Overmanwarrior's Wisdom

Official Site of Rich Hoffman. Connecting the dots in a complicated world.

The Joan Powell School Board Scandal: A lesson of what not to do at Lakota

with 17 comments

Darryl Parks of 700 WLW had my friends and me on to discuss many of the local school tax levies in order to compete on which school will get the full fury of the 50,000 Watt Flame Thrower known as The Big One in Cincinnati. That Flame Thrower of a radio station reaches 38 states and part of Canada so the prize is obvious. If you want to get out your message of a school system which needs to defeat its school levy, you want The Big One to broadcast your message. Listen to that broadcast here, which contains many very good points from school districts all over Southern Ohio.

At Lakota while this broadcast was roaming across the Eastern United States, mailmen were putting the letter you see below into the mail boxes of “select” supporters of Joan Powell, the school board president. Have a look at that letter for yourself.  The first thing that should send an alarm up your spine is that Joan chose to put pictures of her grandchildren on the letter, that always means there is something hidden underneath the surface of the message.

I get a lot of material from “school insiders.” In this business of digging for the truth you need such people to give you new information. Last year we had a few such people and they provided very valuable information such as the letter at the link contained here, which came from a principal at one of the schools after the levy was defeated.


It is always interesting to see what people who work for the district think when they believe that nobody is looking. Anyway, the “insiders” are a growing number of people who see that the situation they are employed under is wrong and they’d like out of the straight jacket they are forced to work under. Many of them do not want to be in a union and if Issue 2 holds up this repeal attempt, they can opt out of the union to be free to be employed without membership. But until that day arrives, they will achieve a level of rebellion against a system they disagree with by sending me information. This year there are more than a handful of such people. In fact, I have so many that I can hardly keep up with the material they send me.

And that’s how I got Joan’s letter, which went to selected members and staff who Joan thinks are her friends. The letter taken alone is not bad or illegal. But what it does show is that Joan is blaming many of the problems at Lakota on the school board “not getting along” and “divisiveness.” The letter is an endorsement letter for two members running for seats. Joan wants to see Julie Shaffer who has worked on the Pro Levy Campaigns in recent years including this latest one, and Jamie Green who actually used to be on the board and served as its president during the years of 2005-2009. (wait a minute…….isn’t that the period of time where the unions walked all over the school board during the labor dispute which caused this current financial crises?)…….YES!

I find this letter a very bad decision on behalf of Joan. As president she should understand that she is responsible for developing a “team” and playing games by eliminating other board members in favor of her “hand-picked” candidates is bound to cause trouble. As president of the board, it’s her job to build that unification, not blame members on their divisiveness. That’s called management. You may not like the people you are working with, but as president, it’s the job of leadership to pull everyone together. Not blast them apart. Chances are the new school board members will be Mark Etterling and Lynda O’Conner. I personally like Luke Hall in that mix if not this time, then for one of the next three seats that are coming available, Joan’s included. My question is what does Joan think will happen when Lynda gets re-elected and has to sit at the table with her, knowing that Joan attempted to get her booted off the board? Does Joan think that Jamie Green won’t become power-hungry for the presidency again, and won’t challenge Joan for leadership? What about Julie, who is quite smart, but is a tax and spend candidate? Joan knows where the problems are yet she picks two candidates who are pro levy candidates. She wants to go backwards. Does Lakota need more school board candidates to eat out of the hand of the union? Isn’t that what caused the whole budget crises? YES!!!!!!!!! It is!!!!!!! When $165 million dollars, (which is unofficially $250 million dollars) is not enough money and we have a school board president that says that’s not enough, and is openly campaigning for candidates who think just like her, I’d say the source of the problem is clear.

At a recent “meet the candidates” event I gave a review of who I’d like to see for school board, and Jamie and Julie are at the bottom of the list. They are not business friendly and believe that more taxes are the fix for problems they are tasked to manage, which isn’t managing at all. Anyone can balance a check book if the answer is to always inject more money, because what’s there to balance? You ask for more money till you meet your expenses. That’s their thinking, when it should really be to reduce expenses until the books are balanced, and that must come from the uncomfortable task of reducing the average salary at Lakota that is over $63K to the mid $50’s. That is hard, and it is obvious that Joan and her “pick of the litter” don’t have the mind to do it. (See my review here)


Worst of all though from Joan is that short-sighted politicking she is engaging in for a job that pays little money, just pocket change for each meeting the school board has. Why? Are these people so desperate for attention that the title of school board president actually means something to them? Is it the power to control a multi-million dollar budget, probably? But I would have hoped that after all that has been discussed over these last two levy attempts that somebody would have learned something, and instead Joan is clinging to the failed model of the past which delivered us to this time and place. And that’s why not only her two picks need to be defeated, but Joan herself when her seat comes up in 2013. Only by electing good school board members who aren’t power hungry for the presidency and political games, can Lakota get its arms around the budget problems. The last thing we should do is tax ourselves more to put into the lap more money for these people to squabble over. The real answer is in systematically replacing these chatter boxes with legitimate, and caring people who will put the entire district into focus with good management, and not treat the school board like a girls club of levy supporters.

