Dear Board Members,
I am aghast at the reports that I hear that you are considering a raise of up to 12% for Dr. Artis! How you can you even consider such a measure after cutting headcounts and freezing salaries for so many other district employees? You have demanded considerable cuts and sacrifices from others, and you want to take some of those savings and give it to Dr. Artis. Why shouldn't he now have his salary, benefits, and perquisites frozen as other have been forced to sacrifice?
Take a look at what has happened under his leadership and of those he has appointed as part of his direct reports. Three or four teachers have had sexual misconduct charges brought against them. Another has been fired for using drugs.
A high school principal has been let go (oh, I forgot, he resigned) after being highly suspected regarding missing funds of almost $20,000. Then, Dr. Artis uses as much to conduct an internal investigation, resulting in nothing, and attempting to keep all very hush-hush...and not referring it where it belonged in the first place...the police department. This principal's problems were well known to Human Resources and they refused to take action until things got out of hand.
In addition, you had a near mutiny of a middle school's faculty against a dictatorial and non-communicative principal. Again, it was kept hush-hush at all costs before those involved finally went public.
Currently, you have principals and other administrators in other schools that have caused the morale of the faculty to sink to lows never experienced in any Dearborn school before. Certain schools used to have the highest sense of Dr. Artis' neglect. How many of you are even aware of that?
Those who made the bad decisions that allowed people to be in these positions report directly to Dr. Artiss....he appointed and/or APPROVED many of them. He knew about what occurred, kept things from the public, and must take the responsibility. This does NOT warrant your consideration of a 12% increase! His performance certainly has not earned it. If any increase is given, it should NOT be done until one of the administrative positions be eliminated (after all, he created, and you approved an increase in administration positions) and only a 3-4 % increase be considered.
And, with our district in financial difficulties, what sort of message is being sent forth from Dr. Artis in his asking for such and increase in salary. Certainly it sounds rather self serving and uncaring for our children.
If Dr. Artis does not feel this is adequate, please let him move on to wherever he feels he can find greener pastures.
I hope that you will begin a greater outreach to the district's employees. Talk to groups of them. Understand what is happening in the schools. Ask what they feel and need, because it is not coming through to you from Dr. Artis. Do NOT be misled by certain minority interests or by those who are aligned with such...look at the whole.
I appreciate your consideration and hope you make the only right decision and not allow the granting of such an exorbitant salary increase. It will remain firmly in the minds of your constituents if you do.
A Dearborn taxpayer
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Dr. John Burl Artis yesterday removed his name from consideration for the Grand Rapids superintendency. And today with trustee Mary Lane, one of his supporters in attendence, he told the local PTA Council that he feels he is being unfairly judged in Dearborn. Wait until he sees this new website called fireartis.com
Click here to see the site:http://www.fireartis.com/
Rolling Stones' pianist, Chuck Leavell, had some sound advice that members of the Dearborn School Board members might well heed. -Our elected leaders work for us. We don't work for them, and it's entirely proper for citizens to convey their needs and interests to their elected representatives.
Dr. Artis, per your suggestion that we tour the school district, I really do not need a tour as I am in the schools for many things as I have been for over the past nearly 30 years. Remember, I have grandchildren in 3 different schools and do visit for activities both during the day and otherwise. Yes, we have a lot of good things going on but still a lot of drama...more that I have ever seen.
Yes, I read your response as to violations that have occurred in our school district, but you did not answer my major question...WHO GAVE PERMISSION for a school board policy to be violated? It is the responsibility of the Board of Education to establish policy and see that it is carried throughout the district leadership. Obviously, there is someone in a leadership position who decided to violate the policy. I WANT TO KNOW WHO GAVE PERMISSION!!!!!!!
If you remember, or perhaps it was of no interest to you at the time...I brought up...at a public meeting...about two kids in the Smith area who had been given bus passes in violation of school board policy for two years and the third year were denied. It is on video that the school response was that if we do it for one..we must do it for all. If you are too busy, I will be happy to take a day off work and research this issue for you.
Your attempts to redirect my concern, as to what we perhaps should be doing anyway, does not fly. There was a violation of Board Policy. Yes...I have also brought up about the kids in the Long school area...also publicly. Are you awareâ€¦oops...probably not as aware as those of us who have traveled Dearborn streets for many years...that there are high school kids who live over 3 miles from Edsel Ford, and who must cross Telegraph, Outer Drive and Rotunda in the dark. Are you also aware that many are afraid to ride a Smart bus due to kids being beat up and nothing being done by the bus driver??? No, I thought not.
Frankly Dr. Artis...I am tired of you yelling at the Board. I think you need anger management classes or Prozac or perhaps both. You, Dr. Artis, work for us; not the other way around.
If I do not get answers to my question as to who allowed this violation of Board policy I will find out on my own and don't think I can't. You have many employees who talk away from the district. They keep their mouths shut while at work as they are fearful for their jobs but believe me...Dr. John Burl Artis you are the talk of the town!
Dearborn School Board trustee