Thursday, March 27, 2014

Update 2: How dare Bob Harrison and Richard Showers try and represent the wishes of their constituents !

Bob Harrison.jpg
Madison County District 6 Commissioner Bob Harrison said he wants the commission to make the Huntsville school board and superintendent answerable for their arrogant behavior in the rezoning debate. (Paul Huggins/

Update:  The spin is in.  The 2006 letter released by HCS BOE President David Blair was taken out of context. Surprise!  Surprise!
Harrison said the Blair's accusations take the 2006 dialogue with Moore out of context. The discussion with the former superintendent was about bringing an International Baccalaureate school to North Huntsville and combining two high schools, he said, not closing Johnson.
The issue now is about unitary status and getting away from racially segregated schools, which is totally separate from the discussion about helping North Huntsville eight years ago, he said.
The statements by Blair, Harrison added, are coming from a political candidate seeking attention.
"He's trying to get all the attention he can get at this time. So he's engaging in the process of prevarication," he said.
In 2006 Commissioner Harrison was trying to bring an International  Baccalaureate School to north Huntsville.  Guess who got the International Bacculareate School? Hint, it's wasn't north Huntsville.
  "Commissioner Bob Harrison, District 6, said he would entertain the idea of a sales tax but he would have to see how it would benefit the people of his district. “The caveat that my district has given to me is that there should be a no vote unless there is something in it for them”.
Who do Harrison and Showers they think they are....elected officials or something?  How dare Commissioner Harrison email a letter to  U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala, who is handling Huntsville's long-standing desegregation case
 "This letter is being submitted because those who I represent and I have not been offered an opportunity to meaningfully participate in the process of drafting the School Construction and Student Assignment Plan and in seeking Unitary Status by the Board of Education, issues pending before you," wrote Harrison.
And how does the Huntsville City School Board, enabled by some in the media, respond?  By attacking Commissioner Harrison of course.
"Let me be very clear, this school board and superintendent are focused on doing what is best for our students and our community," wrote Blair in response to Harrison earlier this month. "I remind Mr. Harrison that he supported the previous administration who allowed our school system to go $20 million in debt and put us on the brink of a state takeover."
About that Mr. Harrison supported the previous administration who allowed our school system to go $20 million in debt and put us on the brink of a state takeover thingy  Mr. Blair.... Dr. Ann Roy Moore was not the only one to blame for the school systems problems.  You see the superintendent recommends and the Board of Education adopts.  In other words the superintendent can't do anything without the BOE's approval.
The reason we are in dire straits right now is because the board abdicated their responsibility in supervising the superintendent. Relinquishing their ability to question the directors of divisions in the central office will allow the future superintendent to continue to shelter her or his employees as Dr. Moore has done so for Mrs. Sledge.
This is not acceptable.
To accomplish their job to educate our students, the board and the central office must involve the community not an outsider who has no stake in the outcome of his recommendations. They should especially involve the parents of the students they are attempting to educate. What they absolutely must not do is exclude the people who pay their salaries from discussions of plans about how to best education our children.
Frankly, if the board wanted to have a secret meeting with someone yesterday, it should have been with the parents of the students they’re responsible for to discussion the segregation plans that are currently being implemented in our city.
An appointed official who, even after being fired, still has the ability to abuse our school system, our teachers, and our students, does not need any more power or influence. We elected the board to represent us. They cannot do that by remaining silent and refusing to question questionable activities and decisions made by the central office.
This is nothing more than the BOE attacking the messenger because they can't attack the message.

1.  The BOE violated their own policy and renamed J.O.Johnson against the protest of the J.O.Johnson Alumni Association.

2.  The BOE has repeatedly violated the open meetings act.

3. The location of the new J.O.Johnson is located half a mile from an active rock quarry.
The School Board continues to deal in darkness.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. City city school board members Topper Birney, Jennie Robinson and David Blair need a lecture on the state's open meetings law. Honesty and public trust should be part of that lesson.
Only a week or so after the municipal elections, the three huddled privately at a local restaurant to discuss board business, including the search for a superintendent and who might be the next school board chairman. Times special projects editor Challen Stephens reported on the restaurant rendezvous on Thursday.
As it turns out, Birney was elected board chairman and he immediately placed Blair and Robinson in charge of the superintendent search.
If that was coincidence, it sure seems fishy. Even if the leadership selections weren't influenced by that meal time pow wow, what were they thinking?
 They were thinking they could get away with it.  And they did.

It's not about Harrison and Showers, it's about the taxpayers.  This little war could have been avoided if Casey WARdynski hadn't been hell bent on wiping out the legacy of J.O.Johnson student's and alumni.  Every school in this city was allowed to keep it's name after moving into a new building except J.O.Johnson High School.  


Brian said...

How is Harrison's letter taken out of context? What is the proper context of the letter?

Could Harrison have cost or hurt North Huntsville chance of getting the International Baccalaureate School when he tried to tie the 1/2 cent tax to his picking the site for the school?

BTW, the International Baccalaureate that you linked to is the High School program. The IB that Harrison was trying to place was for grades K to 8 and is currently located at the Academy for Science and Foreign Languages on Mastin Lake Road in North Huntsville and it opened in 2011.

What has changed since 2006 when Harrison wanted to close Johnson and send Johnson's student to either Butler or Lee (or both)?

Redeye said...

Brian I'm going to refer you to your own blog, I mean your former blog to see how Blair's letter is taken out of context.

Redeye said...

