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Lindley Estes writes about Spotsylvania County schools, King George County Schools and other issues of interest to the community.

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Wilder responds to censure criticism

Spotsylvania School Board member Marty Wilder last night responded to critical remarks made about the board at its Jan. 10 meeting.

He noted that people in public office need to accept criticism but he was taken aback at comments calling board members “un-American” and accusing them of tossing a “grenade” to distract from other issues.

Wilder then read a prepared statement in which he outlined the chronology of how the censure of board member Amanda Blalock came about on Dec. 13.

I’ll have more details on this in tomorrow’s Free Lance-Star.

Click here to see the video of the censure.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/gettingschooled/2011/01/25/wilder-responds-to-censure-criticism/

  • Bill Haas

    I sincerely hope Mr. Wilder’s “prepared” statement EXPLAINS the true facts behind the censure of a fellow SB member. To my knowledge that information has not been made public as yet.

    If that kind of disclosure is not included in Wilder’s statement; he is wasting his own time and ours to boot.

  • Steve T.

    Wilder misquoted me. I didn’t say the SB members were unamerican- that is an insult I would not use. I said the way the censure was handled was unamerican.

    Essentially, Mrs. Blalock was charged, tried and convicted, all in her absence, and within 10 days right before Christmas.

    By comparison, it takes 2 months to try a speeding ticket.

    This was handled improperly. Mr. Wilder could have replaced his response with a simple “I’m sorry”.

  • ed newell

    this should get interesting fast. its been more than a year since the stuff first started hitting the fan.

  • havingfun

    What does the timing of Christmas have to do with anything? Who cares?

    I think everyone is forgetting that Blalock came out in that meeting and said that YES, she did do something wrong! Geesh, why is everyone so upset that she got her wrist slapped? She did something wrong and admitted it. Should she not have gotten any punishment at all? I think she was completely irresponsible in her comments to the public and she CHOSE not to attend the closed session and defend herself…wouldn’t you guys have been there to explain your side of the story? I am disgusted that she just got up there and played the victim instead of taking responsibility and maturely disagreeing with her punishment and then moving on.

    I agree that it should have been handled when the offense occurred, but regardless, she should have been punished. She admitted violating the AUP of the organization. I think they all handled this poorly, including Blalock.

  • Steve T.

    Not a bad point havingfun, but here’s the issue that needs addressing:

    Jim Gillespie voted for a raise for his wife, who is a teacher, without disclosing the conflict of interest or recusing himself.

    Don Holmes voted for a promotion for his wife, also a teacher (I think she’s an administrator now), without disclosing the conflict of interest or recusing himself.

    These are pretty serious violations of the code of ethics (and the law, actually). They are public and provable. Yet neither man was ever disciplined in any way for their issues. That makes the “phantom censure” all the more improper in appearance: it looks like they came down hard on Mrs. Blalock while exculpating others for serious violations.

    Ultimately, one would want the rules to apply fairly to all sides, no? I don’t see where that was done here.

    It seems like mudslinging over something pretty minor while more major and public violations go ignored. That’s what’s sketchy about it, in my eyes at least.

  • ed newell

    steve?

    ?”Jim Gillespie voted for a raise for his wife, who is a teacher, without disclosing the conflict of interest or recusing himself.”

    you are at best mistaken ask mr hass.
    i’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    thats the first i heard about holmes? is it equally credible? or the same source as your first claim?

  • John

    Its funny that Wilder would be the one to speak up since he is Hills right hand man. Wilders little speech is like the kettle calling the pot black! Speaking of unethical crap, Wilder should be given a crown and called the KING!

  • soccermom

    “the real issue” is not THAT she used school email- it’s WHAT was in the emails; what she was writing, doing, and saying. If the Free Lance Star won’t do its job and print the emails in question, any citizen has the right to ask for a copy of them- it’s about $12.00 and you can all stop speculating and wondering. See for yourselves. As for Mr. Gillispie, Steve is mistaken; there was no vote where he failed to recuse himself, only a comment as part of a larger discussion. Board members have always recused themselves at the appropriate times or disclosed their spouse’s occupation. Before you speak out, Steve, get your facts straight!

  • Steve T.

    Soccermom, I posted my sources and corrected myself. The fact that Gillespie actually tried to defend his blatent conflict of interest is still more worthy of censure than any version of the email issue that I’ve heard- and I have heard many.

