It’s been three business days since I published the post that clearly identifies a serious problem with the residency requirement for school board member Dr. Adil Baguirov. You’d think the local news would pick the story up, or that the prosecutors office or the board of elections would have a statement? Nope. You’d think other school board members would be calling for an investigation- nada.
However, when the Dunbar coaches played an ineligible player against Belmont, knowing that he had played the week before at Taft as ineligible, there has been no stone left uncovered. Fingers pointed everywhere- and now the Ohio High School Athletic Association has weighed in as well- with probation and a fine. Wow.
I requested both the report from the Director Safety & Security, Jamie Bullens, a former Dayton cop with plenty of experience, and the OHSAA report and read them.
DPS internal report
Reading them, all I can say is add another ring to the three ring circus, with the coaches, athletic directors, principals all looking like clowns on parade.
How do you have a star quarterback failing to maintain his C average in the first place? There are no excuses for this- once again, Dayton Public Schools fails a student- all the rest really doesn’t matter.
Not a single one of these people did what was right for the students, and this goes all the way to the Superintendent.
The reason I bring her in, is because previously, David Lawrence was the guy who was over the rookie athletic director- and was known for his attention to the details of eligibility. Once Corr had demoted him, she forgot to appoint someone else to keep tabs on athletics- mostly, because she’s too busy at the same time with the self-created budget crisis and RIF that turned the entire district upside down for the entire month of November.
Here is the DPS Organizational chart- having LaMark Baker reporting directly to Rhonda Corr- the chart was supplied to me on Feb 3, 2017.
Dayton Public Schools Org Chart 3 Feb 2017
For the people who worry about the $10K fine- really? Considering Corr and the board had no problem spending 20+x that to buy out Lawrence’s contract- as well as to pay off Lori Ward, as well as for unnecessary time clocks ($400K) or to hire the most expensive ad agency to do sub-par work, or buy buses from people who do business with Dr. Baguirov….
If Dayton really cared about the students, we’d end this circus by having a judge recall the entire board, fire the superintendent and treasurer for gross incompetence, and ask the state to install a professional team to supervise the schools and pick a new superintendent.
The best choice to run the district is Dr. Elisabeth Lolli, who seems both competent and has integrity.
In the meantime, we’ll wait to see if anyone has the gumption or brains to ask Baguirov to step down.
When you hire an ad agency that likes to buy media- of course, the first thing you do is buy media. Dayton Public Schools hired The Ohlmann Group, who bragged about winning the “Mercury award” for media buying all seven years the award has been in existence. Airing today, radio spots on 103.9- Clear Channel Alt rock station – directing people to the new landing page site www.enrolldps.com
Which starts off with:
GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING AT DAYTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
At Dayton Public Schools, good grades aren’t just for our students. The State of Ohio recently awarded Dayton Public Schools a grade of A for “value added,” recognizing the improvement we’re making in our students’ education. From our top-rated preschools to our innovative elementary and high school technology initiatives and career programs, the future is filled with tremendous promise. Enroll now and discover how Dayton Public Schools provides the teachers and educational resourcess (sic) that help every child thrive.
Please tell me one thing on this page that makes you confident that DPS is any different than it was last year – the year before, or the year before that? Should you really be bragging about “Award winning athletics- Committed to providing student-athletes with a healthy athletic experience designed to enhance their overall development” considering the district just got put on probation for 3 years by the Ohio High School Athletics Association?
Here we go spending money on radio, billboards, new bad websites, without addressing any of the issues facing the district.
My favorite is the part about the 1-to-1 computers: “Will my child receive a chromebook? As part of the district’s 1:1 Initiative, all students and content area teachers (including self-contained teachers) grades 1-12 will receive a Chromebook for the upcoming school year. Similar devices will be available for kindergarten students”- leaving out that they won’t actually have possession of said chromebook, or be able to bring it home, you just get to use it to drill and fill while in a classroom.
Considering radio reaches communities well outside DPS, one has to wonder what DPS thinks they are doing? Do people in Kettering really need to hear this message?
Another #FAIL brought to you by the fine folks at Dayton Public Schools.
His campaign literature was a bit over the top, and why he even needed any to run unopposed for Dayton School Board was a bit of a mystery. But when you take a closer look at Dr. Adil T. Baguirov he, not Austin Powers, is Dayton’s own international man of mystery.
The literature (which I saved but can’t find at the moment) had a photo of the young Turk with the pope and another with Joe Biden. Not your run of the mill school board candidate, but he was unopposed, had a PhD, and had the 300 required signatures. What could we do?
One thing has been clear in his tenure on the Dayton Board of Education, he’s been THE mover and shaker. He pushed hard for the one-to-one computer program and the decision to cut ties with former Superintendent Lori Ward and Treasurer Craig Jones. He was the loudest voice convincing others that internal candidates for replacement would be giving someone who got us in our current mess a promotion, thus starting David Lawrence’s oust. Most would say current Superintendent Rhonda Corr was his hand picked protegee (or maybe more appropriately, partner in crime).
And the uncharacteristic silence and tacit approval from the board about Issue 9: a play by Nan Whaley and the city to jack up the income tax, in part, to fund a competing quasi-public pre-school system. There was so much money behind issue 9 and we still don’t know the half of it, since the PAC “Neighborhoods for Dayton’s Future” hasn’t filed their post election report. Any half-wit journalist would start to wonder why, but since Dayton is sort of short on journalists, you’re stuck with me.
For those of you not into the whole “reading” thing, here’s the video to whet your appetite.
What did I do? Well, what any mediocre journalism student is told to do: “follow the money.” What I find is a lot of smoking barrels which point to the personal enrichment of Dr. Baguirov as well as a spiderweb of shell corporations and business partners.
