G-LtE™: Not a Popularity Contest - We Must Respect Each Other
Dear Gilmer County Citizens,
I have never been as involved in any political campaign and election season as I have been on both a national and local level as I have been with Election 2016. As I have quietly observed the “political turmoil” unfold the vast amount of candidate disrespect that takes place from all offices is shameful. I was raised in this county and MANY MANY years ago I was proud to be able to call it home. This county has changed drastically and that is not something that has happened in the last 4 years.
I believe that every individual running for office should have an equal opportunity to do so. I also believe that every citizen of the county has the right to be fully informed of the truth. Those individuals that seek out the truth deserve to know it. I give kudos to The Gilmer Free Press for providing well researched information. I have seen posts on social media of citizens expressing their dislike for specific candidate(s), though this may not be viewed in an appropriate fashion to some at least they are speaking up. Contrary to a candidate’s recent Facebook post claiming childish lies about own-self on Facebook, these individuals are speaking the truth. Dislike how they are getting their point across if you would like but don’t bury your head in the sand over the truth. It is so scary to think that our county does not care about the things that are so important in this world anymore. We need honesty. We need integrity. We need respect.
I am not saying such a person is not a good person, personally. I do not know the person, but I am saying I have taken enough time to know that this person has not been forth right and up front about the tasks he performed while he held the position of a Gilmer County as an Elected Official several years ago. This person may make a good friend. This person may have done a terrific other jobs, but this person did NOT however follow the codes established by the ethics committee on the expenditures of public funds. Please keep in mind that this is not a rumor. It is a fact and can be verified in the courthouse. This person began this campaign by disrespecting the opponent(s) and by being dishonest and to me that is not a representation of a good and honest person.
I hope that people in this county want a person in office to do the job this person is running for and not just looking for someone to be a yes person and say the fluffy words that they want to hear. Check the verifiable facts at the courthouse.
Start voting today and stop in the courthouse just like I did if you have questions about what is and is not true. This is not a contest on slander and disrespect this is an attempt to maintain progress in the county.
Gilmer County High School Junior Tyler Moore received a $1,000 Carson Scholarship from the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Carson Scholars Fund on Sunday, April 17 at luncheon held at Heinz Field.
Tyler was selected as a 2016 Carson Scholar, a competitive national scholarship for students established by Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson over 20 years ago.
Dr. Carson was the keynote speaker for the event, and assisted by his wife, congratulated each student. Dr. Carson focused on the theme of “THINK BIG” which touched on talent, hope & honesty, insight, nice to all people, knowledge, books, in-depth learning, and God. Dr. Carson emphasized how using the acrostic, THINK BIG, could help a student evaluate and respond to problems in order to overcome them and make the most of their inner potential. Dr. Carson’s ultimate goal is to have a Carson scholar from every school, in every state, going to college. Tyler is the only Carson Scholar selected from West Virginia.
“I am humbled and grateful to have been chosen as a Carson scholar,“ said Moore. “I admire Dr. and Mrs. Carson’s devotion to bettering the lives of so many young people. They are great examples to follow. I will remember Dr. Carson’s formula for personal success, THINK BIG, to overcome obstacles, and I will always look back on this opportunity with a thankful heart.“
There were 89 new scholars and 192 recognized renewed scholars at the event. The Carson Scholars Fund has awarded more than $7.3 million in scholarships to over 2000 students in multiple years. Tyler is the son of Brian and Lisa Moore of Glenville, and when he graduates from GCHS, he plans to pursue a career in the healthcare field.
In compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments, the Gilmer County Public Service District is providing its customers with this annual water quality report. This report explains where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to standards set by regulatory agencies. The information in this report shows the results of our monitoring for the period of January 1st to December 31st, 2015 or earlier if not on a yearly schedule.
If you have any questions concerning this report, you may contact John Moore, General Manager at 304.462.4272. If you have any further questions, comments or suggestions, please attend our regularly scheduled board meetings on the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:00 pm at the 232 West Main Street, Glenville, WV. We want our valued customers to be fully informed about their water system.
Where does my water come from?
Your water is purchased from Glenville Utility which uses a surface water source known as the Little Kanawha River.
Source Water Assessment?
