Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday News Bombs

We live in interesting times, readers. Take a look at some of the breaking news from the last few days ...

Reorganization

On January 23, the board of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA)  elected a new chairman and vice chairman.  Derek Hyra will serve as the new chairman, replacing Melvin Miller who has served since 2000, while Merrick Malone will fill the vice chairman's spot. 

Recovery

Alexandria police were called yesterday to an abandoned home in Ft. Washington, Maryland as Prince George's County law enforcement officials investigated a tip about a body found in a well.

According broadcast news reports, it will take some time for local police to shore up the well, which is sited in a remote location, so the body can be retrieved and identified.

News reports and the presence of the Alexandria police suggest that these might be the remains of missing activist Lenny Harris, whose car was found last year in PG County after his disappearance.

Revolving Door

Alexandria City Public Schools announced yesterday that Jefferson-Houston Chief Executive Officer Stephen Wilkins will be leaving soon to take another job.

Mr. Wilkins, who wore multiples hats at ACPS -- including Transformation Officer for T.C. Williams High School and Project Director for the Total Compensation Review -- will serve as Chief Operating Officer at the DeKalb County, Georgia school district.

Curious how ACPS officials blamed constantly reshuffling leadership at Jefferson-Houston for the school's academic woes under former Superintendent Rebecca Perry but have the same turnover problem on their hands now. Readers will remember that former J-H principal Kimberly Graves also departed last year, taking a post in the ACPS central office.

Recriminations

ACPS Chief Financial Officer Jean Sina announced his resignation at Tuesday's School Board meeting, telling them he had accepted a position with the City of Alexandria to help implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

However, Mr. Sina then sent ACPS staffers a letter informing them of his departure due to health issues which he blamed on an allegedly hostile work environment and issues with his supervisor, Deputy Superintendent Margaret Byess.

The Growler has no idea what to make of this. Could Mr. Sina's departure have anything to do with recent reports about lax controls over ACPS capital expenditure processes which have already cost two unnamed ACPS employees their positions? And is it ever a good idea to blast your former boss publicly as you are walking out the door?

The Alexandrianews.org article reports that the City is now reconsidering its job offer.