Sunday, August 19, 2012

Next, they'll pick Robert Rizzo for the union "inspiration" prize


     Golly, as I was shuffling out of the IVC PAC after the Chancellor's Opening Session last week, I spotted John Williams, lookin' like boyish shit. He was maybe twenty people behind me. Naturally, he was accompanied by Sharon MacMillan and Sherry Miller-White, the people who brought us the homophobic "same-sex flier" of 1996 and the undying support of Holocaust denier, Steve Frogue (who finally resigned in 2000). 
     The scene was frightening in several respects. Miller-White seemed taller and her wig appears to have grown even larger, though she no longer looks like an angry traffic cone (the dress she wore was off-white, not green or orange). But MacMillan still looks like she's gonna bust out into tears at any moment. (Didn't she retire? Why's she still around?)
     Those two like John. Think about that.
     So the semester started with a stench, a stink, a fetor and a funk.
     My old grandpa—we called him "Opa"—was a crusty peasant full of bitterness about the war and its aftermath (and no wonder). He was pretty eccentric, I guess. I recall that, even into his nineties, he was always aware of odors, especially unpleasant ones, and, when he encountered such phenomena, he would make an alarmingly sour face and then, in his dubious English, he would carp that "it did shtink dare; like a cow's a** it did shtink."
Big Boyish charm
     Everyone was horrified by these unseemly observations. Still, all of the grandchildren, including me, kinda loved those "old world" eruptions and we repeated them endlessly in a mix of mockery and appreciation. To this day, when there is any issue about odor (whilst in the company of the extended Bauer crowd), we immediately quote Opa: "It did shtink." 
     (Another Opaism: when it is time for people to leave, one of us will suddenly announce, "I go now!" and then head for the door. Everyone immediately understands: people are draggin' their feet; they gotta go.)
     Well, as I was walking out of the PAC hall and into the lobby, Williams emerged, a Big Stench Boy, stinking up the entire building and the campus and city beyond. Here's a guy who saw his big chance, just after Tom Fuentes' arrival in 2000, to transition from "house husband" to extremely well-paid, worthless, featherbedding county official. In fact, with Tom Fuentes' help, he cobbled together a single super-position (Public Administrator/Guardian), making a big, fat salary. The move would save the County money, he promised. (But nope. His tenure was disastrous in every possible way, and the Supes covered for him.)
     He was incompetent from the get go. He hired cronies (or wives or girlfriends of cronies, in the case of the T-Rack's Peggi Buff) and put them in powerful and well-paid positions. (He even hired Nancy P, but then he later fired her on Fuentes' orders. She wasn't sufficiently a team player, I guess.) He made life hell for the better employees of his department, driving many of them away. He took lots of vacations to Orlando (often paid for by the SOCCCD) and, even when in town, he spent much of his time out of his office, playing golf and whatnot. He engaged in highly questionable activities—pursuing estates that he had no business pursuing—that ultimately led to two scathing Grand Jury reports and his ouster.
Rizzo. Not-so-boyish
     For a long time, he just wouldn't leave, despite the absence of anyone anywhere who supported him. After all, he was making good money! (Plus, he probably knew where some of the bodies were buried.) In the end, with the help of the go-to shyster lawyer for corrupt OC Republicans (Fuentes' pal, Phil Greer, who also represented fraudster and Pal-o-Fuentes Chriss Street), he did pretty well for himself, financially. And the OC Supes—also beneficiaries of the Fuentean machine of corrupt Republican cronies—even agreed to keep a lid on the investigation of his office that revealed all that there was to reveal.
     That was CYA, of course.
     Old John is going to be pretty damned comfortable for the rest of his life, you can bet on that. But at least he's gone, right?
     Wrong. The other day, he told the OC Reg that he isn't "slinking away" anywhere, that he can "hold his head high." And so he's coming back to the good old SOCCCD, running for his old trustee seat. Evidently, some of the union "Old Guard" hatched this idea and proposed it to him. These are the same people who brought us Steve Frogue, Tom Fuentes, and Raghu Mathur—and one and a half decades of sheer misery. Unbelievable. 
     So, naturally, the union PAC, suffering from faculty apathy and dominated by Old Guardsters (Ken Woodward, Michael Channing, et al.), interviewed Orlando Boy and just loved 'im. They recommended endorsement.
     Early in September, the union's Rep Council will decide whether to go along with the PAC'S recommendation.
     I sure hope that doesn't happen. Right now, I'm thinking that the best outcome would be for the union not to endorse anyone for the area 7 trustee seat. Just let the chips fall where they may. After all, even if that rat bastard Williams is elected (and he's certainly no shoo-in), we've still got a majority of reasonable folks on the board.
     That's good enough for me.
     I go now.

