From “The Rich Get Richer” column. . .
On Tuesday afternoon, during a special meeting of the Volusia County School Board, our elected dullards ratified a hastily cobbled together employment contract which will return Dr. Carmen Balgobin back to the Ivory Tower of Power in DeLand as our new Superintendent of Schools.
“But Barker, isn’t she the same Carmen Balgobin that created hell and havoc during the pandemic, alienated teachers and staff, created an ‘information black hole’ that frustrated students, parents, teachers, and staff, then fled for more money in Broward County Public Schools?”
Yes. One in the same.
Just rest comfortable in the knowledge that there is (apparently) new information which totally vindicates “Dr. B” – secret atrocities committed by an unidentified ogre that only our elected officials know the details of – which, we are told, once revealed will explain the real reason why she fled the district for greener pastures in South Florida.
Unfortunately, those we elected to serve our interests aren’t saying – so, feel free to fume, speculate, and hypothesize all you want. . .
God knows I am.
According to reports, Balgobin will begin her new job July 1 with a whopping salary of $245,000 – an increase of $31,718 over what former Superintendent Scott Fritz commanded.
Not to worry, School Board Attorney Ted “Sleepy Potato” Doran tells us that because Balgobin’s rehoming cost, health insurance (?), and use of a vehicle will be less, which (abracadabra-alakazam!) means Balgobin will cost us $9,074.38 less for a 3.1% decrease over what we were paying Dr. Fritz.
What a bargain. . .
According to the terms of the initial contract – the agreement was to have been self-renewing – which means if the School Board were to take no official action to either extend or decline Dr. Balgobin’s employment – the agreement would automatically extend for three-years.
How convenient. But for who?
According to member Linda Cuthbert, the auto-renewal was a “just in case” failsafe, you know just in case the Volusia County School Board and its huge administrative network should ‘forget’ to renew their Superintendent’s contract (?)
Unfortunately, she was right.
It would not be the first time a senior executive’s agreement was rushed and renewed at the eleventh-hour with little time for a performance review or informed discussion following an ‘oversight.’
You read that right. . .
As I understand it (and, as usual, I’m not sure I do) the board will remove the auto-renew clause and develop some type of tickler system to remind all five of them when one of their two direct reports (the board’s attorney being the other) comes up for renewal.
In addition, you and I will be paying some $5,500 toward settlement of Dr. Balbobin’s residential lease in Broward County, along with gifting “Dr. B” the use of a district-owned vehicle which, according to member Jamie Haynes, “…we can’t really put a price tag on right now…” citing soaring gas prices, etc.
(I’ll just bet the IRS can put a value on it, eh? I’m just spit balling here, but someone (perhaps Mr. Doran?) should ask them what the use of a government vehicle is worth.)
Oh, I almost forgot, the agreement also calls for an Annual Formal Evaluation. . .
(Sorry, I just shot a sip of Café Bustelo through my nose. . .I hate it when that happens.)
I also found it strange that neither Dr. Balgobin – nor her legal representative – attended a meeting where her employment agreement, a binding contract that should clearly articulate the terms and conditions of her life for the next three-years, would be set in stone.
Clearly, I shouldn’t have worried about her. In the end, Mr. Doran and our elected officials did an outstanding job of representing her interests. . .
Then, in a weird Great and Powerful Oz-like moment, the screen went black and a prerecorded video message from Dr. Balgobin appeared from the ether – although she “couldn’t be there” in person to answer questions from stakeholders as her contract was approved, instead “Dr. B” beamed from afar, “Good evening, Volusia County – my home away from home.”
As if approval of the agreement was a foregone conclusion, Dr. Balgobin proceeded to read a pre-prepared message to the faithful in front of a “Volusia County Schools” themed photo backdrop (?)
Of course, when “Dr. B” was finished addressing her giddy subjects, Chairman Ruben Colon signed off by looking around the dais and noting “I see tears!” – because no meeting of this showboat full of hyper-dramatic and overemotional fools is complete without the waterworks.
Answers to the hard questions We, The Little People who pay the bills demand?
No, just more “happy tears” from our elected “leadership.” How inspirational. . .
Good luck, Volusia County District Schools – something tells me your’re going to need it. . .