Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Three card monte

So I guess now the Amherst School Committee can go on that “retreat”—you know the one that skirts the Open Meeting Law.

Their choice last night off Alberto Rodriguez, with very little actual Superintendent experience, indicates they want a nice guy who plays well with others and, unfortunately, will probably go along to get along.

Unless of course while in Florida he learned how to swim with the sharks.

Amherst School Committee chair Andy Churchill was his usual diffident self--first expressing a preference for David Sklarz, who is white, but then changing his mind and supporting Rodriguez (the Gazette points out he is Cuban-American, not to be confused with Puerto Rican or just plain old Hispanic.)

Mr. Churchill also had trouble a few months back with Catherine Sanderson’s suggestion of an electronic suggestion box:

"I'm having trouble figuring out how to vote on this. I think it's a relatively small thing, but the people who would be implementing it don't," Churchill said. "I guess I'm going to vote against it, even though I support it, even though that's lame."

And you gotta love Ms. Brighty’s worship of former Super Jere Hochman likening him to a “rare event” (as was of course the coming of Christ). So I guess Jere set a new standard, a high benchmark and she would just simply have to settle for Mr. Rodriguez, which she seemed to do strongly.

Regional Chair Michael Hussin originally abstained because no candidate could compare to Barack Obama, although I’m pretty sure he was not talking about race. But, he too, finally settled for Rodriguez.

Let’s hope Rodriguez turns out to be a tad more like Truman: suddenly thrown into a thankless job and rising to the occasion.

11 comments:

Ed said...

Larry, be careful of praising Truman. He was hated at the time - hated more than GWB. And he DID make a mess of a lot of things, got us into Korea for stupidity (female ambassador saying something stupid and no one clarifying her statement to the Russians), continued the sellout at Potsdam and elsewhere, could have (should have) stood up to Stalin. Etc.

It is quite clear that we either need to clone Catherine Sanderson and/or get 2/3 "yesmen" voted onto the board so that she can control the board. At which point the superintendent will simply do what Catherine asks him to do -- compliant isn't always bad...

LarryK4 said...

Oh, I know quite a few South Koreans who are happy and appreciate that Truman got us into Korea

And I am glad he reigned in MacArthur from continuing into China--although he did get a tad too close.

I think more folks in the People's Republic of Amherst have problems with him dropping the big one--twice, to end WW11.

Of course it was okay for FDR to vaporize Dresden, also a civilian city.

Yeah, Catherine Sanderson could sure use some back up. Rivkin will help--if elected. But, in this town, strait shooting white men...

Anonymous said...

Let's face it:

You do not have a genuine honest-to-goodness multicultural school system or a comparably multicultural town, unless you've replaced every white male in a job at least once with someone who is not a white male. In the absence of doing that, everything else is just viewed as empty talk. And the process is not complete until you've done it throughout the community. The Town Manager is next.

There is a breed of sensitive white male (Exhibit A: Andy Churchill; Exhibit B: Gerry Weiss) who can navigate gingerly through the minefield of political correctness and personal indignation, God bless 'em. But, surveying the Amherst scene, one can see that such characters are few and far between, and they serve under a constant cloud. One false move or one incorrect word, or one slip into self-immolating candor, and they too are gone. A sincere interest in social justice is not enough armor.

Which is why many white males in Amherst opt "to spend more time with the family" rather than venture into town government.

Rich Morse

LarryK4 said...

Which is precisely why the People's Republic of Amherst is so screwed up.

But hey, it gives me a never ending stream of material to write about (and I can do that while spending time with the family)

Anonymous said...

"...he reigned in MacArthur from continuing into China"

Hard for him to do when the U.S. army in full retreat heading south with a million Chinese on their tail. The problem with MacArthur was that the great WWII general had turned into an old dowdering fool who was based in Japan and totally divorced from the reality that we were losing the war.

Alison said...

I don't want a superintendent who will "simply do what is asked!" Whether he is doing Catherine's (who I think is great) bidding or someone else's!! I want a superintendent who has experience, is a strong leader, and who is NOT afraid to stand up for things he/she thinks are not working. This is one of the reasons I liked Dr. Sklarz. But yes, let's hope that Dr. Rodriguez can rise to the Hurculean challenge ahead.

LarryK4 said...

One of my favorite military quotes comes from MacArthur (I file it under never underestimate the enemy):

"The war is over. The Chinese are not coming... The Third Division will be back in Fort Benning for Christmas dinner."

Anonymous said...

Classic! MacArthur was just like the French generals in WW2. Funny how the heroes of one war can be fools in the next.

Ed said...

Which is why many white males in Amherst opt "to spend more time with the family" rather than venture into town government.

It also is how people like me can move from being a registered Democrat who worked for Gary Hart to the lovable conservative I am today...

And Larry, I forget her name but the reason why the North Korean's invaded South Korea was because the Truman diplomat left South Korea off the list of places where the US would resist Communist invasions and the Soviets and Chinese interpreted that as meaning that we would *not* defend South Korea...

Hence the invasion, hence the war, which was actually less popular than Vietnam...

Anonymous said...

Speaking of soon to be unpopular wars with the American public....

"Rep. John Murtha said Tuesday the situation in Afghanistan is so challenging that he estimated it would take 600,000 troops to fully squelch violence in the country."

Great.

Ed's brain said...

Larry, Your essay on the school board vote is excellent taken in the spirit it was intended. Any distracted commenter could pick nits and argue about some aspect of your metaphor but I prefer to read it as commentary on the school board vote, and it is excellent commentary on the account.

I also like some of the commentary about the school board vote posted as comments.

The historical discussion however - a tangent off your post about who did what - is more of the kind of "who is smarter" dialogue that tends to distract from the thrust of the post, ED. If we concede you are smarter, will you stop? Please?