Reminder: the School Superintendent is an employee, not a member of the ruling political class

And I'll be sending a copy of this enemies list to the IRS

And I’ll be sending a copy of this enemies list to the IRS

McKersie unloads on  BOE member and candidate Peter Sherr. Bob Horton’s got the story.

School Superintendent William McKersie has landed himself in the middle of a divisive Republican political battle just as the school board campaign enters its last weeks before Election Day.

At issue is McKersie’s characterization of Republican school board member Peter Sherr as a divisive force and the only member intent on holding back progress on important school issues. Sherr is in a pitched battle to retain his seat on the Board of Education after local GOP leaders vowed to crush him (their words) because he refused to support the party’s candidate for school board chairman two years ago.

McKersie’s less-than-flattering portrait of Sherr came in a mid-August email response to the North Mianus Republican’s request for case histories from a consulting firm the superintendent hired to develop magnet programs to help correct racially imbalanced student populations in certain town schools. That seemingly benign request generated a pretty explosive response from McKersie.

The school chief’s vitriol might have disappeared into the internet vapor except that the superintendent copied senior school administrators, virtually guaranteeing that his remarks would receive much broader circulation, and they did. They landed in the email inbox of Edward Dadakis, local GOP leader and a very vocal Sherr critic who used the McKersie’s statements this week to attack Sherr in his regular column published by the Greenwich Post.

For Dadakis, the emails were a gift from the political gods. Quoting selectively only from McKersie’s response and not from Sherr’s original email, which was a simple request for information, Dadakis launched into a rant about Sherr’s “bad behavior” and reminding his readers of Sherr’s “alliance” in 2011 with then GOP school board member MariannaPonns Cohen. Students of local politics will remember that the GOP leadership led the successful campaign to defeat Ms. Ponns Cohen by claiming she was a constant thorn in the side of then School Superintendent Sidney Freund. Dadakis obviously thinks the same charges will keep Sherr from winning re-election this time around.

Chipping away at the Republican hierarchy isn’t as satisfying as just taking a firehose to their Augean stables, but it’s a start, and making sure that the clowns who have brought us so many decades of misrule don’t succeed in crushing the lone voice of dissent on the BOE seems like a most excellent idea.

So a month from now, I intend to cast just one vote in the entire election (all the rest of the “contests” have been predetermined by Repubulican and Democrat party leaders): I’ll vote for Peter Sherr. If enough of us “bullet vote” – cast just one vote for Sherr and none for the other BOE Republicans, he can beat out at least one of the anointed designees and retain his seat.

And if Sherr retaining his seat will annoy William McKersie and his masters, Peter Tesei and Ed Dadakis, that’ll count as a bonus.

50 Comments

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50 responses to “Reminder: the School Superintendent is an employee, not a member of the ruling political class

  1. Walt

    Dude –
    I think I have a great new treatment. Have you ever watched “Parks and Recreation”? Of course you haven’t. You cave dwelling illiterate heathen.

    It is a really funny comedy based on small town, mid-level bureaucrat bunglers. Just like Francis and Lee, and the rest of our elected retards.

    So how about “Bored of Selectmen”? WORD PLAY DUDE!! Get it? We can do a show on how the richest town on the planet is ruled by incompetent morons. Wedded to a vastly corrupt political system, that they remain beholden to, so they can continue to line their pockets and pretend they do it for the common good.

    The Selectmen in charge will be an incompetent ninny. No stretch there. With two underlings of vastly different backgrounds. One an old grumpy codger and the other one an ambitious, flamboyant progressive. Who has close political affiliations to a no talent Commie, who sells dirt for a “living”, but really controls all the gambling. Giving him an excuse to screw the poor, yet not feel guilty.

    We can have a “cultist” character, a bow tie wearing WASP – not you Dude – the other guy. And funny crotchety politically incorrect blue hairs out the wazoo.

    What do you think? I think this one has LEGS!! I will send you over a treatment.
    Your Pal,
    Walt

  2. red herring

    I will also be bullet-voting for Sherr. I think McKersie is a big blowhard, full of bluster and puffed-up with his own perceived importance. We continually have the problem where our Superintendents think the Board of Ed works for him, instead of the other way around. Sherr is the thorn in his side who insisted we don’t kowtow to the State without questioning the constitutionality of Greenwich’s so-called failures.
    McKersie sending this particular email to other school officials shows that he has no respect for his position or his bosses. He wants parents and anyone on the Board who disagrees with him to get out of the way. Nothing to see here, please disperse, and we’ll let you know what school your kid can attend as of September.
    A vote for Sherr is the only way to ensure that there is one person on the BOE who will call these people out on their stupidity and lack of common sense.

