This blog features observations from Randy Turner, a former teacher, newspaper reporter and editor. Send news items or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
What about retirement benefits? Pension?
Consulting fees? Are you serious?
What a disgrace! Joplin R8 is a miserable excuse for a school district. This jackoff deserves nothing from the taxpayers.
Retirement does not come with a buyout. Good grief.
Perhaps The Joplin school district should have looked into CJ Huff's background a bit better. The trail of devastation that he leaves is very very difficult to get over and very time consuming.... Hopefully the next town will be much smarter...
Consulting fees, if done right, could be very useful, in a "unless you tell us where the (figurative) bodies are buried, you don't get paid".
I wish the headline was more like this one "Chicago schools chief resigns amid federal criminal investigation." Chicago Tribune & MSN.com In reading the article I see similarities. Maybe there is still hope, this frees the FEDS up to come to Joplin. Better save that $260,000 plus Huff, your wife may need it will you're in Federal Prison. Better yet I'd like to see you have to repay the vender who should have already been paid their Federal grant money for storm shelters. Surely the district has received those funds. Where they go C.J? I think you're going to have to answer up. With so many tired of the nonsense, I'm sure many calls have already been made to see if there is any legal recourse. It may not help the BOE and our schools, but I just feel violated and want justice.
The lesson here is that you can destroy a school district, run off all the good staff, overlook harrassment and bullying of staff, destroy everything you touch, and you can retire in a luxurious manner for this neck of the woods. His pension should be around $110,000 a year on top of what he got for being fired. Yes, fired. You don't get these packages unless you are relieved of your duties. What does a teacher get for daring to ask where his or her donations went? Fired. Any settlement package? NO. In fact, Huff, Besendorfer, and Smith saw to it that people's chances of working anywhere were destroyed and denied them unemployment even. And where is he today? In Kansas City looking into one of the many, many lawsuits that he has against him. He isn't worth a plug nickel. This is, in fact, a disgrace, in light of all the justifiable reasons they had to fire him outright without any settlement. I'm relieved to see that Fort and Martucci voted against this measure. I have to assume that Koch voted for it out of duress, or because maybe he thought he would save the district money in the long run. Please note that as soon has his little fat buddy was taken care of that Steele, claiming he was being bullied (but failing to provide a speck of evidence of that), resigned, and Landis right after him. A more despicable bunch of people never existed than those of the old Board, including Banwart even though she is a relatively recent addition. Their little proclivities and illegal activities should be exposed so all can see who they really are. I'm pretty sure that is going to happen soon.
Fired, Fired, Fired! They all knew it was coming so his two buddies Landis and Steel run for the hills after this deal was made not to be accountable!
You wanted him gone, he's gone. What else do you want? Every multi-year contract has a buyout clause. Wake up people.
It must have been a hell of a bargaining session, with Huff knowing he had them where he wanted them and grinning like a Cheshire Cat. The jury is in on the former Board members. They are despicable. Fort and Martucci appear to have the good of the public in mind. My vote is still in the air for Koch. He is very honest, sincere, smart, and compassionate. I hope those traits didn't get in his way. We want change in R8, but Huff shouldn't have been rewarded for what he did to the district. He should go to jail, in all honesty. The truth will out, but it will take longer if Banwart succeeds in her mission to get three more self-serving people put on the Board with her. We need to start calling the commissioners nonstop and make sure they know how we feel, and that we will remember them, too, come the next election. We don't need three more obstructionists.
Was this one of Banwart's "bright ideas?" I can just see the light bulb floating over her head as she comes up with this wonderful parting gift for her accomplice. He's hardly worth ruining one's reputation for. So what else could be her motivation? Hmm. The bond issue. And how, exactly, was that paid for, Ms. Banwart? Who did the advertising? We'd really like to know.
Here's the Bruce Speck story all over again. What angers me most is how these intellectual giants (in their own minds) who sit on governing boards extend contracts for these people (Speck and Huff) knowing the problems and controversies surrounding their leadership. Huff's contract should not have been extended as it was. A one year extension with clear expectations and we wouldn't be in this situation. At the very least Huff should not be allowed to proclaim early retirement for a job well done. No sir, you have not even done a mediocre job. Take your money and slink off and keep your mouth shut. The students of the district have been scammed, the teachers and staff have been scammed and the taxpayers have been scammed. It will probably be many, many years before the cheated citizens of Joplin should or will approve another bond issue and maybe many more before the district is restored to what it once was.