Sure, if we’d done our homework before he was elected, we’d have known this was coming, because Adil Baguirov is connected. Not just photos with the (previous-previous) Pope or Biden, either. It took months to put all the pieces together.
Dr. Togrul Bagirov is the Executive Vice President of Moscow International Petroleum Club (MIPC), a non-profit non-governmental specialized international organization. He is a Special Advisor to the Russian Prime Minister, the Russian Minister of Energy, Gazprom, LUKoil, and Transneft. In addition, Dr. Bagirov serves as a Deputy Chairman of the United Nations Forum on Energy Security.
Dr. Bagirov received a M.S. in International Relations, a Ph.D. in History from Moscow University (MGIMO), and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Institute of USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is an adjunct professor in energy security studies at MGIMO University. Dr. Bagirov also heads the public consultative center under the Russian Government for international projects in oil and gas.
Dr. Bagirov is a member of the World Economic Forum at Davos, a participant in Russia-U.S. and Russia-EC Energy Dialogues, and a Deputy Chairman on the Board of Trustees of the Russian-American Business Council.
And while all that sounds impressive, I’m not sure I can tell you much about Dr. B. senior. Other than, he’s done OK for himself.
Togrul Bagirov, Stephen Payne, Timur Kulibayev (son-in-law of the President of Kazakhstan & Chairman of the KazEnergy Association and VP of Samruk – the new state-owned holding company), and Adil Baguirov
The people he’s rubbing elbows with in this venture, Worldwide Strategic Energy, are a bit better known like the lobbyist Stephen P. Payne. In July 2008, Payne attracted international attention after being secretly videotaped discussing a $750,000 lobbying contract offering access to senior U.S. officials and suggesting a $250,000 donation to the future presidential library of U.S. president George W. Bush.
Dr. B. Sr. is also the chairman of the Baku Nobel Heritage fund, which describes itself as a “civil initiative to restore the Nobel brothers’ heritage in Azerbaijan.” Apparently, the Nobel family were the movers and shakers who developed Azerbaijan’s oil resources at the end of the 19th century. Introducing innovations like oil pipelines and steam-powered tankers to transform Baku into one of the world’s leading oil producers. This leads into one of the stranger Baguirov connections. Adil has a Wyoming Corp, “Nobel Brothers Pictures, LLC”, which is working to make a big-budget Hollywood movie called “The Big Game” about the history of the Baku oil industry.
Recall that another movie about the history of Baku oil industry starring world-known actors will be shot in Hollywood. The multi-million dollar film to be produced by the chairman of the Baku Nobel Heritage Fund Togrul Bagirov in the frame of the Nobel project will show the history of Baku oil through the eyes of the Nobel brothers.
The film will describe mutual relations in the Nobels-Rothschilds-Rockefellers triangle of the great powers and the global role played by the Baku oil. All this will be shown in the context of the Nobel oil empire’s prosperity and fall, the communist revolution in Russia and political compromises of the early 1920s. The film presumably will be called ‘The Big Game’ or ‘The Oil Wars’ and will underline that the Baku oil has always been in the focus of international attention, being “an award” which superpowers were endeavoring to gain.
Dr. Baguirov Sr. (fourth from Right) with Dolph Lungren (fourth from left)
And the “world-known actors”- ready for it?
The large-scale movie, which will be filming in Baku and the U.S., will be made with the use of innovative technologies.It is expected that the film will star Anthony Hopkins, Michael Douglas, Monica Bellucci, Antonio Banderas and Dolph Lundgren, Bagirov said.
However, Dr. B Jr. is kind of a big deal on paper. He went to the University of Southern California with a degree in International Relations and Business Administration, graduating in 1999. By 2002 he’d earned a Ph.D in Political Science from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
His father’s status opened doors, and he served as a “Special Advisor on Russia and the Former Soviet Union” to Congressman Curt Weldon sometime around 2003. This was while was also serving as an “Executive” for “Worldwide Strategic Energy” out of Houston, which is where we got a lot of the info on his father through a leaked “proprietary and confidential- Placement Memorandum.”
Don’t ask why, but it seems almost everyone that Adil comes in contact with has some sort of international controversy, usually connected with Russia:
In 2006 Weldon faced investigation by the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section for suspected unlawful ties to two Russian companies and two Serbian citizens, when in a filing with the Federal Election Commission Weldon’s campaign committee reported that it transferred $70,000 to the “Weldon Legal Expense Trust”.
The co-founder of Karabakh Foundation, a 501(c)(3) in Washington D.C. with a mission statement to “preserve and disseminate the cultural heritage and traditions of Azerbaijan, the Caucasus area, and the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.”
And he’s also elected to the board of directors of the U.S. Azeris Network, an organization dedicated to coalescing the political power within the U.S. of Azerbaijani and Turkic diaspora communities. That’s a fancy way of saying lobby for the best interests of the legal immigrants, of which he is one.
Sevin Elekdag and Adil Baguirov wedding pix
In 2013, just as he started showing up in Dayton, he married Sevin Elekdag in D.C. She’s the daughter of Sukru Elekdag, the Turkish Ambassador to the United States from 1979-1989.
This is where we start running into problems. As you may know, Adil has to file a few things as an elected official.
The post campaign report
The pre-election report
Our first document is his campaign finance reports, to which you really do have to laugh. He was running unopposed, yet still printed literature and bought signs, with his own money. Specifically, he spent about $2,200 (no contributors listed) on printing, signs, and $92.75 on online advertising.
Adil made history as the first Ahiska-Turkish American to be elected to public office when he was sworn in to the Dayton Board of Education in January of 2014.
