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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Board discusses contracts

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It was standing room only as members of the community came out in support of one of their own.

During the regular meeting of the Clay Community School Board of Trustees, Thursday, the board voted 5-0 to renew the administration contracts of Technology Department Employee John Boyce, Director of Curriculum and Grants Kathy Knust, Technology Department Employee Jason Pell and Linking Education to Adults, Adolescents and Preschoolers (LEAAP) Center Coordinator Mary Yelton.

Board members Dottie King and Jennifer Kaelber were not present.

Not included in the list was Building and Grounds Director Tom Reberger.

"I have concern for the position of Tom Reberger," community member Glen Williams said. "He has gone above and beyond the realm of regular duties."

Williams commented on Rebergers' dedication to his job and to the schools and students within the Clay Community School Corporation.

"I am deeply disappointed by the decision of the board to not renew (Reberger's) contract," former CCSC Superintendent and Brazil High School Principal Jesse Pitts said. "I have known Tom Reberger since he began teaching math at Brazil High School. To not renew his contract would deny the school corporation of a truly dedicated man."

Many were perplexed with the possibility of Reberger not being offered another contract when the corporation is in the middle of a multi-million dollar building renovation project.

"He knows the job inside and out," Williams said. "I really think this is a great mistake and disservice to the taxpayer. I hope you will consider keeping him."

One member of the community commented on the number of days left before school starts.

"School is only a few days away. Is this really the right time to do this? I don't think so," John Brush said. "He has done the job for 20 years and he has been with the corporation for 40 years. I've known him for 32 years and no matter what capacity he has had, he has given 100 percent."

Though the board is considering not renewing his contract, at one point during the meeting Reberger was asked by Supt. Dan Schroeder to answer questions the board had regarding a possible bill in conjunction with a building in CCSC.

"Tom has been loyal to the corporation and now we should support him," Brush said. "As a taxpayer, thank you Tom Reberger for your years of dedication, but most importantly to the students of Clay County."

However at the end of the meeting, Reberger was not the only administrator without a contract. Personnel, Data and Food Service Director Carolyn Kumpf, Director of Extended Service Rhonda Lawrence, Technology Director Bill Milner, Transportation Director Frank Misner and Business Manager Mike Fowler were not given a contract renewal.

"I will not base a decision on rumors and I would appreciate the respect of the community," board member Tina Heffner said. "I want more time in executive session."

It was explained to the audience that the administrators not approved for the contract renewal were receiving a cash stipend instead of using the corporation's health insurance plan.

"I am not going to make a decision based on emotion," board member Ron Scherb said. "I hope you understand we are going to work through this as a business before we make a decision."


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This is nothing more than a travesty. The word had been out about Mr. Reberger but not the other five; I imagine they were quite shocked.

It sure didn't take the new board long to make some very serious decisions with so little time spent as a board member.

-- Posted by happysix on Thu, Aug 12, 2010, at 11:32 PM

The board did not vote for a nonrenewal of the contracts of other employees included in the agenda item. They merely did not extend their contracts at this time. They opted to take more time to review what kind of money is involved with their "perks"....insurance versus stipend. I'm pretty sure the others listed in the paper were aware their name was included on the agenda item as they most likely had access to the board packet.

-- Posted by littletad on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 12:48 AM

One has to wonder how much time has been spent "in executive session" with a board only one month old.

-- Posted by Gunslinger on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 10:45 AM

What in the world are you people thinking!!??

I voted for some new faces on the school board because it was time for a change. The change I voted for is for the board members to listen to what the Clay County tax payers are saying. Not renewing the contract for Tom Reberger IS NOT the change I had in mind while standing in the voting booth. Tom is one of the most dedicated employees of CCSC and has dedicated his life to spearheading efforts to have a better learning environment for students in every class room in this county.

If you don't renew the contract for not only Tom Reberger but the others listed here who are you going to appoint to those positions? What is the financial advantage to the corporation to make these changes?

Ron Scherb was quoted saying "I am not going to make a decision based on emotion. I hope you understand we are going to work through this as a business before we make a decision." I hope all the board members are approaching these contract decisions with that agenda in mind.