A Source Water Assessment was conducted in 2003 by the WVBPH. The intake that supplies drinking water to Glenville Utility has a higher susceptibility to contamination due to the sensitive nature of surface water supplies and the potential contaminant sources identified within the area. This does not mean that this intake will become contaminated, only that conditions are such that the surface water could be impacted by a potential contaminant source. Any future contamination may be avoided by implementing protective measures. The source water assessment report which contains more information is available for review or a copy will be provided to you at our office building during business hours or from the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health (WVBPH) at 304.558.2981.
Why must water be treated?
All drinking water contains various amounts and kinds of contaminants. Federal and state regulations establish limits, controls, and treatment practices to minimize these contaminants and to reduce any subsequent health effects.
Contaminants in Water
In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. FDA regulations establish limits of contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health. Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of these contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800.426.4791) or at www.epa.gov/safewater/lead. The source of drinking water (both tap and bottled water) includes rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals, and, in some cases radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.
Dr. Martirano, Mr. Green, and Dr. Daniel
Why Tolerate Continuing WVDOE Abuses of Gilmer County?
When school system intervention occurs the underpinnings of a democracy are destroyed to allow the WVDOE and the WVBOE to seize absolute power.
Control is accompanied by embargoing a County’s money and spending it at will to include exercising unilateral dictatorial power to obligate a County into long term debt.
Nullifying the U. S. Constitution’s guarantee of due process by preventing a school board from using public money for legal counsel and use of the legal system while the State authorizes itself to use the money for legal assistance.
Neutralizing the elected school board to make it inoperable while applying divide and conquer techniques to sabotage solidarity among its elected members.
Censorship to control access to information and to use it selectively to shield the State from anything negative to fulfill public opinion manipulation motives.
Voiding of local level checks and balances by including only the ruling class in decision-making with bogus claims that a community’s cross section is involved to determine a school system’s future.
Allowing misinformation to be disseminated to contribute to mass confusion and disarray as a strategy to impede common citizens from banding together against the State’s repression.
Awarding no-bid contracts to favored businesses instead of spending public money wisely as a responsible State agency would do to maximize benefits for children.
Avoiding transparency intentionally to allow the State to conduct its business secretly which typifies tactics of a dictatorial junta.
Fueling fears that those who speak out against the State will be punished through reprisals against their children, loss of jobs, inability to get jobs, and other intimidations.
Regarding censorship in Gilmer County, one approach is careful sanitizing of school board meeting minutes to avoid entry of everything unflattering to the State.
For examples, what got into minutes regarding botches at the Linn School, problems at Crooked Run before that costly project was abandoned, building the new consolidated school in a flood plain, information about the candle wick incident at Normantown that morphed into a few paper towels strewn on the floor, thievery at Troy Elementary, the school board’s persistent and ignored pleas for information related to school system finances, personnel and other areas of important concern, failure to disclose net annual costs of the Minnie Hamilton move and costs associated with renovating the facility for move-in condition, grievances filed against the school board, concerns about truancy as reported in the Gazette-Mail, and many other concerns including the County’s school system being on a fund watch by Charleston? A fund watch is serious because it is an official warning from the WVDOE that there is danger of deficit spending by a school system.
The most recent issue involved refusal of the State to accept that Gilmer County’s school board passed a motion in March 2016 to require thorough meeting minutes to be kept for the public record. Enhanced transparency and accountability were the board’s intent.
What happened? At the April 2016 the State denied that the March motion was made and passed! The fact that proceedings of the March meeting were videotaped by the Free Press made no difference as did presence of witnesses. Also, the fact that the State had taped proceeding of the March meeting was ignored. Dr. Cindy Daniel the Deputy State Superintendent of Schools attended the meeting as an observer.
Gilmer County has suffered enough from the State’s five long years of repression. A special appeal is made to Dr. Cynthia Daniel and Dr. Michael Martirano, her supervisor, and to Mr. Michael Green who heads the WVBOE, to end the County’s maltreatment by restoring democratic processes.
Government power in a democracy must be moderated by inviolate guarantees that it does not abuse its people. That basic principle of government for the people was a bedrock premise of America’s founding fathers. The State nullified that sacred right in Gilmer County when our school system was intervened.
