Friday, January 31, 2014

Sunshine Makes The Best Disinfectant




From: Larry Kelley  
To: Kathy Mazur ; Maria Geryk


Subject: Public Document Request 

Please consider this a re-request of my April 7, 2011 public records request for "copies of all separation, severance, transition or settlement agreements made since January 1, 2005 between the School and its employees with settlement amounts in excess of $5,000." 

This would now include any agreements made since April 7, 2011 up until this morning. In other words, specifically, the case of Robert Detweiler

Superior Court Justice Thomas A. Connors recently upheld the Public Records Division finding in a case exactly like the one I patterned my April 7, 2011 request on. 

As you may remember, the Public Records Division told you to release the full agreements including names of the 13 individuals. 

If you still insist on keeping these public records secret I will be forced to take it to Hampshire Superior Court, where Judge Mary-Lou Rup already found in a journalist's favor, forcing South Hadley to release settlement agreement information in the Phoebe Prince case. 

Larry Kelley 
Sent: Fri, Jan 31, 2014 11:18 am

23 comments:

Tom McBride said...

Everybody's got something to hide. Just ask Chris Christie.

I get the feeling of deja vu when I think of what SLOWLY unfolded in the Northampton police department.

Dr. Ed said...

Go for it Larry!

I don't know what it is that Maria G is hiding, but she & Enku Gelaye play the same game -- hide everything, deny it even exists, smile, and then ask why the big bad men are being so mean.

Both women may wish to reflect upon what Barry Goldwater said to Richard Nixon when Watergate started to come out -- "Go to the networks, ask for an hour of time, go on national tv, and tell everyone what the hell happened."

Nixon didn't do this, and it was Goldwater who later had to go to Nixon and say "we can't support you anymore" and the rest is history.

If Maria G isn't hiding something, she's being rather obtuse.

Tom Simpson said...

Considering that the Boston Globe was recently successful in a court case against the Commonwealth in regards to such settlements, I believe you will be successful in this quest- the precedent has been made.

Anonymous said...

The story has changed...

Current Gazette headline reads:
"Amherst schools finance director on paid administrative leave"

Larry Kelley said...

Nah, hasn't changed in the least.

My reliable sources tell me he isn't coming back.

So in other words, he's been fired.

Tom McBride said...

Larry, that's what paid administrative leave means.

Larry Kelley said...

Tell that to the Gazette.

Anonymous said...

Larry,

If you are going to push can we find out what happened to Beth Graham too. We could put to bed the rumors of a litigation?

Thanks,

Larry Kelley said...

Yep.

That's why I specifically expanded the original (4/7/11) request up to this morning.

So that would now include any separation agreements signed between April 7, 2011 and today.

Tom McBride said...

As in the case of Scott Savino, the police captain who left the Northampton police force, first, it's paid administrative leave, then they leave, then compensation for unused vacation time, then they get their pension based on the their salary in their last year, then their retirement health benefits, then the town of Amherst pays for all of this from now until eternity.

Anonymous said...

"then compensation for unused vacation time, then they get their pension based on the their salary in their last year, then their retirement health benefits, then the town of Amherst pays for all of this from now until eternity."

That is a complete distortion that makes it sound like people are being bought off. Why wouldn't you get your pension? It is based on your years of service. And Amherst doesn't pay and pay forever. The person is collecting their retirement from the state pension system, which they PAID into. Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:20 am:

Try to remember. You've got some people commenting on this blog who are off their nut.

You cannot take what is said here on the comments page seriously.

Coming here is a little like betting on the Super Bowl: for entertainment purposes only.

Anonymous said...

Misconduct as an employee is grounds to not get your pension -- a criminal conviction usually solid grounds, but there is a pension review board and folks are denied them. Ask Jackie Bulger -- actually with the shakeout of the Probation department, there could be a lot of folk to ask.

As to pensions, the Pioneer Institute is sending up flares with routine frequency about the potential insolvency of those. It isn't just one pension, I believe the ARSD is the Hampshire County one in Hamp. They have all been underfunded for some time -- the employees haven't put in the amount of money necessary to pay their benefits -- and gay marriage didn't help.

I mention that ONLY that the actuarial tables did not anticipate paying benefits to gay spouses after the death of the retiree -- independent of this being good or bad, I'm not arguing that here, it's an expense which was not planned for.

Think of it as going into the winter presuming you will need to burn 400 gallons of heating oil at $3/gallon -- you will need $1,200 to stay warm and you have that in your household budget. But it's been damn cold so far -- and you "need another fill" -- you burn 600 gallons. That's now $1,800 coming out of the $1,200 that you have to pay for the oil -- and you gotta come up with another $600...

And then let's say that you never budgeted even the $1,200 -- say you had only put aside $500 for heating oil -- which is the issue that Pioneer is raising. See the issue?

Folks, it really doesn't matter if the Town of Amherst has to pay the shortfall of the Amherst retirees or if the Commonwealth has to because it's gonna come out of your pocket either way!

Anonymous said...

As to Beth Graham, she has a husband who graduated with her -- Amherst wasn't interested in hiring white male teachers and he started teaching somewhere else.

Last I heard, he was a rising star at a school district near Boston, and they were both driving more than an hour - each way - to where they were working, she then in Amherst. That's the sort of thing that stops being fun real fast...

He'll be a superintendent soon if he isn't already, and he'll make a good one. Now if you are Maria G and the husband of one of your employees is both a competent administrator and respected as such by other high-level school administrative folk, and you are neither, does his wife become a threat to you?

The King Herod approach is the sort of thing that does spawn lawsuits....

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Teachers = state pension plan. Other Amherst Town employees = Hampshire County Retirement.

Anonymous said...

Your gay spouse theory is one of your top ten for stupidity. Maybe even top five.

Anonymous said...

Ahem. I don't think Beth Graham is going to have a husband any time soon.
What a bunch of wing nuts populate this place.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Beth Graham is going to have a husband any time soon.

The ARSD hired two Beth Grahams? It's possible...

Well, one of them has a husband, or at least did last I knew. They were my neighbors. Now who's the wingnut now...

Anonymous said...

Teachers = state pension plan. Other Amherst Town employees = Hampshire County Retirement.

Interesting. The Hampshire County Retirement Board seem to think that the teachers are in THEIR plan. I am going to put the URL in plain text so that everyone can see exactly what it is-- and scroll down to where it says "Regional School Districts" and notice the first one listed.

http://www.hampshireretirementma.org/index.php?page=member-units

Anonymous said...

You know Larry, this is just like dealing with Enku Gelaye -- you are told something you know isn't true and as soon as you show it isn't, you get told another thing that is equally untrue.

It's a rather childish strategy of distraction -- it is something that would be considered immature were a 10-year-old doing it.

Anonymous said...

FYI

Teachers pensions are part of the Massachusetts Teachers Retirement System (MTRS). It is very well-funded, as teachers pay a higher contribution rate than any other state or municipal employee. Non-teaching staff pay into the Hampshire County system.

Anonymous said...

Medical expenses of retired teachers seem to be an issue for municipalities. Wonder why???