Duper Super Homan feature speaker at Democractic Forum today

I think Pam had an inkling that there was going to be an angry mob waiting for her at the forum today (even though there was just a bunch of old Democrats).

With props from State Dem Chair Nesselhuf, she was able to get out a heartwarming story about their relationship, the adoption of her son and his service in the military. School Board member, Kent Alberty (and Homan body guard) was also stationed conveniently in the middle of the room to make sure nothing happend to the Dictator. She supposedly changed her presentation for the event several times. She decided to go with a presentation she made back in October, and I believe a couple of times since. It was about the demographics of the school district. Here are some finer points;

• 58% of the school budget is spent on teachers

• Over 40% of school district kids are on FREE or reduced lunches

• 30% of the school district’s students are NOT white.

She was kind enough to allow some questions (when there was only about 20 minutes left).

Homan gave us a sob story about in the hundred or so exit interviews she has done with teachers,  they basically tell her the pay is why they are leaving.

I wanted to ask her why we are so top heavy with overpaid admins then?

A well-known homeless advocate asked Homan what they are doing to help homeless and poverty stricken students, and she also got a zinger question off about the relationship between the current school board and Homan and past superintendent and school boards, too which Homan answered, after trying to avoid the question, “Not sure how my relationship compares to the past, I don’t know much about what happened in the past.” (sic) Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it, I guess. I got the feeling that Homan and Mrs. Bliss don’t see eye to eye too often.

Another person asked about the feasability of consolidation. I will give Homan credit, she explained that they were bussing kids from other parts of town to fill these schools and it didn’t really make sense to do so. While I do partially agree with her on that, her statement about saving $800,000 a year still rings hollow. I would have liked to ask a followup, “Doesn’t the interest and principal payments on bonding a new school negate any savings?” But there wasn’t enough time. Guest Poster did try to get a question off about the possible sale of the soon to be closed schools, but Pammy looked right over his head and called on someone else for the final question. Which was unmemorable.

There is one thing I did take away from the Q & A session. Homan has a sense of arrogance about her that is astounding. She seems to think her doctorate somehow makes her smarter then the rest of us, and in some respects she may be, but she takes it a step forward in her condescending tone. A regular at the forums, Roger (who for the record attends several council meetings and has a beard like father time) asked a great question, too which I snickered out loud at, (responding to the presentation) “You say we perform better on a National level in Sioux Falls then other parts of the country when compared to the amount of poor people we have in the district. Are you saying that there is a different ratio (or different kind) of poor people here then other parts of the country?” (sic).

This is where Homan told Roger that she didn’t have time to teach him statistics and kind of looked at him like “You are a dumbass.” (and Roger really isn’t). I have never cared too much for Homan’s ‘Nanner, Nanner, Nanner, I’m smarter then you.’ tone. She has displayed it many times in public. I happen to know someone with a doctorate, Dr. Staggers, and in his capacity as a public servant, he has never held this over his constituent’s heads. He may have beat the crap out of his fellow councilors and city directors, but I applaud him for those actions.

I didn’t expect any fireworks today, though as I looked around the room, I could tell there is still some people seething about the consolidation.


#1 grudznick on 12.07.12 at 7:52 pm

That young woman has a smarmy and holier than you attitude that just rankles my ass. Have you noticed that her minions have the same ass rankling attitude too?

#2 l3wis on 12.07.12 at 7:57 pm

I wish I could get Stehly to give me permission to post the audio transcript of her interview with Asst. Super/Lead attorney for the district. It would blow your mind.

#3 Karma on 12.07.12 at 8:55 pm

Unfortunately – that is Homan’s problem. She may be very smart, but she treats people like almighty sh**, and in the end, that will be her demise. People in this part of the country are very naive at times and very forgiving, but everyone has a breaking point, and Homan is reaching that point and does not realize it. Her leadership is going to crush a few next week, but that few is another step in the direction of hopefully analyzing this sort of leadership and if we truly think it is the type of leadership we want leading our community and more importantly – leading our kids. You can be an advocate for children and education without biting off the hand that feeds both. Homan does not know that type of leadership.

#4 My Two Cents on 12.08.12 at 7:05 am

why won’t Stehly give you permission ?

#5 Testor15 on 12.08.12 at 8:55 am

So busing children to the core of the town harms the kids or the Prairie Green sensibilities of their parents? I don’t care if the kids are bussed. When they build the new school the district will still have to bus kids to it, so what is the difference?

She is such a liar…

#6 Detroit Lewis on 12.08.12 at 10:16 am

M2- I wish I could tell you, but it has nothing to do legalities. She can release the document to the public if she wants to. What I think I will do ‘and can do’ is do an overview of what I heard.

#7 rufusx on 12.08.12 at 10:47 am

FWIW DL – you know more than one person with a Doctorate.

#8 Lamb Chislic on 12.08.12 at 11:58 am

Karma – Yes, indeed, a few families are about to get blind-sided by IPC. Maybe, at that point, the city will step up in the name of “community development”. City leaders, elected and appointed, have sat silently for too long through this process while these core neighborhoods are being decimated. Time for some leadership!

#9 Guest Poster on 12.08.12 at 1:22 pm

Thanks DL, I enjoy these little shows our ‘elites’ try to put us through. She was so disingenuous and shallow. She never treated any of the audience or questioners with genuine respect.

Melanie Bliss was the best part of the talk. Homan looks down on the lower economic families with the disdain of the ‘betters’ not wanting to be contaminated by the ‘unwashed’. She uses the poorer folks as an excuse to build her empire. Homan is just another manager who wants her name attached to more buildings so we will never be able to forget her name.

I wanted to ask a series of questions and if Sandy J had not hogged the question period with her speech maybe one of them could have been presented. She just had to regale us with her self importance.

My main question was this: “Prior to the consolidation vote you said no sale of property was being discussed. It has been recently reported (rumored) you will be announcing a school property sale next week. Will you confirm or deny all property sales.”

Did you notice the admin-staff to teacher ratio was about 50 / 50? The bloat she has encouraged is amazing. Screw the over 50 year old teachers over wage increases and force them to leave so we can hire lower income teachers. With lower wage teachers she can then spend more funds on more staff.

She does not want to be questioned on anything and the current board member just sat there as if he was scared.

#10 anominous on 12.08.12 at 8:04 pm

I predict her kids get jobs at Sanford instead of just working at Southeast when this is all done.

#11 Detroit Lewis on 12.09.12 at 1:34 pm

anom – they probably already do work there.

#12 Detroit Lewis on 12.10.12 at 3:07 pm

From my email box;

I love your blog and aggressive advocacy even when I don’t hold the same view on a given subject. I have noticed that you have acknowledged when someone brought to light facts you previously did not know and you seem open to learning more about government. During your discussions about school consolidation you refute the operational savings figures by saying they ignore financing and interest costs on the new construction. Under South Dakota law they are different pots of money. Homan cannot spend “capital levy” money on teacher salaries nor can she spend “general fund” money on buildings and capital items. There are five separate property tax levies to support schools (bond redemption, capital outlay, teacher retirement, general ed, special ed) and they may only be “mixed” in certain situations.

I am pretty sure I don’t like the school consolidation plan but the operational savings versus new school financing costs is not a viable argument the way we finance education in SD. Keep up your efforts as a public watchdog.