Since his election, the School Board hasn’t quite been the same. They meet more often, and cause more consternation than any other school board in the region. There are deep divisions on the board, and the one member who seems to be at the center of almost anything that has controversy attached is Dr. B. But, considering who he’s worked for in the past, is it any wonder?
Adil Baguirov Ethics Statement 2015
Cycling back to his listed home, 111 Cooper Place, it was bought by his undisclosed shell company, Metroplis LLC of Wyoming (the state, not the suburb in Cincinnati) just before the election, August 27, 2013. We know this because we looked at his Ohio Ethics Commission Financial Disclosure statement.
He lists no debtors, no creditors, and his only investment is in the Connor Group Fund. It’s also funny that he only lists ownership of two pieces of property:
1819 Troy St Dayton OH 45404, home of his trucking company, and 400 E. 5th St. Dayton Oh 45402. No residential properties at all. His income comes from:
Turbillion- which provides “Consulting”
Addison HHS- a “health care provider”
Dayton Board of Education- $5,229
American Power- Freight and Logistics.
Living with him is his spouse, Sevin Baguirov, and his two dependent children.
The businesses listed/offices/fiduciary relationships, add “Megapolis” and “Oregon Renaissance” which is 400 E. 5th St.
If asked what business he’s in, the standard answer is logistics. He owns “American Power LLC” which has offices on Troy Street. Interestingly, the last blog posts on their site are 2013… it seems once he got his $5000 a year job on School Board, the trucking company didn’t get the attention it once did. But, no worries, he’s got other ventures. Lots of them.
One that he’ll admit to is Addison Home Health Care [full disclosure, I did some work for his business partner Islom Shakhbandarov, printing some business cards, and working on a craptastic boxing event that was being done in a hurry] which has its offices in the Oregon District, above Salar. The building, formerly owned by shadow Mayor Dr. Mike E. Ervin, was originally owned by Oregon Renaissance LLC – a firm set up on 3/12/2008. On August 29, 2014 paperwork was filed to make Turbillion LLC a subsequent agent of Oregon Renaissance. Adil lists himself as a director in his 2015 ethics statement. What is the address of Turbillion? 111 Cooper Place of course. In the Ethics Statement, he’s listed as a director of Addison as well.
Businesses incorporated in Ohio by Adil Baguirov and his wife Sevin Baguirov
What’s more interesting is what’s missing from his disclosures. Two other medical firms, one in his name and one in Sevin’s. That’s a no-no. It’s why I contacted the Ohio Ethics Commission and asked them to investigate in the first place. Adil seemed, to me, the only one in the loop on both the CareSource sale of school-owned real estate and the denied sale to a private developer. He has companies doing business in the medical field, and both Premier Health and CareSource are the 800lb gorillas in the industry. This could be a conflict of interest, if Baguirov’s companies work with CareSource or Premier. Right after I brought up this conflict of interest in Millennial Medical LLC at the Dayton Board of Education Meeting on February 14th, he filed to “kill” the corporation. I was holding the knowledge of “Montgomery Medical Holding LLC” as my hole card. Metropolis Holdings LLC lists 111 Cooper Place W. as its mailing address, and its business address is the Troy St. American Power offices.
Remember, the Cooper Place house was bought by Metroplis LLC of Wyoming, so we have at least 2 Metropolis branded companies.
The problem is, we’re pretty sure that Adil and Sevin don’t live at 111 Cooper Place W. A quick look at voter records finds two things. Sevin isn’t registered to vote in Ohio and Adil isn’t registered to vote at Cooper Place.
If you think that Adil just crashes at 630 Maryland Ave home with his beautiful wife and two young children and Islom too, well, you’re about as gullible as the rest of the school board who has been buying Adil’s guidance hook, line and sinker.
Why is this a problem for Adil? Well, one of the conditions of being on the Dayton Board of Education is that you actually have to reside in the school district. His kids aren’t old enough to be enrolled in school, and it’s a moot point, he’d probably send them to a private school.
Vacancies in Board seats may occur as a result of many things including,
but not limited to: resignation, non-residence, removal from office or
The question of residency gets a little muddled in Ohio, thanks to our very own Secretary of State Jon Husted. He had a vacant house in Kettering while he lived in Columbus, when he was a State Representative. I don’t want to get into the legal quicksand on this issue, but there is a major difference. Husted actually owned the house in Kettering and no one else lived there. Really, it’s not much different than Tony Hall living in DC all those years as our congressman, while keeping a small bachelor pad here in town. Again, the house was his.
Now, this would all be great and fine, except, if Adil lives in 111 Cooper Place, which he owns, why is he registered to vote at 630 Maryland which he doesn’t? Is that voter fraud when he and Islom went to vote for president last year? Or, does he live in the mansion outside the district, 7077 Meeker Commons Lane Dayton OH 45414? Well, that would have to be his residence if he decides to run for State Rep Mike Henne’s seat when it comes open. Word on the street is that’s his goal.
The question is, who enforces the rules when it comes to residency? I talked to the Board of Elections, the Ohio Ethics Commission, the Secretary of State’s office, the BOE again. I put a call into the prosecutor’s office and then told a few trusted people within the school district. No one knew who would be the ones to investigate and prove the residency. It requires a court order to put a tracking device on his car. Frankly, I don’t have time or the inclination to start tailing him all over town.
It’s time to investigate not only his residency and his legitimacy on the Board of Education, but take a deep look at possible conflicts of interest. His many holdings in companies could be enriched by his actions on the board (eg. bus purchases and vacant land sales).
In the past, I’ve called for an elected chief ethics officer position in each county to help wage integrity in office on behalf of citizens who always get the run around when they bring issues like this to light.
