Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I've been notified.

We're now at Number 4. I was notified by phone this morning.

Ethics Complaint Letter


E. T. Gillen said...

Since the following comment pertains to the school board, I will repost here. The Freudian slip post relates to mtl Magazine, not the school board.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Freudian slip?":

Let's vote out the school board members who live near, drink and dine with, and provide no oversight to and demand no accountability from Tim. I think then you will see a more effective board. Not one that everyone agrees with, but one that will - at a minimum - hear out reasonable questions/concerns and provide thoughtful responses.

Anonymous said...

The School Board Candidates under investigation should pull out of the race !

E. T. Gillen said...

Don't bet on it. They are arrogant enough to run, despite the Commission's final Order either way. The candidates knew all along that they were pushing the envelope.

Anonymous said...

Q. Can the State Ethics Commission file criminal
charges and/or can it remove a public official/
public employee from office?

A: Although violations of the Ethics Act may be
charged as a criminal violation of law, only the
District Attorney or Attorney General may file
criminal violations of the Ethics Act. The Commission
is empowered to find administrative
violations of the Ethics Act, order restitution and
treble penalties, and can recommend or refer
any matter for prosecution by law enforcement.
The Ethics Act does not provide authority for the
Commission to remove an individual from their
office or employment—even after a finding of a
violation of the Ethics Act.

Anonymous said...

It's important to understand that even Birks has acknowledged she was wrong to have voted on the contracts and disbursements to her employer. She has acknowledged her wrongdoing by now apparently abstaining from votes on those items.

Anonymous said...

Here's how the PG reported SB President Birk's mea culpa.

"Ms. Birks referred comment to her lawyer, Bill Clifford, who said his client “inadvertently voted” to approve contracts with the agency because approval was lumped into a single vote with a host of other annual contracts. Mr. Clifford said Ms. Birks has voted in favor of the contracts each year since she joined the board eight years ago. The votes were unanimous.

“She won’t vote on it in the future,” he said, including later this month when the next annual contract with the agency is expected to be considered by the board. “She wasn’t aware it was in those materials.”"

First question. She voted on these "lumped" annual contracts for years, but she didn't know Outreach's was lumped in this years. Really? How many other questionable contracts might there have been in those "lumped" contracts? Did she know the specifics on each or is it customary for the board to approve contracts blindly?

Second question. How will Birks abstain from voting on an Outreach contract if it's "lumped" together with other annual contracts?

Seems to me that lumping contracts while it may be expedient, it may not be the most efficient means for the directors to discern if a contract is justified.

Seems like a change in procedures is warranted. How many other items has the board approved without comprehending/knowing the specifics of the item(s) they are voting on?

Anonymous said...

What a defense, I voted for something but I didn't know what I was voting on!

Yep, that gives me confidence to grant her another term in office.

Anonymous said...

Will Birks' abstaining from voting on SB Outreach contract preclude her from LOBBYING the board to increase funding for Outreach from which she could potentially personally profit?

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine served in the schools in various capacities and said Birks pushes her employer on the Administration, the counselors, the PTA and other parents constantly. It's like she is there to source business and contributions for them.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Her job with Outreach is to do exactly that. Drum up business and contributions.

Look at the job requirements for the Outreach job posted in another topic here and ask yourself if Executive Director Birks fills any of the criteria.

Anonymous said...

4:26, does it matter if she doesn't match criteria for that job if she... has a different job? If I run a bakery and hire an accountant, I don't expect him to be frosting a cake when I come into work.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, 7:33, since when does anyone expect the accountant to bake anything but maybe the books at times?

If you RUN the bakery it's a pretty safe bet you are either a baker or understand the ins and outs of baking.

Anonymous said...

7:33, shouldn't the Outreach Executive Director have qualifications at least equal to their potential subordinate?
Look at the duties then please tell me what are the Executive Director's responsibilities?
"The Director of Professional & Program Services reports directly to the Executive Director. This position provides clinical, programmatic and administrative support, supervises a counseling team of between 15-18 members, and is accountable for the development, implementation, and assessment of agency initiatives in order to maintain best practices for clinical standards and outstanding customer service.
The position is also responsible for program research, development, implementation, and evaluation, and assists with the expansion of present programming. The position requires the skills to provide clinical/administrative support and supervision to professional counseling staff, program development and evaluation and assisting with the expansion of clinical and programmatic services.
Position Qualifications:
Belief and support of the Mission and Values of the agency;
Ability to work a flexible schedule;
Ability to work with individuals of diverse backgrounds and ages;
Knowledge of clinical program development and implementation;
Knowledge of community resources and community programs;
Ability to market services in community environments;
Good time management and organizational skills;
Valid transportation and a current, valid driver’s license;
Successfully pass the required background checks;
Attend all applicable professional development trainings to maintain licensure and certification.
A Master’s Degree in Counseling, Social Work or related field
Must be licensed in the state of Pennsylvania for Clinical Practice
Minimum of five years counseling experience, preferably in the area of adolescents and family;
Minimum of five years supervisory or related experience managing and supervising professional staff.

Anonymous said...

So the following is one description of the roll of an Executive Director.

"The role of the executive director is to design, develop and implement strategic plans for the organization in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner. The executive director is also responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization, which includes managing committees, staff, and hiring staff as well as developing business plans in collaboration with the board. In essence, the board grants the executive director the authority to run the organization. The executive director is accountable to the chairman of the board of directors and reports to the board on a regular basis – quarterly, semiannually, or annually. The board may offer suggestions and ideas about how to improve the organization, but the executive director decides whether or not, and how, to implement these ideas.
The executive director is a leadership role for an organization and often fulfills a motivational role in addition to office-based work. Executive directors motivate and mentor members, volunteers, and staff, and may chair meetings. The executive director leads the organization and develops its organizational culture.

As the title suggests, the executive director needs to be informed of everything that goes on in the organization. This includes staff, membership, budget, company assets, and all other company resources, to help make the best use of them and raise the organization's profitability and profile."

Sounds just like the job requirements for the new Director of Professional & Program Services that will report directly to the Executive Director, doesn't it?

So why move the Ex. Dir. position from part-time to full-time AND add a Director with a Master’s Degree in Counseling, Social Work or related field and licensed in the state of Pennsylvania for Clinical Practice.