-- Posted by jddriver4960 on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 10:55 AM

I feel confident that the board is now truly interested in making change! Gone are the days of personal favors at the tax payers and students expense!!!!!

-- Posted by involvedmom on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 11:50 AM

Is this the Golden Parachute I hear about once in a while? I thought we'd treat our long-term employees better than this. I don't know why this new board is so bent on change, but I sure wish the change was not at the expense of our community. The days of personal favors is not yet gone ... they'll just be done for someone else.

-- Posted by Gunslinger on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 12:46 PM

Obviously, many people who commented in the article and in the comments feel that just because an employee shows up that they are an asset. While Mr. Reberger has logged many hours with the school corporation, from what I've seen and heard from him, it is my opinion that he was promoted beyond his capabilities long ago.

You may wish to get and read the minutes of the school board meetings and view the videos of those meetings back to August, 2007 before you deride me on this.

In August 2007, Mr. Reberger stood in front of the school board and stated that the Capitol Project Fund was not for new construction. In Indiana law, new construction is the first item listed that the CPF can be used for. At the next meeting, I gave the board five references that stated that the CPF covered new construction but the statement was repeated by administrators. I even challenged them to debate the issue in the newspaper, which apparently prompted a former school board member to threaten me with litigation. That threat never materialized when I responded to their e-mail with "If you wish to go into an Indiana court and argue what a person said in a public meeting with a public record that contradicts Indiana law, so be it, but the judge and I will both walk out laughing."

Perhaps many of you were not at the school board meeting when they put the trailer on the bus lot. That's when the Director of Buildings and Grounds stated that he didn't know that a permit was needed to do that within the city limits of Brazil or that the electrical hookup had to be inspected. Where were all of these people when the Director of Buildings and Grounds stated that he didn't even realize until after the old building was condemned and torn down that he wouldn't have an office as his had been in that building, so the board authorized the purchase of the building up the street for, if I recall correctly, $56,000 as an emergency measure.

Where were all of these people when the Director of Buildings reported, three meetings ago, that he could not give an accounting of the repairs that occur in every building, except major ones, as his department does not collect the data, leaving much of it in the hands of the building principal. Since the data is not collected, it cannot be analyzed to determine if employees' time is being put to good use, material is not being accounted for, and there is no way to determine if the corporation has the proper numbers of employees on the payroll.

I think the current school board is much more informed than many people as to the situation.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 12:57 PM

Well said Mr. Southworth! As a parent I can tell you that change is definately needed within our corporation!

-- Posted by involvedmom on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 2:32 PM

Oh, if we all could be as intelligent as Mr. Southworth. The fact that an employee is dedicated and trustworthy and has given his life to the schools in Clay County is meaningless to him tells me he does not know what loyalty is. This is what is wrong with this country today. Companies and corporations have no respect for people who stay in their jobs, who dedicate their life to one job and who deserve better treatment than was given to Mr. Reberger.

I suppose Mr. Buell was in favor of not renewing Mr. Reberger's contract. He is a poison on the board, and I fear he may have infected some of the new members. Sad, very sad for the people of Clay County and for the school children. This school board sucks the wind right out of the room. SAD.VERY,VERY SAD.

-- Posted by virginiagrace on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 2:38 PM

Leo,

Until you fully understand what Mr. Reberger's job entails don't add your two cents in. Mr. Reberger is in charge of 10+ buildings. There is no possible way that he can know, let alone remember every single thing about every single building.Not to mention that he is in charge of the maintainance department and the custodians.To let someone go after 40 years for the mistake that you mentioned is asinine . I know that this man is entitled to 3 weeks vacation he has never taken it.Anytime I have had to call Mr. Reberger for a repair he has always been polite and the problem is taken care of. So Leo how dare you comment until you actually know this man and his dedication.

