Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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February 18th, 2016

“Chef Andy” Wants Monticello School Superintendent’s Resignation

As the “Chef Andy” (Andrew Yeomans) case continues to unfold there has been serious accusations involving the Monticello School District and a teacher arrested by police at a traffic stop in Mamakating.

According to the New York State Police Simona Ballard, and her husband Robert were arrested for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Criminal Possession of a Weapon.

The New York State Police reports that “The Ballards were arrested after a vehicle and traffic stop on Route 17 on Friday, February 12, 2016, in the Town of Mamakating by Troopers and the discovery of approximately 11 ounces of powder cocaine, with a street value of approximately $20,000, and a blackjack inside the vehicle. A subsequent search warrant executed on the couple’s home on Dartmouth Drive in Rock Hill revealed an additional quantity of cocaine and approximately 46 grams of heroin, along with two loaded firearms, one of which was defaced. Robert Ballard and Simona Ballard were arraigned and remanded to the Sullivan County Jail without bail.”

Under the law all those arrested remain innocent until proven guilty – But the arrests have drawn outrage from Sullivan County residents over the Monticello School Board and their hiring practices.

On Thursday February 18, 2016, the Monticello School Board will be meeting at 7 PM at Cooke Elementary Cafeteria, 69 Richardson Avenue in Monticello and Andrew Yeomans is asking people to attend and “Speak Out”.

Once again Chef Andy asked to talk directly to you about why he wants Monticello Schools Superintendent Tammy Mangus to resign.

Here is what “Chef Andy” (Andrew Yeomans) has to say:

“In light of recent events, specifically the arrest of Ms. Simona Ballard, I feel there needs to be much more brought to light in our community.

Evidently, as shown here,

The “Teacher” in question, hired upon “…Recommendation of the Superintendent…” to “Teach” a special needs class has no New York State Dept. of Education Certification ALLOWING her to head up a classroom. She does have Administrator licenses, however, under NYSED Law, Ms. Ballard should never have been appointed as “Leave replacement” for any educator in any district within New York State without a very specific “Teacher Certificate.” The following link from NYSUT website provides us with sections of state statute regarding this issue.

As you will have read on that link, “Teachers” hired without certifications are forbidden from being paid with District funds. This raises an interesting question. Who will repay Monticello District taxpayers for the funds remunerated to this person? Further, and most importantly, were there gang related activities at play with this person? By hiring this person, at what risk did the Superintendent place your children by allegedly not performing simple due diligence? Upon further research, I’ve also discovered that “…Enabling or permitting” an unlicensed professional to work in an environment where a license is required is an offense categorized as “Professional misconduct” under NYSED Law.

The Superintendent, is the only individual in the district who can recommend the hire of any employee. The responsibility for all due diligence is ultimately hers. So the blame rests squarely with Tammy Mangus. She hired a convicted felon (known to her or not) to stand in a classroom with socially/physically disadvantaged children.

The questionable hiring practices go even further. I served on the interview committee for the Assistant Superintendent for Business Administration position vacated by Denise Cedeira early in 2015. There were four applicants interviewed. Two that I remember for certain actually had the certifications/licenses for the job, the third MAY have had them. The fourth, (with Tim Potts, arguably taking charge of the committee to stack the deck for Tammy’s predetermined choice taking the lead), I believe had NO CERTIFICATIONS OR LICENSES for the position until well after the interviews concluded, and when a certification enabling her hire came to exist in June, it was merely an “INTERN” certificate. This means that for a salary of 120,000.00/year for her first year, 130k next year, and 140k the following year, (per her contract) you have someone in charge of the district’s finances, building projects, operation of departments in her charge who is categorically, in my humble opinion, unqualified for the position to which she was appointed. Furthermore, the District retains the services of Dr. Donald Gottleib at significant additional expense to “Mentor” this new hire through her duties. It may be worth noting that the new Asst. Supt. For Business hails from Roscoe CSD, (as did Mangus) where she was paid a little over 60k/year.

Moreover, the hiring practices, which fall squarely on her shoulders, should any applicants for positions at the district ever be made aware that they were passed over when they were more qualified than the person awarded the position, could result in liability we as a community can ill afford. I would ask if anyone can verify the rumor circulating that the job Ms. Ballard (f.k.a. Patterson) was hired to fill was ever EXTERNALLY posted to avail the district of a valid pool of more qualified candidates. It would be very interesting to see what the truth is there.

For the record, I was also on the interview committee for Superintendent Teplesky’s replacement, and at no time was Mrs. Mangus presented to us as a candidate. She WAS however, hired above ALL other candidates who were WHOLLY more qualified with DECADES of experience between them. In fact, just five years ago, she was a Principal in one of the smallest districts in the county, Roscoe. In what world is someone with these lacking credentials qualified for a job of this magnitude? In what world?

Anyone else see the pattern here? I’m also aware that Roscoe CSD’s food service manager has visited Monticello CSD’s business office a couple times over the past few months.

What else is going on that the community doesn’t know about?

1. Are we currently looking to privatize our transportation department? (They did the study on transportation already) Our food service? Is getting rid of me Ms. Mangus’s way of sabotaging the food service department to the point the board of education will clamor for privatization? This district is the third largest employer in Sullivan County!