Lord Acton said “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” His maxim applies perfectly to intervention abuses imposed on the County by the State’s WVDOE and the WVBOE.
What should be done to combat the State’s latest abuse? One choice would be to file a formal WV Ethics Commission complaint followed by using the Internet and social media to flood WV with alerts about the action. Prior to filing with the Ethics Commission the State could be given one week to reverse its arbitrary and capricious decision.
The serious violation of basic democratic principles by the State’s denial of a legal motion for better meeting minutes for the official public record calls attention to recent information on the Internet. Dr. Cindy Daniel was credited with staunch advocacy for honesty, full access to information, and transparency.
We will soon know what Dr. Daniel, Dr. Martirano, and Mr. Green will do about this latest example of dictatorial abuse related to meeting minutes. Inaction would suggest their collective approval of the County’s continuing flagrant treatment or that they are not empowered to make necessary corrections.
This example of ignoring democratic principles by refusing to accept a legally passed motion to improve meeting minutes is symptomatic of dictatorship by the WVBOE and the WVDOE.
The reason for the State’s repressive action is simple. It does not want an official paper trail to contain anything it did wrong.
When censorship of this degree occurs democracy as we knew it is dead and State government is broken beyond repair.
Martirano, Daniel, and Green are fully informed of how Gilmer County is treated with intervention and their failure to stop it proves failed leadership from the top.
The right thing would be for the three of them to resign, but they won’t because they are on the State’s gravy train.
If an ethics complaint is made the defendants should be Daniel,Green,and Martirano because they are responsible for the mismanagement in the County.
By File Ethics Complaint Against Martirano, Daniel, a on 04.18.2016
What did the County’s school board do when the State denied that a legal meeting minutes motion had passed?
Did they stand up for the County or did they sit there in fear to remain silent?
What did BS do? Did he support the Board or the State?
We need elected officials on the school board with personal courage and resolve to stand up for what is right.
Being docile and submissive always plays into dictator’s hands.
The last has not been heard of this latest example of the State’s blatant abuse of power.
By Where Was The Board? on 04.18.2016
Everyone knows there are only two Board members who have asked for accountability and transparency over and over. Armour and Hurley.We can count on it.
By The Public Knows on 04.18.2016
This failure of the state school system rests on the shoulders of Governor Tomblin.
The continued failure rests on the shoulders of our state legislature.
The Governor has the ability to ask for resignations, just the same as his ability to make appointments to the state board of education.
Wade Linger stated to the effect that the firing of state superintendent Jorea Marple, was because the board of education wanted to change direction.
Many would say that it was to maintain the status quo. It has, hasn’t it?
Do we see any upward movement since the arrival of Martirano?
Do we see any upward movement with the appointments of the last 4 board members?
Sad to say, but this editorial is heartbreaking accurate.
By Failed Governor - Failed Legislature on 04.18.2016
This posting about the disallowed school board motion is the last straw to prove the WVBOE’s true colors.
All its members should be ashamed of themselves by permitting gross abuses of power to occur.
Not only is it an insult to West Virginians in general it is a much worse insult to those who served honorably in the U. S. military and those who continue serving.
The warriors thought that they were protecting democracy at home. Sadly, democracy does not exist anymore in WV. As proof State government is broken from top to bottom.
Do you suppose that is why we rank at the bottom for too many indicators of the well being of our people? Officials in high places in WV watch out for themselves instead of the public.
Governor Tomblin and the WV Legislature are up to their ears in Gilmer County’s school mess.
If they had the courage they could help the County by ending the WVBOE’s abuse of power.
Why not demanding resignations of all the WVBOE’s members to start afresh to install officials who will focus on getting the State’s children out of poverty?
No question about the Constitutional authority the WVBOE has over schools because of WV Supreme Court rulings.
That authority does not convey the legal right to freely engage in abuses of power and unethical conduct against WV’s school systems!
By Charleston Insider on 04.18.2016
We have all seen the old pictures of the one room schools.
You can tell there were a lot of poor people of that era.
Well, those poor people went on to build the greatest society the planet has known.
How? It was education. Plain and simple.
To blame poverty, is the classic concocted excuse by the educational system. Inexcusable attempt to shine the spotlight of their failed attempt to rewrite the education standards that gave great results.