-- Posted by clay reader on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 3:05 PM

In response to Virginia, when a an employee stands in front of a public meeting and makes a statement about a public fund that he is responsible for that contradicts the very law that established that fund, he is either unaware of that portion of his job or he is not being honest. Either of those would be cause for dismissal any place that I have worked. Did you not note that he didn't realize that he recommended the demolition of the building that his office was in and only after it was gone did he realize that he had no place to work? I almost choked when he made the statement in the school board meeting. What about being dedicated enough to find out what permits and inspections are required before you do something, as was not done prior to putting the trailer for the Transportation office?

Clay reader, perhaps he should be in charge of the facilities that I was in charge of the maintenance of in the Marines, barracks, shops, office buildings, armories, the dining facility, etc. I wasn't the officer-in-charge, I was the NCOIC, the person who was asked all of the questions and made sure the jobs got done and done right. We didn't have computers to track things, but we did have records of every repair order, who did the work, and what materials were used. Not a screw was put into a door hinge without being accounted for and I had to be able to account for every minute of the workers' time to include travel time to and from where the repair was performed and the time it took to complete the required paperwork. How about being in charge of vehicular maintenance on over 900 pieces of gear? I did have the use of a computer on that.

What I see is a clear-cut case of lack of management, but I don't speak from a position on a situation on which I have no knowledge.

Isn't it also true that if the man doesn't take his vacation, he gets paid for it, therefore drawing pay for the time he works and payment for the vacation he did not take? I do believe if you check into it, you will find that that is what happens.

Dedication to the job means knowing what the job entails and doing the job right, not just showing up. Dedication entails doing the research and finding the facts before answering a question, it is not just having a fancy title and voicing an opinion not supported by fact.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 5:59 PM

Here we go again cry cry cry. Get something to do!!

-- Posted by Thorn44 on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 6:05 PM

Southworth, don't break your arm patting yourself on the back.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 6:28 PM

Wow Leo. I wish I was as important as you think you are!!! Please for the sake of our community and the CCSC just shut up. You lost the election so quit trying to get elected.

-- Posted by jddriver4960 on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 6:40 PM

This discussion isn't about you Leo. It's about Mr.Reberger, Why does it matter what you did twenty years ago? Mr. Reberger does more ,much more than just showing up as you call it. Yes I do know that he is paid for his vacation that he is entitled to take.Have you ever done his particular job? NO. So until you do leave the character assassination out of it.

-- Posted by clay reader on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 8:26 PM

There is a reason you were NOT elected to the school board, Mr. Southworth. You are one of the most negative personalities I have come across. Are you so unhappy with your own life that all you do is complain about other people and how they live theirs?? So what if Mr. Reberger got paid for his vacation and worked it?? I, myself, had to do that very thing on more than one occasion-at my boss's request-due to the workload.

As far as I can tell, these new members of the board came in with an ax to grind and they did it to a 40 year employee. There are nicer, more discreet, ways to let someone who has devoted his whole professional life to the school corporation go. This public humiliation of a good man was totally unnecessary. The board should be ashamed.

-- Posted by virginiagrace on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 11:35 PM

"Please for the sake of our community and the CCSC just shut up." It is for the sake of the community and the corporation that I even bother to speak up.

"I wish I was as important as you think you are!!!" I am one person in a large crowd so just how important am I? For that matter, just how important is Mr. Reberger in the scope of this community? Do you even remember the man that he replaced? Will this be remembered by a significant portion of the community ten years from now? For your information, I do not think that I'm all that important at all because I realized a long time ago that I'm a speck of sand on a beach. I may gleam if the light is right but not for long or in a way that attracts much attention.

"This discussion isn't about you Leo. It's about Mr.Reberger, Why does it matter what you did twenty years ago?" No, it is not about Mr. Reberger, it is about the position of the Director of Buildings and Grounds within the Clay Community Schools Corporation. That position is no person's personal property. The only bearing that my past has on the discussion is that I held positions that had similar duties and responsibilities where those in charge could mete out far greater consequences than not renewing a contract for failure to meet their requirements.

"So until you do leave the character assassination out of it." I thought we were discussing job performance, not character, here. But, it seems that a lot of people want to go to bat for someone who they believe has great character no matter how he performs the duties of the job. Having a great character is not what the corporation should be paying for, getting the job done and done right is.

