of it’s wants.  Artificial turf is definitely a want and should not be funded at any level by the District – if the Booster’s Club considers it a “need”, then the Booster’s Club should fund the entire $1.1M cost, in-full, and up-front before construction begins.  Additionally, the Booster’s Club should also fund any and all increased costs of repair to the turf for its lifetime, and also fund the costs of removing the turf at its end of life.  The District taxpayers shouldn’t pay a cent for that want.

The Board should reject the recommendation to install artificial turf at DHS, and should reject any improvements or additions to parking lots at DHS, HPHS, or Wolter’s Field.  Instead, it should focus it’s efforts on funding some of the needs of the District out of the monies it was going to allocate to the aforementioned projects.
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