  3. CatoRenasci

    McKersie needs to be fired for “cause” for getting involved in BoE politics. The BoE needs to have the police escort him from the building. Having no superintendent can hardly be worse than the last 6 or 7 superintendents we’ve had since Ernie Flieschmann retired. The school administration really is an Augean stable-level mess and needs not just a fire hose, but a couple of rivers, but the Byram and the Mianus are probably too sluggish….

    I agree on BoE – bullet vote Sherr. The rest of them are PTA lackeys and party toadies. Lickspittles.

  4. Cos Cob parent

    Completely unacceptable! McKersie has crossed the line. And I now know what people have been saying about him are true. He has been politicking behind the scenes to do what he can to make sure Peter Sherr is not re elected. The Superintendent reports to the board not vice versa. The Superintendent wants to choose his board. He should be immediately fired!

  5. Riverside mother

    McKersie needs to make a public apology! What has Moriarty ( the BOE chair) going to do? McKersie wants to hand pick his next board. He wants the PTA candidates to get elected. And he wants Peldunas who placed a knife in Sherr!

  6. The Superintendent should be fired!

    I too will be bullet voting for Sherr!

    • RTC member

      He can’t be fired….I can’t take Sue Sue Rogers crying again ( she cried at every BOE meeting when Sydney Frieund resigned)

        • Greenwich Taxpayer

          Why would you fire a man who pushes back against a bully? Sherr is Marianna Ponns Cohen’s lackey. He is using the same tatics that Marianna taught him oh so well how to use. Browbeating questioning via email and nonsensical diatribes at board meetings with a question mark at the end so it all sounds like he is a white flag bearing do-gooder; those are his trademarks.

  7. Anonymous

    voting for Sherr – clearly a much-needed voice of reason.

    • Marne

      Please name one of Peter Sherr’s real accomplishments over the past four years. Real…

    • Marne

      Like his BEST FRIEND Marianna Ponns Cohen, with whom he still consults and conspires with, Peter Sherr will be go down big in November.

      • hmmm

        I don’t think so…we’ll wake you when we need you rvw

      • Once

        Dear Marne, If you did not know this, Marianna Cohen pointed out how Freund moved funds, without going through the proper channels, to pay for cost on the North Mianus School parking lot. Freund had to attack Cohen, he may have broken the law. But if you can get every one to pile on the messenger your troubles will all go away.

  8. Just the Facts!

    Tesei and Dadakis are not McKersie’s masters….Dadakis is a clown. Remember, Dadakis is really the political force behind another one of your buddy’s L. Scott Frantz…..

  9. Avid reader

    Dr. McKersie is the most political Superintendent the district has ever had. He talks down to people and now I hear he wants to choose his “bosses”
    The BOE

    • From what I’ve observed of the man in public meetings, he treats adults as children: demanding that they all hold up their information packets so he can be certain they all got one, repeating “Good Eeeevennning” to audiences until (some of them) wish him a good evening back, ordering teachers in the auditorium to stand and remain standing, etc. I imagine this is the result of a lifetime spent in education, bossing around little school kids and, later, teachers dependent upon him for their jobs. He is totally unexperienced in and incapable of dealing with free-thinking adults who dare to consider him just another town employee.

      So he freaks out. Bad boy.

      • AJ

        As we just learned in DC, freaking out can get you killed. Does Greenwich have storm troopers?

      • Gay Lover

        Can someone please tell me why the Superintendents wife always sits in the front row staring down the BOE at EVERY meeting.
        Just curious?

    • CatoRenasci

      Sid Freund was quite political.
      Sternberg was super-political – a former state superintendent hired purely for political reasons
      Leveret was political – well, he was an affirmative action mis-hire.
      Whritner was highly political – his decisions reflected the desires of the guys who bought him his house.

      We have a real history of political and incompetent superintendents. What makes anyone think it has changed.

      • Riverslide

        No. This guy is much more political than those others you mention (except maybe Freund, who left in disgrace.) You’re right in that they had significant deficiencies, based on their leftist orientation, but they didn’t try to control the school board in the same way as this guy.