And as always, I have to sit and wait for the Dayton Daily News to do their normal theft of my story and not give credit. Then wait for the people in the statehouse to move, if they even care.
With all the noise in Washington about connections to the Russian government and interference in our elections, this story of our very own International Man of Mystery surely won’t be discussed on the Sunday morning talk shows, but isn’t it nice to know that international intrigue can happen right here in Dayton?
Summer of 2016, Dayton Public Schools thought they needed a tax levy.
Then came Mayor Whaley- who needed a tax levy even more. For some reason, the board rolled over and played dead.
They’d changed Superintendents, bringing in the rookie Rhonda Corr to replace Superintendent Lori Ward- who they had to spend big bucks to get her to go away. September 14, 2016, they find out, Ward had pulled a rabbit out of a hat- getting the district an A in Annual Yearly Progress- the first A they’d had on a State report card in decades. This averted state takeover. It also gave Corr and crew breathing room.
But, since Corr didn’t like some of Ward’s people- she had a housecleaning- ostensibly a Reduction in Force, to get rid of opposition, and so she could justify bringing in her own team of highly paid assistants. The board, under leadership of Dr. Adil Baguirov, claimed the district was short about $4.5 million- although no one could provide real numbers. On the chopping block along with the opposition, were about 30 para-professionals (teachers aides) who were widely credited with helping get the A in AYP.
Along came Nan’s issue 9. A quarter percent increase in the city income tax. The board actually BACKED it- despite it creating a whole other quasi-public school board for pre-school only. These “Learn to Earn” folks even got to pay themselves big money- instead of the $5k a year the board members make. And, btw- get $4.5 million a year- without any stipulations on where it goes- charters, private schools, churches, as long as they are doing pre-school. There is a bit of a conflict of interest here, but, we’ll save that for another post that’s coming.
That levy, btw- was financed with big money- although we still don’t know the full extent, since the “Neigborhoods for Dayton’s Future” PAC that solicited the $1873 average donation still hasn’t filed their post campaign finance report.
Then the board has to finish doing Rhonda’s dirty work, buying out David Lawrence, who was Chief of School Innovation- and partially responsible for the A in AYP. They blew that buyout, but had the money to throw around.
And all of a sudden, after not buying any new full size buses since 2010, they are about to buy 30 and take 10 more on a grant. It’s an overdue $2.1 million buy. But, Dr. Adil Baguirov, who happens to be the only one who also buys trucks from the same dealers for his trucking company- all of a sudden jumps in with all the facts and figures and the district is ready to commit to long term financing of 110 buses.
The teachers union isn’t too happy. The paraprofessionals know they are toast. The deal Adil is talking about seems to have a 10 year service and maintenance contract attached- meaning the districts mechanics are probably going to lose their jobs too.
And, all of you voters are just along for the ride.
Today, we bring you the emergency meeting of the finance committee, the meeting that was hastily called after last Thursdays discussion.
The first question should be of course, why the rush? Did a district that hasn’t bought a standard school bus since 2010 seriously not have a full plan in place? This is the purchasing department that also knows how to run an RFP/RFQ process for marketing so well that they can present their findings to the board, without substantiation, or even a contract to review- and the board buys it lock, stock and barrel.
Going back to that marketing contract- the one where district legal counsel Jyllian Bradshaw spent an inordinate amount of time telling the board that if they were to listen to a presentation, or review the documents, they would have to recuse themselves. “You have to follow our scoring rubric” were her instructions.
The more we watch the Dayton Public Schools Board of Education, the more questions we have. Maybe that’s why they meet more, do less, and have worse schools than any other district in the region.
Note- this bus issue brought board members Sheila Taylor and John McManus out, possibly causing this to be an illegal unannounced meeting of the School Board. Sitting mute- doesn’t really solve the issue. Dr. Walker even said Dr. Hazel Rountree wanted to attend, but didn’t for that very reason. This issue was so supercharged that Board member Joe Lacey said he was resigning his duties as finance committee chair for this issue when it is to be presented at the board meeting tomorrow.
Here’s the video of the meeting. Please feel free to share in comments what lines you like best- as our board members go where board members never should be involved.
There wasn’t supposed to be an executive session at last Thursday’s Dayton Board of Education meeting, but there was.
It was over 2 Dunbar assistant coaching positions. Sheila Taylor took offense to seeing Alfred Powell Sr. and Darran Powell, get hired as Assistant Boys Track Coach and Assistant Girls Track Coach respectively. What happened in Exec, I don’t really know- but, I do know that both of them are part of Dunbar Basketball Coach Pete Pullen’s brain trust. Pete Pullen who also got knocked out of being the Dunbar Athletic Director.
Why this was done just before the boys basketball championships is anyone’s guess. Why Dunbar lost by 30- well, that’s just what happens when the community loses respect for a district that made an irrational choice for superintendent, has been embroiled in controversy since she showed up, and has lost the confidence of parents- many of whom, took their kids to Trotwood.
The case for a different choice.
When the three finalists were released for the second round of superintendent candidates, the community saw one thing: disrespect.
Not making the cut was the defacto deputy superintendent, home town boy, graduate of Dayton Public Schools- Chief of School Innovation, David Lawrence. Who, btw, played growing up with City Commissioner Joey Williams who was on the 1984 Dunbar Boys Basketball team that won state. Lawrence won state in Track in 81, 82 and runner up in 84. His name is still on the wall at Welcome Stadium for his track records.
So when the two old friends watched the debacle at Trent Arena, they both noticed the former DPS parents, sporting Rams shirts.
It pained both of them, because, even if DPS academics weren’t tops, the City League football and basketball programs were always a point of pride.