VOTE NO on the LAKOTA SCHOOL LEVY. Vote for any candidates except for Jamie Green and Julie Shaffer. And VOTE YES on Issue 2 so this school board can actually manage its costs in the future and not keep asking us to pass school levies while people like Joan toss that money into a bottomless pit called the Teachers Union.

And to back up these assertions, prepare to tune in to 700 WLW over the next three weeks, because the FLAME THROWER is coming in your direction at Lakota!

Listen to Julie Shaffer on WLW discuss the teaches contract that Joan Powell and Jamie Green negotiated which we have to pay for. CLICK THE VIDEO!

For the answer to everything click the link below!


Rich Hoffman

17 Responses

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  1. 165 pages in teachers contract. Absurd!
    I have 2 points.
    I will never ever support any union. If i did, I would be supporting this joke of a so-called president and democrats and that will never happen. Soros, Learner, Hoffa, SEIU all of it can go to hell. I can say that as I am now a terrorist and a son of a bitch. Sorry kids if you are reading…this is from our gubbermint and union leaders.Take notice. This is your future! Sorry.

    These school board members are an extension of the teachers union themselves. They can’t think for themselves and are just as indoctrinated to the school of bullying taxpayers as ever. They have gotten away with it for so freakin’ long..they can’t see the forest through the trees. The campaign slogans speak volumes, might as well just stick with the old mantra “It’s for the children.” Same shit, different levy..and fewer and fewer are swallowing that massive pill.

    The tax base is gone Period. And if Issue 2 does get repealed…Jobs will be lost and that’s a shame. Unsustainable is just that…43% more to public workers than in the private and we pay for them?? Yeah, ok….If you believe that can continue, I have a jobs plan to sell ya.



    October 17, 2011 at 9:44 am

  2. A vote for Jamie Green is a vote for the union. Jamie Green was a teacher in the Princeton district and very active in the union. As for Joan Powell, she isn’t the first real estate agent to be on the board. She gets plenty of business from the district. I know for a fact, that in the past, the board realtors had their business cards sitting out in all of the schools. Naturally, if she votes “the union way” the teachers will send her business. As my pappy used to say about the politicians, “One hand washes the other.”

    Anyone that votes for a school levy is stupid. More money hasn’t improved one single thing. In fact just the reverse has transpired. More money seems to have corrupted the system. Anyone that checks the district’s financial books can see that they waste millions and millions of dollars. Just ask for the financial reports and see how difficult it is to obtain them. I sent a certified mail request to the Lebanon treasurer and have yet to receive any information. At one time I was helping someone in the Lakota district and we wrote several letters requesting the credit card statements. The treasurer said, “We don’t have credit cards.” We had a teacher report to us that all of the principals were asking on the “public address system” for “everyone to turn in their credit cards.” After the levy passed my friend was told by the treasurer that they didn’t have credit cards, they had “purchasing cards.” In other words, you have to use the terminolgy of the day or whatever they determine will keep you out of the books.

    These people are as crooked as they can be. They make big money if you consider their qualifications. Amazing how devious and corrupt people are willing to be for “a few pieces of silver.”


    October 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    • I should be shocked, but I wasn’t when I saw that letter. The better leadership role would have been to stay out of it, but as you pointed out, the real goal here is to make money and to keep it flowing. Sad. And it is kids that are used to sell it. Pathetic.


      October 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm

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  5. [...] I have listened to many stories come at me from acts that go on within a school system. Since I live in the Lakota district, which is considered one of the best in the country, there are still plenty of stories of bullying between class types among students. It seems to happen more to the children of parents who cause trouble. It’s almost as if unconsciously the participants in these schools have a collective defense mechanism against threats to the system itself. Parents who have problems with the school, whether it be a case where a teacher comes on to the mother of a student to engage in sex, or if a parent is one of those people who come to school board meetings and try to make sense of the numbers, those people are labeled as trouble makers, and they are targeted as well as their children. Bullying isn’t just happening on the playground or on the school board as Linda O’Conner stated … [...]

  6. [...] Well, escape may actually be a relative term when it comes to school funding. Because after all, we … So what happens when we toss matter into a black hole, where does it go? Well, the rationalization can really only be explained in quantum mechanics and the theory of the multi-verse. Based on what I have seen of the education funding consumed by the “education class” I believe they don’t actually live in the same world as the rest of us, but instead reside in the 11th dimension. [...]

  7. [...] so he just moved at the speed of business which scared the crap out of the entire union structure. Issue 2 was the broadside that many of us had wanted to inflict on union control for many years. If … Regardless of what happens in the election, Issue 2 has forced the union machine to spend massive [...]

  8. [...] Unions, you are not as strong as you think you are. Yes, you have many members who are selfish activists to suit your cause. You have built a system constructed on extortion and your members are addicted to the income you’ve stolen on their behalf. But people are waking up. You spent over $30 million dollars and could only get 2 million voters to the ballot box. That is not a task I’d be slapping any back about. It is hardly a mandate to your existence. You could have obtained 2 million votes with only one dollar spent, because it was your internal net… [...]

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  12. [...] bottom in American politics so the motives are easy to spot no matter what level we are looking at. So knowing that, the shuffle on the school board is simply an attempt to take Joan Powell out of the… And with that in mind, it is easy to see that the Lakota School District even though they’ve been [...]

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