Letters to the School Board

Several concerned Enterprise parents and a former teacher have recently written the school board about the renewal of Dr. Wright’s contract and some of these have been shared on Facebook by Dr. Lyn Diefenderfer, including her own letter. For those of you who did not see them there or wanted to re-read them all together in one place I am sharing them here.

UPDATE: Since the original post this story and these letters were shared in a news story on WDHN on 9/28/16. You can see that story here Enterprise school superintendent’s contract set to end; concerned residents call for non-renewal

Regardless of what decision the board makes this time regarding the superintendent’s contract, not seeing people at board meetings and not knowing how the people feel will not be a valid excuse. I don’t think it was a valid excuse in 2013 when we were told that debacle was our fault but that is another story, documented in A City Divided if you are interested.

I hope this encourages and motivates others to share your experiences and input to the board as well. They need to hear from you. If you need the contact information you can find that here in School Board Meetings. Continue reading Letters to the School Board

School Board Meetings

Having attended many school board meetings over the past 3+ years I have learned not much is normally deliberated and decided during a school board meeting. Recently, there has been more substantive discussion and questions asked but the board members have their packet of information ahead of time and have likely made their decision on how they will vote on issues before they get there. At least that is how it appears to me. Continue reading School Board Meetings

Unexpected Reply to “Who is Sean Thomas?”

If you read my last post Who is Sean Thomas? I ended it with the statement,

“I don’t really expect a response from this one either.”

I really didn’t but an unexpected reply was received last night. Since so many of you have read that post I assumed you would want to see this too. His response as well as mine, written this morning, are shown below. I don’t think any additional comments are needed.

UPDATE: Since the original post this story and blog was mentioned in a news story on WDHN on 9/28/16. You can see that story here Enterprise school superintendent’s contract set to end; concerned residents call for non-renewal Continue reading Unexpected Reply to “Who is Sean Thomas?”

Who is Sean Thomas?

No, this isn’t a Jeopardy answer, although that might fit. I think To Tell The Truth fits this story better.

I received an email yesterday morning with the subject Enterprise Schools supposedly from a “parent with students in your system”. It was sent at 10:21 but I did not see it until yesterday afternoon. The email wasn’t addressed To me. I was copied though. It was addressed to all the school board members and Greg Faught. The email is from someone I had never heard of prior to this email, named Sean Thomas, or was it?

UPDATE: Since the original post this story and blog was mentioned in a news story on WDHN on 9/28/16. You can see that story here Enterprise school superintendent’s contract set to end; concerned residents call for non-renewal Continue reading Who is Sean Thomas?

Well Done Enterprise! Don’t stop now!

we-are-enterprise-logoYou know how you see athletes interviewed after an important victory and they are asked how they feel? Their answer is often something like, “It hasn’t sunk in yet“. That is exactly how I felt last month when we learned the election results from the city elections in Enterprise and it lasted a good week at least for me.

Happy and Sad

I was both happy and excited for Enterprise and the new city councilmen and sad that Milton Shipman fell 48 votes short, by my count, of a runoff in the mayoral election. Thank you and congratulations to the challengers who stood up accepted the challenge to run and serve. Thank you Milton for running a clean campaign and taking the high road. It is very difficult to unseat an incumbent in a city election who has more funding than many running for statewide office.

Well done Enterprise!350px-boll_weevil_monument

Well done voting citizens of Enterprise! Thanks to your willingness to stand up and let your voices be heard with your vote you have changed the makeup of the city council. You now have three new members that promise to be more transparent and more collaborative with their constituents. It will be your job to make sure they follow through on these promises.

Transparency and Accountability

As for the transparency I am not sure what form that will take, whether there will be more discussion at council meetings so those who attend can understand better what is being discussed and voted on or not. It could take the form of Facebook posts to keep their constituents informed and also get their feedback, or town hall meetings, a blog, a letter to the editor in the paper or some combination of all of those and others not mentioned. If you don’t see the transparency you expect you should let them know.

