Friday, August 13, 2010

Subcommittee continues to draw fire

Left to right: Whistleblower Chris Hoffmann, Library Director Bonnie Isman, Carol Gray (hanging her head in shame) Pat Holland (Chair) Sarah McKee

UPDATE: Saturday 1:00 PM

So the evaluation subcommittee met yet again this late morning/early afternoon and continued to justify their existence. This time they had some very tepid support from fellow lefties Frank and Ellie Gatti--but not much.

Pat Holland in response to fellow Trustee Chris Hoffmann said she would love to issue a separate, sanitized for public consumption report about the evaluation and goals for the paid, professional Library Director but at that point cutthroat Carol (Gray) immediately went into hyper twitch mode about that, so it's not a safe bet at this point.

Although Ms. Gray is jetting off to Egypt soon for an E-X-T-E-N-D-E-D period so all sorts of good things could return to the Jones Library operations. Happy days are here again.
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ORIGINAL POST: Friday 6:45 PM
Friday the 13th proved less than lucky for the Jones Library Evaluation subcommittee as the entire Public Comment period this afternoon before the full board was taken up by pointed criticism aimed in their direction, including a "vote of no confidence" by unionized workers at the library for the yet to be released evaluation report.

Statement from union employees of the Jones Library


Tina Swift reads union statement to the Jones Library Trustees

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shame? she knoweth not

Anonymous said...

So with our town meeting form of government how do we get a recall provision in place in Amherst?

LarryK4 said...

It would have to pass Town Meeting, and that would be like getting the Mass State Legislature to declare that it would abide by the Open Meeting Law.

Anonymous said...

All cynicism aside, three people on a rogue subcommittee cannot override the basic decency of the people of Amherst, on something as basic as a personnel issue at our beloved libraries.

Seriously. This time Mr. Kelley has aligned himself with the common sense of this community, which will ultimately prevail.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 9:09 - one can hope...

As an aside, I find that although I consider myself to be fairly left of center on most issues, I agree quite often with our LarryK4. Astonishing, isn't it?

LarryK4 said...

And that's a better average than a stopped clock.

Anonymous said...

The hypocrisy of Carol Gray is stunning. The confidentiality of the evaluation is supposed to protect the privacy of the employee, but Carol twists it into cover for her black-ops. She won't say there's an action in the report, but she won't say there isn't an action in the report--an action/non-action by half the board, usurping the power of the whole board. She won't discuss the competence on the director in open meeting, where by law it has to be discussed, but she'll use confidentiality as an excuse to go behind closed doors. Due to skillful defense work by Chris, the full board of Trustees neither discussed nor accepted nor voted on this vile, black-ops, trumped-up, coercion-laced document, so the scribblings of this subcommittee can just rot in hell!

Anonymous said...

What is the sound of two lawyers lying?

From the 8/13 Amherst Bulletin: "...[Chris's rebuttal] has included serious misquotations....Our committee can report that the conversation was not as he portrayed."

Notice that there is no counterclaim about what was said that they might have to swear to. How do lawyers lie? Very carefully.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me that she is now Egypt's problem.

Anonymous said...

A new threat to peace in the Middle East.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I was going to take a video snippet of her boarding the plane set to background music from the 'Wizard of Oz' munchkins celebrating the demise of the Wicked Witch...but, I figured she would probably charge me with stalking.

Anonymous said...

Her time away raises an interesting question that apparently is not going to get addressed: just how long does one have to be away before the decent thing to do is to resign one's seat?

Here we're talking 9-10 months away? Has this happened before with any previous elected public official in town?

Anonymous said...

Do you mean physically or mentally present?

Anonymous said...

we elected someone to a 3 year term and she will be away for almost a 1/3rd of it...she should resign

Anonymous said...

What does it tell us that an individual would cling so tenaciously to her seat for a school year while she is going to be away halfway around the globe (or almost)?

What does it tell us about her respect for the institution that she is overseeing? Perhaps she thinks that this is the best way to combat the charge of "micro-managing".

I think that Ms. Gray understands that reelection is not in the offing, and that it's now or never for her. Perhaps her prospects for further service would be better if she had bowed out gracefully, but one can assume that she has made that political calculation and rejected it. Apparently, self-sacrificing grace is not in her repertoire.

So we get five instead of six trustees for an extended period of time, and Amherst voters will have to decide, albeit eventually, what they think of that.

Anonymous said...

