Pat Gleason's statement

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    Pat Gleason

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    Read more on Gleason's decision to come forward

    — Several weeks ago, I announced my resignation from the School Board. My reason for doing so was because as a representative of the public's trust, I found myself in the position of having to "do the right thing" for the district and the community even though the "right thing" conflicted with the current board's direction and board ethics.

    For over 10 years, I had dedicated my time and energy to the Steamboat Springs School District. I was a founding member of the 10+2 Committee. I campaigned for and helped secure the passage of a $22 million bond used to renovate our high school and another $29 million bond to replace Soda Creek Elementary School and to renovate both the middle school and Strawberry Park Elementary. Twice, I supported and campaigned for mill-levy overrides dedicated to increasing district employees' compensation to raise an additional $1.5 million per year. I was instrumental in hiring a well-qualified administrator to lead the district. Perhaps most importantly, I championed the initial passage, implementation and re-ratification of a half-cent sales tax dedicated to our children's education. I was proud to serve on behalf of the community that saw those missions as critical and prouder still to live in a community with such a long and extensive history of support for public education.

    Unfortunately, over the course of the last two years, the board began to lose its focus on its number one priority - the education of our youth on behalf of our community. Individual egos and personal agendas were taking the place of strategic plans, and good governance was being replaced with partial, bitter micromanagement. The orderly and civil operations of the board and the district were slowly eroding. I fear the current board is headed in a different direction than the community that has so ardently supported the district.

    "The School Board has access to all records at all times," is a quote John DeVincentis has used numerous times during his tenure on our School Board. Shortly after DeVincentis left the employ of the School District, as a board member at that time, I had access to the controversial e-mails, as well as other board members. I delivered a copy of John's e-mails to the Pilot & Today, knowing they were of public interest. Should I have released them sooner? In retrospect, maybe I should have. But, I opted not to at that time because DeVincentis had just gone through a "difficult" situation with the former superintendent and begun his private life after many years of contributing to the excellence of Strawberry Park Elementary School, its support staff and remarkable (award-winning) teachers. I had hoped his experience would be beneficial to the district.

    I resigned from the School Board knowing I could no longer make a positive contribution and that revealing his e-mails would be ethically deceitful. I had initially requested anonymity out of concern for my family and the anticipated backlash from John and his supporters. I had hoped DeVincentis would care enough for the district and community to spare us the financial costs, emotional distress and enduring lack of focus to resign. Since he has opted not to step down, a district-wide inquisition has been undertaken to find the individual responsible for releasing the e-mails. As Denise said, it is time for the district to move forward and let the community dictate the outcome.

    Respectfully, Pat Gleason

    Comments

    reallocal 7 years, 7 months ago

    DeVincentis is more than capable of carrying out a vendetta (personal and professional) against anyone who opposes him. (See his emails). Many people in this community know this. Maybe DeVincentis just needed enough rope to hang himself. At this point, who cares why he waited? Maybe he should have, maybe he shouldn't have, maybe he was hoping that things would change. The timing of the release is secondary and unimportant when the content and intention of the emails is considered. D, in all his self-inflated, egotistical and narcassistic glory, will not do the honorable thing and resign, so it really doesn't matter whether you think he should or not. If you are willing to accept "underhanded" as the "norm," then that's your problem. I am not, so I will sign the recall petition, and I encourage anyone who thinks that we should expect a higher "norm" from our elected officials to do the same.

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    Mike Forney 7 years, 8 months ago

    Once again Pat Gleason demonstrates the integrity and ethical behavior that is sorely lacking by some other members of the school board. It is essential to our community's well-being that we actively demonstrate our refusal to condone the actions and motivations of publically-elected officials like those shown by "Dr. D." Failing to remove him from the school board will tell the world we don't care enough to protect our children, our educational institutions or our own moral values.

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    JQPUBLIC 7 years, 8 months ago

    What class...what dedication... this is who should be president of the school board!

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    bradcary 7 years, 8 months ago

    As a lifelong friend of Pat's, it comes as no surprise to me that he would take this action. Pat has always been a man of the highest integrity,professionally and personally, and has served as a shining example of what our leaders should aspire to be. My hope is tha Pat will reconsider his resignation. It seems to me there should be someone elses resignation in order.

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    jerry carlton 7 years, 8 months ago

    Pat Gleason is the only person who should be on the school board. The rest should resign and we should start over. I have no fish to fry other than being a taxpayer that pays for the malfeasence of the school board. What will the buying out of Donna Howell's contract cost us? $240 grand plus?

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    Julie Green 7 years, 8 months ago

    Pat Gleason has been a great volunteer and champion of our school district..............but, I am very disappointed in his decision to use the private emails of Dr D to exercise his PERSONAL vendetta against this former employee. These private emails were not government business and Pat's letter printed here tries to make a silk purse out of a pig's ear. Pat's actions can only be construed as showing his desire to ruin someone else's life, through secrecy and deceit. Maybe he didn't agree with Dr D's actions as a school board volunteer, but does that justify such a smear campaign?

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    Julie Green 7 years, 8 months ago

    And one more comment. I'm sure any one of us could be embarrassed by comments we've written in emails or said in moments of frustration and anger. The Pilot's decision to make such a big deal about all of this is just as sleazy as Pat Geason's decison to leak this private and personal correspondence.

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    linus 7 years, 8 months ago

    jlc, just wondering, are you the lady who came to the special board meeting last Thursday and said that you had no kids, didn't know Donna, and didn't know the board but you thought we should support Donna because she represents herself well in the newspaper? that was classic.

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    Andyeast 7 years, 8 months ago

    launnie, i agree... what a waste... how many of us would want our moments of anger and frustration plastered all over the paper... regardless of whether they were on a work computer or not...... AND - none of us know what hell Dr.D. went through with that Simms woman... So, who are we to judge?

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    Andyeast 7 years, 8 months ago

    Gee, can you be any more full of yourself? - Excuse me while I pass gas.

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    fish 7 years, 8 months ago

    You are the public that voted him in to office. That is why he is accountable to us. Bright Boy!

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    autumnwitch 7 years, 8 months ago

    I did witness a lot of what happened between the two Andy and it didn't warrent the poison spewed by John.

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    Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 8 months ago

    Autumnwitch- Did it warrant a Board member knowing and sitting on those emails for a couple years, until HE thought it was the right time to bring them forward? Doesn't that piss you off in the slightest that the man everyone is holding in high regard...DIDN'T TELL ANYONE OF HIS CONSTITUENTS FOR 2 YEARS ABOUT THOSE EMAILS UNTIL HE WAS NOT IN THE MAJORITY ON THE BOARD AND QUIT? Just wondering, since you and everyone else are that fired up about those emails, you'd think they were important enough to release right away.

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    reallocal 7 years, 8 months ago

    Maybe he hoped that D would change his horrendous, hate-mongering ways and actually gave him the benefit of the doubt. I can say one thing...this will be the last time former employees will be elected to the school board for a long time. At this point, really, it's just like shooting D-fish in a barrel. Just a matter of time before he's dead in the water.

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    Matthew Stoddard 7 years, 8 months ago

    Reallocal- that's a pretty weak excuse for Gleason to finally come forward...and it's not the reason he gave, either. His reasoning was the same as yours for being anonymous- afraid for his well being. What made him overcome that after 2 years, especially when he was a minority vote at this point, from the sounds of it? I'm starting to think D shouldn't have to resign. It sound like being underhanded is the norm for the Board all the way around.

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