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Saturday, November 4, 2017

AN (UN)CLEAR AND (NOT SO)PRESENT DANGER: When Is An “Emergency” Not An Emergency?

“Sunday, October 29, 2017 6:00pm: Emergency Meeting 

(Emergency board meeting is called Sunday, October 29 at 6:00 pm, held at the offices of Rehmann Group, 107 South Cass, Suite A, to take up the imminent threat to the public welfare & school operations concerning the sudden resignation, without notice, of Superintendent Susan Dameron at 3:00 pm today.)

An emergency or urgent public necessity existed requiring immediate action of the Grand Traverse Academy board, and an imminent threat to public health and safety or a reasonably unforeseeable situation existed because Grand Traverse Academy's former superintendent, Susan Dameron, ankled her job without appropriate notice?

Call me crazy, but getting the drop on your former employer doesn't rise to the level of say...a tornado blowing away your roof.

But what does that have to do with the price of tea in Azerbaijan?

Here's how: Michigan’s Open Meetings Act has been in place since 1976, aimed at promoting openness and accountability in government. Broadly, it prohibits government bodies from meeting or communicating privately to debate policy issues and ensures most discussions and decisions will be made in meetings open to the public.

However, when the emergency designation was applied as profligately as it was in this instance by the Grand Traverse Academy board, it sets aside any requirement for the board to publish any notice.

It right there in the board's manual under Section 0165.4: “No notice of any emergency meeting shall be required.”

So, could the Grand Traverse Academy board have delayed its meeting until the next day?

In my opinion, the answer is yes — especially when you consider the news of Dameron's departure had already been announced on this blog before the board assembled for the 6:00 p.m. meeting.

And, even more importantly, how will we learn whether there had been a series of email exchanges among the board members, as well as more detailed information on any discussions that occurred during the emergency meeting regarding Dameron's employment?

In the days that followed, did board members correspond by email, referencing plans for more “damage control”?

What are the rules of procedure pertaining to the decision made by the board during the meeting “to appoint Jim Coneset as Interim Superintendent”?

Will we know how the board members voted, and if any other internal candidate was considered?

The board's “nothing to see here folks, move along” announcement, issued a few hours after Dameron's email, stated her departure “does not change anything in your child’s regular school routine”.

Doesn't sound like much of an emergency to me.


  1. If Lake Superior State University doesn't step up and shut the school down it's a reflection of the type of people at their college who would want to attend a college like that! Is that your only job? The authorizer they would lose their jobs too? They don't have other duties within the College?

  2. How is this place still operating?!??

  3. At the end of the day, it’s unbelievable to even perceive that there are CHILDREN who are being effected by this sordid mess. Are the parents that vapid that they can’t see the forest through the trees on this one? What is going on in these people’s brains (if they even have what is considered a brain...) that they continue to expose their children to the ridiculous BS going on there? There is no conceivable way the teachers can properly focus with the level of stress and tension that is now descending upon them. I find it incredibly hard to believe that the standards and rigor of actually educating the students left in that facility are considered anything more than sub-par. What can be done to protect the children? Where is the state scrutiny in all of this? Keep up the good work, Anita!!!

  4. LSSU and other charter school sponsors need to be doing their jobs/due diligence. Even one public school teacher, (a Democrat by the way) said that sponsoring universities or colleges (who usually push a Democratic political position) are just as guilty as the often Republican-led charter school operators when they do little or no oversight. They're in it just for the money and are not doing their jobs.

  5. Why would a businessperson want to run a school. Well it is not because they love children and want our society to progress. It is because there is big money in it. White collar welfare at it's finest. These business owners found loopholes/transparency flaws and are taking advantage of every tax payer and every child. Until the charter schools are taken out of the clutches of the for-profit business world, you will always have these crooks selling their snake oil.