He’s Back In The Saddle Again – Thomas Hylton’s Neighborhood Schools Committee Rises From The Ashes

You may remember a while back that Mr. Hylton and his Neighborhood Schools Committee (NSC) were reigned in by the board for operating outside the normal limits of a committee.  They were placed under the Facilities Committee so that decisions would be made that included the entire board, not just “selected members”.

Oh, how times have changed.  Mr. Hylton’s power grab has landed him back in the catbird seat once again.  Mr. Hylton now has a majority of five votes on the board that will predictably go his way.  The NSC is now unfettered and free to act without the pesky interference of those other four trouble makers on the board who disagree with him.

On August 8th, the NSC held an 18 minute meeting to discuss a few issues.  Chairman Dennis Wausnock and Committee members Valerie Harris and Thomas Hylton were in attendance.  Déjà vu anyone.  There were some others in attendance, members of the administration, two other board members, Crabtree and Rohrbaugh folks and a couple of spectators.  Just a cozy little group, the way Mr. Hylton likes it 🙂

Mr. Thees (a former board member) asked some pointed questions:

  1. Will the cost summary be provided to the public?
  2. Mr. Thees asked about those darned historical windows that keep popping up.
  3. Is four weeks enough time for Crabtree and Rohrbaugh to go through the list?
  4. Why is Mr. Hylton the sole representative on the board for this project?

Mrs. Weand asked Mr. Hylton if the other eight members of the board are not to be involved in the day-to-day decisions.  Mr. Hylton replied that the board decided the Neighborhood Schools Committee has been appointed to oversee the work.  Ms. Harris chimed in that every board member has a say but that Mr. Hylton is the point person for the day-to-day dealings.   (The answer to Mrs. Weand’s question is a resounding NO!).

So Crabtree and Rohrbaugh have four weeks to provide a timeline to the NSC on the completion of renovations to Pottstown’s five elementary schools.  Of course, this motion passed with three yes votes.

Another motion was passed to authorize the preliminary work necessary to issue the $15 million bond ASAP.

Of course, the NSC voted to make Mr. Hylton the sole point of day-to-day contact between the PSD administration, Crabtree and Rohrbaugh, Stephen Kalis and others involved in the upgrade of our five elementary schools.

A motion was made and passed to develop a contingency plan for emergency student housing if the construction takes longer than anticipated.  (We can only imagine what this will entail!)

Eighteen minutes later, Mr. Hylton made the motion to adjourn.

Future meetings will be on an “as needed basis”.  (Sounds like the Shade Tree Commission)

If this doesn’t raise a few eyebrows then I am not sure what will.  Mr. Hylton has made himself Elementary Emperor.  He will be the only board member involved in this process and has effectively shut out the other seven elected school board directors from the day-to-day process of spending $15 million dollars to “band aid” five school buildings.

Does this seem unusual to anyone else?

You know those historical windows will end up in Rupert.  What you don’t know is that those windows will enrich the quality of education in the Pottstown School District tremendously.  Why I bet they will even make test scores in the high school go up to meet the state required levels.  The sense of pride in those historical windows will inspire our students to greatness.

Just another day in Pottstown.

10 comments on “He’s Back In The Saddle Again – Thomas Hylton’s Neighborhood Schools Committee Rises From The Ashes

  1. and this constant nonsense is why i am pulling my senior out of PHS to cyber school her before deciding whether or not to pull both of my boys next year and do the same! forgive me if i am wrong but shouldnt the quality of our children’s educations be much more important than this issue? According to yesterdays fishwrap our kids are not making AYP so maybe just maybe that should be concentrated on rather than all this!

  2. I love it when people who “get it” comment.

    Yes, Kristi, we should be concentrating on important issues like the quality of education. If we are turning out children who can’t read or make change then I would say we have failed miserably.

    The buildings need addressed BUT unfortunately we wasted the time of 40+ people for a year and did something else anyway because Mr. Hylton has an agenda that has nothing to do with AYP!

  3. The heading ought to read: Tom Hylton’s Neighborhood Schools Crisis. OK so we know that so few people in Pottstown vote that it is like “hey why bother” having elections? And now, so many good people are worn down and exhausted by this endless circus and the ring leader himself. What can we do to stop this speeding train? We need help to save Pottstown from the ravages that are heading our way. Are there any civic minded, decent lawyers in Pottstown who could help? Please. Someone who could hold this fiasco at bay while we catch our breath and re-group?