Here you go:
: "Commissioner Bob Harrison, District 6, said he would entertain the idea of a sales tax but he would have to see how it would benefit the people of his district. “The caveat that my district has given to me is that there should be a no vote unless there is something in it for them”.

Brian said...

That's not my blog. Please don't make assumptions about me.

Brian said...

Still curious on how it is out of Context. It is clear from the included documents that Harrison was shooting for the moon in regards to the IB school. Question is why he wanted to personally select the location of school? It is a common practice for a committee to select site to limit or eliminate the ability for a selector to personally profit from the selection.

Redeye said...

Harrison wanted the IB school to be located in his district, but of course it wasn't. He had the if we build it they will come idea for north Huntsville that west Huntsville used when they built Colombia which they told the DOJ was going to be New Century Tech to get approval, but I digress.

Brian said...

The IB School that he was lobbying to be placed in his district is his district. It might not be the site he wanted but it is there. It is the Academy of Science and Foreign Language located at 3221 Mastin Lake Rd, Huntsville, AL 35810. Mastin Lake Road is part of Madison County District 6.

What Bob Harrison asked for:
"3. The City of Huntsville Board of Education will cause to be constructed and operated an International Baccalaureate elementary and middle school for grades kindergarten through eight, capable of serving 1,200 students to be located at a site to be selected by the Madison County Commissioner representing District 6. The City of Huntsville Board of Education shall acquire the site for the school and enter into a contract with an architect to design and begin construction of this school with 12 months from the date the additional 1/2 cent sales tax is first collected."

In your blog post, you link to the IB program for grades nine through twelve. So yes, North Huntsville got the IB school that Bob Harrison asked for.

Redeye said...

Commissioner Harrison was lobbying for an IB High School to be built in his district. That is what that letter was in response too, not closing Johnson like David Blair tried to make it out to be.

Brian said...

Where does it say that he was lobbying for an IB High School to be built in his district?

"4. The City of Huntsville Board of Education will make a good faith effort to do the following, in a timely manner:

(a) Close Johnson High School with the students then attending Johnson High School to be combined with either Lee High School or Butler High School, or a combination of the two schools. The City of Huntsville Board of Education will conduct an evaluation to determine the practicality of such a combination.

(b) Within 24 months of the execution of this agreement, the City of Huntsville Board of Education will take such action as is necessary to have the Huntsville City School System removed torn the Order of the United States District Court under which it currently operates and, thereafter, begin the operation of a unitary school system.

(c) The City of Huntsville Board of Education will redraw school district lines to eliminate under-utilized schools."

It makes no mention of Harrison lobbying for a new high school in Blair's documents, none in the links you posted. All evidence that has been presented points to that Harrison was lobbying for a IB elementary and middle school, not a IB high school. That Harrison also lobbied for the closing of Johnson High School with no plans for a new high school to be built in North Huntsville.

If you have evidence that contradicts what has been presented, please post it.

Redeye said...

Harrison was not demanding J.O.Johnson be closed in exchange for his vote.

Brian said...

And the evidence that has been presented paint a picture that Harrison was at least requesting if not demanding that Johnson High be closed in return for his yes vote on the 1/2 cent tax.

Redeye said...

If it makes you feel better to believe a lie because you can't handle the truth have at it.

Brian said...

I can handle the truth, I am just wanting for you to show me evidence that shows what Blair has released is false. We have Harrison's proposed agreement and we have Ann Roy Moore's response. Is there more documents out there that show there was a discussion that disproves Blair evidence that Harrison submitted a proposed agreement and Moore firmly shot it down?

Harrison may now say that it wasn't about closing Johnson, but his proposed agreement uses the words "Close Johnson High School".

I don't trust what politicians say. I look at their records. I look at what is out there. You saying that it is out of context doesn't prove that it is out of context. Harrison saying that it is out of context doesn't prove that it is out of context. If Ann Roy Moore came out and said that there was more, it would help. If documentation came out showing that there was more to the story, that would change things.

There are three sides to every story: yours, mine, and the truth. Right now we have Harrison's side, we have Blair's side, and honestly, the documentation lends credence to Blair's side of the story.

If you can show that it is a lie, then please do so.

If it makes you feel better to call it a lie because you can't handle the truth, have at it.

Redeye said...

If it makes you feel better to talk about what you think happened in 2006 have at it. Let's talk about what's happening in 2014, like the BOE violating their own naming policy,or the fact the BOE plans to build one new school less than half a mile from an active rock quarry and the other new school near a chemical weapons dump site. Or the fact J.O.Johnson is the only school being forced to change it's name.

Brian said...

J.O. Johnson is not having to change it's name. J.O. Johnson and S.R. Butler are being closed.

If J.O. Johnson is being renamed, then yes they violated the naming policy. If J.O. Johnson is being closed and Mae Jamison is a new high school, then no, they did not violate the naming policy.

As for being too close to an active quarry, I would assume that the city has also checked with the Mine Safety & Health Administration about the quarry's history.

And that the first I have heard of a school being near a chemical weapons dump site, but then again Redstone Arsenal is the largest of 249 chemical weapon dump sites for chemical weapons from WWII. So when you think about it, all of Huntsville is near a chemical weapon dump site.

Redeye said...

J.O.Johnson is not being closed. J.O.Johnson is getting a new school. Just like Grissom High School. Just like Huntsville High. Just like Blossomwood Elementary. Just like New Century Technology High School. Just like Jones Valley Elementary. Just like Lee High School. If Lee can keep the name of a Confederate War General, J.O.Johnson should be allowed to it's name. The DOJ approved a new school building for J.O.Johnson and Grissom High School, not a school closing for Grissom and Johnson.