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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

If the City Council didn't know they were dupes for the charter school industry they sure do now.

The signs were all there.

The city council was asked to ignore its responsibilities to help improve the city and instead fought against a sales tax referendum that would be used to help our schools.

A referendum which would have the side benefits of increasing property values, improving neighborhoods, creating jobs, attracting businesses and stopping or at least slowing flight to the suburbs. 

Instead of asking the mayor and his team why they were to abandon their responsibilities, the reasons they were elected, they were encouraged to ask the school board a never ending series of questions most of which had been answered.

Somehow they were also able to ignore the financial entanglements of the civic council with charters and the mayor and that's probably because they were entangled with them as well.

From the Times Union,

Warren Jones received a phone call from Sam Mousa, then Mayor Lenny Curry’s soon-to-retire chief administrator. What followed was a conversation he’d later say “blew him away.”
Jones and his school board colleagues were struggling to convince the City Council and Curry to allow a half-cent sales tax referendum on the November ballot that would bankroll sorely needed improvements to the district’s aging schools. Jones said Mousa had a few suggestions: Hire Mousa and an unidentified business partner to lead the effort. Push back the referendum to 2020. Promise charter schools an upfront $150 million payment if the sales tax were to pass.
Weeks later, Mousa revealed his partner to be Tim Baker, Curry’s close confidante and chief political strategist, during a meeting with the School Board’s chairwoman Lori Hershey. After the meeting, Mousa sent her an official proposal for their services, which included creating a prioritized list of projects that would be paid for by the sales tax and “one-on-one” political advocacy of the plan, which requires approval from the City Council and Curry.
The Times-Union reported last week that Mousa and Baker were seeking as much as $450,000 to help the school board overcome the daunting political barriers they face at City Hall.
When we first learned about this we thought it happened after Mousa left City Hall and then it was still hinky because he approached the district just a few days after his retirement. Now that we know the process started when he was still with city hall we should all find that unacceptable. Also how is this not illegal?
Then does anyone think he did this without Curry knowing? To quote Vizzini, inconceivable.  
We have an employee and confidant of the Mayor strong arming the district for 150 million dollars on the behalf of the mayors mega donors, while trying to secure a going away windfall for themselves.
This is who is in charge of where we live. You know what is really sad, I doubt the mayor's allies on the city council will care. They don't mind being dupes, I hope though that the city does.

1 comment:

  1. Robbing this city without a gun. At least I finally understand what they mean when they say #itseasierhere