Mr. Reberger handles many aspects of the position very well, but not all of them. I know that if I hear that an alarm has went off in one of the buildings at two o'clock in the morning, he will be reported as on the scene within the hour, sooner if the building is not in Clay City. I have toured buildings with him and spoken with him on several technical matters, which has convinced me that he is very knowledgeable about these buildings from the technical aspect. However, I have heard him stand in front of the school board and misinform them, such as his statement about the possible uses of the CPF. When you misinform the decision makers, you risk having to deal with poor decisions -- as when you have no place to work because of a lack of planning prior to the demolition of the building that your office was in! I have heard him admit that he has no data as to the use of his employees' time or an accounting for the use of materials. When you do not account for the employees' time, you are not accounting for the money that you are paying them, period, and without being able to justify the use of their time you risk their continued employment even if you actually do need them. The position of the Director of Buildings and Grounds is a managerial position, but it not being managed to the standards of the business world of three decades ago, before the use of computers, much less the standards of today. When the person in the position of Director of Buildings and Grounds cannot or will not give the board all of the information in every situation so that decisions can be made using that information, that person is, simply, not doing the job.

I could not "assassinate" Mr. Reberger's character even if I would. I don't know him well enough to know what skeletons may reside in his closet.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, Aug 13, 2010, at 11:42 PM

Virginiagrace -- Do you know me or are you judging me from what you have seen in my writing about what I perceive as problems in our education system? You tell me, have you ever set out to solve a problem that you were unaware of, because I know that I never have even though I might have solved one or two purely by accident before I was aware of them.

As to the statement concerning the use or payment of vacation time, I, too, have taken the pay instead of the time off. My point being that the vacation time was not lost, Mr. Reberger was justly compensated for it.

Sure, I know why I didn't get elected, other people got more votes! Laughingly, no one knows that I did not vote for the three that won seats instead of casting a vote for me. People can assume anything and they have a chance of being right. Of course, the people that were elected tried a lot harder to be elected than I ever will although you will probably see my name on the ballot again. I will do the job if the voters decide that I should, but I'm not looking forward to it. Of course, I could just sit back and rail about the problems like a lot of people but I feel that "if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem" and that you should not bring up what you see as a problem if you cannot bring out at least one possible solution for it. I make that statement generally, not with you specifically in mind, so do not take it personally.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 12:10 AM

Leo, I have come up with a solution that will allow you to speak intelligently on education topics so that you do not get hammered everytime you speak. Since you have so much free time and feel to be an expert in this field, make appointments to do every single job in the corporation. This will give you an opportunity to see how everyone does their job and what problems that each person faces. Mr. Reberger has been outstanding in his position, which is a thankless position. If you make statements such as, "I could not "assassinate" Mr. Reberger's character even if I would. I don't know him well enough to know what skeletons may reside in his closet", then you should be banned from posting.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 1:38 AM

Leo, we have went round and round before but you are the one that is making no sense. Because the statements you have made in the past stated that you where in charge of motor pool, well the last time i checked the billet appointment for motor pool in my Marine Corps is a 35 barracks and buildings fall under a 04. Now I have seen dual billets assigned but it is always within the same billet, 0451 and 0431. But they do not assign a billet of a 35 and a 04 together. So therefore just like before when we discussed this you have no clue of what the billet assignments are because you thought you were a 04 then you come back and told me oh no I was wrong on that I was something else, which leads me to belive you are making up things about what you really done, so therefore you where not even qualified for any of the positions that you held in my Marine Corps and thats why I belive that you was not able to stay in the Corps.

-- Posted by supporter on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 6:43 AM

Supporter, that guy has had more jobs than you and I put together, and he claims to be an expert at all of them. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 9:26 AM

Southworth has probably forgotten more knowledge than some of you will ever know in your lifetime. Read what he has to say once in a while. If you can get past hatin' on him you might learn something.