The West Virginia Board of Education continues to point fingers at every possibility where they can to direct attention away from themselves.
WVBOE needs to stand in front of a mirror and really see who is the blame for WV being 46th in education. Yes, 46th, with only 3 to go and they will have WV at dead last. 50th.
AUDIT DONE FOR PROGRESS TOWARD REGAINING LOCAL CONTROL OF GILMER’S SCHOOLS
A team from the WV Office of Education Performance Audits (OEPA) audited progress toward restoring local control of the County’s school system. The audit was performed under the direction of Ms. Susan O’Brien who administers the OEPA.
Individuals interviewed for the audit included the five members of the County’s school board, central office employees, school principals, and Dr. Cynthia Daniel, the deputy superintendent of WV’s schools. Also, official documents and various types of other information were reviewed by the audit team.
The intent of the audit was to assemble facts to submit to the WV State Board of Education presided over by Mr. Michael Green. Ms. O’Brien will present the OEPA’s report to the State Board on April 13, 2016 with the recommendation that it be accepted.
There is no advance indication of what the State Board will do with the OEPA’s report. The belief is that it will use the information in deciding what to do next to restore local control of our school system. Nothing positive will be gained by anyone by focusing time and energy on blame assignment for what happened with intervention. Instead, all emphasis here and in Charleston must be on the singular objective to make Gilmer County West Virginia’s education show piece. The County’s teachers, school board, and other school system personnel are up to the challenge as an effective team if they are empowered to perform their jobs.
The OEPA’s report was not summarized. We encourage all of readers to read its contents to make independent conclusions about the findings.
CONCLUSIONS FROM GILMER COUNTY’s OEPA AUDIT OF INTERVENED SCHOOL SYSTEM
The recommendation by the OEPA team to [provide] an effective mentor, for the superintendent, for specific training in the area of communication, conflict resolution, and team building to improve county and superintendent and county board relations; effective and efficient operation of the central office and schools and information to the public” is the hard hitting essence.
This is not a time for extending fingers of blame. The challenge is to put the past behind us. The audit’s positive outcome is that Mr. Michael Green’s WVDOE has the opportunity to do what is right by restoring all local control back to the County. His group deserves credit for authorizing the audit and having the institutional courage to verify that more corrections are merited in the County’s school system although the State had 100% control for five years.
Restoring local control should be permitted after the audit group’s recommendations for training and other corrections occur. Part of restoring local control should be to authorize the County’s board of education to hire a new superintendent soon as practical.
After restoration of local control including hiring a new superintendent the WVBOE could monitor closely for a designated period to ensure that the County’s school board, the new superintendent, and the central office function efficiently.
An essential part of the agreement should be for the County, the WVBOE, and the WVDOE to work together as a proactive team. We must devote our collective energy, time, and resources to the continual improvement of the County’s education system. Our children deserve nothing less than a combined focus to do the best to improve their lives.
Superintendent Devano ‘needs’ an “effective mentor”??? Can you believe that? Whew.
Thought Mr. Mattern was his mentor?
Appears this last audit the WVBE has discovered what Gilmer County has complained about for years, just might actually be true.
Lack of WVBE oversight for 5 years now.
By reader3 on 04.11.2016
A heavy price indeed has been paid by Gilmer County for the lack of adequate WVDOE and WVBOE oversight.
The focus has been on punishing the County, its elected school board, and extracting public money.
The least the WVBOE and WVDOE can do now is to move out immediately to permit the County to salvage the mess the best it can.
Dr. Martirano and Mr. Green, we will soon know if you have any grit when the WVBOE meets Wednesday.
If the WVDOE and WVBOE could not manage tiny Gilmer County’s school system properly after five years of total control what hope is there that WV can ever get out of 47th place with the same Charleston bureaucrats in charge?
By ONLY IN WV on 04.11.2016
The obvious problem with any OEPA report on an intervention county is and has been this. They acknowledge the county board must take responsiblity for a problem but refuse to give them the authority to do anything about it.
By How Can That Work? on 04.11.2016
Interesting that the OEPA report has NO input from the community or parents. Interesting that even though students may exceed the state averages, they are still below what most people would call passing level in tests. Interesting that no mention was made of bus rides longer than allowed by the state, as well. Seems to me if there are child labor laws, they should also apply to excessive time spent per day away from home due to the travel times and waits before and after school. The OEPA report sounds to me like typical bureaucratic pablum that is supposed to lull people into thinking everything is peachy keen.