I've already made my decision about Carol Gray. Even if she remained here in Amherst and attended EVERY meeting of the Jones Trustees, there is NO WAY I would ever vote for her for anything ever again. I think her political career is over in Amherst.

Anonymous said...

Once the current SB membership has served their allotted six years (or less, if they so opt), beware the looming Gray candidacy for Select Board. Given the paucity of candidates, who would stand in her way?

Anonymous said...

We better get a recall provision in place before she runs!!

Anonymous said...

Carol has quite a cadre of supporters as shown by her last gasp of a meeting at the Police Station on Saturday. There were hugs all around while ignoring the fact that she leaves the Library's morale in shambles, she has damaged several reputations with incorrect statements and innuendos, and she may just have provided a benchmark for the 'I can do whatever I want because nobody has sued me yet' attitude.

Glad she's gone? Oh yeah.

Anonymous said...

I've attended several meetings of the board and its subcommittee now, and the same "coverup" is used repeatedly. The subcommittee members will tout how "fair" their evaluation process was, how it was completely "voluntary," how the goals were "agreed" to. Then they'll back it up with some quote from a contract, policy, lawyer opinion, or some such. Well, NO DICE. What the subcommittee members is doing is trying to whitewash their hatchet job! If they really were fair, then answering these questions would be no problem:

1. If the evaluation was fair and you listened to all voices, please tell whether any sections were changed based on feedback from Bonnie, Chris Hoffmann, or other trustees. How many sections contain changes based on this feedback? (Don't say that this will reveal confidential information--your usual smokescreen. This question asks only if there were changes and how many.)

2. Were the goals for this year based on agreement between Bonnie and the committee? If so, how many goals contain changes based on Bonnie's input?

3. One library employee saw notes from her interview, and found them to be very skewed and not reflective of what she said to the committee. Did the committee change its information gathering techniques afterward to ensure that it did not misrepresent information given to it?

4. Members of the SEIU local who had been interviewed wrote that they felt coerced. Can the committee comment on any of their procedures that might have caused workers to feel this way? If the committee cannot in retrospect point to any procedures that might have seemed coercive, what is the committee's explanation for the complaint from the SEIU local?

5. Does the committee believe it has the power to invoke any clauses in the Director's contract or exercise disciplinary action? Or does the committee believe this power resides with the full Board?
(These are yes/no questions, so yes they do, or no they don't.)

If this committee continues to operate and push its tawdry report, then there will be the opportunity for us in Amherst to ask these questions and keep asking them until we get answers.

Anonymous said...

Coming next will be the inevitable comparisons between Carol Gray and Catherine Sanderson, comparisons intended to hurt Ms. Sanderson in the election coming up.

There are huge differences, however, primarily in the sheer candid transparency of what Sanderson is up to. It's actually too candid for many in Amherst to stomach.

LarryK4 said...

Correct on both counts.

Anonymous said...

"Carol has quite a cadre of supporters..."

Hard to believe she has any friends left. Can you name names? I'm dying to know who these people could be.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Carol does have a sizable cadre of supporters, some of whom are not offended at all by her tactics or goals. It's hard to know how large this cadre is until she runs again. However, Vince O'Connor got 1342 votes in his race for School Committee this spring, and there is probably a lot of overlap between his supporters and hers.

Anonymous said...

Her cadre of regularly reelected supporters has a disproportionate number of seats in Town Meeting, where, in search of a life, they vote down the most modest of zoning changes and ask for tally votes on the most trivial of matters.

While our Town gently sleeps.

Anonymous said...

Why did the inspector shut down the elevator in the library?

Anonymous said...

From Chris Hoffmann.

Yes, I read Larry's blog. At least lately. This is my first and perhaps only posting, though, as I want to address a factual question:

The inspector didn't shut down the elevator. The elevator has always passed inspection, despite the fact that it was known it would occasionally "stick" and return users to the main floor.

It was the trustees who decided to close the elevator and spend thousands of dollars to refurbish it. This being a major project, it takes months even to get a bid for the work. That's why it has been shut for so long. And will be for a few more months, most likely.

LarryK4 said...

See folks, as long as you wear rubber gloves and hold your nose it's okay to read and post on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Kelley's back in the game...


Gaining a little traction there big guy?

LarryK4 said...

Since when did I gave a crap about your idea of "traction."

It is what it is.

Anonymous said...

Not saying you need to give a crap.

It is what it is.

LarryK4 said...

Glad you figured it out.

Anonymous said...

Glad ~you~ figured it out.