-- Posted by Claycountian on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 10:25 AM

Brazilabilly, now that is funny, keep 'em coming.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 10:35 AM

Supporter - The truth often makes no sense....LOL. I've seen Combat Engineers assigned as mechanics and lose fingers checking belts and clerks assigned billets as Tank crewmen.It was called OJT and,unless the Corps has changed a great deal and has an abundance of personnel in all MOS's, you know as well as I that there are times that people get placed into billets that they have no training for. I know what I did, but I don't think you were there. I have no idea what you did in the Corps, but whatever you would say I can accept until I have proof that it is false. That is a matter of honor.

I started out as an 03 and ended up as a 21 with 04 secondary and 35 tertiary.

At one time, I was listed on one company roster as filling five billets concurrently and two more at the battalion level. I also received five Commanding General's Commendations during slightly less than twelve years. I was meritoriously promoted to PFC, L/Cpl., Cpl., and Sgt.

My Fitness Reports were consistently outstanding, but with all of the Billets requiring supplemental reports, plus TAD reports in addition to regular reports and "change-of-reporting-senior" reports the computer printout became a CF (you know the term). The last seven years of my career, every C.O., 1st Sgt. and Sgt Maj. I served with pulled it to find why I wasn't on the SSgt. promotion list. Three weeks prior to my discharge, one of them finally found the problem, a three-day gap in the regular fitness reports that occurred when my reporting senior died in a car accident. I got the message via phone as I was on terminal leave at the time.

Truth is often a lot more absurd than fiction.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 11:34 AM

Electriceye - Mr. Reberger does a great job in part of his job, the technical part, but he's just not a manager. I also feel that he has been let down by his peers. When I found out what the law stated as the purposes of the CPF, and that the Superintendent receives a letter every June from the DLGF that explains it along with several other references that almost every administrator at the corporate level should be intimately familiar with, I wandered why his statement was not corrected right after he said it in the meeting and was absolutely flabbergasted that it was repeated at a later date after I read the list of references into the minutes of a meeting. Frankly, I feel for him, but that will not get the job done. How do you recommend that the building you work in be torn down and not realize that you need another place to work in before it is done? How does the person in the corporation who should be most familiar with the requirements for building permits, required building inspections, and other government requirements fail get the proper papers prior to doing things? It has happened too frequently in this case.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 11:35 AM

I neither "feel" that I am an expert or claim to be one, never have and never will. A self-proclaimed expert is a fool. A person is considered an expert only in the opinion of other people who shut their brains off when he starts speaking and accept whatever he says as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. When people do that is when people start making poor decisions. When the "expert" leaves out facts, such as that renovation of two fifty-year old buildings will buy you about forty more years of use to serve the student population, but it is going to cost over three-quarters of a brand new building that should be constructed that will last about 90 years and reduce annual operating costs for the corporation and people do not bother to think for themselves, it leads to poor decisions. When people, the experts" make statements that our school educate better than larger elementary schools when the evidence that refutes that statement abounds in the records of the IDOE and in schools in the next county while people are willing to accept what "the experts" say as the final word. I learned a long time ago that there is no absolute "expert" on any subject known to Man and to check the facts for myself when possible.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 11:36 AM

Supporter - My career details is not what I consider most odd in my Marine Corps experience. I was detailed, in 1977, to "escort" one case of Marine Corps green spray paint from Camp Schwab, Okinawa to Marine Barracks, Seoul, Korea aboard a civilian flight. When I got to Kadena, the Air Force noticed that the orders called for an armed escort and issued me a .45. I've never figured that incident out, but it is hard to fly with a .45 stuck in the back of your waistband knowing that if you pull it out to get comfortable you will cause a panic on a plane. And I thought some of the things in Boot Camp were odd...lol.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 11:51 AM

Southworth, how's that arm holding out? 8 posts and you haven't even touched on any of your other many jobs.

BTW, you really should run for Mayor, with your multiple expert qualifications, you would be a shoe-in. Seriously, with your vast knowledge, no one holds a candle to you.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 5:20 PM

Alot has been said about the school board and Mr. Reberger. Why have we not heard from the superintendent on this? Isn't he the guy who is supposed to recommend things like this to the board. Maybe he recommended to the board not to renew this(these) contracts. The superintendte is supposed to be the face of the corporation. Did he have any comments at the meeting?