You, the citizens, are their accountability partners.

I do know it take at least three votes for anything to be approved at a city council meeting so you will have three new voices voting so the “We’ve always done it this way” or “This is the way we do it” reasoning will not be enough to move an issue forward.

Don’t have unrealistic expectations

Don’t misunderstand or have an unrealistic expectation that this is a new voting bloc that will just oppose anything the mayor proposes. I do expect there will be some items which they will agree with the mayor. On those they don’t agree with there will be questions asked and if they don’t agree they will speak up with their reason for opposition and their vote. We might actually get to see if that right side of the voting box in the council chamber works. I hear the bulbs are going to be checked.

Keep in mind these are three different men with different experiences and ideas who ran for their own individual reasons so I don’t expect even they will agree on everything. What I do expect is they all will express their ideas, formed by their experience and your input when possible, so the best choice can be made in each issue they face over the next four years. I do expect they will be transparent so we will understand more of the reasoning behind the votes. This will be a huge improvement over the non-informative “All ayes Mr. Hicks” we have seen on practically all votes over the past several years.

Prayers Appreciated

I can say without any hesitation they would all appreciate your prayers. They are all new to this role and will face many challenges due so knowing folks are praying for them to make wise decisions will be appreciated. I pray regularly for all the city leaders to make decisions in the best interest of those they serve not their own self-interest and plan to continue. Join me.

Community Town Hall with the Superintendent

On another related note for those interested in the future of the Enterprise City Schools you have an opportunity on Tuesday night at 5:30 to participate in a town hall meeting with the Superintendent of Schools.

Community Town Hall Meeting with the Superintendent
~ Informal Q & A Session ~
All are welcome and invited to attend!

Tuesday, September 20th
5:30 – 7:00 pm
Central Office Board Room

At this event, as I understand it, anyone can ask questions. If you have questions you want answered or to make known what you might have, to date, been unable to share publicly this is your opportunity to do so.

I understand the superintendent’s contract is up for renewal and will be discussed at the next regular school board meeting on September 27th at 6:00 PM and the feedback received at this meeting will play a role in that discussion.

If you are not satisfied with her performance and don’t let them know they will assume you are. Don’t let them make that assumption if it is not true. Apparently she has sent an email to teachers asking for all those who have experienced “positive growth” to attend both meetings for support.

I encourage to you all to attend both meetings if at all possible to support your students and teachers. You can speak at the regular board meeting on the 27th but you have to complete one of their “Request to Appear Before Board” forms at least 24 hours in advance to speak at this one.

I cannot express the importance of this town hall meeting any better or more passionately than Pam McQueen did in a Facebook post on Friday, so I am including that below. Please read it and respond with your participation.

pam-mcqueen_20160916_2016-09-17_21-01-46

Keep standing up Enterprise. Enterprise works because you care enough to be involved and you work. You ARE making a difference! Don’t stop now!

Until next time…

Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 09/18/2016

Time for Choosing in Enterprise

we-are-enterprise-logo-150x150Tuesday is time for choosing in Enterprise

What will Enterprise choose?350px-boll_weevil_monument

The choices in front of you are:

  1.  Re-elect the status quo with the same people who have been running Enterprise for years, some out front and others behind the scenes, the way they see fit. This includes a mayor who warns citizens when they simply ask for information that is public and owned by the people he works for, a city council who says they are “as transparent as they need to be” and an environment where speaking freely about city issues is squelched.
  2. Elect new faces, perspectives, ideas and leadership that will work to provide a more transparent and open city government that will make all financial and other information conveniently available, address the issues facing Enterprise honestly, will welcome and listen to input from citizens and will create an environment where speaking freely is encouraged.

The decision looks pretty straightforward to me but it is up to you, the citizens of Enterprise.

