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School Board member Cathi Martin's absences send the wrong message

Once again, Martin absent March 4 article

Martin sending wrong message

As an employee of the Pasco County School Board, I have become accustomed to hearing about current and potential budget cuts facing our district, our state, and our nation. Perhaps that is why I found the article so troubling. That, and the fact that I believe it is those in positions of leadership who have the responsibility to raise the bar for our students, not set declining standards.

Pasco County School Board members are paid what could be considered a modest sum of approximately $37,000 annually; however, this seems less modest in light of the tasks they are paid to perform. Board members are required to attend two scheduled board meetings per month, each lasting in the neighborhood of two hours. In addition, there are occasional employee appeal hearings, like the one Mrs. Martin missed March 3 where attendance is required. There are also board workshops from time to time, which the members are expected to attend either immediately preceding or following board meetings. There are also committees to which members are assigned, whose meetings can be as frequent as every month, or as infrequent as once per quarter. Compare these obligations with those of the majority of School Board employees like myself, who show up day after day to do the work of educating Pasco County's children.

In responding to the criticisms about her repeated absences, Mrs. Martin is quoted as saying "I don't think it's keeping me from doing my job." If you are not attending the required meetings, Mrs. Martin, then you are not doing your job. It is that simple. What kind of example is Mrs. Martin setting for students about being responsible employees and citizens? How are we, as teachers, supposed to hold students accountable for meeting the expectations we place upon them, when those who hold positions of authority, are not held accountable for the very duties for which we (the tax payers) are paying them?

The voters had a chance to wipe the slate clean and give someone new a chance to make a difference the last time Mrs. Martin faced re-election. Unfortunately her opponent, a very qualified and dedicated candidate, Michele Chamberlin, was unable to defeat Mrs. Martin. Let's hope Chamberlin, or someone equally competent, can unseat the incumbent when Martin's term is up, and actually do the job for which he or she is being paid.

Michele Moore, New Port Richey

Is it possible for us to fire Martin?

Irony is a wonderful thing. The Pasco School Board voted to fire Susan Gozo for missing 84 school days this year, yet Cathi Martin can miss and miss and miss, and yet there is nothing that can be done about it?

Don't get me wrong, I think this teacher needs to be removed from the classroom, but we, as voters, have got to do something about Cathi Martin. Hopefully, she has enough common sense to not run again but if she does, stand up and don't vote for her! I know I am sending the governor a letter and if more of us do maybe something can be done.

Cathy Wishard, New Port Richey

Make Martin earn a paycheck

In response to the article regarding Ms. Martin's difficulties performing her job duties on the Pasco County School Board, I propose the following solution: Have her paycheck available to be picked up at meetings only.

If she appears, she gets paid. If she does not appear, she does not get paid. The taxpayers are paying her to perform her job duties.

In tough times we may be better served if we cut her position and use her salary to help keep jobs for other Pasco County employees who work hard every day for the citizens of this county but are losing their jobs due to budget cuts.

What happened to "an honest day's pay?"

Donald Magee, New Port Richey

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School Board member Cathi Martin's absences send the wrong message 03/07/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 7, 2009 11:55am]
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