Just as an aside, does anyone know what the salary and benefits of the superintendent are? Might be some interesting information.

-- Posted by seventyx7 on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 9:02 PM

What a shame to work so loyally for the school system and get close to retirement age and then maybe, get the axe. Wonder if that means he (Mr. Reberger) will lose any of his benefits? Some times life just doesn't seem fair. I sure hope there is nothing personal going on with the board regarding Mr. Reberger. Be fair and give all who have dedicated most of their lives to the schools their fair share of retirement and insurance benefits.

-- Posted by Tracy Jones on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 9:58 PM

Maxine, No one was fired. I think it is important to know what the superintendent's position is ? Mr. Reberger's contract is not cancelled. From the story above it is just put off for future consideration. None of the people have been fired. They just do not have new contracts. The contracts will be rolled or terminated at a future date according to the above article. Which should give the superintendent ample opportunity to shed some light on the subject.

-- Posted by seventyx7 on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 10:25 PM

Do you honestly think that Mr. Reberger made the final decision on the building projects? I am not certain how you do not consider him a manager. He is responsible for every building in the corporation and maintains them at an exemplary level. Having all of these elementary projects going at once was not a good idea. For your information Leo, the contactors doing the work, do not work for Mr. Reberger. Do you think that he doesn't know the rules, regulations, and miscellaneous items that go into a project? I guess I need to view this as he beginning to another year of reading you talk about things you have missed several facts.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 10:35 PM

I think it would actually be the responsibility of the Superintendent and the Maint. Mgr. to monitor the progress of building project and make sure it stays on schedule. Ultmately, wouldn't the final responsibility be with the superintendent. There was no mention in the newspaper of the status of the schools or project prior to the start of school. So the super. must think everything is OK.

-- Posted by seventyx7 on Sun, Aug 15, 2010, at 4:56 AM

Electriceye: As I stated, Mr. Reberger handles some of the aspects of the position of Director of Buildings and Grounds very well. He is very well informed on the technical aspects; however, that would be great for a foreman not a manager. This is what I meant when I said that my opinion was he was promoted beyond his capabilities long ago.

Managing is about the money. No manager ever gets all of the money that they see a need for. They have to justify the need to the people who control the budget, in this case, the school board. Mr. Reberger stood in front of the school board and stated that he could not account for his people's production time, and time is money, as he doesn't have records of what has been done. Look at this way, if we have an electrician on staff for a day who spent his time doing nothing except replacing light fixtures, wall sockets, and switches but only reported the replacement of the light fixtures; you could look at payroll and see how much you paid the employee, but you could not account for how most of that employee's time was spent. Production time accounted for should equal payroll time minus a very small percentage. To effectively manage a maintenance operation, you need to account for many uses of time beyond just the repair time. You have administrative time when the worker picks up the work order, just reading it, although that is almost never accounted for as it usually takes only a minute. Then you have prep time as the worker gathers what he thinks he needs to troubleshoot the problem and make the repairs. Then there is travel time if any is involved and even walking down the hall costs. Troubleshooting the problem can take longer than making the actual repair. When parts are required and they are not at hand, the worker has to go get them or order them, adding, possibly, to both travel and administrative time. Then, with parts on hand, the actual repair can be completed and proper operation verified, but there is one more step in the process. The time it takes to close out the work order should be accounted for until the order is filed away.

That leads into another responsibility of a manager, justification of expenditures. A manager must justify to the people who control his budget why the money needs to be expended at all.