    When I make a mistake, I own up to it and correct myself. It would be nice if some of our elected officials would own up to their own mistakes.

    And by the way, the system used to store SB docs online is extremely hard to navigate, just for the record.

  • Bill Haas

    For the record….Gillespie did not vote since there was no vote that night on the proposal by Ms. Blalock.

    Having said that, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind about what Gillespie would have done had there been a vote.

    As for Holmes, I can add no information either way.

  • Steve T.

    You know, I just realized that Newell and “soccermom” (whoever that is) jumped on my back pretty quickly for misremembering Gillespie didn’t get a chance to vote his conflict of interest… But I wonder if they will admonish Mr. Wilder in the same way for misquoting me twice?

    Something to think about. I corrected myself pretty quick. (Hopefully my correction is no longer “awaiting moderation”). Will Marty correct himself?

  • http://yahoo Ed Baker

    Wow! The clash of the facts and the factless. If emails are being released at that price, why are we not lining up to get all board members emails? I now see the rumored “mass” emailer is real…SoccerMom sends emails via school emails to Blalock supporters. Ed, I had hoped you might have picked up a real cause. Gillespie did not recuse himself on ROP…public info, folks. You all must be perfect and never had casual conversations on email…the woman apologized…but that isn’t enough for the Amanda Haters Club..so juvenile…you should get tee shirts. Facts only please.

  • ed newell

    mr baker? since there wasn’t a vote yet how would gillespie have recused himself?

    and someone is fighting the release of emails has their lawyer going over em one by one to keep em quiet. guess who?

    mr haas had the integrity to recant his repeating of the misinfo he received and delete his post.

    but mr baker continues to run with the discredited lie

    steve? where did you correct this?
    “I posted my sources and corrected myself.”
    “Jim Gillespie voted for a raise for his wife, who is a teacher, without disclosing the conflict of interest or recusing himself.”

    i can’t find it. are you spreading falsehoods as a private party? or in your official party capacity? since you saw fit to identify in the story as a party official

  • Steve T.

    Ed, the comment shows me as still “awaiting moderation”, probably because it has 2 links in it. Pam could help on that one. I will repost if it does not go thru by tonight.

    You also did not answer my question. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

  • ed newell

    which question?

    i hate the moderation lag even though i understand it

  • Steve T.

    Question: Marty (probably unintentionally) misquoted me twice last night. You jumped on my back pretty hard for forgetting that Gillespie never really had the chance to take that dangerous vote. My question is, what do you think of his misquotes?

  • ed newell

    i’d say if you’re gonna split hairs and try to make his characterization of this quote
    “Steve Thomas told the Spotsylvania County School Board last night that he considered the way it censured board member Amanda Blalock at its last meeting un-American.

    as some kinda slur against you you must be speaking as a party official i hope so anyway i’d be embarrassed if i said that and then tried to backpeddle and hide when it started to look like my mouth outran the facts. but i might be able to rationalize it if i played at politics, the moral bar is so much lower than in personal life. mine anyway

    what was the other misquote?
    not to be confused with posting an outright falsehood like you did and mt baker persists in.

  • Steve T.

    Ed my friend, you know as well as anyone that there’s a pretty big difference between saying a person is unamerican and saying an action is. One is an insult. The other is a complaint.

    You also know- I have said this numerous times- I did not intentionally mischaracterize Gillespie’s conflict of interest any more than I believe Marty intentionally misquoted me. No one has everything in front of them at all times. You correct mistakes and move on.

  • ed newell

    some do mr baker? not so much.
    it took a computer cripple like me less than a minute to find no vote was taken hence the claim about the vote was bull. of course i wasn’t eager to parrot the bull since it didn’t serve my agenda

    now about those emails? you find out whats holding them up yet?

  • http://UmqaoU GIVEMEABREAK2M

    It sounds like to me that whose who have responded have no idea as to what they are talking about…..He said, she said. Only in Spotsylvania County. Talk and collect the facts later.

  • THEMIGHTYWHITEY

    WELL …I think you guys are getting off track ……if soccermom is right why doesnt Blalock just send all the e-mails in question to the FLS and let them print them all for the public to see…I think then we will all be able to make a judgment for ourselves on this as to whether she wrongly censured or if she had it coming !

  • ed newell

    the last thing she wants is those emails published

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