Green School “Kickoff” Meeting – Who Pays?

The kids would pay. That has been established. And now who else?


Monongalia County Schools superintendent Devono has announced that he will hold a “green school kickoff” meeting/lunch at the Waterfront on Tuesday August 3rd at 10:00 with the principals of Easton and Woodburn schools, a few Mon Schools’ selected parents, a few Mon Schools’ selected teachers, a Centra bank official, a WVU architect, Morgantown Mayor Bill Byrne, possibly SBA Director Mark Manchin, and very few others.

This is very troublesome, as superintendent Devono has declared that this meeting is “technically not open to the public” even though he added, “however, we will not turn anyone away.”

That’s absurd, and essentially duplicitous.

Moreover, the superintendent repeatedly invited Mon school board members while noting that they were not required to attend, and yet the board did not discuss how many board members were considering attending…even as board president Parsons stated she thought the entire board should attend this type of meeting on the green school.

Of course, by law, the Board would be required to call a formal board meeting, which would not have been advertised, also legally required, if 3 or more board members attend.

So, the whole process in regard to this meeting is inexcusably sloppy, at best.

The planned green school meeting is disturbing on a number of additional accounts.

Who will be paying for this green school meeting at the Waterfront? The school district? Do they not have enough empty rooms and buildings of their own, free of charge, in which to hold a meeting at this time of year? Why is lunch being paid for and by whom?

Why is Centra Bank attending? Have they cut a deal to pay for playground equipment at that prominent intersection to thereby advertise there? Are they in line to buy the old armory on the Mileground?

Should it not be made immediately public what is to become of that armory property so far as it is known? What did Frank Devono mean when he implied that the city of Morgantown would not sell the old Armory property to Mon Schools when he stated that “…the city has a design on what they hope to do with that building and property” after talking with Morgantown City Manager Dan Boroff? What’s the design? Selling it to Centra bank? Surely the public has a right to know.

At the school board meeting yesterday evening, board member Nancy Walker, the only school board member who stated that she will not be able to attend the August 3rd green school meeting, suggested that the meeting be taped and televised, possibly in City Council Chambers. That was refreshing to hear, because we have called for all school board meetings to be televised like the city council meetings. However, Superintendent Devono, Board President Parsons, and board member Statler (and possibly newly appointed Board Member Kelly) combined to shoot down this idea. The Superintendent said that you, the Mayor, had other plans for that room at that time. Barbara Parsons said the room would be “too hot.” ??? One board member thought the room would be “too small” ???  for a meeting of “20-30 people,” according to Superintendent Devono. And Joe Statler said it could not be done because reservations had already been made at the Waterfront.

Plainly, whether or not the room is available, the push to limit public disclosure was nearly unified, and ludicrously reasoned.

Why is the Morgantown mayor attending this meeting? And why are not, say, officials of the DoH, the DoT, and the MPO, and others who clearly do have pressing business with the proposed school going in at that distressed and distressing 705/119 intersection?

Why again, does this green school “kickoff” meeting involve a banker? Why that bank? Why a lone architect? Why this architect? Who is this architect? Why is the green school meeting being held off school property? Who is paying for it? Why is there no agenda made public?

Can anyone think of any reason why any concerned member of the public ought not take Superintendent Devono up on his statement and attend? No matter how odd it is?

Why handle public attendance in such a backwards, strange, and discouraging fashion?

All the above is utterly typical of this year-long process of the zany and inappropriate siting of the green school, as we have documented in painful and painstaking detail on this site. Anyone who cannot see the groundwork in all this for lawsuits, at any point, and in the years to come, in regard to the green school tragedy-in-the-making, is not looking. Of course the School District is no stranger to lawsuits, and one can readily understand why.

This green school siting process has frequently been variously inappropriate and secretive, holding out knowledge of the proposed school site until the last possible moments for no good reason, for example, and it remains a decision of highly dubious quality, to put it mildly, both in process and in impending and long lasting consequence. The green school siting threatens to be a lasting issue of literal, political, and financial toxicity.

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