Third, a manager must communicate effectively. Mr. Reberger doesn't communicate effectively or did not know that the CPF is, by law, for new construction in August 2007 as he stated that it was not. He should have recanted that statement after I gave the references and offered further explanation as to why, in his opinion, the corporation could not use the CPF for new construction at that particular time. The way that I see it, many times when an employee of the corporation addresses the school board, they forget that they are not only addressing those present but also addressing the general public who are not as familiar with the situation. I raised the question of why was the replacement of the bathroom fixtures in the plans for Clay City Elementary. Mr. Reberger stated it was because they were "original equipment". Porcelain doesn't wear out, there are porcelain utensils in most museums that are still functional for their intended purpose. Mr. Reberger had only to state that newer fixtures use less water, therefore replacement will pay for itself over time to counter my argument, but he never mentioned that fact.

Managing is about planning, which I covered elsewhere with the "emergency acquisition" of a building when the old one was demolished along with Mr. Reberger's office, and the lack of permits and inspections on the temporary offices.

However, I would not place all of the "blame" for failing to avoid these occurrences on Mr. Reberger. Someone mentioned the Superintendant's responsibility, but it goes even deeper into the "team" concept. Any administrator, employee, or board member who was present when Mr. Reberger made the erroneous statement about the uses of the CPF should have corrected the error immediately or offered clarification to the public. Second, and I lay this at the Superintendant's feet as Mr. Reberger's superior, is the lack of workspace caused by the demolition of the building in which Mr. Reberger's office was located. Actually, after many of these things, if I had been in Mr. Reberger's place, I would have been angry because no one appeared "to have my back"!

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sun, Aug 15, 2010, at 12:22 PM

Electriceye: If your comment, "Do you honestly think that Mr. Reberger made the final decision on the building projects?" was concerning my post on "the experts", let me clarify that for you.

Mr. Reberger, as Director of Buildings and Grounds, should have brought forward an analysis of renovation costs to the cost of new construction and what the return on investment in each case would be, however, the "expert" that I was referring to that left out a lot of facts that should have been brought forward during presentation of these plans to the board was the architect. That firm has built several schools in Indiana that house over six-hundred students, therefore, they knew from the beginning that we were planning to invest three-quarters of the cost of constructing one replacement school to get half of the lifespan out of two buildings and that the higher investment would be recouped in maintenance costs, reduction of operating costs, re-tasking buildings to meet other known needs, and by selling off un-needed real estate. But, as the "expert" said it was a good idea, people shut off their brains. The "expert" took the money and walked off, just as an unscrupulous used car dealer would do after selling you a car with a bad engine. If you care to check, that same company is renovating schools in Vigo County. Here, they recommended installation of carpet to reduce noise, in Vigo, they justified the removal of the carpeting to reduce costs. It looks to me that they flip-flop whichever way they figure the money will flow the easiest.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sun, Aug 15, 2010, at 12:48 PM

Electriceye: "Do you think that he doesn't know the rules, regulations, and miscellaneous items that go into a project?" He stated that he found out that a permit was required to set a modular within the city limits of Brazil, but only after the modular was in place, didn't he? He stated that he discovered that the electrical connection for that modular had to be inspected and approved before the power could be turned on only after the fact, didn't he? He found out that the old building could not be demolished until after it had been inspected by the State and the demolition plan approved, which delayed the demolition, only after the demolition contract had been approved and the workmen showed up, didn't he? I shudder to mention the uses of the CPF again.

I reckon my answer to your question would be "Yes".

Oh, and every one of those occurrences are in the minutes of the meetings of the school board and some of them were in the Brazil Times.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sun, Aug 15, 2010, at 1:02 PM

Southworth, you should run for the school board..........oh wait, you did. How did that work out for you?

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Sun, Aug 15, 2010, at 3:11 PM

Gee, Leo, you seem to know everything there is to know about the schools and employees. I'm impressed.

-- Posted by Tracy Jones on Sun, Aug 15, 2010, at 7:53 PM

I.M. Lee Thall, Esq.- I'm waiting for you to contribute something worthwhile to the articles you read instead of just snipping at others. But that takes thought. Never mind.

-- Posted by Claycountian on Sun, Aug 15, 2010, at 10:29 PM

Brazilabilly, I do, you just don't get it. But with that nic, it's understandable. Check with Southworth, he might need a new campaign chairwoman.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 10:06 AM

I have nothing against Mr. Reberger personally, however, if the man has been in the system for 40 years, he may be looking forward to retirement. I would be.

