In a meeting that was bizarre, raw, and embarrassing, the Manatee School Board attempted to put together the pieces in the aftermath of then Superintendent Tim McGonegal’s announcement that millions of dollars had been mismanaged during the 2011-12 year. I make no attempt to summarize this meeting, because it would take volumes, but I will share the moments I remember most vividly.
- The board considers Tim McGonegal’s resignation after his budget implodes.
- In the midst of interminable wrangling, Bob Gagnon accepted an Interim Superintendent tag from the board. In my experience, internal interim appointments only work when the interim has pledged not to apply for the permanent position. The jockeying for the superintendent’s position has already begun. Gagnon displayed an arrogant side, stating that “you (the board) need me more than I need you.” Along the way I have heard two others make similar statements; both proved expendable.
- Roberts had a fitful night in the grave, as his Rules of Order were ravaged. Bob Gause provided us with a textbook multiple motion, propmpting us to wonder what the board does in their workshops.
- Board member Karen Carpenter was angry throughout as she attempted to convey the seriousness of the situation by suggesting a total freeze. Her suggestion was lost on all but Julie Aranibar. Carpenter noted that McGonegal and his crew have had a month to scrub the books.
- Board member Bob Gause threw his friend, McGonegal, under the bus by repeating how he had told him to make budget corrections. Conveniently forgotten were the strong, public endorsements of McGonegal which he had made over the past three years.
- Board member Julie Aranibar spoke clearly about the legal implications of a forensic audit. References were made throughout concerning the possibility of criminal charges resulting from this fiasco.
- Dave Watchdog Miner challenged board members, Harry Kinnan and Bob Gause, during the Public Comments segment. Mr. Kinnan insisted on responding to Miner, breaking his own rule that members are not to respond during this portion of the meeting. Apparently, procedures are for the little people.
Tim, we hardly knew ye, but we feel your pain, which you chose to make ours!