By Karen Pennebaker on 04.11.2016
Tell me if I am wrong. When the Crooked Run school project was ongoing there were Williams and Shriver architectural drawings for the school’s design.
When the State’s project management botch occurred and the project was shut down citizens were told that W&S’s design for the school out along the river would be exactly the same as for Crooked Run.
Then, at a meeting when W&S drawings were shown for the Hays City school there was less classroom space with a large gym.
Was classroom space at Hays City sacrificed for the gym and did that cause inadequate classroom space for students to be the reason for the push for the middle school to accommodate the surplus students?
There is more to the story than being disclosed by the State.
It smells that the middle school is being sold as a boon to children and that line is a red herring cover up for the bungling State.
If anyone has information please get it out so citizens will know the full truth.
Mr. David Sneed of the WV School Building Authority you have the architectural design information to be able to settle the space controversy.
By WVDOE MOLE---David Sneed Has Answers on 04.12.2016
Devono claims that the Hays City school is large enough to handle all of Gilmer’s students, but it is best for them to have a middle school too.
Let him show us what he claims is true. We think that one hangup is that when the school was designed it was assumed that Sand Fork’s students would go to Leading Creek.
That changed and now there is not enough room at Hays City to make it under built.
Something doesn’t make sense and Martirano, Green, and Daniel need to end the confusion.
Regardless of the answer the goof falls back on the WVDOE, WVBOE, and the WVSBA.
By Gilmer Taxpayer on 04.12.2016
Of course, they don’t want anyone pointing fingers. The superintendent they criticize was the State’s choice. If he lacks communication skills, maybe it’s because he is a rookie superintendent. Did they even interview anyone else? I doubt it. It probably had more to do with his friends in Marion County.
They moan about the fact that Gilmer parents don’t want to send their kids to Lewis County. Well, that was part of the State’s master plan. Maybe they could ask the parents involved next time. For that matter, why is there not a single teacher or county board member on the OEPA committee? Imagine if you went to trial on a felony charge and the jury consisted of all your family members. Doesn’t quite smell right does it?
But Gabe Devano managed to get impeached by this crew of his own peeps.
Actually, there does need to be finger pointing because the same kind of “no bid” tragedy is about to play out down in Fayette County.
Williamson Shriver is helping with the CEFP plan down there. Do you think they will get “no bid” contracts there too? Let’s watch and see.
By Jeff Lowe on 04.12.2016
The community heard that another dagger was thrust through democracy’s heart.
The State nullified the legally passed school board’s motion to require more accurate meeting minutes to be kept for the public record.
With the long list of intervention misdeeds is there any question why the State disallows better record keeping and public disclosure of what it does?
Maintaining strict secrecy and information control is the way the WVDOE and WVBOE operate to keep the lid on while the County is pillaged.
By WVDOE and WVBOE Violate Meeting Law on 04.15.2016
One thing noticed by watching video tapes of Gilmer’s school board meeting is how the State’s superintendent controls each meeting.
Instead of being there to present new information, provide clarification, and to keep the board informed, and to get approval for new actions your superintendent controls every aspect of your meetings.
The superintendent participates in all discussions without being asked, talks with your board president all the time to whisper directions and meeting conduct orders, and to determine who gets to speak and how they are dealt with.
At times we detect “shut it down” orders to your president when things are said to be embarrassing for the the State’s conduct of its intervention.
Censorship is what it is about.
It is obvious that your board is under strict control and it is shameful that the State allows it to happen.
Has training been given about conducting your board meetings to include who does what and when?
If it has training failed to contribute to unnecessary tension.
If our superintendent acted the way as described all the time he would be fired.
By Kanawha County GFP Reader on 04.15.2016
Did not see in the Gazette that Mr. Green and his WVBOE took any action to stop intervention abuses in Gilmer County.
They are in a bind. Doing nothing suggests their approval of what has happened.
If they openly take corrective actions to stop abuses by the State that would be admission that serious mistakes were made.