And now that too, is slipping away, no matter how much new district AD Mark Baker tries.
The sad thing is, once you look at this slide deck- without the words to explain it- you’ll see that just like our athletic programs used to be tops- the board just bought out someone for “over $200,000” who actually had a plan to put this district back on track. Remember the “A” grade on Annual Yearly Progress- that pulled the districts rear out of the fire, was the last gift of the departed administration lead by Lori Ward and David Lawrence.
The other superintendent candidates, look like little league punters with their “plan” to fix things. Just watch the video, and read my analysis of The Three Ring Circus.
Why did our board pass over David Lawrence?
What I heard was that Dr. Adil Baguirov pushed hard for an outsider and convinced the weak members of this board, that any internal candidate wouldn’t have the skills to fix a large urban district- because if they did, we wouldn’t be in this mess.
Apparently, Baguirov is a pretty convincing salesman (as we’re seeing with the RIF, and the bus purchases, and of course the 1-to-1 computers which he takes full credit for), as the board passed Lawrence over for Rhonda Corr, a rookie superintendent who even had to explain her baggage of association with corrupt leadership and kickback schemes in Chicago.
Considering the questions this blog has raised about the RIF, the real estate deals, and now the bus deal, all with strong connections to Baguirov, one wonders if he didn’t handpick Corr so if any of his questionable behavior gets exposed, he has the perfect fall girl to pin it on?
Lawrence has said he has zero interest in coming back to DPS, especially with the current board. Face it, only the insane would accept a job working for this crew.
Considering his legal leverage over the board who broke their buyout contract with him in the process of approving it, there are grounds for removal of 5 of 7 board members, if citizens collect the mandated 4500 signatures. Would remaining board members McManus and Taylor pick 5 replacements that would be able to woo him back?
Would they have the balls to pursue termination of the just approved contract with Corr? Her negligence in causing this clusterduck should be grounds to void the recently signed 3 year contract with the deposed board.
Or, does Dayton find itself stuck with this rudderless ship? Word is local universities looking to give full ride scholarships to our best and brightest, aren’t getting calls back from Ms. Corr.
It’s sad that the kids of Dayton have to wait until January 1, 2018 for the natural process to replace the four fools who were unopposed 4 years ago. Word is Ron Lee, Hazel Rountree and Dr. Adil Baguirov aren’t even running again- and Joe Lacey should never see another elected position after any sane voter watched this video:
But, don’t worry, there is more dirt to come. It just takes me a while to put all these things into a format that’s clear for you.
If you’d like to support my efforts- just remember, there is a donation page https://esrati.com/donate
Thank you for paying attention. It’s time to stop the losing.
Last night the Dayton Board of Education had a “review session.” Yes, it was a Thursday night meeting, instead of a Tuesday. Yes, it forced Board Member John McManus to have to call off work. Dr. Robert Walker and Ron Lee weren’t there. They held it in the room outside the board room- at the big square table. It was at least ten minutes in before Board Member Sheila Taylor who has repeatedly told them she is hearing impaired, had to ask for microphones. The board wasn’t taping the session, but I was.
Good thing I did, because yet again, we had a train wreck.
Or, more accurately a bus wreck.
And, yet again, no one in the DPS purchasing department under Treasurer Hiwot Abraha was fired.
The last time DPS purchased full sized buses was 2010. That means our newest buses are 7 years old. According to the expert from the Ohio Board of Education, Robert Harmon, buses in Ohio last 12.5 years- and our average fleet age is 13.5. Buses usually are retired at 150,000 miles- and Dayton has 40 over 200,000 miles. Every time the state comes to inspect, DPS loses 7-10 buses at a moments notice because the buses are deemed unsafe.
Dayton has a fleet of approximately 180 buses, and should have been replacing about 30 buses each year for the last 7 years to keep the inventory in rotation. But they didn’t.
You can blame the last school board, you can blame the last administration, you can blame anyone you want, but the reality is, without operable buses, kids don’t get to school. If they don’t get to school, well, that’s how the district gets straight F’s.
Parents are frustrated. Kids are losing. The district under Rookie Superintendent is a rudderless ship. This is the leader that gave me a first marketing assignment of how to improve attendance back in July. First clue: get the kids to and from school.
If you need evidence of failure- read this email I received today from the grandmother of a student who worked in my office under YouthWorks about 4 years ago:
No Bus, No Solution!
Hi, I am (youth works student’s) grandmother an I have sent emails, called both the Superintendent of DPS and to the head of transportation about not having a bus for my grandson to come home on because at times I do not have the money for bus fare or we have no ride to pick him up! 3 times this week no afternoon bus and went through this in Oct.2016 for 2wks. I have to keep him home due to this at times since no one can let me know that yes there will be a bus this afternoon! Since (grandson) is mildly Autistic this stresses him out and I don’t like that because of DPST they are not doing their job and say the same thing over and over! I have got to the point of thinking of pulling him out of school and do homeschooling because of the busing problem. Also there was no morning bus twice the week before and we have to be outside at 5:45am for the morning bus and had stood out side for 45minutes waiting in 6 degree temperature or even colder! Even email John McManus too last night when I saw him on the news. I don’t want to hear about what may be done in the future they need to do something now! Is there anyone who can get in touch with? I just don’t know what to do! Thank you,
Coincidence? There are no such things.
The proposal on the table was to out right buy 30 buses for 2.5 million or so. The transportation experts both said you need at least 60 this year and the same amount each of the following year. They also pointed out that buses are currently around $85K each and next year they are projected to cost $100K. So every bus you buy now, saves you $15k- or to put in a marketers terms, buy 6 and the seventh this year is free. Put another way, the costs of maintaining current buses is also getting cost prohibitive as well, never mind you are failing the kids.
