What Happened to Baby Cameron?
by: E Walk
(© 2009 by the Author)

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...

Chapter 48  

The Dust Settles


When Officer Cline and I arrived at the Central Office, there was a line of picketers carrying placards saying that the district was unfair in it's handling and dismissal of employees.  I had climbed out of the patrol car and started to walk toward the building when a big burly man grabbed me, "Michaels, you're going to pay for ruining these people's lives."


Officer Cline yelled, "Mister, I suggest that you release Superintendent  Michaels, or you aren't going to be able to walk for a long time.  I also suggest that the rest of you picketers vacate the premises, or I'll have you all arrested for disrupting the business in a public place."


Bill pulled out his weapon and the man released me.  Bill walked me to the door.  He stood in front of the door and pointed, "The television crews have been filming your feeble protests.  It looks as if there is very little sympathy for your cause.  It will be fun to see just how your friends and neighbors treat you after watching you people make fools of yourselves."


As I was walking toward my office, I started thinking, 'There must be things about Bill and Nolan that I don't know.   I'll have to ask Hank what he thinks.'


I walked into the office and Cynthia was sitting at the reception desk.  "Cynthia, I have some things we need to do.  Find someone to baby-sit the phone and reception desk.  Bill, go get that Miss Riley from Human Relations and tell her that her services are needed in the Superintendent's Office.  Make sure that Nolan doesn't need any help."


As soon as Miss Riley was in place and briefed, Cynthia and I went into her office.  "Cynthia, I feel like a duck out of water.  I don't even know where to start to find qualified applicants to fill the key positions.   We need to get moving if we're going to be able keep this district moving on an acceptable course."


Cynthia shrugged her shoulders, "It would seem that the logical place to start would be to place some of the most qualified School Administrators in the positions until suitable replacements can be found.  If the administrators are doing acceptable jobs then they could stay in place as the assistant to the Assistant Superintendents until the dust settles."


"I wish there was someone knowledgeable about education who could be available to help decide who might be qualified for what positions."


"Steve, that's an easy thing to take care of.  There must be some retired former staff members who are still living in the area.  Check with that Mr. Hinkle person.  He's been around a long time, and how about Mr. Daniels, the principal at Cody High.  It would seem to me that he might want to settle the score for what these people were doing to him."


"How did you know about what these creeps were doing to Mr. Daniels?"


"He and my husband are in a racquet ball league.  You think women gossip.  I swear that men are worse."


"Cynthia, check with Miss Riley and see if there is any way to access the personnel files of staff members on line.  I would like to know how qualified our staff is."


Miss Riley came into the office, "Superintendent Michaels, you can access the files from your office.  We just need to create an access code for you and Mrs. Wright."


She did something on the computer and there was an alphabetical listing of the entire staff.  She pointed, "You can manipulate the data in the data base pretty much any way you want."


"Say, I wanted a listing of all members of the staff who have doctorate degrees?   Can it tell me that?"


"That's easy."  She typed in a couple of words, and a new listing appeared.  She started to laugh, "We'll need to update our files since some of these people are no longer employed in the district."


Cynthia grinned, "Patty, we need to get these files updated.  We'll put an asterisk by the people who have been fired or relieved from duty.  Steve, this is going to take some time.  Why don't you go play in your litter box?"


I knew when I was dismissed.  I went to see if I could find Mr. Hinkle.  He was sitting in his cubicle when I walked in, "Elwood, I need your help."


"What are you talking about?  I need your help.  There is no way I can do all the work of the department by myself."


"Elwood, we'll take care of that problem, shortly.  Let's go talk to Ginny Akers.  The two of you are going to be my brain pool."


Mr. Hinkle looked at me with a funny look, "Say what?  Ginny and I are so old that we used up all our brains.  What is it that you want us to do?"


"Let's go find Ginny and I'll explain."


I took Ginny and Elwood to the lounge, "I need you two to come up with a list of people with education backgrounds who would be able to help in getting this school district back on its feet.  They can be retired superintendents or anyone who cares about education.  You people probably have more corporate knowledge than any of the experts, since you both profess to be as old as Methuselah."


