Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Deeper Pockets?

Amherst Regional High School

I was a little surprised last week while perusing the town attorney "litigation update" to the Amherst Select Board at the half-way mark to the fiscal year, which ends July 1st.

A pleasant surprise was the number of litigation's and billable hours cost so far are pretty low. In Amherst when you lose a political fight before a board, committee, or Town Meeting the standard response is to "bring in the lawyers."

The town being named the main culprit in Carolyn Gardner's discrimination lawsuit, however, was an unpleasant surprise. I asked why and was told the town is on the hook because she taught a summer math course for the elementary schools, which come under town jurisdiction rather than the Region (Middle and High School), which is a totally separate legal entity.

Carolyn Gardner MCAD complaint names town first

Because a part-time summer job can't possibly entail the same responsibilities as her full-time job at the Amherst Regional High School, and since no incidents of discrimination are alleged to have occurred during that part-time summer job, it sounds like a stretch to me.

 But then, I'm not a lawyer.

Another unpleasant surprise is the town's insurance will not cover this kerfuffle, meaning both the billable hours for the town attorney or the payoff, err, I mean "settlement" to make the lawsuit go away.

Maybe her lawyers think the town, with its sterling bond rating, is a better target for a bigger payoff.  Since Amherst pays over 80% of the Region's budget maybe not such a big distinction.

Another MCAD complaint, more directly related to the elementary schools and therefor the town, also came as news to me.

Last year when it seems the Amherst schools were in a lockdown-a-day mode of operation, a Crocker Farm employee panicked when someone returned to the elementary school searching for a lost umbrella without signing in.

Now that Mr. Ortiz is running a write-in campaign for Amherst School Committee, perhaps we will hear more.

Although, probably not the best campaign platform.


Walter Graff said...

Mr Ortiz is a first class person and did not deserve the treatment he received. Gardner is a loser trying to cash in but Victor deserves justice. Let's hope he makes it to the School committee. He will be a rebel in a system that is status quo and I hope he shakes it at the foundation. Victor cares deeply about the children. Go Victor!!!!

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one wondering how you have pending litigation against an entity you want to be a committee member of? "Irony for all" is his campaign slogan?

If the school committee had any power whatsoever; I'm sure Mr. Ortiz would "shake it at the foundation" but alas there isn't much power..... can vote to hire the super but doesn't hold much sway outside of that.

Anonymous said...

I think the fact that she is sueing the town and not the schools shows her true colors and motivation. Another fine role molded for our youth

Dr. Ed said...

Larry -- Catherine Gardner is alleging GENDER discrimination?!?!?

I thought the issue was RACIAL discrimination? So how did we go from there to gender/sex discrimination>

That deserves looking into.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn Gardner has two law suits going. She sued the school for $500K for racial discrimination. She is also suing the town for gender discrimination.
Do we really want someone on the SC who supports paying this woman $500K. For what? The schools are slashing their budgets and Vira wants to pay $500K to this woman who never met a law suit she didn't like?
Further, do we want to elect a man who is frivolously also suing the town and schools? These two people don't give a hoot about our schools or our students. I will be hard pressed to keep my kids in the schools if these two are elected.

Anonymous said...

The town is paying this woman whether you like it or not. It's good to be black if you want to pull the race card as courts give in.