Friday, April 03, 2015

Anne Sharp and the one thing she would do differently

There were so many ways that Joplin R-8 Board of Education President Anne Sharp could have answered the question.

She could have mentioned the nearly $100,000 she and the board spent to change the color of seats in the Joplin High School gymnasium.

Or maybe the $8 million in "might-as-well' spending on athletic frills that she and the board approved last year.

Or at the least she could have mentioned the idea of crossing ethical boundaries and using district teachers and facilities for her own benefit in a campaign video.

The question was posed to Anne Sharp at a meeting of the Southwest Missouri Conservatives. "If you could do anything differently, in hindsight, what would it be?'

Apparently, there is nothing in the board president's 15-year-career on the board that she would change.

Her answer?

"We wouldn't have a tornado."

The answer was not well received by the conservative crowd, which listened to pitches from Sharp, her opponent in next Tuesday's election, Jeff Koch, and two of the candidates for the one-year unexpired position, Melinda Campbell and Nancy Good.

All did well, with the exception of the one who is already on the board, which she told the group put her at a disadvantage.

Group members were concerned about the board's borrowing of $74 million to keep operating while it waits for governmental agencies to cover building expenses. Sharp was reminded by a questioner that the board had promised there would be no need for any more borrowing when it sold district voters, by a 45-vote margin, on a $62 million bond issue, the largest in the district's history in April 2012. Sharp was not concerned

"Oh, you call that long tern debt?" she said. Audience members laughed at Sharp, which clearly flustered her.

She was also battered by questions which hinted at, but did not come right out and say, that Sharp is a puppet of Superintendent C. J. Huff, parroting his every view and holding none of her own. One such question concerned whether the board had anything to do with writing its response (it did not, it was done by the C. J. Huff Administration) to a question on the state audit about the board following the Sunshine Law. The board response, dictated by Huff, was that the board would form a citizens' committee and receive input on whether it should follow the law or not.

Sharp's answer was the board had made that decision after consulting with its attorney.

That answer did not sit well with the conservative group, which seemed to think that following the law was something that a school board member should have to do without having to consult an attorney to see if it is all right.


Anonymous said...

She might have said she wished she had put more emphasis on taking care of staff and less emphasis on steps to nowhere. She might have said she wished they had not fired so many people without more facts. She might have said she would not have made such a drastic change in curriculum four years ago, in light of the downward spiral of academic success.

But she didn't. Instead she reverted to her usual flippant attitude when faced with a question without a pre-packaged response. And you know what, Suzanne? It's hurtful. You have hurt the staff and community to the point that all the pictures in the world cannot make up for it. Shame on you, Suzanne Childress Sharp, shame on you.

Anonymous said...

So, a $62 million dollar bond is not a long-term debt? Hmm. Or, you don't see going into debt for an additional $74 million on the hope that the government will reimburse it in time as a problem? Anne Sharp is either delusional, like her bosom buddy CJ Huff, or she is willing to fall on the sword to keep the truth at bay a bit longer. Either one is a bad situation.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if Suzanne had gotten a real job at some point in her life, like her brothers, for example, she might have a greater appreciation of what it takes to make money. But by living off Daddy's trust fund all of her life, she seems to think that money is something that just happens and therefore there is no need to worry about it. Having busted my butt all my life working for the public, and as a reward for that I am struggling to pay my increased taxes to support that bond, I beg to differ, Ms. Sharp. I will vote for Koch, Martucci, and Roberts. We need some people who live in the real world in those Board seats.

Anonymous said...

CJ Huff should have been fired for those particular Sunshine Law violations for which he overcharged, for a vast amount, documents to which members of the public are entitled. Instead, Ms. Sharp contends that they will let his pet citizens decide what the law means rather than admonish him for not following it to the letter. His action was a blatant attempt to discourage patrons from learning the truth about his financial manipulations. She has no shame and absolutely no sense.

Anonymous said...

A prime example of "pride goeth before a fall."

Anonymous said...

The year of irony: Sharp is not sharp and Good in not good. They should step aside and let people who have some idea about business, finances, and education run the show. Please. We can't go on in the same direction for another year.

Anonymous said...

I think if I had been in Anne's shoes last night and was asked the one thing I would do differently, I would have said "stay home." What a pathetic performance for someone who brags about 15 years of Board experience. It doesn't take a lot of skill to just rubber stamp "yes" on every proposal.

Anonymous said...

some body needs to ask where Annies brother in law has been for last 10 years or Mike's brother has been for the last 3years I think we all know the answer to that.

Dusty Roads said...

She would not want to talk about that lots of skeletons in that family closet

Anonymous said...

I wish she would have said she wouldn't harass the staff or try to buy their favor with birthday cards, lottery tickets, and gift cards for meals. Her birthday envelopes all have the school initial of the teachers and their birthdate up by the stamp, so you know she is mass sending these. Not that many teachers have given Miss Suzanne their personal information. The sad thing is, she doesn't have to report this expenditure on her campaign finance report--but maybe she should, as some of the cards for those in the voting limits have had campaign literature stuck in them.