Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

Today is one of those days when we should thank Al Gore for inventing the internet.  Thanks to Al's invention, we can find out just about everything we need to know about the finalist for Oshkosh School Superintendent--Stan Mack II--in just a few keystrokes and mouse clicks.  In the "old days" we here in the local media would have only been able to call the Robbinsdale School District for background on Mr Mack.  We would have been given the tried and true "He was a great leader" and "He really cared about kids" answers from officials over there--as no one wants to risk potential lawsuits from giving anything but glowing reviews of a person's performance.  But thanks to Google, previous media coverage of Mack is readily available to everyone immediately.

Like Mack was named in a lawsuit by a group that successfully deafeated a 228-million dollar referendum in Robbinsdale back in 2007. and  In the wake of that defeat, Mack called the anti-referendum effort "Racist, without conscience and untruthful".  Fiscal conservatives in Oshkosh have been called a lot of things by leaders in the School District--"Obviously, they don't care about children" and "I'm embarrassed to live in the same district as these people" are two of my personal favorites from former School Board members--but "racists" will be a new one.  Glad to know the "political discourse" won't be changing under the new leadership.  The lawsuit was eventually dropped, because honestly, how can you possibly slander a political action group?

We should also assume that Mr Mack will not be requiring any health insurance benefits from the Oshkosh School District.  Mack's severance package with the Robbinsdale District included coverage under their plan until he reaches the age of 65 and becomes eligible for Medicare:  I'm sure that taxpayers in Robbinsdale are happy that they are footing the bill for at least 29-thousand dollars a year to provide health insurance to their "retired" Superintendent who never actually tried to stop working--given his immediate applications for Saint Paul and Bismark, North Dakota superintendent vacancies.  Trust me, we will be asking Mack questions about that when the School Board makes a "public introduction" of him this afternoon.

And speaking of questions, can we trust that the School Board has properly vetted these issues with Mack during their two interviews with him?  I'd hate to have to do a story about how Oshkosh Schools are paying Mack "to purchase his own health insurance" when we now know that is not necessary. 

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