Ginny laughed, "Superintendent Michaels, just because I'm old doesn't give you the right to make fun of me.  How soon do you want the list?"


"Yesterday, will be fine."


"Ginny, I think we found a keeper in this one.  He doesn't pull any punches.  Superintendent Michaels, we'll have a list by the close of business today."


I went to the reception desk and Bill was sitting there, "It appears that everything has quieted down.  Is it safe to go for lunch?"

Bill shook his head, "Superintendent Michaels, it has been like Grand Central Station.  I don't think you should leave the building unless it is absolutely necessary.  The vultures are waiting to pick you apart."


"We do have to eat; where's Nolan?"


"The last I saw him, he said he was going to go set the stage for your two o'clock blood letting meeting with the principals."


I went to the conference room and the area was set.  I walked into the small kitchen that was adjacent and Nolan was making coffee and some iced tea.  When he saw me, he grinned, "I figured we'd better have something to help the principals make the medicine you're going to be giving them go down."


"Nolan, why are you wasting your time as a custodian?  I think that you have more to offer the world than spending your life as a custodian."


"Mr. Michaels, I screwed up my senior year in college and have been paying through the nose, ever since.  I got a young woman who is from a powerful family in this state, pregnant.  The alimony payments have been killing me.  If I earned more, the bitch and her parents would take it all.  If it weren't for Bill and his parents, I would be penniless."


"Nolan, you said that Mr. Stark lived in Texas.  If that's the case how can you be related to Cynthia?"


"Aunt Cynthia and my mother are sisters.  My parents are divorced.  My Mother lives here in Denver, but she has very little time for me, since she thinks I disgraced her.  It doesn't matter to her if she goes to bed with any man who she thinks might marry her.  Heaven help that man who would do that."


"Nolan, are you sure that the child in question is really your offspring?"


"I guess so, the young woman claimed to be a virgin when she said I defiled her."


"Nolan, you need to talk to Hank and get some legal advice.  It sounds to me as if you are being used as a scapegoat.  I need to go get some lunch."


"Not to worry, boss, I stopped at the store this morning and bought the fixings for sandwiches, since I had no idea if there would be time to go get something to eat, today."


As we were finishing eating our lunch, I asked, "Where does the School District have meetings when all the District Employees get together?"


Mr. Hinkle spoke up, "There hasn't been a meeting of all the employees of the district in the last twelve years.  There have only been specialized meetings, that I know of.  If you're thinking of having a mandatory meeting of all employees of the district, it would probably require a facility like The Can to accommodate all the employees.  The costs of renting the facility would probably be exorbitant."


I grinned, "Bet me, I know the owner.  Let me make a call and I'll be right back."


I dialed a number, "This is Stan Kronke."


"Stan, this is Steve Michaels.  I have a question to ask you.  How much would it cost to rent The Can for a meeting of all the employees of the Denver Consolidated School District?"


"Steve, I heard that you were named the Interim Superintendent.  As you know, I have grandchildren in the district, so I'm immensely interested in what's been happening.  When would you want to use the facility?"


"Stan, to be honest with you, if it were available, say tomorrow that would be perfect.  I need to get all the employees together, so we can get on with providing the children of the district a quality education."


"Steve, it's funny you should call today.  The event that was scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled.  What time would you like to use the facility?"


"Stan, we'll have our formal meeting from four to five.  People will probably start arriving about three thirty.  All we need is to have a microphone so I can address the participants and perhaps a microphone or two so they can ask questions."


"We'll have everything ready for you.  Can I sit in on the meeting?"


"Of course, I'm not trying to cover anything up.  In fact, I would welcome more visitors from outside, so they could see that we're not sitting on our butts but moving forward despite what has recently occurred in the district."


Stan chuckled, "Stevie, my boy, we'll let you use the facility for nothing and will use it as a tax deduction."


"Thanks Stan, I'll see you tomorrow afternoon."


