Archive for February, 2009

The state of ketchup in education

February 24, 2009

This email was sent from a county board of education office to all principals of that county:


A topic has been brought to my attention concerning condiments (notably ketchup) being distributed by teachers to his/her students to use in the cafeteria.  If this is occurring, it is considered undermining the child nutrition program and is a practice that cannot continue.  I equate this to my intervening with a reading program or math program and basically interfering where I shouldn’t. There are very strict federal and state guidelines that must be followed if we are to receive the reimbursements for breakfast and lunch.  Monitoring  sodium is one of the critical areas.  If a child brings a packet of ketchup, we can’t confiscate it, but if teachers are providing ketchup bottles/packets and distributing to students, this is a different situation.  I am certain this is not happening in all schools, but I felt it necessary to address all schools so we are all on the same page.

If you need to discuss please call.

I’m glad they’re dealing with such serious educational issues up at the board office.


Randall’s retreats

February 15, 2009
Fun is a big part of a retreat!

Fun is a big part of a retreat!

Word is getting out about Culture and History Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith’s interesting “directors retreats.” Last week he dragged his senior staff out to the South Charleston ice arena for some skating – of course, this was on work time, what were you thinking, it’s a retreat! Previous “retreats” involved a trip to Camden Park and a visit to the Mystery Hole. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a black hole, and he returned to work, or what Reid-Smith thinks is “work.”

Oops – there were raises already

February 15, 2009

In addition to handing out raises to his own staff, Joe seems to have forgotten to mention that there were pay raises for some state employees already.  According to Kabler, “effective Feb. 1, the Division of Personnel upgraded its pay schedule for the first time in seven years, and everyone who fell below the newly raised minimum for their pay grades effectively got a raise with last week’s paycheck.”

While it’s nice that the salary schedules were upgraded, it demonstrates the sad state of affairs in government employment that some people with virtually no on-the-job experience got raises that put them near-equal to workers with many years of exeperience.

Expect an increase in pissed off worker comments over the course of the session.

We set up podiums for the Governor

February 14, 2009

Yep, according to Matt Turner, Manchin’s new communications director, that justifies 15% pay increases for the Governor’s staff, even as Manchin tells state workers and teachers there’s no money for pay raises.

Turner himself gets a 55% increase as he moves into Lara Ramsburg’s job. That might be considered a promotion, except the Governor has capped payroll increases on state workers who get promotions to 10%. All this because “Today, we all have more responsibility, doing a lot of work with a smaller staff.” Yes, stuff like setting up podiums and making sure the Governor knows where he’s supposed to be.

Everyone in state government knows that as this governor has cut back, he’s expected state workers to assume additional responsibilities and take over the load of workers who don’t get replaced. You’d think Manchin would have a clue about leading by example.