Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Hollisters, The Daycare, The PCSD, & The Public

Last night the PCS Board of Education voted unanimously to serve Building Blocks Day Care Center with eviction unfortunate end to a twenty year relationship. A few observations:

  • Richard and Jane Hollisters are the only people who deserve credit for protecting the interests of the taxpayers of the PCSD in the BBDC debacle. They uncovered and cast public light on the original relationship (1993) among the PCSD, the BBDC, and the Village -which was illegal because it made the PCSD liable for the day care's unpaid mortgage obligations (as of 2013). I sat on the Board of Education for over 12 years and watched as superintendents, some members of the BOE, certain Village officials among others, insulted, denigrated, and attacked the Hollisters in public. Their offense? Telling the truth. These two people have studied the law and local documents and have attended innumerable meetings over twenty years to ensure that there was transparency in a legal deal that was unwise, secretive, and in violation of State Education Law. The Hollisters, alone, consistently served the public interest...and did it at the expense of their reputations. No bows need be taken by anyone else...especially those dragged into doing the right thing because they had no other choice.
  • The day care center provides a needed service. Twenty years ago, when they were struggling in a run-down house in Potsdam, interested citizens should have helped them fund raise to buy a house and renovate it so they could provide day care services for the public. If this had been done, BBDC might have avoided additional bankruptcies, an eviction, and leaving the Village with a huge unpaid mortgage. Very bad advice was given to some very well-meaning people. A financially struggling organization was lured into the fantasy that it could live way beyond its means. Interesting how the relationship among BBDC, the PCSD, and the Village began with getting the PCS BOE to agree to something illegal (making the PCSD a co-signer to the day care's mortgage) and now ends with an eviction notice.  It's hard to build something substantial on a corrupt foundation. 
  • The Hollisters sacrificed their time and their reputations in the interest of truth, transparency, and adherence to the law. There are many who should hang their heads in shame or be held accountable for their actions in the day care deal - but that won't happen. The end of this saga is upon us and I, for one, thank the Hollisters - who saved our school district hundreds of thousands of dollars. Potsdam Central's new building (formerly the BBDC building) should be named THE  HOLLISTER BUILDING. That would remind those tempted to deceive the public that sometimes the public and the truth win out. 

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