Merchon Green: Lots of Mysteries at the Highest Levels of the School District of Indian River County, FL.

Merchon1

I am watching the video of the School Board meeting from last night [12/11/18]. I have one question for the Board: where is the transparency?

So Carter Morrison is welcomed back on Thursday but the public has NO idea how this situation was handled. Also, how does sending Carter back into a hostile work environment without confronting the root of the problem equate to a win?

1. What was the pressing issue that caused Dr. Rendell to send Carter Morrison home immediately, suspend him with pay and remain home for over 5 months?

2. How much did tax payers pay for Carter to be home WITH pay for all of those months? What was the total cost including salary, investigation and other costs relating to this situation?

3. If Carter is coming back to work, how exactly is this issue being resolved?

4. If the issue IS resolved? How? When? And where did this occur? The Board is governed by Sunshine law so how could the Board discuss and agree on the situation without the public witnessing it? Where is the transparency that you all promised tax payers? Tax payers have a right to know because they are footing the bill.

5. Why is the Board thanking Dr. Rendell for “letting” Carter come back? Where is the discussion on Dr. Rendell’s actions and accusations?

6. Where is the discussion on the information that exonerated Carter? How does that information affect the District going forward?

7. How does Dr. Rendell and the Board plan to restore Carter’s reputation after being publicly defamed and accused of mismanagement of funds?

8. Where is the public apology to Carter from Dr. Rendell? Where is the showing of the Board holding Dr. Rendell accountable?

9. Why does the Board see sending Carter back into a hostile work environment as a win? Also, how does the Board plan to change the climate of the District by addressing this situation?

10. How can Dr. Rendell and the Board assure tax payers that fiscal irresponsibility and mismanagement of funds will not happen again? What changes has been made to the District’s financial practices and procedures?

The Carter Morrison situation has been a long, drawn out, semi-public process which shows the climate and culture of our district.

Our Chief Financial Officer was publicly humiliated and defamed for months.

Our Board had the perfect opportunity to confront the issue head on and establish a new precedent of transparency, zero tolerance for bullying.

That did not happen last night. What we saw was business as usual. A bunch of thanks/cheering for nothing and welcoming our CFO back to a toxic environment. However, no discussion on how to remedy the toxicity. Something has to change if we want to retain quality employees.

Confronting issues is ugly. Solving problems is ugly. Getting our district on track will not be easy. But we’ve got to stop talking about organizational charts and other fluff and focus on our climate/culture, being fiscal responsible and increasing transparency and accountabilty.

None of that is fun, but they all knew what they signed up for when they ran for their positions. Citizens, your voice is needed to hold our Board accountable. Our students’ education, district’s future and our tax dollars are at stake.

I am disappointed, to say the least.

Merchon Green was a candidate for School District of Indian River County School Board, District 2.  Ms. Green is an attorney and founded Pioneering Change, a Gifford-based organization dedicated to empowering our community and its citizens.

Related Articles:

https://verocommunique.com/2018/12/14/does-the-school-district-of-indian-river-county-fl-still-have-a-finance-department/

https://verocommunique.com/2018/12/04/he-has-been-cfo-for-how-many-years-school-district-of-indian-river-county-fl-it-at-least-deserves-discussion/

 

7 thoughts on “Merchon Green: Lots of Mysteries at the Highest Levels of the School District of Indian River County, FL.

  1. We are all disappointed. Disappointed in the actions of the previous board who allowed the current Superintendent to evidently do as he pleased, without consequences.
    Disappointed that this current board is seemingly no more transparent than the last, whilst claiming absolute transparency.
    The current legal counsel should also be schooled on who they are employed by and who they answer to (or find new legal counsel that represents the board). Taxpayers have too long paid to represent the Superintendent and pay his personal legal fees.
    If the Superintendent wants personal legal counsel, he should be paying for it himself rather than charging the taxpayers.
    We will await the outcome but the taxpayers will be surprised if the outcome is favorable. Or transparent.

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    • Merchon has nailed it!!! Employee morale is at an all time low. No one trusts this superintendent, no one feels secure in their job after this debacle!! He doesn’t even have the courtesy to say hello when you pass him in a hallway. The District has lost several Assistant Superintendents and Directors since rendell has been in charge. It’s time for the School Board Members to send this self centered person back to where he came from!!!

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  2. Pingback: Does the School District of Indian River County, FL Still Have a Finance Department? | Vero Communiqué

  3. A couple of points:
    1) it is my understanding Mr. Morrison was not sitting home idle for the last number of weeks – he was working in another department of the district.
    2) I was pleased to see that at the first board meeting for this board – with 3 new members, when Dr. Rendell asked that they vote on Mr. Morrison’s case, they said it wasn’t appropriate for them to act on the issue without more study.
    3) It is also my understanding that the Board is limited by LAW to speak on certain aspects of Mr. Morrison’s situation. Maybe we should have a reading of the law as it pertains to the Board’s ability to publicly discuss of an investigation into misuse of funds and the firing, demoting, transferring or re-instating of the District employee.
    4) This Board did not disparage Mr. Morrison’s character, repurtation or abilities…that was all begun by Dr. Rendell and others. If we’re going to dole out blame – it starts there.

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    • 1. Morrison has been sitting at home since Rendell publicly accused him at the 7/31/18 board meeting (I believe at the expense of SDIRC or in other words, taxpayers).
      If you watch workshops and board meetings, you will find that AUDITS (plural) were done and no wrongdoing could be found on Mr. Morrison’s bookkeeping’s. So this begs the question (more board meeting videos), why was more district funds utilized after no accounting malfeasance was found when that was the charge to begin with? A complete waste and Morrison should have been reinstated long before now with explanation from Dr. Rendell.
      2. Agreed
      3. Agreed
      4. Agreed

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  4. Pingback: ¿El Distrito Escolar del Condado de Indian River, FL, todavía tiene un Departamento de Finanzas? | Vero Communiqué

  5. Again, if you look at the SDIRC 1/15/19 School District of Indian River County board agenda, you will note under Consent Agenda B. Approval of Personnel Recommendations by Dr. Rendell that he is once again trying to slip in a promotion for his Position Control Specialist, Smeltzer, who was named in the article as the person who sent over the 4.1 million in additional positions at the last minute which caused the upset which resulted in Dr. Rendell publicly slandering CFO Carter Morrison at the 7/31/18 board meeting and resulted in copious amounts of school district money being spent on needless legal fees and audit fees.
    Morrison was recently publicly vindicated by Dr. Rendell and reinstated to his original position. The next day, CFO Morrison resigned (as did Finance Director Pelletier). You may note on this same 1/15/19 board agenda, that lead accountant, Stephanie Lovel is also resigning. The Finance Dept is a mess with Dr. Rendell at the reigns and should you require proof, just study the current budget, with fund balance sitting dangerously low at 2.5% (if we can believe Rendell).
    This board needs someone to step in with integrity and have them take over this district before bankruptcy status. This Superintendent is obviously not qualified, nor is he honest.

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