Two board members, Kathleen Angelucci and Alison Bartlett, called for a board censure of another member, David Banks, for his conduct in using his position as school board member to elicit information from school officials about the activities of his opponents.
He wrote in his newsletter, dated July 7, that he contacted the schools which his opponents’ children would have attended, and could not validate any participation in school activities by either of his opponents. This was allegedly prompted by an MDJ article announcing that the Cobb County Association of Educators (CCAE) had endorsed one opponent (Lisa Hanson) based on her “activity” in education.
In a July 19 MDJ article, Banks said he contacted two principals of schools where Hanson’s children would have gone and asked them if they had ever heard of her. He further stated that those conversations took place about two months ago. That would have been around May 19.
Analyzing his responses to charges of misusing his position to gain information to prejudice voters against his opponents, I have come to the conclusion that, had the Ark had as many holes as his story, the only life forms on Earth would be flora.
On July 3, we were saddened by news of the death of beloved actor Andy Griffith. He was probably best known and most remembered as the lovable Andy Taylor, sheriff of Mayberry. However, to me, he will be most remembered as a crusty Southern lawyer named Ben Matlock.
As I attempted to sort out the many contradictions in the Banks saga, I wondered how he would fare should Ben Matlock be questioning him.
Matlock: Mr. Banks, you said on July 19 that you started checking on the candidates about two months ago, or around May19.
Was that prior to the qualification of Hanson, or after her May 23 qualification?
Banks: I don’t really recall.
Matlock: Well, here’s one maybe you can answer. You stated that you learned where Mrs. Hanson’s children went to school from newspaper accounts, yet she gave no such information to the papers. How do you explain that?
Banks: I don’t know.
Matlock: In your newsletter, on July 7, you stated that you started investigating Mrs. Hanson after she announced the she had been endorsed by the CCAE because of her “activity” in education. Since the phrase, “because of her activity” was not part of the MDJ announcement or her notification letter from CCAE, where did it originate?
Banks: I’m sure I heard it somewhere.
Matlock: Again, on July 19, you stated that your investigation was two months ago. Would you please clarify? When, exactly, did you start? Was it when she qualified on May 23 or after she was endorsed on July 3?
Banks: Could we come back to that question?
Matlock: Since your investigation was to determine Mrs. Hanson’s qualifications, based on her activity, as you put it, would you care to outline your own activity prior to being elected to this board, based partly on a promise you later broke?
Banks: That’s not a fair question. That was almost four years ago. You can’t expect me to remember that far back.
Matlock: Very well, Mr. Banks. I didn’t think you had any answers anyway. Let’s move on. You wrote, and/or quoted, a couple of lengthy tirades not only against CCAE but against teacher’s unions in general. Yet, according to your own disclosure, you received $1,000 from CCAE in October of 2008.
Another teachers union, Educators First, endorsed both you and Mrs. Hanson early in July. Did you return the money?
Is it also true that you contacted some of those unions earlier this year and asked what it would take to get their endorsement?
Banks: When are we going to talk about the new offices for the CCSD?
Matlock: Mr. Banks, while there is no tangible evidence that you involved Mrs. Hanson’ children in this chicanery, there is ample evidence that you misused your office and have not been totally honest in your responses.
What do you have to say for yourself?
Banks: Could we vote on the school calendar again?
Where is Ben Matlock when we need him?
Pete Borden is an amateur playwright and retired masonry contractor in east Cobb.