  10. Father of 2 in public schools

    What is Moriarity going to do about this? Why did he send out the email and not her? The Superintendent reports to the BOE. This guy is all about control. He’s rude to parents. He talks down to the board and now he is injecting himself into local politics. I’m voting for Sherr because this Superintendent needs accountability!

  11. anonymous

    Sue Rogers–who has managed to insert herself once again into PTAC (the PTA Council) by becoming the “chair” for “special programming” ( translation: the annual PTAC party in June) was no where to be seen at the Friday meeting. She is usually there in an appallingly tight outfit that resembles a sausage casing, tap, tapping away at her computer, no doubt sending out her marching orders to her loyal minions. Wonder if someone told her to lay low until after the election because she appears to be the source of so many of our problems. Whatever rock she has crawled under, I hope she stays there for many years to come.

    • Gay Lover

      Sue Sue will be back. She speaks at every BOE meeting. She usually sits in the back next to Tesei’s campaign manager Stevie Warzoha. Stevie was at the train station this morning campaigning. Earning the grand a week.

      • Citizen

        Hey Voter, you and RTC member are just outright liars. Prove that you aren’t by providing one link to a BoE meeting this year where she spoke. You won’t be able because she hadn’t spoken once. Why keep spreading lies? Are you so pitiful a person or so jealous that it is the only tactic you can use? Really sad. Everything you say is a falsehood and there is no proof to support your feeble claims. Why resort to bs? Because you can’t simply use the truth to present a cogent argument. You rather attack someone with bs. You are a pitiful and mean little person.

    • Tired of the nonsense

      Dear Anonymous,
      Does the school you are PTA President of know what a bully you are?

    • Riverslide

      Link to “appallingly tight outfit” please.
      Thanks.

  12. Another RTC member

    The RTC chair Jim “wimpy” Campbell asked Sue Sue not to attend any more meetings. He also asked Stevie Warzoha not to campaign in public for Tesei. Take a behind the scenes approach. Campbell ran for a leadership position on the state level but lost big time.

    • Riverslide

      Jim is an undercover agent for the RINO “establishment” left in town. A hat tip to him for his many years of success. (Or so I would tip my hat if it were all a game.)

  13. Tired of scumbags

    Hey anonymous, it is a gutless, scumbag move to attack someone personally in a blog. Why not show a modicum of courage and say who you are? You are brave when hurting someone behind a fake identification. Now show everyone how small a person you are and refuse to say who you are. If you don’t, then you are the one that crawled out from below a rock. You are an ugly person. Look in the mirror and see what a cowardly, mean piece of crap looks like.

  14. Anonymous

    Is Tired your real first name and scumbags your last name? You must have some interesting parents.

    It is impressive you’re stating your real name, instead of anonymously bashing someone on a public blog for being, oh, anonymous.

  15. Greenwich Gal

    Seriously folks – we are all just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic if you think that any BOE position will make a difference in the school system. The only way to make effective change is to change the way business is done in the Town of Greenwich and that would be to start at the very root of the problem – which is the town charter. Greenwich needs to be run by a professional town manager – we are a small city – not a 16th century village.

    Sweetheart positions with generous pensions need to be eliminated. Incompetence needs to be removed. The money to run an effective school system and town is here – we are just wasting it.

  16. FF

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Gal. We need to eliminate the RTM and replace it with a Council. If not a Town Manager, at least a 4 year term for the First Selectman, the School Board needs to be far more representative of the town, and the BET needs individual elections. The current system leads to this all the time, and once those inside the Town volunteer structure decide something, the other 60,000 have no say in the matter. Its easy enough to say you are accountable, but the results show no accountability at all

  17. Anonymous

    Agreed with GG and FF….but how does this get down? We mere resident mortals don’t know who or what is needed? Is a lawyer needed to draft the proposed new structure? Certainly, you cannot go to the present political parties, various board members, and such—since they are exactly the beneficiaries of the system. Town attorney—well, he works for the Town. Enough said. Again, what are the necessary steps on how this gets done?

    • Riverslide

      Just get the RTM, by majority vote, to approve competitive elections for the Bd of Ed. It is as simple and quick as that.

      (As for the BET, that is much, much trickier. The standard response is that seven members of the BET have to approve a change affecting the BET and the Dems (guaranteed control of six seats, 50% of the board) will never vote themselves into a likely minority position. I think our state legislators could pass some reforms at the state level to get it done, but they are much too comfortable attempting nothing dramatic and blaming their absence of achievement on their minority status.)