There is a similar situation where I work - this person has been doing the job for 30 years, is on time every day, rarely takes time off, is dependable, etc. So what's the problem?

Problem is - the person above does 1/6 the standard workload and is paid well beyond worth and productivity.

Has Mr. Reberger maxed out his worth - given his age, health? Perhaps the school board feels so. It has nothing to do with what kind of person he is - by the comments posted, he sounds like a good man.

I'm with Leo this time around (only in opinion - I have a good job and will not be applying for the "campaign chairwoman" position. ; )

-- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 12:08 PM

I. M. Lee Thall, Esq., you seem to be far more concerned about the outcome of the last school board election than any of the six candidates that ran for three seats. I find it odd, because I learned in grammer school that when you play musical chairs there are always more players than chairs and some player is not going to get one. Part of the lesson of that game is to accept loss graciously. Another life lesson that I learned a long time ago is to keep working until you accomplish your goal, whether that is finishing high school, finishing the obstacle course, or making changes where you see the need. The last life lesson that I'll share with you here is that there will always be someone around with the brains of a gnat, the voice of a cannon, and the mouth of a hippo. They generally prove that every time they speak, as they contribute nothing, apparently think of nothing other than making a noise, and are generally useless to Mankind except to use resources that would be more usefull growing plants. I know that these concepts are beyond your ken, but try to wrap your brain around them.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 3:28 PM

Southworth, you're a hoot but just remember, you weren't one of the three, that should tell you something. Maybe you aren't as important as you think you are?

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 5:55 PM

BTW Leo, Reberger's OFFICE is at central office that building is still standing. So how did he tear down a building that contained his office?

-- Posted by clay reader on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 8:38 PM

Maybe I'm being naive here (and I'm sure that someone will tell me exactly that), but I find it hard to believe that new or old Board members would decide not to renew a contract without good legitimate reasons or concerns about that individual.

I think Leo makes some good points, and I have also had conversations with some people from within the corporations that have issues with Mr. Reberger as well. I don't have personal experiences with him, but by my voting in the election, I have put my trust in the Board to make these tough choices with the facts that are presented to them, or as they know them to be. Until they violate my trust, I will feel this way. To this point, they have not.

It IS possible that there may be a legitimate reason to go in another direction at this time.

I've agreed many times in the past with Leo, and I don't disagree with him now.

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 2:30 PM

Sounds like the elementary schools were ready for school to start thanks to mr reberger. sure glad he was on top of things for the safety of the kids.

-- Posted by Claycountian on Tue, Aug 17, 2010, at 5:25 PM

Clay Reader, there probably is an office in the Central Office that has his name on it, I know that he spent a good deal of time at the old building. If I recall correctly, what he said in the meeting when it was requested of the board to buy a replacement was something like "it was only after we tore down the building that I realized I didn't have any where to work". With the separation between the Central Office and the shop area, one could expect some type of administrative area at the shop.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Aug 18, 2010, at 12:39 PM

There you go again leo leaving important facts out not informing everyone of what you are stating just to make it look bad to certain people, and if you stated the entire FACTS then the entire picture would become clear. You are not stating that the insurance company come in and condemed the building, you are not stating that it was not Mr. Rebergers decision to tear it down, it was the decision of the superintendent and the school board. You leave so many facts out and you always state that everything with the school should be known to everyone, but i guess that does not mean that you have to state everything for that topic that happened when you restate it. Oh yea and also on one of your other blogs you have everyone believing that the other contracts that was not renewed the people where fired from their position, once again you are incorrect, you need to pay more attention at the board meeting, you once again are stating facts that are untrue. The administrators where not let go they are still working, they are working with no contract just as the teachers do when they do not have a current contract signed. I guess that is your way of trying to get the public to believe you instead of the truth. I wont get started on the other things that you are making false statements about and manipulating things that happened in a board meeting to make it what you want it to be and believe me there are alot more).

-- Posted by supporter on Thu, Aug 19, 2010, at 6:07 AM


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