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home : opinions : columns February 5, 2016


9/13/2012 5:00:00 PM
TIMES EDITORIAL: Take the reins Palo Verde Unified Board of Trustees

It's time for the Palo Verde Unified School District (PVUSD) Board of Trustees to take the reins and make a decision about Palo Verde Valley High School's principal, Bonita Bradshaw.

One would think the CIA was investigating the missing textbooks given the scarcity of information reaching the public, and the fact the Board of Trustees appears to have taken a vow of silence... though self-reflection doesn't seem to be a part of board members' penance.

They brought in the Blythe Police Department to investigate the matter. Officers determined that no criminal activity took place and closed the case without filing charges. Does the district not trust the police to do their job adequately? Apparently not, since the district is now conducting its own investigation.

Short of any crack detectives on staff, the district has instead brought in acting superintendent Bob Bilek and head maintenance man Marty Braden to search for clues and solve the crime. Unfortunately, if you're expecting an unbiased investigation, both Braden and Bilek appear to have as much involvement in the missing book scandal as does Bradshaw - at least as far as we've been able to deduce given that district officials have forced the public to rely on Facebook and Twitter rumors for information rather than share what they know with their constituents.

Two good questions would be: When did Palo Verde Unified become more qualified to handle an investigation than the trained professionals? And why is the board allowing two of the people who are involved in the incident to investigate the matter further while Bradshaw is on leave?

Many people have retold the missing textbook story many times and it is clear that four parties are involved: Bradshaw, Braden, Bilek, and the bookseller (who as of this writing remains unnamed... another secret school officials are keeping from the public.

The day the books disappeared, Bradshaw was on vacation and Braden was at the site and questioned the seller. At some point Bilek showed up and also spoke to the bookseller and to Bradshaw on her cell phone. They let the bookseller leave town with the books. When Bradshaw returned from vacation, she discovered that the bookseller removed more books than previously authorized.

The biggest question of all seems to be, if the bookseller left with the wrong books and it's a legitimate company that does business with school districts everywhere, why don't they just return the books and pick up the right ones?

Why can't the public get an easy answer from the district and board to this most reasonable inquiry?

Instead the district has ordered new books and the price to replace them has been quoted as being anywhere from $70,000 to more than $100,000 - the district, apparently, unable to figure out an exact number. Its spin on the matter is that the books have been ordered and they continue to arrive daily.

Gee, does anybody still wonder why this is a cash-strapped district?

The textbook drama has been running too long and like the reality television shows that dominate the airwaves to the point of nausea, it's time to pull the plug on this mess and make a decision.

The high school is suffering because of the unknown. Fights between students are erupting almost daily, placing other students and staff in unsafe situations. Teachers at the high school, especially, do not believe the district supports them.

Taxpayers shouldn't let the district sweep this situation under the rug any longer. Taxpayers have a right to know how much they got ripped off on this bad book deal and what's being done to correct the situation. Board of Trustees, get on the horse, grab the reins and take control of the district - or hand the reins to someone unafraid of making a decision.

The position expressed is that of the Palo Verde Valley Times.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Article comment by: Francine McDermott

I am very impressed with Palo Verde Valley Times (PVVT) article -"Take the Reigns...." It's extremely difficult for any reporter, investigative reporter to get all the facts about what's really happened. The questions asked are important and should be answered in a timely fashion. When dealing with this kind of situation, it's important to remember as "QT Public" that there are two sides to a "pancake." Can't wait to read PVVT's next editorial. Perhaps you could print any factual info you obtain for the public to see? Thank you PVVT for the editorial!

Posted: Monday, September 24, 2012
Article comment by: larry williams

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement.

Posted: Saturday, September 22, 2012
Article comment by: Larry Williams

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Please keep comments succinct; 300 words or less is optimal. Comments that are excessively verbose, rambling or too long for reasonable review may not be posted.

Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Article comment by: John J @ James Eubanks

This case DID start off as a criminal investigation and all were cleared of any criminal action. Now who know what kind of investigation the district is running...seems more like a witch hunt. Looking for anything to pin on Bradshaw and the longer they keep her out of school, the more people loose faith and begin to question. It breaks down morale and faith in Bradshaw. It's all part of the plan..trust me.
She informed the district in April that the book buyer was coming and SHE called Bilek while she was on vacation, not the other way ariound.

Bilek is paid more than 150k so why shouldn't he be called to help. He micromanages everything anyway so this is just one more thing. LET HIM EARN HIS 150K!

City leadership PLEASE DON'T get involved.



Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Article comment by: On the inside Waiting for help

O.k. Marty, I got off topic. Won't happen again. But as you can see there is a pot boiling here.

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012
Article comment by: Here's Afact!

Bradshaw announced in April that she had a book buyer coming to buy back obsolete books, at a district meeting and NO ONE said it wasn't OKAY or that there was a protical OR procedure to follow. Bilek was at that meeting. Bilek ran the meeting. I was there!!!!

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012
Article comment by: On the inside Waiting for help

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012
Article comment by: James Eubanks

If this case started off as a criminal investigation then Ms. Bradshaw was probably questioned. Did she take the 5th or answer questions? Either one is appropriate. The important question is who did she brief if she knew the book dealer was coming before she left on leave? If she briefed no one...its gross negligence.

Bilek is the Acting Superintendent, paid more than $150K, why should he be called to the book repository? He is said to call Ms. Bradshaw and obviously received some guidance. Regardless, he should have not been involved but became involved in the absence of a vice principal or senior teacher familiar with the book dealer as briefed by Ms. Bradshaw.

City leadership get involved.


Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

What we have here is a case of a modest little person, with much to be modest about. He is a type of person that leads from behind. Those that follow him have a room temperature IQ. Maybe in the next election, we can deviated from following the same path. Maybe try a new flavor. It can't get any worst, than it is now with all of this disarray.

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012
Article comment by: Bart Schlehuber

The problem you have here is people who are not saying in their own lanes. When you drive on the freeway there are different lanes and if people stay in the lanes they belong in then traffic moves smoothly. You get some "hot shot" swerving in and out of everyone's lanes and you get pile ups, slow downs and all kinds of things just like this. Someone needs to stand up and tell the "hot shot" to stay in his own lane.

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012
Article comment by: What is it

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: @Jon Yossarian

Yes, I see that as a significant problem, too. Remember the Brown Act. We should not elect people because of their affiliations nor should we elect someone because of their affiliations. However, that simply means we encourage more people to run, elect them, and then watch how they vote. This situation is bad. I agree. Thank you for pointing that out.

Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: Douglas Odum

Wow!
As a former PVHS teacher, I was labeled a complainer, when I simply pointed out how so many things went on in this school, which just never happened ANYWHERE else.
This is icing on the cake.
If your community wants things to change, then take control of it by finding people who can do the job at the top.
These people are not, and just as I observed each and every day, things just keep getting stranger.


Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Article comment by: Rob Swensen

Since we are sort of playing Fantasy Football with school district positions, here is another possible movement of administrators. Move Mr. Butler to the high school to be the principal (deleted). Move Mrs. Bradshaw to MW to be that school's principal. Finally, move Dr. Chris Nugent to the district office to be either the NEW SUPERINTENDENT, or the new director of curriculum and instruction. Dr. Nugent appears to be far and away more qualified for those positions than anyone currently at the district office. Far and away more qualified!

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012
Article comment by: @John Yossarian

Bingo.. I think you hit the nail on the head on your comment. @On the the inside waiting for help I agree on Mr. Butler let him in. Its funny how he interveiwed and they still kept Bilek in its interesting isnt it? What are they afraid of? They are afraid of Leadership because they sure dont have any. Braden well he runs the show and is untouchable but know one knows why? (deleted). And Bradshaw has alot of explaining to do sorry something just isnt right. And the book company well I think Bradshaw and book buyer probuly know one other from the past. Something doesnt iron out at all. I sure hope one day it does.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.


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