Monday, March 03, 2008

Same Old, Same Mold

The boondoggle that ate Greenwich, laughingly known as the Hamilton Avenue "building" project, is reaching new heights - or is it depths? - of depravity. The latest news is that the modular buildings are infested with mold. Since mold was one of the purported reasons (accounts of its factuality differ) for closing and renovating the old building, it is ironic but totally in keeping with the project's horrendous karma that mold is once again driving the students from their classrooms.

So far none of the local media have mentioned - if they even know - that these modular units were originally intended to be leased by the Town. But the Board of Education, in its infinite wisdom (yes, folks, the same board that brought you the Larry Leverett follies and the Betty Sternberg non-stop train wreck), persuaded the Town Fathers to buy the suckers instead. So now we're stuck with millions of dollars' worth of useless mold-infested junk. Just to get rid of them will cost us all hundreds of thousands more.

In any other community, heads would have rolled long before now. In Greenwich, of course, the taxpayers are the ones being rolled.

The unspeakable Betty Sternberg has given the Ham Ave students a week off while she and her lapdog Board of Ed try to do damage control. What does this mean for the working parents of the Ham Ave community, dear reader? Disruption, unexpected day care costs, and the knowledge that unlike all the other kids in Town, theirs will not be allowed to take the Connecticut Mastery tests this week. As always, it seems, the victims will be paying the price for Betty and the Board's sheer and utter incompetence.

There is little doubt around Town that the Ham Ave "building" project is the most notorious disaster in our community's history. Inept planning, lack of oversight, huge overruns in costs and enormous delays - it's a blueprint of how to do everything wrong. But Betty and the Board of Ed roll on as before, oblivious and clueless about every aspect of running a school system.

Greenwich used to have one of the best school systems in the state, if not the country. It wasn't broke, so the Board of Ed decided to fix it. They hired Leverett, and then Sternberg, to oversee the wholesale multilation of a once-fine program with their ignorance and incompetence. And, of course, they will want us, the taxpayers, to come up with the money to pay for their blunders, even as they continue to ask for more money to add more positions to an already top-heavy bureaucratic empire.

Is it time for a taxpayer revolt? Should we sack all the feckless administrators and give their salaries to the teachers instead? Well, why not? The teachers are the ones who get the job done, while the administrators sit around all day throwing roadblocks in their way and digging ever-deeper financial holes for the Town. Who needs them?

Small wonder that a group of Ham Ave parents and students were picketing the Board of Ed building this morning. The general message was shame on Betty and shame on the Board of Ed. In your scribe's opinion, that about sums it up.


Blogger Anonymous Bob said...



Notice is hereby given of an Emergency Meeting of the Greenwich Board of Education, to be held on Monday, March 3, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. in the Auditorium, Greenwich High School, 10 Hillside Drive, Greenwich, Connecticut.

The purpose of the meeting is for discussion and possible action on Hamilton Avenue School.
Dr. Betty J. Sternberg
Superintendent of Schools


March 03, 2008 10:07 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

Hi, Bob!

Yes, they're scrambling to cover their collective fannies. Can you say, "too little, too late"? How much more money will we be asked to pony up for whatever "emergency" fix they come up with?

March 04, 2008 11:18 AM  
Blogger Leigh Russell said...

Good to hear from you - not sure if my last entry got through so here goes again.
We have mould in our classrooms too! Is this the vanguard of an invasion of mould attacking the education systems of the whole planet (like triffids...)??

March 06, 2008 2:45 PM  
Blogger Bill Clark said...

OMG, Leigh, this is just too spooky for words!!

I have just spent the last hour or so trying to figure out how to get in touch with you, and lo! a comment appears. Can minds meld across the Atlantic Ocean? Apparently so.

Please send me your email address in a follow-up comment - since I moderate comments, it will NOT appear here for all and sundry to read.

Wait till you hear the story of what I've been up to this past hour - you will be as astounded as I am. I wasn't quite ready to ring up Scotland Yard, but damn near close. You will get a huge laugh when you see the email I was only seconds away from sending...!

March 06, 2008 3:08 PM  

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