A. CGCC- Dr. Carl Armour - January 20, 2015
B. RESA 7- Dr. William Simmons
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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~
If there was any doubt that Williamson and Shriver gets preferential treatment for school building work in Gilmer County listen to the video.
W&S was paid a huge sum of money to provide professional guidance with developing the County’s facilities plan for our schools.
What happened next included the false start on the auction barn site, the failed Cedar Creek project, and what led to the State’s decision to construct the new school along the river.
S&W will receive more money for construction of that new school.
Mr. Devono said that there was a requirement in the facilities plan to hire S&W for all work in the County and that if the firm was not hired, State money for a new 750K heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system at the GCHS must be returned to the State.
Wasn’t S&W in a severe conflict of interest in getting named in the facilities plan it had worked on to be designated as the recipient of all the County’s future work related to schools?
Let us hope that our WV Legislatures are monitoring this one.
By Corruption? on 03.12.2015
Gilmer County, misuse of funds has been the pattern in all intervened counties.
This is true for building schools, purchase of land for schools, hiring firms, and buying electronics equipment, and other goods and services
Remember that superintendents sent in to seize power after intervention carry out orders of Mrs. Manchin’s group and that is why they were chosen for their cushy jobs.
By Suprised? on 03.12.2015
Thank you Dr. Armour for standing up for Gilmer’s children, citizens, and your own board of education.
You have been silent far too long. You show clearly you understand the situation.
You know what the Manchin machine has, and is doing to the West Virginia school system, and Gilmer as well.
You well know and are aware how information is purposefully kept from view by the state appointed superintendents.
You know that financial information is kept as secret as possible.
You know that mr. Devano purposely tried to badger you. mr. Devano wanted to take his ball and go home in this meeting.
Very childish mr. Devano accusing you of playing to the camera. mr. Devano of all people is over the top guilty of that?
mr. Devano clearly displayed his frustration for all. Is this frustration caused by his handlers direct or indirect actions or expectations? When people are less than truthful, honest, and transparent, they know well they are on the wrong side of every issue. Body language clearly shows.
By bravo! on 03.12.2015
In my county our superintendent serves as the secretary for meetings, he does not force himself into proceedings, and he makes himself available to respond to questions.
When asked questions he does not skirt them and if he does not know answers he admits it, but he promises to get answers soon as possible.
Another observation. Our superintendent does not fear questions and he never makes personal attacks against any board member who asks them.
Is is a known fact that the heavy handed treatment in Gilmer County and other intervened counties played into the widespread anger against the WVDOE and its Common Core plans.
By Order Please on 03.12.2015
Ever been to a county fair where they had a “greased pig catch”?
Well, Carl Armor caught the pig and made him squeal! lmbo From 3 tables away!
Way to go Carl.
We are waiting for the remaining 7 points of law to be brought out at the next school board meeting.
Best meeting to date. Hope you board members continue to stand up for our community!
By reader on 03.12.2015
If this state use of the firm W & S is true, why isn’t the Legislature or A.G. Morrisey looking in to it? Sounds illegal.
By Clowser on 03.12.2015
Has anyone wondered if intervention is a way the mob has used to infiltrate in WV to get its hands on easy money?
By Dig Deeper on 03.12.2015
to dig deeper ~ One board member has stated to many people, many times, insinuating that the mafia is out to get him and other board members.
By ask Bill on 03.12.2015
Mrs. Hurley had every right to ask the man in delegation a question for clarification purposes!Every Board member does. Each time she or Armour spoke the Superintendent interrupted and they were forced to speak over him to finish their point. It is not a Superintendent’s meeting it’s a Board meeting.
Every law on the books ignored over and over again spitting in the public eye so to speak. Strange Mr Simmons is so upset about his travel but only gave one full year of statistics? What happened before 2014 with 2015 isn’t finished yet. Never read a comment accusing him of anything but being greedy. How can he sit there in good conscience saying those no bid contracts with architects are the way things are done? Is this what happened at GSC?
No wonder the State BOE doesn’t want to know what happens in intervention counties.
By Mtown on 03.12.2015
This Board of Education didn’t get anything back! Notallowed to express an opinion or get any information without a struggle every time. No more excess levy as long as this county is under State intervention!
By Rosedale on 03.12.2015
This guy named Hardman, requesting the Masonic cornerstone for the school.
He should be turned down flat.
Very rude, arrogant and inconsiderate how he stood in front of the camera.
Poor, very poor representative of the Masonic Order.