Wouldn’t it be refreshing if the WVBOE had the courage to do what is right and to admit that it made mistakes?
That is what separates respected leadership from political hacks more concerned about personal images than doing what is right to serve the people.
Maybe something will be done behind the scenes with a negotiated offer that cannot be refused.
It could be a face saving announcement of an upcoming retirement.
By Fayette WVBOE Watcher on 04.16.2016
Gilmer County has no Superintendent, it has a political hack, bought and sold on a one way political whim with no vision because Gilmer’s future means nothing to him.
Gilmer County has an ineffective Board because that board has no leadership, just another political hack, a glory hound not a President.
The WV Board of Education has no honor and the achievement of children is not a priority. Their only concerns are to not accept responsibility, to take no blame for failure and manipulate the public dollar.
By Intervention Equals Oligarchy on 04.16.2016
WVBOE MOLE…..the very fact that the WVBOE never admits to their wrong doings, their incompetence, their long list of failures…..tells you all you need to know about their ability.
If that alone doesn’t convience you, factor in WV being 6th in spending per pupil, with the fact WV is 47th in outcomes.
.....truly and ‘education hell hole’.
By West Virginia - Education Hell Hole on 04.17.2016
The best way for the State to straighten out the State’s mess in Gilmer County would be to assign Dr. Dedra Bolton to be your temporary superintendent.
She is highly professional, exceedingly intelligent, an excellent communicator, fair, honest, she has the required experience and training, and she has excellent people skills.
Her work in Grant County was superb and a credit to her profession.
By Gilmer Needs Dr. Dedra Bolton on 04.18.2016
Reading this OEPA report, why would you think any school board would hire this guy as their superintendent?
Is it true this guy is a cousin to Joe Manchin?
This would be the perfect time for a ‘health issue’ retirement.
By Charleston Reader on 04.18.2016
So now we read the WVBE has themselves into another employee firing lawsuit.
How many lawyers on their payroll? Must be bunch of drones?
State Superintendent Michael Martirano hires an assistant and fires her only FOUR days later?
If the WVBE can’t run their own office, can’t manage any intervention county takeovers, how can they be expected to run a statewide school system?
Answer - they can’t.
By WVBE history repeats on 04.20.2016
It isn’t said openly in public, but education gurus say behind closed doors that the State’s culture is the reason for WV being in 47th place.
Culture they say refers to poor uneducated families. Those families need help instead of cruel criticism to be targets of ridicule.
Instead of wasting money on mismanagement like moving the school board office to Minnie Hamilton, wasting money on Crooked Run, paying intervention superintendents obscene salaries, no-bid spending, and other forms of waste why doesn’t the State invest money in ways to help poor families?
What about hauling children unreasonably long distances to and from school? Explain how that improves learning?
Blaming families is a cop out! Use the money to hire teachers and administrators who know how to help families to make a difference in improving education outcomes.
WV is not the only location with poverty. Innovators in other places have learned how to overcome disadvantages of poverty to help children.
What is the difference in WV? It is failed leadership and the misalignment of spending priorities by “experts” who waste education dollars.
There must be a change by converting to a system driven by results instead of the one we have now focused on maintaining perceptual confusion while claiming that we are on the cusp of making education breakthroughs!
You know persons the education “experts” in Charleston hate the most? Simple. They are the ones who always hammer on need for results for all children regardless of their economic pigeon holes.
Furthermore, the ‘experts” in Charleston love processes and they are always weak on results to avoid any personal accountability.
By Raymond Jackson on 04.20.2016
The OEPA’s report backfired on the WVBOE.
Everything negative in it pointed to the WVBOE’s mismanagement because it has total control of Gilmer County’s school system and the elected school board.
Credit must go to Dr. Bolton and the others who had the courage to tell the truth in the report.
If anything happens in the way of immediate action by the WVBOE, employment security of those professionals will be in jeopardy.
Do you suppose that any of the officials we elect to send to Charleston will read the report to cause them to stand up for us?
FlashBack™: West Virginia Department of Education and Gilmer County
June 06, 2011: OEPA Report Shows Many Irregularities and Violations in Gilmer County Schools
West Virginia Department of Education has released the initial report on the audit conducted on Gilmer County Schools and the results are not good.
