No conflicts of interest here…right

This is sort of an extension of an earlier blog entry I did on our school board members being in touch (instead of out of touch) back on Sept. 4.

I should warn you that this blog entry will contain references to Deena Hayes. If you find it objectionable, please kindly click on the red “X” at the upper-right-hand corner of your screen and go get a drink of water.

I have been struggling whether or not to discuss conflicts of interest as it relates to sitting school board members because it is a touchy subject to some. And I know I’m going to get beaten up for this posting, like previous ones. But as a fiscal conservative, the truth has to exploited because you won’t get these viewpoints in the “drive-by” media.

As some of you may know, Deena Hayes has been a frequent target by the local conservative paper of record, the Rhino Times, mainly due to her potential conflicts of interest involving CoMor Construction. Just as recent as last week’s issue, the Rhino inked a story on how Hayes continues to advocate for increased MWBE participation in construction projects, yet almost always abstains from voting on construction projects that she and her gentleman friend John Greene (who’s a construction manager for CoMor) are involved with. She never explains her abstentions, but one can easily figure out why.

An excerpt:

Once again, school board member Deena Hayes has advocated for increased participation from minority-owned businesses in school construction projects, all the while abstaining from voting for the latest construction contract because her roommate was included in it and is going to financially gain from the contract.

School board members don’t acknowledge Hayes’ pattern of voting, and seem to go along with whatever she says. CoMor Corporation construction manager John Greene and Hayes have owned a house together at 454 Gorrell Street since 2000.

The school system is working to award a minimum of 12.46 percent of its construction contracts to minority and women business enterprises (MWBE). The latest construction contract was awarded to J.H. Allen for work at Union Hill Elementary School, where CoMor is slated to be the subcontractor and a portion of the MWBE participation in that project.

If it walks like a duck and acts like a duck…it’s a duck. This looks like conflict of interest slapped all over its face. And for our school board to sit by and say/do nothing is very typical and quite unfortunate.

Out of touch.

But there’s more…as you know, Hayes is also involved with teaching (yes, I said teaching) material in so-called racial healing workshops. These are the same racial healing workshops that Supt. Terry Grier spent your hard-earned taxpayer money on a couple of years ago to introduce to our teachers (mainly those new Mission (im)Possible teachers and those others teaching in our highly-impacted schools).

These are the same workshops in which Hayes is now finding plentiful time to go across the country teaching, from Wake County (search “Deena Hayes” in this pdf file) to Anchorage, Alaska.

These are the same racial healing workshops that are run jointly by Chicago-based Crossroads Ministry and the New Orleans-based People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.

Can you say conflict of interest? I can. And if I’m elected to this school board next year, I will say it loud and proud.

Now please don’t get me wrong…I’m not short-sided and I don’t have blinders on. And I know and I’m very well-aware racism still exists in 2007, just look at the Jena 6 situation in Louisiana and there appears to be some serious problems down there that require some immediate and serious solutions.

When I was doing some of my undergraduate work at the University of Illinois-Chicago back in 1990, there were a number of unfortunate racial incidents (mainly attacks against female students of color) that occurred on campus and I was involved with a progressive movement in an effort to halt these incidents against women of color. (click here to download a Chicago Sun-Times article/editorial on UIC’s troubles in 1990–note, there is a $2.95 fee to download this article).
But looking at the sites I provided links for so far, there’s a way to promote racial tolerance in an objective, fair, non-judgmental, non-biased manner. And then there’s doing things differently…make that, doing things from a viewpoint where you’re guilty until proven innocent.

Now a word of clarification…on the link above where Hayes conducted a racial-healing workshop or two for the Anchorage Public Schools over this past summer, the blogger cites both me and the Rhino, but let me say that some of the material on this particular blog site I do find objectionable and offensive. I mentioned this only in context.

But do you see the correlation I’m trying to make here? If you do, you get the gold star of the day. Our school board members have time to go gallivanting across the country to conduct workshops for other school districts and yet they have no clue if a school gymnasium (of a school they represent that happens to be on a state academic watch list) is air-conditioned or not.

Now again, this is not a blaspheme on Hayes, the person…as I’ve said before, I’m sure she’s a very nice lady. I would love to buy her a cup of coffee one day. We can all like people, and yet disagree with their politics. If you’re open-minded enough, that’s makes you a fair-and-balanced type of person.

But if I’m elected next year, you can bet that I will be visible and very very vocal, both in the GCS Boardroom and in the public eye. Mark my words.

By the way, I, E.C. Huey, am not affiliated with any construction or real estate firm and I do not have any ties to any firm dealing with construction or real estate in this area.

I appreciate your anticipated support.

E.C. 🙂


2 Responses

  1. Just found your blog. You might be interested in another blog in Missouri:

  2. Thanks Susan, welcome aboard and spread the word. I’ll check it out!

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