Wednesday, March 12, 2008

TUSD Board Makes Right Choice

Tucson, Arizona. I am delighted to report that the TUSD governing board has selected Elizabeth Celania-Fagen to be its next superintendent. The board was split, voting 3-2 in her favor. I have already received an email telling me that the other candidate, Rick Myers, slipped from his slam dunk appointment by suggesting that "certain cultures" (i.e. Hispanics) have families that do not value education. Cigar Man posted that the TUSD board learned of this blog and read the thread posted. The Vote:

YES: Alex Rodriguez (Chair), Adelita Grijalva, Joel T. Ireland
NO: Judy Burns, Bruce Burke

What Cigar Man did not know is that I sent an email to the TUSD board with a link to the blog post. I have no idea if it made any difference, but I am glad to see they chose someone whose commitment to education cannot be disputed. I wish the new superintendent the best and hope the TUSD board and District will give her the support necessary to make a difference in a very demanding position.

Congratulations, Elizabeth, and God Bless.


Blogger The Associate said...

The pen is mightier than the sword!

3/13/2008 12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Myers' unfortunate comments about "cultural groups" demonstrated his unfitness for the job--not just because of the insensitivity, but because it reflects poor judgment that calls into question how effective he would have been as superintendent. Essentially he was campaigning for the job, and to make an ill-advised statement like that shows that he was a poor CEO of his own campaign.

One can be bold and controversial once you have the job in hand, but you'd better make sure you know what you are doing when you are still campaigning for the job, and you say something likely to offend up to 40% of your overall constituency.

It reminds me of Clinton's attacks on Obama as someone of questionable ability to be President. He's been the CEO of a brilliant campaign, at least to this point, whereas she has fumbled away her inevitability and her front-runner status.

You can't govern unless you are capable of first getting yourself elected, and if Myers is as smart as everyone thinks he is, he must realize now he blew it by saying the things he did.

Best of luck to Celania-Fagen. She's going to need it. The problems that Myers felt he was uniquely qualified to address are very real, and she will have her hands full.

3/13/2008 7:59 AM  
Blogger Cigar Man said...

Well done, x4mr.

Although not single handedly, your blog (I have confirmed) played a key role. You gave people a place to consolidate their sentiment, and by then posting the thread and sending it the board, powerful.

Apparently the tipping point was Alex Rodriguez.

Make no mistake, your blog figured in this outcome. Good job. It was going to be Myers.

3/13/2008 9:22 AM  
Blogger AZW88 said...

It was funny, no, sad actually, to read that some have tried to label the board vote one based on partisan politics. This is how Republicans play things these days... they talk of bi-partisanship when they push their agenda upon the state/nation and scream partisan politics when they don't get what they want.

Take the "eggplant's" presser this AM. He has chided the House for not passing the eavesdropping bill. Now that the House is working on their version of the bill, he chides them for not supporting the senate (read: HIS) 'bi-partisan' version. He crys and whines about the danger we face without the ability to do wiretaps, but when he can't get them to be unfettered and unaccountable to anyone, he threatens to veto it.

I was surprised that she took the job on a 3-2 vote. I hope she has some tough skin, because those that were pushing for Rick on the board will be on her hard for any misstep. I hope she can bring TUSD back from the abyss, and has the 'cajones' to stand up to some special interest groups and entrenched ideas and re-invent the district. Time for some dead wood to be heaped upon a funeral pyre for old ways of doing things in the district.

The community needs to get 100% behind her and move forward. If the folks that backed him hold a grudge, it will be their fault that TUSD contiunes to flounder.

3/13/2008 11:52 AM  
Anonymous the doctor said...

I just spoke with someone who confirmed Cigar Man's claim that your blog made a difference. Wow.

The board read the thread.

I'll bet some people are thinking a little differently about your place today.

You're up to something. There's more going on at this blog than meets the eye. I don't have the brains to understand all your layers, but I can sense some of them. You have risen to the top of my "do not piss off" list.

I'm glad I'm not a certain insect.

3/13/2008 3:01 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

As a member of the Tucson community I have to say that I am very pleased with the outcome. Thanks to X4MR for the time and effort he spent providing a forum for interested members of the community to have a very articulate and civilized debate.

Congratulations and best of luck to Elizabeth, a lady with a very impressive resume (and a great name.) Did you see her GPAs?

And thanks to Alex Rodgriguez for being open minded and committed to doing what best for TUSD.

3/13/2008 6:21 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

That I am a fan of this blog is clear, but I find this event particular moving and want to express what perhaps everyone knows, but maybe not.

X4mr is not blogging because he has nothing else to do. He's not doing it for popularity or some fame seeking nonsense, and he's not a self-absorbed nut thinking we're interested in a cam of his bedroom (although the "on" anon may like a look).