After I had hung up, I turned to those who were assembled, "I want every person who is on the district's payroll at a mandatory meeting at The Can, tomorrow afternoon.  That includes all professional staff and support from bus drivers to kitchen help.  Anyone who chooses not to show will no longer be employed by the district."


Mr. Hinkle frowned, "Superintendent Michaels, you’re asking for a bunch of problems, asking people to work after their normal duty hours.  How do you propose to get the word out?  There is no way we can personally notify all of the employees of the district."


"It is you people's responsibility to notify the supervisors and it will be evident if the word isn't passed down and then the supervisors will be pounding the pavements looking for jobs,  I'll be informing the principals, at the meeting this afternoon what is happening."


I looked at my watch, "I guess I need to go face the angry masses.  Come on, Cynthia and Bill.  You need to protect me."


After I welcomed the Principals and the Administrative Staffs, I decided to grind the knife in, "I want to make sure that we have representatives here from every building.  As Mrs. Wright calls the roll of schools, I would like for the principal to stand and identify themselves and their staff who are with them.  We have two buildings that do not have a principal and in those buildings, I would like the senior administrator who it is representing the building to identify themselves and who they have with them."


Cynthia handed me the list of attendees. "I get the distinct feeling that you people feel nothing in common with each other.  That's obvious by the way that you are seated.  That's going to get taken care of immediately.  It's going to take all of us working as a team to help this district recover from what has happened.  If you're thinking, I don't care; I just want to live in my own world, that ain't going to happen on my watch."


"For starters, starting next week, I'll be meeting with the Elementary School Principals on Mondays at two o'clock.  On Tuesday at two, the Middle School Administrators will be in the hot seat and Wednesday at two, the Secondary School Administrators will have their turn at me and then on Thursday at two, we'll all get together to share our common problems."


"In the meantime, there will be an all, and I emphasize the word All, school personnel mandatory meeting at The Can or Pepsi Center at four o'clock tomorrow.  You might spread the word that attendance will be taken, and anyone who doesn't show is subject to, no let me clarify that will be terminated.  I don't care if they’re a teacher, para professional, food handler, a secretary or custodian."


A gentleman stood, "Michaels, you're asking for trouble.  The unions are going to tear you apart."


I stood, "Mr. Lowery, I'm Superintendent Michaels, and you are going to be one of the first people my staff and I are going to be evaluating.  You have an attitude problem if you're letting the unions dictate what's happening in your schools.  You need to let me and the school board decide what to do about the unions.  Your job is to make sure that the students in your school are receiving a quality education.  You people are in for a serious wake up call."


The man kept standing, "Michaels, why should we pay any attention to you, when the IRS is auditing the accounts of the Michaels Advertising Agency?"


"Mr. Lowery, you just sealed your fate.  Your services are no longer required by the school district.  You must be in cahoots with the privatization group to know that the IRS is at the Michaels Advertising Agency.  I haven't been active in the company for two years.  Mrs. Wright, make sure that Mr. Lowery is deleted from the district's payroll, immediately."


Lowery had a parting shot, "Michaels, there is no way you're going to win against the big guns.  You'll be wishing you were dead."


Bill had called the station and two armed policemen arrived and escorted Mr. Lowery out of the building.  I was to find out later that he tried to grab one of the officer's weapons, and was going to be spending the night in jail.


I watched as the people filed out of the meeting and it was a little different than the day before.  I went back to the office and sat down and let out a big sigh of relief.  My cell phone started to ring, "This is Steve Michaels."


"Steve, it's Dusty.  You need to come to the office as soon as possible.  The IRS is claiming that you have been evading paying taxes on the company business.  They've called the media in and are making a big to do about the unethical practices of the Agency."


To be continued...


Editor's Notes:  Why do I have the feeling that something is not as it should be?  I smell a rat, so to speak. 


I sure hope this can be resolved soon.  Corrupt Big Guv-Mint don't like people that don't play their games.  Let's hope that Steve and his people have actually kept very good records, as I suspect they have.


Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher

Posted: 09/03/10