An unannounced on-site review of Gilmer County Schools was conducted May 02-04, 2011.
The OEPA (Office of Education Performance Audits) conducted the review which concentrated on official complaints that alleged the county board was in violation of policies or laws under which schools and county boards operate.
Based upon the Education Performance Audit, problems as well as a recommendation regarding Gilmer County Schools is presented in the report.
Gilmer County Schools are at an emergency stage. The county has lost over half their student population in the past ten years. The system has not adjusted their facilities and their staffing patterns to confront these realities. The current school board is dysfunctional, divided, not providing leadership, and actually impeding progress due to not following laws and policies/designed to improve student performance. Technology infrastructure is lacking and rules are not being followed due to board decisions. Financial irregularities are occurring in part due to decentralized accounting procedure decisions. Three school facilities of the five in the county are sorely lacking and maintenance at all facilities is desperately needed. One school has been condemned and portable classrooms are on site. The county does not have an approved Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan and has been unable to reach consensus on what is needed.
Documentation is mostly insufficient to determine if laws are being followed to hire the most qualified applicants. Board minutes, however, reflect that the school board is trying to micro-manage, essentially replacing their administrators’ and county superintendent’s recommendations with their own, leading to a flawed hiring, transferring, and reduction in force system. Numerous questionable and irregular decisions are being made by the board prompting distrust and suspicion.
Other problems observed were 16 licensure and authorization issues, several irregularities in personnel evaluations, incomplete mentor programs for new employees, inadequate physical education program, incomplete policies, and illegal preference for local individuals in hiring.
June 08, 2011: The Takeover of Gilmer County Schools
The West Virginia Board of Education declared a state of emergency in Gilmer County Schools on Wednesday, June 08, 2011, and placed the school system on non-approval status.
The board voted unanimously to intervene in the school system immediately.
The West Virginia Board of Education and West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) will oversee all finances, instructional programs, personnel, policy development and facility issues in the school system.
The action comes after an Office of Education Performance Audit (OEPA) report citing significant leadership, technology, facility, personnel and finance issues in the county.
An unannounced OEPA visit of the Gilmer County School District was conducted May 02-04, 2011.
Auditors found that “county board members were in discord, the county board operations were dysfunctional; and meetings were unproductive and resulted in the board being incapable of following State Code and West Virginia Board of Education policies.”
“It is further recommended that delaying the intervention for any period of time would not be in the best interest of the students,” said OEPA executive director Kenna Seal. “Based on the entirety of the problems in the county and the decisions, or lack thereof, there is scant hope that the school system can be improved with the current county board.”
The OEPA report further states that county school board meeting minutes reflect that the school board is trying to micro-manage, essentially replacing their administrators’ and county superintendent’s recommendations with their own, leading to a flawed hiring, transferring and reduction in force system.
Numerous questionable and irregular decisions are being made by the board prompting distrust and suspicion.
According to the report, technology infrastructure is lacking and rules are not being followed due to board decisions.
Financial irregularities are occurring in part due to decentralized accounting procedure decisions.
Three of the five school facilities in the county are sorely lacking and maintenance at all facilities is desperately needed.
The state board appointed Ted Mattern as the interim superintendent until a permanent replacement can be hired.
The Gilmer County Board of Education has also been directed to work with the WVDE to jointly develop and present to the state board a set of standards and/or a strategic plan that must be implemented in order for the Gilmer County Board of Education to regain control of the school system.
Currently Lincoln, Preston, Grant, Fayette and Mingo counties are under state intervention.
Gilmer County OEPA Motions
1) that the State Board find, based on the report from the Office of Education Performance Audits, that extraordinary circumstances exist in the Gilmer County school system.
2) that the State Board assign nonapproval status to the Gilmer County school system.
3) that the State Board declare that a state of emergency exists in the Gilmer school system based on the information presented in the OEPA report.
4) that the State Board find that the conditions precedent to State Board intervention in a county school system are present in this instance.
5) that the State Board find that it would not be in the best interests of the students of Gilmer County to delay intervention for any period of time.
6) that the State Board limit the authority of the Gilmer County Board of Education as to the expenditure of funds, the employment and dismissal of personnel, the establishment and operation of the school calendar, the establishment of instructional programs and rules and any other areas designated by the state board by rule and delegate decision-making authority to the State Superintendent regarding these matters.
