I can still hear them yelling that when I was a kid attending baseball games at Wrigley Field. The scorecards were 11×17 heavy paper folded in half to make 4 pages. In the bleachers, fans would attach a pencil to the scorecards and drop them over the wall on a long piece of string for the visiting outfielders to sign, which many of them did.

These days, taxpayers are witnessing the departure of another senior administration official, Paul Reed, who will be the sixth to leave in two years. Reed is the guy who is being paid not to retire, but he’s retiring anyway.

This is terrible news because we all know, because the experts on the school board club believe, that Reed is the only person on the planet who can do this job well.

Reed’s departure makes the administration and school board club officially guilty of high turnover, which almost always means that there is a problem at the top. All of the people who are gone or are leaving are/were pulling down some serious coin so get them to leave, or to have them do something to get fired, means that the leadership is poor.

Chuck Hinman, John Caldecott, Susan Astarita, Paul Reed, Ann Huntington, and Laura Boss – all gone or leaving. Did I miss anyone? You can’t tell the players without a scorecard.

And speaking of Laura Boss and Ann Huntington, their lawsuit against the district is in the next phase, with depositions by Boss and Huntington being given this week. Although he was not compelled or required to attend the depositions, Supt. Frederick Navarro skipped the most important school board club meeting of the year to attend at least one of the depositions. That’s the “district business” referred to by Reed at the school board club meeting on Tuesday.

The school board club meeting on Tuesday was not just a meeting about union contracts and Swun math, this was the budget meeting, too. That’s a biggie.

So here’s what: He was not required to attend the depositions but taxpayers paid for him to be there. And if that weren’t bad enough, the reason he chose to skip the meeting was over something that never should have happened in the first place… Two highly respected employees are claiming – in short – that Navarro created a hostile work environment. This supports what ex-HR guru John Caldecott said as well. So, that’s three respected former employees who are accusing Navarro of mistreatment.

Did Navarro stayed overnight to attend the next deposition the next day? If so, are taxpayers paying for his room and meals?

Attending the deposition(s) is not “district business” as described by Reed on Tuesday, it is district incompetence and ultimately the responsibility for this mess lies with the school board club. The school board club failed to investigate Caldecott’s claims when they had a chance and failed to query Boss and Huntington, all of which has led to the Boss/Huntington lawsuit and the failed legal fight to prevent the release of documents supporting Caldecott’s claims.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars down a legal rat hole, all because the school board club chose to sit on its hands instead of showing leadership. And it’s not over yet.

Here’s my tally of mismanagment in the Navarro era:

  • John Caldecott document suit – hundreds of thousands in legal fees
  • Boss/Huntington lawsuit
  • Swun Math
  • Delayed contract negotiatons
  • Crumbs thrown to district employees while the top brass get top dollar and raises
  • 80′ poles at Estancia that went up without surveying homeowners and came down after homeowner protests, all to protect solar panels that should not have been placed in that section in the first place
  • Poor field management for local youth sports
  • Gold Ribbon application “untruths” (or “lies,” according to the OC Register) and BTW – where’s the report from the investigation???
  • CdM cheating scandal
  • Broken promise on fencing at Adams El
  • Doubling of bus fees to make up for years of millions of dollars of red ink
  • Banning Ranch survey conflict of interest
  • Paying the Deputy Supt. not to retire
  • Dump Trump t-shirt policy inconsistency
  • Prom draft controversy
  • Poor handling of the development of stadiums at CdM and CM High Schools
  • Rodent infestation at CM High
  • Leaking roofs during air conditioning installation resulting in closure of classrooms at three schools

All of this has happened on his watch in a span of about four years. There’s probably some more but this is all that comes to mind right now.

Oh yeah, I just remembered one for the school board: Giving the superintendent a raise and contract extension next month despite the above list.

Steve Smith