If you need to refresh your memory

I expect most of you have already made up your mind as to who you are going to vote for. However, if you do want to review any of the information I have shared here in the last 3+ years beginning with A City Divided on 7/5/2013 there are a couple of ways you can do that on my website. There is a Search Peculiar Perspective box just below Recent Comments where you can enter any word or name you want to find. This will show the blog posts where that search term is mentioned and does work pretty well. Underneath this there is a Category drop-down list where if you select the Local category that should provide most of the blogs related to all things Enterprise.

If you are viewing this on a computer you should see these options in the sidebar to the left. If you are viewing this on your mobile device you just need to keep scrolling down below the current post to find these options.

It will take action to make change happen

It will take action on your part if any change is to be realized. Sitting at home and expecting “someone else” to do it rarely works in your favor. Going to the Rec Center Tuesday and voting for the candidates of your choice is your opportunity to individually and collectively stand up and make changes in Enterprise if that is what you desire.

2012 Elections

In the last city election in 2012 three councilmen and the mayor ran unopposed and in the two council seats that were contested the margin of victory in District 2 was 155 votes and in District 3 was 106 votes. You can refresh your memory here Enterprise Incumbent Council Remains if you are interested.

The numbers needed for new leadership to be elected in Enterprise are well within reach for you, the Silenced Majority in Enterprise, if you decide to act.

Don’t miss this opportunity

I hope you never neglect your privilege and your responsibility to VOTE whenever you have that opportunity! Many have died so you can exercise this privilege. Until that day arrives, don’t neglect your opportunity to get involved and help bring about the change you seek. The next city election is Tuesday.

Take the action Tuesday that will allow you to say on Wednesday “I am glad I did” instead of “I wish I had.”

Enterprise City Election_August 23, 2016

Until next time…

Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 08/22/2016

Enterprise Works

350px-boll_weevil_monumentLadies and gentlemen I will tell you, contrary to what the mayor says at the top of his ad in the Southeast Sun Wednesday, Enterprise works because the people of Enterprise work, not the mayor.

I was surprised at the arrogance and utter disregard for the people of Enterprise conveyed in his ad. I have been told this arrogance exists and witnessed it on occasion (You Can’t Please Everyone and Loud and Clear are two examples) but seeing it displayed in an ad that is trying to get people to vote for him was unexpected.

Enterprise WORKS. Because Mayor Kenneth Boswell WORKS.

I disagree. Continue reading Enterprise Works

Huge Contrast in District 3

350px-boll_weevil_monumentI was reading the Southeast Sun online today and noticed all of the campaign ads, which is to be expected. Next Tuesday, August 23rd, is the day Enterprise will choose who will be serving as mayor and city council for the next 4 years. Anyone who reads what I write here should not be confused as to what I would do if I had a vote.

However, just in case any of you are confused and I don’t get to mention it again before next Tuesday here is the executive summary, I would not vote for anyone running for RE-election and for Mayor, since there are 3 candidates, I would vote for Milton Shipman. Continue reading Huge Contrast in District 3

Drive-by bail bondsman

350px-boll_weevil_monumentDrive-by media “journalism” is nothing more than sensationalizing a story, sometimes news, sometimes not, for the purpose of playing on the emotions of the audience to advance an agenda. After the initial story has achieved the intended effect they move on, ignoring facts discovered later that often completely contradict or prove the original story false. The damage has been done and the intended effect achieved. If they ever do post a follow-up story providing the factual information it is often buried and never has the same prominence as the original false story. Then they keep moving or drive by on to their next “story”.

A recent example of this was brought to my attention this week with the source being an area bail bondman who also has a website. Continue reading Drive-by bail bondsman

Hire Your Boss Day

350px-boll_weevil_monumentIt will be Hire Your Boss Day 2016 in Enterprise for hundreds of city employees on August 23rd. I wanted to make sure you are aware of the opportunity you have this year and don’t miss it. It is one that doesn’t even come along every 4 years in Enterprise.

Bad Bosses

For those of us who work in the private sector if we have a bad boss, we normally have three choices. Continue reading Hire Your Boss Day