But, here is where it got weird: while the transportation guys knew we needed 60 instead of thirty, no one from purchasing had a justification for the 30 number- or why we were buying the buses outright for cash. There was no decision matrix, no chosen vendor, no information about warranty, vendor, or long term strategy.
Purchasing was deaf, dumb, mute and uniformed.
Then came Dr. Adil Baguirov to the rescue. We should finance 100 buses this year, it will cost us the same this year as buying 30 outright.
Wait? Where did he get these numbers? How did he know?
And why didn’t anyone else know?
Deja vu all over again, this sounds like the CareSource deal, which only the guy who has a private business in the health care sector seemed to know all the details. And the Patterson Kennedy land offer, where again, he was the only board member who knew there had been a $900K offer on the land- that had been rejected without being presented to the Superintendent and the full board.
No, not Dr. Baguirov, the guy who claims his main business is trucking and logistics? Yup. That guy.
The only board member who buys commercial vehicles for his business knows the whole set of options better than the people we pay to manage our district transportation system and guide purchasing.
By the end of the meeting, while Treasurer Abraha can’t figure out if we are leasing or financing the 100 bus fleet- she caves to say “acquiring” – the board wants a proposal on Board docs asap so we don’t have to waive the 48 hour rule to commit to spending 8.5M on buses next Tuesday.
That’s right- we only needed 30 buses at 5:30 but by 8, it was 100 and we’re going to have yet another meeting on Monday afternoon of the finance committee to knock this deal down in a hurry.
5:05 pm today from Cherise Kidd via email:
Special Meeting – Finance Committee March 20
In accordance with Section 3313.16 of the Ohio Revised Code and File: BD of the Handbook of Policies, Rules & Regulations of the Board, I hereby call for a special meeting of the Finance Committee of the Board of Education of the Dayton City School District, Montgomery County, Ohio, to be held on Monday, March 20, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. in the 5th Floor Conference Room located at the Administration Building, 115 S. Ludlow St., Dayton, OH 45402.
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss potential financing options for the purchase of buses.
The media is being advised of this meeting in compliance with the Ohio Sunshine Law.
Robert Walker, D.Min.
Dayton Board of Education
Not that the board can whip up the money and just run down to Joe’s School Bus lot and pick out 100 bright shiny buses anyway- the wait time according to the experts is 6-8 months from order to delivery, but we have to do this deal in a hurry. Sort of like the contract with the Ohlmann Group that the board wasn’t allowed to see, voted a week early on, and then wondered why nothing had been done three weeks later, and oh yeah, btw, the deal wasn’t for $112,500 a year like on Board Docs, but for $345 a year, with a one year contract and 2 one year extensions (more on this to come).
This is just one more example of the incompetence of a criminally negligent school district at managing the health, welfare and safety of our schools. ?Buying buses is just part of the solution, we’re still failing at routing, staffing, and demonstrating competent leadership.
A real superintendent would have fired someone for even suggesting that a 30 bus purchase was a viable option, here, we didn’t.
It’s time to remove this school board, superintendent, treasurer and legal counsel for gross incompetence. The only way to do this is to collect over 4500 signatures and present the failings of this board to make reasonable and competent decisions.
After the smoke cleared from the shit-show that pretends to be a school board meeting last night, a week after they hired The Ohlmann group to manage their marketing starting last Wednesday, there was one really important new program launched by DPS, led by Dr. Markay Winston.
You didn’t see it in the Dayton Daily news, because the story was the controversy over buying out former Chief of School Innovation David Lawrence for “over $200,000” because Rhonda Corr is our own version of Donald Trump- if she doesn’t like you- you’re fired (except as much as they try to turn their board meetings into reality TV- this is a government organization that actually enters into legally binding contracts that have to be honored. Corr and the board will have to deal with this issue again when either this board or the new one, decides to dump Corr and she wants her contract bought out).
So what was this big news that didn’t make the news, or get a proper PR roll out? The program that isn’t on the DPS website, the one that can’t even get the meeting time published correctly?
“Marketing” via Dayton Public Schools
DPS is starting a home school e-learning program where students can enroll in DPS and get a DPS diploma, and participate in DPS extra-curricular activities, get a DPS supplied computer, and even get free wi-fi.
The rest of the students, who are using their new 1 to 1 computers in school, and may be able to bring them home next year (I’m on the technology steering committee and have been pushing for this from day 1), will not get free wi-fi. However, Dr. Baguirov who likes to take credit for rolling out the program in record time, under budget with amazing success says they are still looking at costs for providing mobile hot spots to students who don’t have wi-fi at home, but the costs are high.
Winston had a lame deck Dayton Innovation Virtual Academy Board Presentation Feb 21 2017 which was clearly not done by a professional marketing firm. Had the board known what an ad agency does, this would have been rolled out in a way to get free press, and make a big splash- instead of the headlines being about another Rhonda Corr failure. See the provided slide image- does that look like an exciting new program you’d want to enroll your kid in? Does it look like it’s run by professionals? None of the other slides in the deck could stand on their own as an explanation of what DPS is doing.
E-schools as they are run in Ohio are a scam. If they were compared to the worst public schools, and the worst charter schools, comparatively- they make the worst public schools look like Harvard. Virtual schools are virtually unregulated and the results are a mixed bag. The largest, ECOT- the “electronic classroom of tomorrow” is bigger than Dayton, but has graduation rates that make DPS look awesome:
With its most-recent graduation rate of 38 percent, few districts in the state rank lower. Only 35 of the roughly 700 traditional school districts and charter schools that serve high-school students have a worse outcome, and most of those are other statewide e-schools and charters that exclusively serve dropouts.By comparison, Columbus schools’ most-recent graduation rate was 77 percent. Cleveland’s was about 64 percent.