I consider it obvious that x4mr is blogging to make a difference and have a positive impact. I consider it very telling that the post that apparently moved the TUSD board was not his original story, but the comments themselves. It was you, us, those making comments, that provided the compelling content.

X4mr's gathering the comments to create a new post and then emailing a link to that post to the TUSD board was Web 2.0 genius.

3/13/2008 9:01 PM  
Blogger Casey DeLorme, APR said...

I, too, heard from "powers that be" circles that that the "comments" posting was well-read and absorbed. You’d be surprised who is actually reading this thing now… or, maybe not. Remember, my experience is that there are a lot of smart individuals who have the community’s best interest at heart endeavoring in the “leadership” ranks. Of course there are also charlatans and scheisters… but it wouldn’t be a democracy if we didn’t tolerate the messiness of allowing everyone to participate in the mix.

Knowing that x4mr's reason for creating this blog was as an outlet for telling his side of a professional injustice and political nightmare (I'm correct in understanding that, right?) and that he has grown it into a community forum that covers a wide range of important topics, embraces a divergent set of commentary and debate (including mine), and now has demonstrated a "little engine that could" bit of political might... I have to say that I’m delighted with the citizen journalist into which our host has matured and that he’s invited all of us along.

We should celebrate the fact that this and similar forums are gradually overtaking newspapers and contrived “town halls” as the preferred platform for affecting political change. It allows for actual participation and debate.

I find also that the debate is helping shape my views… and I hope my participation is doing the same for other. I have to point out that a comment by x4mr changed my opinion on “anonymous” posting, particularly when it comes to allowing those whose livelihood could be affected by opinions that contradict or challenge those of their superiors. For that, Anonymous, I retract my “ashamed of yourself” comment. I’ve been fortunate enough in my career (or, you could read that as stubborn/arrogant enough… its why I work for myself) that sometimes telling my superiors, sometimes including the “powers that be” to “stick it where the sun don’t shine” is exactly what I get paid to do. (I can’t help it… so I had to figure out a way to get paid FOR doing it.)

Instead, Anonymous, I wish for you and everyone else who adds to this debate, but is in a position where sharing your opinions may be detrimental… to continue to share your voices and wisdom with us so that it collectively reaches the point that you no longer have to do so namelessly. Being able to have an open debate is one of the foundations of our culture... and ALL voices need to be heard.

3/14/2008 12:40 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Thanks, Casey, but I should clarify something you wrote.

This blog did NOT start due to anything about SAIAT. I started it in September of 2006 out of outrage towards the Bush Administration and its blatant disregard for the constitution and the American people.

My greatest resentment is towards the abomination in the White House. That fueled an interest in politics, in particular the effort of then AZ Senator Gabrielle Giffords to defeat the GOP candidate to replace Kolbe. Like Framer's place, it started out of interest in the CD-8 election.

In September of 2006, SAIAT was sailing. The Mayor said we were great. Sharon Bronson said we were great. Our clients were praising our operation. We were in the black with healthy case reserves. We helped with the development of over 10,000 workers a year. Joe Snell embraced SAIAT and spoke of TREO's support for it at the annual luncheon. We were all set to become the "Business Convergence Center." Everything looked great.

While it didn't come to blows, Cigar Man and I got into a heated argument right outside the shop. He reiterated that SAIAT was dead and told me I walked blindly with "a noose around your neck." I told him he was full of it. We started yelling. He raised his voice, "Your neck's in the noose and any minute they're gonna kick the chair!"

Sure enough, TREO's position towards SAIAT shifted DRAMATICALLY in October 2006. It was like Jekyll and Hyde. I will never forget that meeting. Afterwards, Vaughn and I stood at the corner of Stone and Broadway, just shaking our heads. We went from "great" to just "managing property" in less than a month.

They wanted our money. Then the Solutus sabotoge began.

3/14/2008 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Navigator, sorry, no interest in BR cams. Albeit a little cheeky, I'll trust you didn't miss my point: I think this blog is brilliant. All else I agree.

Many thanks to Casey for articulating so well another aspect of this blog's brilliance: openness and acceptance. I'm moved by your personal transparency both in expressing thoughtful convictions and in willingness to consider another view.

I'm equally inspired by 1) the opportunity this "little engine" blog affords to the community and 2)the willingness of the community to consider its voices and not just consider but act.

I would like to add my congratulations to Elizabeth Celania-Fagen and wish her all the best.

X4mr is a gentleman for making us all feel welcome here.

3/15/2008 8:10 AM  
Anonymous K. Munsell said...

Dr. Elizabeth Celania-Fagen is a blessing for TUSD. She is the best thing to have happened to the district in decades. TUSD was in desperate need of a miracle and thankfully, it found one.

6/20/2008 10:09 PM  

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