By reader3 on 03.13.2015
Total unprofessional display by both board president and superintendent. Not much else to be said.
By GFP reader on 03.13.2015
I bet money that the school board was insulted by the Masons because it is well known that it was stripped of all authority to have any say about the Hays City school or anything else of importance.
The Masons rubbed salt into the festering wound by requesting permission for the cornerstone!
If you want to do the right thing, Masons, you should apologize to the board and the rest of Gilmer County.
Isn’t it true that Masons are supposed to avoid things of controversy as fraternity policy?
By Disappointed In Behavior on 03.13.2015
It amazed people that the Masons endorsed the Hays City project which is at a risky site for our children.
By D. Reed on 03.13.2015
High Prince William of Gilmer BOE is stooping to new lows. He is apparently now spreading rumors to try and get members of the BOE fighting among themselves. This is so petty for someone that considers themselves above the rest of us. Bill has become a tragic figure here in the county. He is pretty much universally disliked here in Center District after he pretended to be on our side, and then double crossed us. In reality he just wanted to rub shoulders with the big shots. To be honest, my neighbors that aren’t cursing him are laughing at him. If he thinks the people in Charleston respect him, he is dreaming. He is nothing but a pawn for them, and I’m sure they are laughing at him too. He just keeps on spending thousands of our tax dollars for travel expenses to run back and forth to Charleston. He will be remembered here for years to come. Not for the good he did, but for the harm he did to the children of the county. Resign Bill. You’re looking like the petty, old fool.
By Burnt Weiney on 03.13.2015
The videos are giving citizens a good lesson on how the State operates.
When your local board changes something to give Mr. Devono more authority he never protests, but when something comes up he does not like he bellows about policy.
Did he not say on the video that the policy is that a delegation speaker was restricted to three minutes?
The delegation from the Masons was allowed six minutes and Mr. Devono did not protest.
What we get from watching videos is that the State uses policy selectively to play by double standards.
That message is getting out loud and clear to West Virginians everywhere.
By Mit Benson on 03.14.2015
So delegation finally moved to beginning of meeting. Good.
What is with Devano approving a field trip after the January meeting before the February meeting?
It was settled at the January meeting he would only approve field trips on an emergency basis. Watch the video. So prior to the February meeting, he approves a MAY field trip???
See how these Manchin Capitol Chums run over our board!!!
Nothing “emergency” about that.
Gilmer County you just sit and take it?
By Reed & B.Weiney got it right on 03.16.2015
There is no Gilmer County Board of Education as long as the WV BOE keeps them under intervention. The fact that this board President supports forced consolidation, state control of schools, suppression of information from fellow members as well as the public and shows no care for the plight of the children it all effects makes it more evident every day that Burnt W is right.
By Just Plain Folk on 03.17.2015
Normantowners hear that the high school got 200 new computers and they were approved by the Board after Mr. Devono had already put bids out for them so it was his done deal for rubber stamping.
We are not against the high school’s teachers who wanted the computers, but what about teachers in the other schools? Our teachers were not asked to send in their wish lists and we assume that the same is true for the other schools.
When there is surplus money to be spent on children all teachers should be given a chance to give ideas so the best one to select to do the most overall good would rise to the top.
What happened with the computers is another example of how business is done in the County. The power is in the center of Glenville, and people outside there don’t count.
No one is automatically against new computers, but we need a 5th grade teacher at Normantown and the State won’t do anything about that.
The computer decision is one more example of—-if you are not from Glenville proper, you are voiceless. Just like the situation for the Cedar Creek school that fell through and the Hays City school taking its place.
It would be interesting to track the money flow for the new computers. We hear that Mr. Ramezan did not get to bid on them so a wired in business must be getting the money.
By Normantown Doesn't Count on 03.18.2015
Teachers were given IPODS, some students got Kindles which you would think would go to elementaries. Who knows who got what but did Blankenship buy more than a few laptops? We hear the High School doesn’t have enough for students to take tests and classes at the same time. They shouldn’t suffer because the state is keeping information from the tax payers. The State Department of Education and WV Board of Education have a lot to answer for. When will the Legislature hold them accountable?
By No More Excess Levy on 03.18.2015
Nobody knows for sure what equipment we have, where it is, how much of it works, and how many employees there are in classrooms who do not know how to use what we have.
With that in mind how can anyone rationalize that the highest spending priority is to purchase 200 or more computers for the high school?
What happened to Gilmer County’s common sense, people?
Looks like the State’s method is to shovel out money with little thought going into what is the highest priority for doing what is best for all our children.
