published Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Chattanooga: Rick Smith identifies key central office appointments

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    Rick Smith, interim superintendent for the Hamilton County Board of Education, speaks to the Times Free Press on Thursday in his office at the Board of Education.
    Photo by Jake Daniels.
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Interim Hamilton County Schools superintendent Rick Smith has confirmed to the Times Free Press that he has chosen several educators to be named to top central office positions.

Smith is expected to be voted in as superintendent tonight by a majority of the Board of Education.

Lee McDade, who has served as principal at Lookout Valley Middle/High for the last 10 years, will be Smith’s assistant superintendent, Smith said.

Stacy Stewart, the principal at Red Bank Middle School, will be named as assistant superintendent for human resources.

Steve Holmes, a former principal at Loftis Middle School and Sequoyah High School, will come out of retirement to serve as the system’s middle school director. Marvin Lott will be new high school director.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Ava Warren will be moved to a position as director in the human resources department, Smith said.

Read more in tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Joan Garrett McClane...

Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Times Free Press since August 2007. Before becoming a general assignment writer for the paper, she wrote about business, higher education and the court systems. She grew up the oldest of five sisters near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated with a master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. Before landing her first full-time job as a reporter at the Times Free Press, ...

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crow1033 said...

Let the payback begin... good ole boys put in good ole positions! Looks like central office is thriving!

July 7, 2011 at 3:40 p.m.
328Kwebsite said...

How much are these people going to be paid as a result of this decision? Who was doing these jobs before? What will happen to them?

Are these five each $100K plus jobs in exchange for political favors?

I guess that makes this week a half a million dollar haul for the GOP from taxpayer coffers.

July 7, 2011 at 6:56 p.m.
fedup350 said...

Hey crow1033 and 328Kwebsite what do you think was going on when the school board was tilted the other way, exhorbant salaries for Jessie Register and Jim Scales, Back room deals where they voted themselves a pension for a part time job for Gods Sake. Where was your outrage then?? Now that the public has voted out the majority of that school board now you are outraged and want to point out the paybacks, Are you blind?

I am amazed at the arrogance of Jo Ann Favors and the "black leaders". Rhonda Thurman and the school board members voting with here on these issues were VOTED in by the people in thier districts and the "black leaders" think they can just disregard that have her quit? Talk about trying to disenfranchise the voters. You would be screaming if it was the other way around.

So Jo Ann Favors and the "black Leaders" have had thier feelings hurt by Rhonda Thurmam and are making a public specticle of it. Where have Jo Ann Favors and the "black Leaders" been while the black youth in Chattanooga are shooting and killing each other almost every day. WHERE are you then "black Leaders"??

July 7, 2011 at 7:17 p.m.
328Kwebsite said...

No, I am fully aware that the City and County governments are now being run by a cabal after they appointed themselves to the County Mayor's office.

Their favorite figures are $128,000.

This isn't about regular dissatisfaction over who gets what seat in local politics. This is about organized crime. They stole an election through exception; now they are paying themselves in ways that are beginning to exceed lawful limits on the use of taxpayer dollars.

This is not about one or two jobs for qualified people; nor is it about who someone would pick over another; it's about sucking as much money out of the taxpayer coffers to score a multi-million dollar advertising deal, like Scott Dejarlais got for $965,000 in the last elections.

It's about the quasi-legal seizure of government office, outside of voter approval by elections, for profit. It's ugly, it's unethical, and the proposed disposition of federal funds on the website deal alone is obviously illegal.

The main control on the distribution of local taxpayer funds is the expression of taxpayer dissatisfaction or tolerance.

You cannot give $60,000 in federal funds to political cronies on a "sole source no bid" contract in the United States for a website. It's just not legally plausible.

The average GAO auditor would either have a stroke at reading these reports, or just garnish the wages of everyone involved with an automated computer tap on their bank accounts. Warrants would follow.

When you distribute federal funds, it has to be fair. Not done here. Also, what's charged has to be fair. Not done. Accounting standards can't be magically created, they have to be equity based. These local Republicans are going to be knee deep in trouble, and this is how they are raising their seed money for future trouble.

Are you blind? Because these people are stealing your money at the rate of over $120K a week, and they are not obeying the law while doing it. It's called racketeering, and it's a leading cause of politicians going to jail. This is what it looks like.

I'm not upset about due process appointments. We don't have those here. This is about money laundering and the illegal distribution of taxpayers' funds. It's straight up obvious crime. People like Rhonda Thurman are tools for making that happen; their behavior is predictable; they'll always claim they are in line with some story their party is marketing; meanwhile, they'll vote to give these guys more money and more power. The result is they'll raid the coffers and fire people to promote executive salaries for themselves. We see it happening at an aggressive rate this summer.

This isn't about who thinks what about chapter four in some tenth grade textbook. The true matters at hand are well outside the scope of responsibility of academics and school officials. This is about pooling money to gain matching funds under Citizens United and GOP money laundering practices.

July 7, 2011 at 7:38 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Education is the one component that has been the most difficult to upgrade during the Chattanooga renaissance. The combination of mediocre politicians, a powerful teachers union and a poorly educated electorate has been too much to overcome. Rick Smith is not likely to make a difference, other than being local, what are his strengths?