Phillis said it’s astonishing that ECOT continues to escape the scrutiny of lawmakers despite meeting only three of the 24 possible state testing and graduation standards, receiving F grades in all but one category. ECOT got a D in the performance index, which is an index of state testing performance.
However, while DPS keeps bragging about their single non-F grade, an A in annual yearly progress, at least ecot has a D in state testing performance. We all know the saying “when you’ve hit bottom, the only other direction is up” is the true meaning of that A- not that they are successful.
Even though my firm didn’t win the marketing bid- I think I’ll still do the job that the people they hired didn’t do- properly promote this new program.
The information sessions for Parent Information Sessions DPS Virtual Academy will be as follows:
Northwest Library: 2410 Philadelphia Dr
Feb. 27 from 10 am – 12 pm (West)
Board of Education Community Room
Feb. 28 from 4-6 pm (Central)
Burkhardt Library: 4680 Burkhardt Ave
March 7 from 10 am – 12 pm (East)
Madden Hills Library: 2542 Germantown St.
March 9 from 4-6 pm (West)
Make sure you tell them where you heard about this new program if you chose to go.
“Did we ask to do this?” was a question asked last week during a protracted Dayton Board of Education meeting? This was during an hour long discussion about awarding a contract for marketing the Dayton Public Schools for the next four years.
During that discussion, board members suggested they use students to create the materials (one would wonder if that’s been the case over the last 20 years). Others didn’t know why they needed marketing at all. Joe Lacey didn’t like the use of the word “slick graphics” by the remaining person in the “public information office”- the one that couldn’t show them what they were purchasing. You know- a presentation on who they chose and why. The purchasing department that had run the process couldn’t do much better. And, when asked why they didn’t have an actual contract to look at before they voted, the board attorney tried to tell them that if they saw the qualifications- it could lend to bias, and wasn’t legal.
Wed. morning the 22nd, Forgot to mention, that the “Learn to Earn” board was mentioned in the Dayton Daily the morning of the 20st- for putting out an RFP to hire an ad agency to connect with the community and let them know all about their programs. Of course, they only have to reach about 1,500 parents each year, but at least they know what and why they need competent advertising. My firm will not bid the contract because we don’t believe in quasi-public organizations spending tax dollars without voter oversight.
The Preschool Promise board approved a large marketing plan this week, including plans to hire a vendor to run a “field campaign” for grassroots outreach in Dayton. Board member and former Dayton Mayor Clay Dixon said the marketing approach “is of the utmost importance.”
“That is actually how we’ll go out in the community, shoulder to shoulder, eyeball to eyeball,with the parents to make sure they are aware of the program, aware of what we do to get those kids into one of our quality programs,” Dixon said.
The board’s request for proposals for field campaign vendors is going out this week. Lightcap said the vendor will hire people who know Dayton’s neighborhoods and can build relationships with community partners, all in an effort to connect with the families who would participate in expanded preschool.
That’s when I interrupted and called her a liar. And was supported by another staff person- with an Request for Qualifications, which was what they used to select a “winner”- the point wasn’t to compare actual proposals- but, the skill sets.
That the purchasing department misrepresented the amount of the contract on the agenda as $112,500 instead of the actual $300,000, was another problem, that they didn’t care to call the staff on.
Tonight, the school board published their “board docs” saying the meeting started at 6pm. Only when we got there, they were a half hour into it. Competent PIO’s and board secretaries wouldn’t make that mistake. Especially since this was the actual business meeting- the one where they were supposed to vote on business.
And vote on some sticky business they did. After, Dr. Walker mis-ran the public speaking section giving some speakers up to a half hour at the podium (and no- it wasn’t me). We’ll have that story after we edit some of our video. There is supposed to be a 3 minute limit. It should also apply to board members. The meeting ran from 5:30 to 9:05 before they went into executive session.
They couldn’t make up it clear what they were doing about an intervention specialist that they hired at Dunbar who used to be a sub. She’s working on her PhD, but is 9 credits short of a teaching certificate. They hired her knowing that- and so she bought a house, a car, and now has no job- and two kids at home to feed. Apparently, this district isn’t smart enough to know how to get her enrolled in Teach for America- where no teaching license is required.
Then came the issue of paying off David Lawrence to go away because Superintendent Rhonda Corr doesn’t like him. This has been subject of executive sessions for months. The buyout had been agreed to- and yet, here they were, waiving the 48 hour rule to vote because their staff can’t publish an agenda with the right start time, or in adequate time to not have to invoke the rule.
Dr. Baguirov objected, saying the waiving is for emergencies- something he didn’t protest last week when they did it to hire The Ohlmann Group to do their marketing. Then he and Joe Lacey objected to spending $200,000 to buy Lawrence out- when he could have been used in the district (had it not been for Corr being intimidated by a competent black male). The vote was 4-2 to send Lawrence away with what was contractually due him. A huge loss to the district- as board member Lee stated. In fact, the last thing I said to them as I walked away from the podium when I spoke was “you should have hired David Lawrence.”
Here is the text of my speech as written from tonight:
There is a 48 hour rule for a reason.
There is also reason we have an elected school board.
It’s your job to hire a superintendent, and a treasurer, and to run checks and balances on them.
Tonight you are waiving the 48 hour rule again.
It’s fitting that you are doing it to pay the home-grown competent internal candidate for superintendent you passed over, to go away. Because the current superintendent didn’t like him.