      • Anonymous

        Riverslide….the RTM can’t agree if the sky is blue let alone something of this import. Jim Lash had his faults, but he sure was right about the RTM and its ineffectiveness due to its size. Of note, Fairfield with 60k residents has 50 RTM members versus our 230. I think Fairfield could be improved because its equally 25 Dems and 25 Republicans and many of us are Independents—but its a hell a lot better than our yahoos.

        • And Fairfield’s budget is 1/2 ours. Coincidence?

        • Riverslide

          A majority of the RTM shouldn’t be that hard to get, as everyone, even the hard left (e.g. Farricker) in a sober moment agrees some change to the Board of Ed election method is needed.

          But why do you have to mislead with the references to Fairfield? Your reference to a 50/50 balance suggests that leads to better government. So I looked and quickly found out: Fairfield’s BET has nine members, thus guaranteeing political imbalance! And, horrors, presently six of the nine are Republicans, so I take it the voters deliberately set the imbalance even higher than necessary. And the RTM looks like the members run under party banners (supposedly more divisive a method than Greenwich’s “non-partisan” elections) and a majority of 28 of the 50 are Republicans.

          In short, you missed my point. And then completely mislead readers of this blog. Thanks very much for participating.

  18. CoCo

    It’s funny that Horton tries to call out Moriarty for not protecting Sherr. Moriarty not doing her job as Chair; but who put her in as Chair? Sherr.

    This Sherr stuff seems like such a replay of Ponn Cohen from two years ago. That woman twisted and twisted the information and created a horrifically hostile situation where nothing got done on the BOE and it cost this town the superintendent. Her information fishing trips and BS lines of questioning took up huge amounts of administration time and were really just political grandstanding. And then her fallback line within the Republican party was that everyone else is just a RINO. Change the name from Ponn Cohen to Sherr and the same situation is playing out to the detriment (again) of our school system.
    I won’t pretend to truly understand the back room Republican dealings over Sherr causing the Republicans to lose the chairman’s spot two years ago, but, after attending BOE meetings over the years, I have a possible different reason for why Sherr wasn’t renominated – he is unprepared, ineffective, clueless on the budget and seems to have no idea how to work with others (except Von Braun – when he’s awake).
    Waiting for Thursday’s meeting. As I mentioned last week, let’s see if anyone on this board has the guts to make a decision or if everyone “needs more information” just like they have for the past 2 years.

    • Riverslide

      “back room Republican dealings over Sherr causing the Republicans to lose the chairman’s spot”!? Are you kidding?

      The spot was lost because the Republican Bd of Ed chairman was inept and engaged in “back room” dealings with the Superintendant whereby they by-passed the board and in the board’s name agreed to various ill-advised schemes. Sherr, acting out in the open, plainly said he could no longer support the guy.

      Fortunately that Board chairman lost his position, and the Superintendant surprised everyone by suddenly slipping out of town. And fortunately Sherr remains, at least for now.

    • RTCer

      BINGO!
      “I have a possible different reason for why Sherr wasn’t renominated – he is unprepared, ineffective, clueless on the budget and seems to have no idea how to work with others (except Von Braun – when he’s awake).”

  19. Anonymous

    Thank you Ms. Rogers for your perspective. Nice to see you would have preferred a liar and law breaker, as Anderson, for the top school BOE official. That Moriarty selects someone who has never been an Educator (only Development ie fundraising) and hasn’t been in any one job over 2 years speaks to the general incompetence of this board, not to re-electing the cheat that was before. How about this idea—why did the RTC re-elect Anderson in the first place to be on the board (in any capacity—let alonne Chair) knowing the illegal acts he was caught doing?

  20. Greenwich Gal

    La de da de da….None of this matters anyway! ‘Cause nothing is going to change! Until the town charter changes…consider this nonsense “normal operating procedure” or SNAFU in military parlance.

  21. greenITCH

    and what ever became of that legal opinion the BOE sort with regard to our schools being designated as special magnet schools etc ?

  22. Anonymous

    Riverslide, light’n up, man. You misunderstood completely my statement about the equal distribution of dems and republicans. I actually thought it was an impediment to have this goal (equal number) since many people don’t even register in either party since they are independents. I do believe 230 people is beyond governance and has been noted by so many others has become a body of rubber stamping yahoos.