Mission Accomplished!(Refers to the lucky happenstance of that well timed contract extension.)
Since Huff and Co claim to be such huge followers of Christ, perhaps they need to heed these words:Do not hoard your treasures on earthWhere moth and earthworms consume them,Where thieves dig through walls and steal them,But store your treasures in heaven.Since we know that Huff wants to do what is best "for the kids," and he certainly wouldn't want to steal from them that which might help them succeed, don't you think that he should give back that money that he has not yet earned? It seems fitting, somehow, for the great and saintly creator of Bright Futures to scorn greed and heed the teachings of Christ to his Apostles, especially this soon after Pentecost: Heal the sick. Feed the poor. Come on, Cj Huff, do the right thing. Give us our money back. What would Jesus do?
I can't wait until I retire if this is what you get! Shoot, I haven't had a measurable raise since Daddy Huff rolled into town! This would set me up just fine. Thanks for setting this precedence, R8! My lawyers will be contacting you soon if I don't get similar treatment. I'm pretty sure we don't want it to look like there's favoritism here.
You all know where Huff lives, correct? He has to support Imelda Huff and her love of fashion for many years. How would you expect him to do that without this nice little buyout? Be fair. Poor CJ. He has suffered so. He has wept and wept and wept over this district. Surely that acting job has earned him something. I know what I would give him, but you know, we can only dream big, as his accomplice Bessie used to say.
2:24 PM: This buyout, including the earmarked consulting, is less than half his annual salary. So it gives him a buffer, but can't last "for many years".If he hasn't been saving a large fraction of the money he's been making in speeches as well as from the district in salary things could ugly pretty soon, unless he can give a lot more of those speeches. Which I suspect the demand for will fade.
Oh fer crying out loud--he's going to slide right into a cushy spot as Grand Touring Huckster for Bright Futures! This is just a little pocket money to tide him over until then.
2:56 You forget that he also has a $100,000+ annual pension. I could live on that fairly well. It might be a bit tough for the little woman, but she can surely get a part-time job if she needs those little extras:-) Maybe she could become a substitute!! It would build character.
Same thing happened in the Seneca school district 2 years ago. Four members of the school board, knowing that Steve Wilmoth, the superintendent, was involved in a conflict of interest, and had made $55,000 before getting caught and fined by the Missouri Ethics Commission, extended his contract for two more years. After an election got three new board members, the superintendent was suspended. The only difference between the Seneca situation and the Joplin situation is the new school board did not have to buy out his contract because he ultimately resigned after being suspended. I applaud Martucci and Fort for doing the right thing and not giving in to extortion. Maybe if the board would have suspended C.J., he might have done the right thing and resigned, also.
Huff's annual salary, without the perks, was around $177,000. So this buyout is not half of his annual salary. I could pay off my mortgage and credit expenses and live quite well on my pension, which the state of Missouri is now stuck for until the old boy keels over. At 45, even with his unhealthful lifestyle, he could manage to drain the public resources for some time to come. Thanks Lynda, Mike, and Randy. I expected nothing better from you. Kind of disappointed in Koch. Hope he has an explanation. Like he's going to eliminate a ton of jobs and recoup the money quickly. Give us some hope here, Jeff. What little we had in April is fading fast these days.
The patrons of R8 need to contact each of the people who voted for this and let them know how you feel. All day every day. Then let them know how you feel about this commissioners situation. Then tell the commissioners. Things won't change without repercussions for the guilty parties.
Its amazing that money that should be used to educate the children of Joplin will go to this piece of crap. The school system must be broke by now. So ask yourself what programs will go away in the new school year. It won't be football,probably educational programs like math and science. Rah Rah Rah.
Huff can continue to work (I"m being somewhat facetious, because looking at the district, it doesn't appear he's been working too hard), but he cannot work for any entity that would use the Missouri teacher retirement system. As for his being able to find a job, that might be difficult if future employers know how to Google his name. Perhaps he could find something in the United Arab Emirates. We can all help them pack.
I am not sure, but I think I was mobs of peasants bearing pitchforks and lanterns. Looked like they were splitting up for various Board members' homes. One group was headed for Arbor Hills...