Our school board has some serious explaining to do.
We can’t expect to hear anything from the State. We never do because it always does as it pleases with total disregard for local people.
By Gilmer School System Employee on 03.18.2015
Devono’s new computer deal smells. Part of the evidence is that Mr. Ramezan was not permitted to bid.
How does that square with claims that local economic development is on the high burner in Gilmer County?
Was Devono concerned that Mr. Ramezan being a small operation might outbid the State’s buddies with their higher business overheads?
What happened to the West Virginia tradition to always try to take care of your own by at least giving them a fair chance?
The suspicion is that because the Gilmer Free Press is the only news outlet with guts to get facts out to the people about what is happening with intervention, the State punished Mr. Ramezan.
Another thing. Devono claims that when new schools are build they will be equipped with the very latest computers and everything else.
Has anyone thought what will be done with all that existing equipment in the vacated schools? Couldn’t it be transferred to the HS?
I will tell you what will happen. Furniture and everything else will be sold at pennies on the dollar to someone with lots of money who will sell it at a huge profit. That deal has probably been cut already.
By Fairness Left Gilmer County on 03.19.2015
No we can’t expect to hear anything from the State and neither can our Board of Education. To understand any needs at all they have to listen to what the Teachers are saying. It’s the best and only reliable source of information the Board has access to. When it comes to money it has to be spent on what it’s budgeted for. Federal dollars go for specific purposes. Even the State can’t get around that. Blame who you will but the State’s in charge. Ask Fayette County who is forcing them to spend the money for a special election to run a 66 million dollar bond supporting forced consolidation that will likely fail.Ask what that will do to their budget. Ask MIngo who forced them in the red. Ask Calhoun how they got there with the state helping them not to get taken over. Ask Logan what state intervention has done for them.
By Reason on 03.19.2015
Well said and exactly on point. The truth is finally starting to see the light of day. Why wouldn’t A local company have an opportunity to bid????
By Not fair on 03.19.2015
The computer decision for Mrs. Butcher’s high school has people hopping mad.
Ask employees in the school system what they don’t like about Fridays.
They will say that they know that some kids dropped off on Fridays will be hungry until they get back to school on Mondays.
How will purchasing more computers for the high school help those hungry kids?
The State does not have to report to anyone so it can shovel out money with no regard being shown for spending on what should count the most.
By R. Mosley on 03.19.2015
Mosley, they should have been hopping mad when Ronald Blankenship had the free lunch program taken out of the High School.Should have been to his office letting him know.
By Nobody Said a Word on 03.19.2015
Economic development in Gilmer County is code talk for ensuring that the same wealthy people continue to get the bulk of the money.
In a normal place champions of economic development would lodge a protest against the State for a highly qualified local business being denied a chance to bid on the computers.
Fat chance of that happening here.
By Sandy on 03.19.2015
One of the best developments for the County’s healing with all it has gone through with intervention would be to get a fresh set of administrators at the high school.
Without leveling any criticisms or saying anything negative the ones there could be promoted out or reassigned to other jobs.
There is a season for everything and there is one now for new faces at the high school.
By Time For Change on 03.21.2015
Mr. Gabriel Devono takes his orders from Mr. Charles Heinlein in Charleston.
Gilmer County is entitled to a full report from Charleston to give us complete details on what the State has accomplished during intervention.
Are we any better off now with finances, and what are all the other before and after details?
When members on Gilmer’s board are asked those questions, we hear that all the information has been kept secret from them.
Another question. What is the State’s schedule for withdrawal? Mr. Devono says that all the County’s deficiencies have been fixed.
Mr. Heinlein, Sir, would you come to Gilmer County to brief the public? If you can’t what about a visit from Dr. Martirano, Mrs. Manchin or another authority.
This request for detailed information does not seem to be an unreasonable request to make to the State.
With intervention completing its 4th year the State has had ample time to assemble the requested information.
By Gilmer County Deserves Respect on 03.21.2015
This is for Mr. Charles Heinlein, Dr. Martirano, and Mrs. Manchin.
How much reserve money did Gilmer County have at intervention time, how much was spent by the State, and what is the full accounting record for what it was spent on?
It was Gilmer County’s money to begin with so taxpayers have the right to know the facts. What happened was a form of taxation without representation.
How many West Virginians know that when intervention occurs the WVBOE seizes a county’s school system money, it spends it at will without any local oversight, and a complete accounting record is not provided to citizens.
By WVBOE Where Did The Money Go? on 03.21.2015
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