Friday, May 11, 2012

Brian Knows Best

At yesterday’s Board of Education meeting, school board member Brian Meshkin urged his colleagues to vote down the latest APFO chart. He suggested that voting down the chart would "drop a turd in the punch bowl" and compel the council to adopt a better way to deal with school planning. The Adequate Public Facilities Act requires that the school board approve a chart that designates which schools in which neighborhoods are “closed.” A “closed” school essentially closes that school district to new residential construction.

Brian doesn't like APFO chart as an effective mechanism for school planning. While he acknowledged that is currently the law, he believes it is a flawed law that nobody likes. He said it is even unfair to developers. “I love development,” he said. 

Brian loves development so much he's willing to contribute to the overcrowding of Wilde Lake Middle School to accommodate it. Under the current chart Wilde Lake Middle School is open. Under the chart that Brian wants to vote down, Wilde Lake would be “closed.” If a new chart isn't passed, the existing chart prevails.

In other words, if this chart gets passed, a proposed Town Center redevelopment project and the new apartments at Wilde Lake Village Center would be held up until Wilde Lake Middle School gets some relief. If it isn't passed, those projects would be allowed to proceed.

Board member Cindy Vaillancourt believes the board should leverage their vote to get free land from the developers impacted by the chart. She told her colleagues on the board that she used to work in development and that this type of thing is done all the time. Given all the community enhancement projects and affordable housing fees that the Town Center redevelopment legislation already calls for, it is highly unlikely that there is anymore blood to squeeze from that rock. Some might call this extortion.

The APFO chart requires five votes to pass and last night the vote was four in favor and three opposed. Brian, Cindy Vailancourt, and Allen Dyer all voted against approving the new chart. Ellen Flynn Giles, Janet Siddiqui, Sandra French and Frank Aquino voted to pass the chart.

Yesterday Brian won and the parents, students, and teachers at Wilde Lake Middle School lost.

Earlier this week I had a conversation with one of Brian's estranged former business partners at Salugen, a Dr. Kenneth Blum. Dr. Blum described Brian to me as the "worst human being you want to know." Some HoCo loco parents may soon find themselves in agreement with that sentiment.
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CORRECTION: I mistakenly noted that Frank Aquino voted for the APFO chart. He didn't because he was not in attendance. The fourth vote in favor was actually Tomi Williams, the student member of the board.
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