Those community members with the power to insist on a better school system have been afraid to take a chance with their own children and they have energized the private schools in the area. That's a shame, but it is understandable given the obdurate opposition within the County Council and County School Board.

Ignorance does not recognise ignorance.

July 7, 2011 at 7:48 p.m.
328Kwebsite said...

By the way, my rage has often been out of town since 2001, because we've been at war. I'm back home now, and all of this looks disgusting. We need to return to a basic attitude of servitude, and none of these guys is providing it right now. Instead, they're pooling their money and power like tribal leaders having a goat roast in the desert.

I think they are moving about a million dollars to get $120K. Outgoing super's salary for six months; $300K buyout; incoming super's salary for six months; and now five new appointments that are probably near $100K each. Move a career bureaucrat to some desk where she'll be ignored at the same cost as last year.

Fire or stiff some people after the new guys are in place. Claim they're reducing government while keeping it the same size or bigger. Shake six figures out of it; shuttle it to a corporation or some other intake for some money laundering and pooling. Receive matching funds next year; a million down, get another million; if you win, you don't have to pay it back. If you lose, take the payback money from the same structures that got shaken down before. Only Sarah Palin's going to be able to pay off her lost millions with entertainment tours. Everyone else is going to have to farm pennies from poor people; just as they're doing now to get themselves set to take the risk next year.

Although, I wouldn't call this rage. It'd be analysis and observation. I save the rage for what matters. The idea that these folks are turning to crime to get some money is just everyday business.

July 7, 2011 at 7:53 p.m.
328Kwebsite said...

That lady who got moved over: Ava Warren. Now in the hiring and firing business, after getting sent down to that desk. She'll become the mechanism for putting the squeeze on labor.

I don't know who she is. I wouldn't be surprised if she's not in the club that's doing this trading. If she's not, then she's going to become the kid in the class the other guys cheat off of. Depending on how poorly equipped these new appointments are to lead their organizations, they'll need her, freshly intimidated probably, to provide the money.

The new budget demands savings, they'll say. Start hiring the new people cheaper. And trash any of that union stuff. If they fire her for noncompliance with a "money saving" directive, she was a fatkat that had to go. If she complies, the teachers or other employees will get stiffed on some money. Prime target: supply contracts and maintenance workers or cooks.

No one is going to care if the anonymous cafeteria lady gets fired. At which school again? There are so many employees.

Kind of like those five deputies that got fired to provide the contingency funding for the salary of Bob Corker's man as County Chief of Staff.

Maybe they'll fire or retire Ava Warren and take the difference. Maybe they'll keep her around to keep the lights on. If she's been there a long time, she might be the only one with enough institutional memory to keep things functioning at that level. Meanwhile, the new guys will squander the first six months congratulating themselves at their new job.

Maybe a dinner somewhere or somebody's retirement or something, they'll get hit up with a smile to provide that $120K in squeeze money to some friendly contract or maybe a direct buy.

Ava Warren, or someone like her who may not be directly connected to the Metro Payoff Club, probably a good worker with the actual experience to run things: they'll become either a tool or roadkill as this grind gets carried out.

I'm not expecting some surprise like a renewed interest in homework, textbooks, or budgets for crayons in kindergarten.

Stepping on Ava Warren or people like her will be the next step in this plan.

July 7, 2011 at 8:41 p.m.
fedup350 said...

328Kwebsite Have you been seeing the black helicopters hovering around you??

July 7, 2011 at 8:47 p.m.
328Kwebsite said...

No, I read that report last November that described the deals being cut that got Mayor Coppinger appointed. I read those reports about the website payouts. I read over the budgets, CABR and CAFR, as they got published. These people are spending this money like this right in front of us.

Police department police car parking lot fiasco. Purchasing Ford Focus to save money? Please.

The list of infractions these Republicans pulled under Coppinger and Littlefield is long and sordid. They are stepping up the pace of giving themselves money. The timing and amounts are no coincidence. The money is flowing observably also to former Mayors Kinsey and Corker, or their crews.

These people are Republicans. They stay on plan. Primary plan control and discipline? Money.

The Representative for the district next to us, over on Monteagle, Representative Scott Desjarlais, got almost a million dollars out of the GOP after that Citizens United decision. I think it was $960,000 or $940,000. It was almost a million. The money he got was a close 80% of what he had spent up until then. The New York Times listed two of our Federal Representatives who got bought off. Over $500,000 each. I think the other guy was over near Memphis.

When Bob Corker rerouted traffic through this city, did anyone really believe it was for the citizens? Because it seemed to improve the property values of the citizen who needed to raise money to buy ads for a Senate seat.

It's about how they spend money. It's not to anyone's profit to remove a Superintendent and appoint a bunch of people for any other reason, including school quality. They just spent a lot of money. They will be sure to get some profit out of it.

July 7, 2011 at 8:55 p.m.
timbo said...

328kwebsite you are absolutely bonkers .send it think there will be people like you left. progressives like you home both political sides , will be the death of this country . you can't ignore arithmetic forever.

July 7, 2011 at 11:07 p.m.
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