Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Afterthoughts to the Globe Article & Top 50 Paid Employees

Section 23(b)(2)  Improper Use of Public Position

Section 23(b)(2) provides that a public employee may not knowingly, or with reason to know, use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions of substantial value for himself or others.  Under section 23(b)(2), the Commission has consistently prohibited public employees from using their titles, public time and public resources to promote private interests.

Section 23(b)(3)  Appearances of a Conflict of Interest

Section 23(b)(3) prohibits a public employee from knowingly, or with reason to know, engaging in conduct which would cause a reasonable person to conclude that any person or entity can improperly influence the employee or unduly enjoy his favor in the performance of his official duties, or that he is likely to act or fail to act as a result of kinship, rank, or position of any person. 


Remember these regulations as you read.... AND remember that these laws apply to Board of Trustees and School Administrators, not just elected officials.


During our initial read and response to the list of the high earners at MVRCS, we failed to fully examine the list as a whole. It occurred to us after that many of the individuals listed are probably also listed on Neil Kinnon's personal Christmas card list. While we initially offended that Greg Kinnon and Rob Kravitz were making more than the majority of teachers and staff at MVRCS (all those teachers and staff that were NOT mentioned) but it wasn't until we started looking at who was on the list and comparing those individuals with who has an outside relationship with Neil Kinnon (or one of his associates such as Mayor Howard) that we saw the big picture. Yes, a few teachers are paid better than some but isn't it interesting that the majority of the list consists of individuals who have gained their position as a result of their 'Konnections'? We understand the creation of a Public Relations position for a friend who was in desperate need of a job but paying that same person more than many of the teachers who have been there longer and work harder? The next question we must ask is if an Office Manager (who has been known to make some major mistakes and isn't always the nicest person) is also worth more than the teachers and staff who are responsible for educating our children. Both Gately and Ferrara have been with the school for less than 4 years yet make more than most teachers? We mention Greg and Bob (who we were just informed has a 'Konnection' but we must admit, at least works) a bit back but isn't it interesting that Mike and Win-Jan (the two employees who maintain the lower schools) who have both been at the school for many years, are tireless in their efforts, and can always been seen WORKING, are not listed any where on the list? These two are at the school every morning and every afternoon (unlike Greg who drives up just ahead of the buses for appearance sake) plus some weekends, yet are not making anywhere near what our other two friends make? Seems like a little preferential treatment going on here. Greg was also slotted as 'Nurse' yet by our accounts, all the nurses positions are full and, let's not forget, he isn't truly AT the school all that much. BUT, speaking of nurses, isn't it also sad that the school nurse who has been there for YEARS, Ms. Tilton, didn't make that list (and apparently with all the fixing of the lottery that occurs, they couldn't fix it so her child could get in - really?)? Ever visit her office? Grand Central Station is the first thought yet she makes less than Danielle Ferrara? Hmm, the employees in the business office seem to work at a much slower pace than any of the nurses, and responsible for a LOT more.Oh, that's right, they all seem to have a 'Konnection' to either Genetti, Howard, or Kinnon. Funny how that works, isn't it?

We mentioned in our earlier post the fact that Mr. Giles & Mr. Bauer (any relation to politician Bauer?)  is in fact making more than many HS teachers, classroom teachers, and Special Education teachers. It was pointed out to us that it may be as a result of after school coaching or duties and we do concede that they both probably earn stipends for taking on various responsibilities. We then realized that Ms. Goggin was not mentioned on the list and we know that she does quiet a bit of after-school coaching and was a major player in the Booster club (the amazing haunted house that the kids put on the past few years, coat drive, etc). We find it interesting that she has not managed to gain a spot on the list. Then again, while many of the sporting accomplishments are given attention, little has ever been said about the extraordinary efforts of the faculty and students involved the Booster Club. One would hope that Ms. Goggin (and those other teachers and staff members that are committed) received at the very least the same (if not greater) 'stipend' that Kathy Kinnon receives for her role as swim teach secretary.We would be interested in hearing what others are paid as 'stipends' and if they are, in fact, equal to or greater than that of Kathy Kinnon. On that same note, one must question what Lee Kinnon is being paid for his role as swim coach as we find it interesting that he has not been listed.

While we do not claim to know every 'Konnection' that exists within the school payroll, we know enough to conclude that many of the individuals that have made 'the list' have only done so as a result of their 'Konnections' and good graces of their friends and family members. We know for certain that Kathy and Greg Kinnon are not held to the same standards or expectations as other employees, especially since it seems like neither of them are present during the school day and much of what they should be responsible for has been dumped onto others. We also can see that many of the individuals Neil Kinnon has 'appointed' are paid far more than the majority of those responsible for the most, educating our children. We must also question how these individuals are evaluated during performance evaluations. For example, Chris Finn is a long-time, childhood friend of Neil Kinnons and many would agree that the behavior at the school has been declining since his appointment yet he remains one of the highest paid employees. We can be assured that Dr. McCleary has little say in Chris Finn's evaluations and pay raises which would lead us to believe that the Board of Trustees assumes that responsibility. One would hope that Neil Kinnon would excuse himself from these discussions but we would imagine not. AND, since the school has refused to release Executive Session minutes as required, we would have no way of knowing. We could go on with our disgust and disappointment at how we believe funds are being abused and misappropriated at our school but we feel the point has been made: it is time for Neil Kinnon and his merry band of thieves to step down as it is clear that many Conflict of Issues and Code of Conduct laws have been not merely broken but totally disregarded. Anyone interested in taking a guess at just how many of the individuals listed are somehow 'Konnected' to Neil Kinnon and/or his friends, family members, or associates?

In closing, in true UnOfficialMVRCS form, this posting will be emailed to the DESE, State Ethics, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and our numerous media contacts.


  1. You are aware that there are varying degrees of education and licensing in business, teaching and nursing? My mother is an LPN nurse and therefore makes less than her RN counterparts. Some (most) teachers on the LIST have masters degrees in teaching. ANY school system/hospital that you go to has these same pay grades. Your blog is too quick to jump the gun and will lose credibility if you are not careful. There are valid complaints here but they will be dismissed if you don't do your homework. The nepotism thing and illegal sped practices will eventually have to be addressed for this great school to continue to thrive....

  2. Most schools systems and hospitals have unions that have pay grades. The charter school bases their salaries on who the employees know. Not fair. I'm interested in how other charter schools pay their employees and how do those salaries compare with MV.

  3. We're not really fans of the union regulating pay but agree that what is happening at MVRCS is just plain wrong. We're not sure how Neil Kinnon can state that they have attracted and retained teachers when very few stick around for any length of time. It seems like the only staff that stick around are those that are 'Konnected' and/or those willing to play the game. We've heard that teachers are encouraged to report each other and those who prove themselves loyal to the school (not their colleagues or students) are the teachers that are paid the most.

  4. It was told to me that there is some kind of "merit bonus" paid to the teachers who make sure the students comply with uniform or whatever issues the school is fanatical about. If a student is caught with their shirt out or whatever, it goes against the teacher and they get "demerits" which translate into affecting their "bonus". This is creating a hostile work environment as you are correct that there are some employees who rat out those who are not as vigilant as the admin would want them to be. Is this the way you want your school run? Keep up the good work on this blog.