P.S.: FYI, the membership of the FA Rep Council is the following (according to the FA website):

Irvine Valley College:
   June McLaughlin, Amy Grimm, Diana McCullough, Ted Weatherford, Brenda Borron, Kathy Schmeidler, Brent Monte, Martha Stuffler, Tony Lin

Saddleback College:
   Darrell Deeter, Martin Welc, Georgina Guy, Lucas Ochoa, Mark Blethen, Michael Channing, Elizabeth Horan, Samantha Venable, Frank Gonzalez, Margot Lovett

The district directory is here.
For union leadership, go here.

16 comments:

  1. The sad realities may be that Williams will return: can't change the stripes of some critters. John, I doubt, has changed much since he muffed up the appointed and elected posts he held in the county. Wonder what he thinks about the messes he made? How can he atone? By coming to the BOT, perhaps he thinks so.

    Rigid, often angry is the guy I remember.

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  2. I can't imagine any trustee wants him back on the board, even Lang.

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  3. This is so depressing.

    People need to step up. Many times the reps don't even make the meetings even though this is part of their service hour.

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  4. Ken Woodward!

    I thought he was better than this. He seemed to be, for a while anyway. Too bad. What a sell out. I guess he'd called it "pragmatic." Ha!

    You know Ken is a big fan of British musician and political activist Billy Bragg who, no doubt, would have some choice words about a situation like this one.

    I've always wondered how some square their actions with their ideals. What does Ken tell himself as he dances around his kitchen to "Waiting for the Great Leap Forward"?

    Very sad.

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  5. Nope. Not sad. Pathetic.

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  6. How many pensions does Williams have?

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  7. Idiotic. Just as we've started to get a rational bunch of folks on the board, the union decides to take a giant leap backwards? WTF is wrong with these people?

    Don't answer, I already know: spineless.

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  8. It's my understanding that the "PAC" is NOT the "union" - but a subset of people who are willing to serve in the summer. This summer that subset was dominated by a number of people from Saddleback with alliances with Williams and old grudges. The PAC has the power to recommend - the Rep Council to approve or not.

    If you don't understand how the process works - well, maybe that is why the process goes so badly sometimes. It's a democratic process but like any democratic process it is only represents its participants - not "no shows" who complain after the fact. We can't count votes that are not there at the time of the vote. We can't. It's not enough to think good thought - you (or your representative) has to be in the room.

    People who complain about spinelessness should show up with their spines sometime, especially in the summer. Make a difference if you want one.

    And that "rational bunch" on the board was brought to you in great part by your union and the people willing to show up with their spines and time and money to do the work to put them there.

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  9. Well said, 7:52.

    Make a difference if you want one. Show up. You can't be counted if you are not there.

    (Ken is full of delusions.)

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  10. Williams was also a Mathur supporter....the return of Mathur?

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  11. I wouldn't worry about Mathur returning to the SOCCCD any time soon. He's busy running for Laguna Hills City Council. He has a good chance of being elected. If he is, he won't be on our board.

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  12. You describe Williams as if he murdered someone. Perhaps this 15 year wrath (you describe) is the product of your arrogance and how you've treated others over the years, Roy...

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  13. 3:06, I describe Williams as he is: an incompetent and corrupt politician, a person who puts his own interests and comfort over the welfare of others and the community at large. You might read those two grand jury reports, if you would like some detail.
    Please tell us, oh brave brave "anonymous," how exactly have I treated people badly over the years? Please be specific, and back up your claims.

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  14. 7:52, the PAC is not the union in the way that the Courses Committee is not the Academic Senate, which is to say that the PAC is indeed the union, insofar as the representative body votes to accept its recommendations. Luckily, as in the case of the Senate, the "union" has yet to vote. We have about three weeks to capture the hearts and minds of the membership.

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  15. I think it might be useful for people to not only contact their rep but also send an email to Paula Jacobs the new union president.

    pjacobs@saddleback.edu

    A simple short message is best.

    I agree with Roy that no endorsement in this race is the best choice. No one, except perhaps Lang, wants him back on the board and we risk our relationships with the other trustees - and the community - by backing such a disgraced, unethical politician.

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  16. 7:52 am: I am not a faculty member or employee of SOCCCD (or, for that matter, anyplace else). I am a lowly Saddleback student. Yes, there are people who read this blog regularly who are mere students.

    If the union or the PAC or whomever would allow me a vote, I would gladly show up in summer, winter, at midnight, whenever. I despise Williams, Mathur, and that whole crew. And yes, I think the union, as a whole, lacks balls. There are a number of fine folks in the leadership and of course many remarkable instructors in both colleges. But the union as a whole has not shown a lot of spine in the recent past.

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