  4. I am intent that given the current unfortuante education our kids are receiving at the high school level my boys will NEVER see the inside of that building! I told Mr Rodriguez just that when they tried to talk me out of pulling Gaby. As a matter of fact Mr Gill insulted Gaby and said she is looking for the easy way out! She is carrying 8 credits this year all on her own! I certainly dont think thats the easy way at all!

  5. Pingback: He’s Back In The Saddle Again – Thomas Hylton’s Neighborhood Schools Committee Rises From The Ashes | Γονείς σε Δράση

  6. The teachers are not the problem. Pulling children out of the system is not a solution, although you have to do what you have to do. The PROBLEM is Thomas Hylton, an Ego Megalomaniac and his Dumb-As-Stumps puppets on the School Board. The problem is ALSO people giving up on Pottstown, crying wa-wa, we don’t wanna play anymore. That just gives Thomas Hylton even MORE power and hands him a carte blanc. Give up and he will continue to run things HIS way, and ultimately get his way given he’ll have 5 votes on the SB. Then folks will cry woe is us and it will be TOO LATE! Support the non-Hylton candidates, campaign for them!! Start NOW!! Campaign AGAINST his choices. Write in anyone else against his choices if you have to. It’s not over yet unless people LET it be.

  7. Mr. Hylton being the ‘point man’ is the worst mistake in this whole mess!!!

    No ONE person (especially this person) should be the ‘gate keeper’ for information dissemination. This single individual then becomes the ONLY filter (just the way he likes it) – this is how facts and information become distorted. To add further insult to injury is the fact that public awareness will come on an ‘as needed basis’ – again thanks to the stylings of Mr. Hylton.

    How did we get from attacking a ‘culture of secrecy’ to we’ll share when we feel it necessary to do so, otherwise ‘leave the driving to me’? This, IMHO, is no better than creating the suspicion of bad things going on ‘behind the scenes’ – only this time, being in the driver’s seat, it’s not secret AT ALL. It’s almost like a patronizing, benevolent offer to not waste peoples’ time and then forging ahead with NO ONE to answer to until there’s NO turning back. This is typical of past Hylton ‘crusades’ to ‘save’ Pottstown and look how they turned out!!

    I wish more people could see the double-standard by which he judges himself BEFORE allowing him to be the project manager and having a board that will give in to his every whim. That aside, if the candidates he is supporting and funding through his PAC (& other connections) win in November then he not only has the majority of votes but gets to tout how he has a mandate of the people and a harmonious SB doing the will of the people. The only people in oppostition will be taxpayers speaking up at meetings and ‘as needed’ 18 minute quickie yes sessions!

    I agree, people need to continue to oppose him and his way of ‘day-to-day operations’. But it is tiresome and with people realizing oppostion to this kind of local politics tyranny gets them nowhere, at least in Pottstown, they choose to put their energies in other things (things that yield positive experiences & markedly less stress) or other places. The sad thing is what else but these crusades does Mr. Hylton have – these fuel his income source (sound of soapy hands and running water) and keep one hand washing the other.

    It’s not the way it should be and certainly isn’t making a difference in what goes on inside the four walls of any of the buildings in PSD. Save the buildings, save (presumably) the taxpayer – who saves the students??? The teachers don’t have the tools that could help students achieve and aspire to be great, in many cases. When this reno reveals that only the adults in this scenario are helped or placated I sure hope people don’t complain much about paying the salaries of the teachers and other staffers since they will still be working double-time to make it happen, against sometimes very challenging odds.

    Roy, like you said – another day in Pottstown!!!

  8. As always Steph, your astute comments are appreciated!

    I sit in utter awe (and not in a good way) watching this tragedy unfold, knowing there is almost nothing I can do to prevent it. It leaves me profoundly saddened.

  9. A Neighborhood Schools Committee meeting this Thursday (9/29/11) evening at 7:30 PM at the Administration Building, Beech and Penn Streets. It is imperative that parents, taxpayers and all interested parties attend this meeting and all meetings involving the 15 million dollars being spent in the PSD. 15 million dollars is being borrowed by the Pottstown School District for five schools. We will be informed of how money will be used for renovations, and how much of it will go to educational costs. All five schools should receive their equal share of the fifteen million dollars being spent and paid for by the taxpayers of this borough!

  10. Has anyone noticed the “fish wrap” is reporting next to nil on the activities of the school board and especially the 15 million dollars that has to be paid by the taxpayers because a reimbursement was not requested from Harrisburg, Why you ask or you should ask, the plans would need approval from Harrisburg and we all know Hylton doesn’t want Harrisburg telling him what he can or cannot do! It is astounding that many taxpayers have very little knowledge regarding this borrowed 15 million dollars that they must pay back!

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