7) that the State Board delegate to the State Superintendent the authority to conduct hearings on personnel matters and school closure or consolidation matters and subsequently to render the resulting decisions, and the authority to appoint a designee for the limited purpose of conducting hearings while reserving to the State Superintendent the authority to render the resulting decision.
8) that the State Board limit the authority of the Gilmer County Board of Education as to the ability to conduct real estate transactions and delegate to the State Superintendent the authority to act in lieu of the Gilmer County Board of Education in a transfer, sale, purchase or other transaction regarding real estate.
9) that the State Board delegate to the State Superintendent the authority to replace administrators and principals in low performing schools and to transfer them to alternate professional positions within the county at her discretion.
10) that the State Board delegate to the State Superintendent the authority to fill positions of administrators and principals with individuals determined by the State Superintendent to be the most qualified for the positions.
11) that the State Board declare the office of county superintendent of schools of Gilmer County to be vacant at the end of the day on June 08, 2011, and declare that any existing contracts with the subsequent superintendents be voided.
John T. “Ted” Mattern
Interim Superintendent of Gilmer County Schools
12) that the State Board appoint Ted Mattern to be the interim Superintendent of Gilmer County Schools starting June 09, 2011, to be paid at his current salary, continuing until a new superintendent is appointed.
13) that the State Board grant the State Superintendent the authority to hire a county superintendent to replace the interim appointment and set his/her salary.
14) that the State Board direct the Gilmer County Superintendent and the State Superintendent, after consultation with the Gilmer County Board of Education, to jointly develop and present to the State Board at a future meeting a set of standards and/or a strategic plan that must be implemented in order for the Gilmer County Board of Education to regain control of the school system.
15) that the State Board direct the Gilmer County Interim Superintendent and/or Superintendent to provide written and/or oral progress reports to the State Board as requested.
June 12, 2011: State Take Over of Gilmer County Schools on 06.08.2011
Gilmer County Clerk: Notice to Creditors and Beneficiaries
CLERK OF THE COUNTY COMMISSION OF GILMER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
NOTICE TO CREDITORS AND BENEFICIARIES
The administration of the estates(s) of the following deceased is pending before the Clerk of the County Commission of Gilmer County, 10 Howard Street, Glenville WV 26351.
The names and addresses of the personal representative and the personal representative’s attorney are set forth below.
Notice is hereby given that the estate(s) of the following has been opened for probate. Any interested person objecting to the validity of the will, the qualifications of the personal representative or the venue or jurisdiction of the court, shall file notice of an objection with the County Commission within ninety days after the date of the first publication or within 30 days of service of notice, whichever is later. If an objection is not timely filed, the objection is forever barred.
All persons having claims against the estate(s) of the said following deceased, whether due or not, are notified to exhibit their claims, with the voucher thereof, legally verified, to the undersigned, at the County Clerk’s Office on or before May 16, 2016 otherwise they may by law be excluded from all benefit of said estate(s). All beneficiaries of said estate(s) may appear on or before said day to examine said claims and otherwise protect their interests.
Claims against the estate must be filed in accordance with West Virginia Code 44-1-14a.
Gladys S. Coberly
Kay C. Yohey
556 E. Main Street
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Charles David Shahan
David F. Shahan
87 Brown Trout Road
Hacker Valley, WV 26222
Shirrel H. Mohr
7782 Gassaway Road
Normantown, WV 25267
Emma L. Paugh
4039 US Hwy 33W
Glenville, WV 26351
Vera June Norman
Timothy B. Butcher
PO Box 100
Glenville, WV 26351
Mary Jane Clevenger
PO Box 244
Glenville, WV 26351
Marjorie R. Smith
286 Cove Road
Troy, WV 26443
1035 Joes Run Road
Burnsville, WV 26335
Joanna Lee Jenkins
Debra Lynn Johnson
895 Walnut Street
Glenville, WV 26351
Jason C. Grossmann
Elizabeth K. Setty
1664 Holt Run Road
Glenville, WV 26351
Clerk of Gilmer County Commission
10 Howard Street
Glenville, WV 26351
The date of the first publication of this Notice is : March 17, 2016