2. Monticello Bagel Bakery, a taxpaying business in the district has all but given up on doing business with the district after they failed to open the bid when they were supposed to. Then, in a scramble to find a scapegoat, they blamed me. Imagine that. “The Administration” is alleging the bagels were non-compliant with whole grain standards. Those bagels were made with 100% whole white wheat flour. They were BEYOND compliant! Thank you Monticello Bagel for buying the flour I requested. The kids loved your bagels. Are there any other local vendors who were also treated poorly by the district, I wonder?

3. I wonder if anyone can verify the rumor that most of the Union Contracts are currently stalemated by failure to negotiate.

4. Any truth to the notion that over $100,000.00 worth of tee shirts have been purchased in increments of around $20,000.00 without the benefit of competitive bid as General Municipal Law and Board of Ed. Policy require? It’s in the board minutes somewhere, just need to look it up.

5. Is the Board of Education aware that a consultant named MaryAnn Brittingham was hired back in April, (right when my wife announced she was running for school board) without the prior approval of the Board, without Request for Proposal? Has the Board verified how this contractor was paid? I can’t seem to find any Board Minutes where they authorized payment. Is there a purchase order? You approved the payment of Susan Merims, another consultant, MONTHS after she had been hired without your prior consent and approval and performed work for you.

6. Tammy is trying to fire me over department expenses, yet she requires food service staff to work the most recent conference day for extra pay, and has them prepare 450 bag lunches for all the teachers. To my estimation, over $1,500.00 in additional expenses to the taxpayer. Over $13,000.00 in catering using a combination of grant money and district taxpayer monies was ordered as of the date of my leave. That total has no doubt grown significantly since. (grant funded or not, it’s all our money)

7. Was there ever a purchase order for the pizza/salad dinner Tammy Mangus ordered from Brother Brunos for her “New Teacher” dinners? When I received the email demanding I order from them, I noticed that they weren’t even set up to be a vendor for the district. How/when were THEY paid? If Tammy was acting as “Purchasing agent” for the district, shouldn’t she herself have made sure there was a P.O. opened prior to ordering so the Cafeteria Fund could be reimbursed in accordance with State Law?

My question is this: Does the School Board know any of this? That there is no certification, current or expired which would facilitate her hire for this position in the first place? That Ms. Ballard has a prior felony conviction from 1996? I’m quite certain that any school administrator worth their weight in salt would have checked the same websites I did and found the answer. How could this have been overlooked by a Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, and an entire Board of Education? I’m going to go easy on the Board though, because they are in a position of having to TRUST the person they put at the helm of their 86 million dollar responsibility. How can they trust her now? Frankly they cannot. The trust has been violated, and there is no alternative. Nothing crossing the desks of the board can ever be looked at without a microscope, and this is not something they’re all trained to do. Critically, we’re expected to trust that our children are placed in a safe environment with qualified people attending.

If there’s no trust, there’s no relationship. PERIOD! I believe Monticello CSD shall have had its fill of Mrs. Mangus’s brazen disregard for procedure, policy, procurement rules, and the public welfare.

Will there be discipline undertaken? The board MUST begin with IMMEDIATE suspension pending an investigation. IMMEDIATE! The community should not accept any other recourse. In my opinion, resignation should be the ultimate goal, because this level of incompetence cannot be permitted to continue when our children are concerned. Our tax dollars. Our community’s economic future. (this type of bad press is more devastating to real estate sales than a nuclear power plant spewing tritium into the river)

This school board and this community have been, and will continue to be lied to with brazen disregard by Superintendent Mangus, and the handful of school board members who blindly rubber-stamp every move she makes. LIED TO!

I doubt anyone working there will come forward out of fear that this Superintendent will hound them out of a job, but someone needs to speak up. Your children, your wives, your husbands, and your MONEY are at risk in an environment where there is no way to trust those in charge. This is bigger now than just a school board election. This Superintendent must now resign, or the Board must take action to terminate.

You always have the opportunity to resign, Tammy Mangus. I urge you to resign.

This community has had more than enough!

“Chef Andy” (Andrew Yeomans)”

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.

7 comments to “Chef Andy” Wants Monticello School Superintendent’s Resignation

  • Is tarring and feathering still allowed? That’s what this tammy person needs.

  • Donna

    I cannot believe a Superindenenr hired an ex-con with a felony and without proper certification and put said person in a classroom with special needs children. I am horrified! Parents need to step up and protest! Your children were put at risk because someone didn’t do their job. What is something happened to those children? Just disgraceful. The Superintend m needs to go just on this issue alone.

  • brian mceneaney

    Let those without sin cast the first stone.

  • Mary

    Send her back to her small redneck town of Roscoe where she Belongs! She’s way over paid! 120,000 to disregard the community’s concerns.

  • Titus

    I am still waiting for the results of the trumped up article 9 charges from 3 yrs ago LOL meantime they fired me under trumped up charges because I turned them in on illegal stuff !

  • Ethel

    A school district is the “heart” of a community. This is what most young, upcoming parents & young adults/couples look for when investing in a home. Where will our children go to school? Biggest concern for all parents/guardians. With this kind of deliberate negligent negativity by those in “control” of our community’s enitre educational system, they leave no room for anyone to even CONSIDER wanting to invest in any property/future for their families in this area, thus leaving this school district’s future nothing but a barren wasteland.

  • Ethel

    Btw…thank you, Chef Andy, for bringing this subject to light!
    Wishing you all of Life’s Blessings!!