Monday, April 28, 2003

Legal Inquiry

Dear Hockey Saga Diary,

My big responsibility today was a 1:00 meeting at the CAB with Bob Mars and his committee to discuss what to do to replace Mary Kearny, who is leaving her job as Human Resources Director. After the last Director left we didn't have anyone in the position for months and Julio did all the supervision. As Kearny said, 85% of our spending is people related and if you aren't treating them right to begin with you will expend a lot of effort afterwards to pick up the pieces. Hmmm. Sounds vaguely familiar!

We started with an even more pressing and unwelcome vacancy. Julio called me Friday or Saturday to tell me that Greg Heins will almost certainly be offered a job at the North St. Paul/Maplewood School District. What a loss! Greg was so bright and modest everyone trusted his figures. Over the six years he's been with us he's found more ways to make money and save it than I could believe. That was very helpful since our revenue has been shrinking as the enrollment declines. 

Not surprisingly when we finished our meeting with a brief discussion on Mike Randolph. I gave a letter to Bob Mars requesting that our lawyers advise us whether we could give Mike Randolph reasons for our decision without simply giving him the right to sue us for defamation. We don't need unnecessary litigation. 

I wanted to post it right away on my website but Julio cautioned me to wait until our lawyers authorized it. I reluctantly agreed not to but there's not much in the letter that I haven't already told a dozen people who've contacted me about this.

Bob asked several times if the Administration could back up their decision with documents if pressed on the point. He wanted to know if things were "air tight." Like me, he's worried that if this becomes public we could get into trouble. From what I understand the contract protects us as long as we keep our mouths shut. Too bad the public can't appreciate this.

Jon Nowacki a reporter from the Trib sent me an email asking what the procedures would be for Mike to address the School Board. I gave him some idea of the likely scenarios that could play out. I haven't been to an agenda setting session since I was Chair briefly four years ago and gave him some misinformation. I was off by a week. Agenda setting takes place after the SB committees have met not the week before they meet. 

There were more stories on the tube about this tonight. A lot of people think we've given him the bum rush. I'm not so sure that it isn't the other way around. I've been thinking back on my experience with Mike. For the last year-and-a-half Mike has called me and encouraged me to keep pressing to close a high school. He told me that they were getting so small that it was really hard to field a hockey team. I took him at his word and was grateful that someone was supporting my position. I even joked with Bruce Watkins last year about how, if I had the hockey people on my side, I was sure two high schools could get traction. 

Now I'm hearing about all these poor kids who get cut in their senior year. I guess that there have always been plenty of kids available for our hockey teams even with three high schools. It seems as if Mike may have been more concerned with being able to field more "Division One" hockey players than just run-of-the-mill players. Well, as they say, "winning isn't everything, its the only thing!" I hate to think I got suckered with  a little flattery. 

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