@2:56 It is not less than half of his annual salary - it is equal to 1.5 years' salary, plus $50,000 "consulting fees". Are the consulting fees coming from Joplin Schools? There should be no doubt now to all the people on facebook congratulating him on his so-called retirement- he was fired. I think he deserved to be fired, but feel sorry for his wife and children. It is sickening for some to be making disparaging comments about his wife - grow up! I can only imagine the stress of living with him."forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us"... I'm taking a wild guess that the nasty commenters consider themselves Christians, right?Or do you only act Christian when you're not anonymous?On a different note- nobody should be complaining about the cost of the buyout - it was probably the only way to get him out and possibly cheaper in the long run. Their only other option would have been to reassign him to a different position - isn't East in need of an assistant principal? But it's over and done,so hopefully the Board will be able to move forward with hiring a decent superintendent.
Read carefully the contract for separation KOAM posted tonight. This man is not retiring, he was asked to relinquish his position in exchange for $$$$$$ and a paid trip to Nashville, TN in July is still on the books..and presumably he is going. Probably job hunting. This may prevent family time and unless they are going too. I am happy he is done, but I just wish the truth were told by all especially Huff. So much BS to cover up the fact that he was asked to leave. I am not totally stupid. They are all trying to make this feel like a good ol boy thing. It is what it is. He was politely fired and that cost the taxpayers over a quarter of a million. It would be worth it if the truth were told. Huff did not retire to spend more time with family. He agreed to leave and this is what it cost the tax payers.
And please, get that smiley faced picture of him off the internet.
Being a Christian does not mean that you have to stand idly by and watch your only source of education for your children be destroyed by a vain thief. And, if you've ever had to deal with his wife, she is hardly one to be pitied. I do pity his children, though, because their parents are deplorable, vain, greedy people who treat others with total disrespect. So, 4:42, since you are anonymous yourself, sit down and shut up unless you have been threatened by your dear beloved leader. Has his wife told you to shut up and sit down? Told you she must be allowed to go ahead of everyone else in your place of business? Don't kid yourself. He's used the little woman as a prop for all of these years, so they have put her in the spotlight. I, for one, wish I'd never seen her, heard her, or known of her.
Woah...hold on there. That is an unfair statement to crap. It, unlike CJ has many uses, and considerably more of a conscience.
What's his wife going to do when that money runs out?
I'm not sure that is far enough away!
I was at lunch today and overheard a very interesting conversation. It made me change my opinion about cell phones in public places. If this idiot hadn't been on his phone, I wouldn't have heard him say that she (Lynda Banwart) can do damn well what she is told to do. This idiot just happens to be one of the Joplin Progress Committee members. Hmm. So, she's a marionette and the JPC are the puppet masters. So much for doing what the voters want.
@5:15 Telling me to "sit down and shut up" is pretty hateful. Actually, I am sitting down but I never said anything about standing idly by. I feel that many comments on this blog are nasty, misdirected and beneath someone who would call him/herself Christian. You lower yourself with this behavior. I HAVE been threatened by Dr. Huff - as a parent, not a school employee. It was shocking to witness the difference between the public face of concern and compassion, and the private face of a man who was not going to let anything stand in the way of what he wanted for the schools. I'm ashamed to say that I was so shocked, I walked out and did not report him to the Board. I now know there are other parents who had the same experience. However, my only issue is with Dr.Huff and he is thankfully on his way out. And no, his wife has never told me to "sit down and shut up". But you have. So, are you any better?
That's how much we think of you CJ, we are actually paying you $250,000 NOT to work for us.
When I retired I got a plaque and someone at my retirement party table won the plant centerpiece provided by a student group, not the district. I feel cheated, somehow, but I will be able to lay my head on my pillow at night knowing I have not fleeced the taxpayers nor abused the staff, and that I really was there "for the kids." I think I have the better deal. Support your Board members, people. They are doing what they can to get a new start for the schools. Make your voices heard in support of them and in opposition to the other side. Huff will get what he deserves sooner or later. Let him go and move forward.
Board members can resign in order to try and escape the heat, but to my knowledge they all still live here in town. Tell them what you think when you see them (unless they have their children with them). If they have businesses, take your business elsewhere. Just because they aren't keeping the chairs warm doesn't mean they are above accountability.
Go on take the money and run.
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