But I guess you were ahead of your time- picking a leader for our district much like the one our country ended up with. You know the one that brings huge protests out over their actions.
Remember her Reduction in force- based on numbers that no one was able to verify- including your treasurer, who you are re-hiring tonight.
The treasurer who was over the purchasing department that ran the process that extended 6 months- and you waived the 48 hour rule last week to execute.
If you were doing your job, and your due diligence before you voted to approve a contract for a year, with multi-year options, on something as important as marketing services for your failing school district and it was run competently, I wouldn’t have watched and recorded video for an hour of discussion about a contract that you eventually voted 5-1 to approve, with John McManus being the only no vote, and Mr. Lee being absent.
The contract, which was supposed to be awarded on Sept. 20th. When you actually came around to vote on it, on November, 1, you chose to not award because the process of the request for proposal was flawed. You had 5 bidders, and were about to award it to the most expensive bidder.
This time you used a Request for Qualifications, a different contracting vehicle, although it still asked for many of the exact same details, just in a more convoluted manner.
This time, you only had 3 bidders, and once again, the recommendation of your superintendent, was to award to the same, most expensive bidder.
When you had questions about what you were buying, why you were buying, and why it was necessary, your superintendent sat there- and at one point, even asked you for guidance to what you want. You still bought it.
The purchasing department couldn’t legitimately explain what you were buying. Ten days before you voted, at 10pm on a Saturday night, there was an email issued saying that “Responses have been evaluated and results provided for review and determination of a recommendation to the DPS Board of Education. It is expected that the recommendation will appear on the Feb 21, 2017 business meeting agenda.”
So, what I learned last week is that you had homework due in 17 days, but, your staff decided to change it to 10 days. They either never provided you with anything, or they did and you all decided not to do your homework, based on your confusion last week.
The waiving of the 48 hour rule on a million dollar contract, the fact that the agenda outright lied about the amount of the contract- listing it at $112,500 instead of $300,000 – “because it was pro-rated” as an excuse to mis-represent it to the public.
The public records request I filed the next day, still hasn’t been fulfilled as I speak, a week later. So I can’t tell you what you bought or didn’t buy last week either.
What’s even more important, is that you did it at a meeting that didn’t allow for public comment. So, yes, I was out of order when I interrupted and called your staff lawyer a liar. One of your staff confirmed I was right. That you voted on it- after learning your attorney was misguidingly stopping you from evaluating qualifications for a qualitative contract, is negligence.
You had every right to review all submissions of an RFQ, and to see the contract you bought.
She still has her job.
Your purchasing person, still has her job, and now, I am going to question if any of you are fit to carry out your duties other than Mr. McManus and Mr. Lee. There needs to be an investigation into the ethics filings of Dr. Baguirov and if his private business does work with CareSource, and why the board was never presented with offers for the Patterson Kennedy site as well.
This School System needs you performing your due diligence it’s what the kids deserve- because, as your superintendent loves to say- it’s all about the kids-
which should prove she has no business in her position-
it’s also about our professionals, our city, our future.? And by blindly awarding a very large contract, you shouldn’t be a part of that future.
End of prepared speech.
After tonight’s meeting, Baguirov called me a liar to my face over questioning his business relationships and non-disclosure of all his businesses in the video about the real estate deals. He still thinks I’m a lobbyist for some real estate developer- yet won’t say why the vacant land isn’t being auctioned. Corr shot daggers at me for much of the meeting- and was particularly pissed when she saw Dayton Daily reporter Jeremy Kelley talking to me. She really doesn’t like it that she’s the one to blame for the buyout of Lawrence’s contract.
This board, under Walker is a model of incompetence. The meeting management was totally lacking. They couldn’t even figure out what they were voting on, nor could the audience follow. Compare their use of “Board Docs” with the simple agenda’s used by the Dayton City Commission and you can quickly see the why this district is dysfunctional- and the public being left out of the process or misled by the incompetence of their leadership and staff.
There are people pulling petitions like sharecroppers pick cotton. Hopefully, come next January, we’ll have four new, competent board members and this kind of chicanery will end.
Other peoples money. That’s the key to real estate, and especially real estate deals managed by those we elect who are supposed to be working in our best interest.
We’ve see stupid deals in Dayton for a long time, and they seem to slide along into oblivion in the mind of the public. No one got hoisted by their petards on the Arcade deal, or the Arcade tower, or the Wayne Avenue Kroger, or…. the list gets really long.
Let’s just say this: politicians raise bad real estate deals to a new art form. And locally, there are plenty of failures. However, it would appear that the deals by the Dayton Public School Board of Education may take the cake. This is a long video. But, it should make it pretty clear that there are serious questions about the deals they’ve done, the ones they’ve refused to do- and who’s been driving the deals- and questions about his entanglements.
We look closely at the site downtown on E. First Street where Patterson Co-op once stood, a greenfield, ready for development, and the site on Wyoming at Alberta where Patterson Kennedy Elementary once stood- near Miami Valley Hospital and the University of Dayton.
We’ve spent the last two months pursuing this story- and trying to figure out why Dr. Adil Baguirov seems to be the only member of the Board of Ed- including the school superintendent, that knows what’s been going on when it comes to these deals- and we’re wondering if this is by design.
If the schools wanted to optimize the value of these vacant properties, the key factor would be what property taxes will the development generate to the district in addition to the sale price- nothing else.
Watch the video. We’ll post supporting documents later.
Here is “Dirty Deals Done Dirt Cheap” featuring the Dayton Public Schools Board of Education, the Dayton and Montgomery County Port Authority, the former DPS operations Chief John Carr, the DPS board attorney, Jyllian Bradshaw and CareSource.
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