Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Jimmy Fahrenholtz Sure Does Read Fast

OPSB member and perpetual candidate Jimmy Fahrenholtz was presented the school facilities master plan at a regular Orleans Parish School Board meeting this evening at McDonough 35 High School.

After looking it over for no more than the length of the meeting he proudly proclaimed to the Times-Picayune that he is "100 percent in support of the master plan."

That's rich because it was Jimmy Fahrenholtz who cut short Una Anderson's surprisingly strident questions regarding high school distribution uptown supposedly because tonight's meeting was only to be about determining procedure, not about expressing reservation or support.

While Mr. Fahrenholtz clearly isn't interested in hearing any public concern regarding the master plan or displaying any kind of his own healthy skepticism before taking one side over another, you'd still think he'd at least have the respect to at least sleep on the damn thing before expressing his undying enthusiasm.

Just for the sake of everyone's memory, let us recall that Jimmy Fahrenholtz is a frequent violator of campaign finance law and was very recently barred from running for Congress in District 2 due to outstanding penalties levied by the Louisiana Board of Ethics. Because those fines were levied as a result of his failure to follow the law during his race for Orleans Parish School Board, he has no business leading any kind of debate on the facilities master plan and his opinion shouldn't really be printed in the paper without the context I've provided here.

Let me mention that I can't seem to find where Mr. Fahrenholtz has filed a financial disclosure report since the storm. Also, I'll say that Steven Bingler's sister-in-law Sarah Usdin, a big education policy stakeholder in her own right, contributed to Mr. Fahrenholtz's 2004 race for OPSB. Also when Ms. Usdin was named to the Gambit's 2004 40 under 40, Fahrenholtz claims that he'd "trust her to back me up in a knife fight."

Now this simple contribution from four years ago, nor Mr. Fahrenholtz's closeness to members of the Bingler family would be a major problem except that, again, Mr. Fahrenholtz just pledged 100% approval for a plan he barely had a chance to look over.

Mr. Fahrenholtz should be excused from all debate related to the master plan and should also abstain from voting on any related binding or nonbinding recommendations. If he does not, the OPSB will have a hard time credibly passing judgment on this critical matter, particularly as voters elect replacements potentially poised to trumpet entirely different views.


Francine Stock said...

I just downloaded the Building Assessments document. This one document is just 1275 pages long. The Educational Program document is 252 pages. The Building Standards document is 180 pages. The Blueprint is 116 pages. For a grand total of 1823 pages. Am I supposed to read this online? Print it out? How many copies are available at the public libraries? Can we check them out, or do we have to read all 1823 pages there? And we have 30 days to comment?

Anonymous said...

"How many copies are available at the public libraries?"

A: Zero so far. That will likely change soon, however. The library's master plan IS available for viewing in person and online although I suppose it's best to focus on one disaster at a time.

E said...

1823 Pages in 30 days?

If you'd just buy the Jimmy Fahrenholtz reading system, you might be able to make perfect sense of it all in just 30 minutes!

Dambala said...

I think the campaign financing issues with Jimmy are really a non-issue. Jimmy is just Jimmy....I think overall, he's one of the good guys, but he is a cantankerous son-of-a-bitch.

E said...

It becomes a big deal because Jimmy patently accepts a critically important 1823 page master plan without reading it.

Sounds like a real great guy to me, really doing his job.

NOLA radfem said...

Thanks. My mom went to school with this guy. I can't wait to pass all of this stuff on to her.

I think her perspective on him is like Dambala's - one of the good guys, but not terribly together either.

E said...

I've never met the met. Maybe he is a good guy at heart.

If that's the case, he'll have no problem backtracking from his support for the master plan to honor the public comment process.

By forgoing even the most cursory skepticism he is shirking his most basic responsibility to the people he was elected and gets paid to represent.

Anonymous said...

during the presentation of the MP he didn't even watch- he and Phyllis were joking around.

E said...

Not that the presentation had any substance to it...