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After Trustee Friedman Buys “Second” Home in B-ham, AA BOE Meeting Attendance Rate Plummets to 17.8 Percent

Going to work 72 percent of the time is enough is get most employees reprimanded and, if there were no improvement, fired. Showing up at work 17.8 percent of the time is enough to get an employee canned even faster. Ann Arbor Board of Education member Randy Friedman was recently quoted in a piece posted to AnnArbor.com by writer David Jesse, as saying, “…The purchase of a home in Birmingham shouldn’t disqualify him from serving on the school board since he still owns a home in Ann Arbor.” Since it’s a second home, it does not, in fact, legally disqualify him from serving. Friedman also was quoted as saying, “I don’t have to have my kids in the district to care for education in Ann Arbor,” Friedman said. This may be true, as well, though certainly among district parents who commented on the AnnArbor.com site, as well as A2Politico, there is some disagreement about this. 

What Friedman was saying, in essence, is that the July 2009 purchase of the second home in Birmingham so ease the commute time to school at Detroit Country Day for his four children, does not impact his ability or desire to serve on the Ann Arbor Board of Education. 

Attendance records posted to the Board of Education web site show that as far as Friedman is concerned the political spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. His attendance at regularly scheduled Board of Education meetings prior to the purchase of his “second” home was 72 percent. He was there more often than not, but compared to other trustees his absences at board meetings, executive meetings, committee meetings and study sessions stands out.

It’s not until we look at Friedman’s attendance record beginning in July 2009, shortly after he purchased what he told AnnArbor.com’s David Jesse was a “second” home, that we get a better idea of the impact the purchase of the house has had on Friedman’s performance as the Treasurer of the Board of Education. Friedman refused to divulge to the AnnArbor.com reporter how many nights a weeks he and his family stay in the B-ham home as opposed to their home in Ann Arbor.

Beginning in July 2009, Randy Friedman’s attendance at regularly scheduled Board of Education meetings, committee meetings, executive meetings and study sessions plummeted. Over the course of the past five months, since the purchase of his house, Friedman has attended only 1.25 out of 7 meetings. He arrived at one 7 p.m. meeting at 7:50 and the meeting ended at 8:15 p.m.  

Clearly, Randy Friedman’s attendance at only 17.8 percent of BOE meetings since the purchase of his “second” home at which he spends an undisclosed number of evenings, is adversely impacting his ability to serve the parents and students of the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Board of Education Treasurer Randy Friedman is now absent from meetings most of the time, and at a particularly critical moment in the district’s financial struggles.

Below you’ll find the 2007, 2008, 2009 meeting dates and Friedman’s attendance noted.

FRIEDMAN SWORN IN ON JULY 9,  2007

REGULAR Board of Education meeting attendance:

 

July 7, 2007: Trustee Friedman was sworn in (Present)

 

September 5, 2007: Present

 

September 19, 2007: Absent

 

October 24, 2007: Absent (Skyline Study Session)

 

November 14, 2007: Absent

 

November 28, 2007: Present

 

December 12, 2007: Present

 

January 9, 2008: Present

 

January 23, 2008: Absent

 

February 20, 2008: Present

 

March 12, 2008: Present

 

March 26, 2008: Present

 

April 16, 2008: Present

 

April 30, 2008: Absent

 

May 14, 2008: Present

 

May 28, 2008: Present

 

June 11, 2008: Present

 

June 18, 2008: Present

 

18 Total Meetings: 

 

PRESENT AT 13 MEETINGS

ABSENT FROM 5 MEETINGS

 

Attendance rate: 72 percent

 

JULY 2009: FRIEDMAN PURCHASES HOME IN BIRMINGHAM, MI

July 8, 2009: Absent


August 19, 2009: Absent

 

September 9, 2009: Present

 

September 23, 2009: Absent


October 1, 2009: Absent

 

October 14, 2009: Present (arrived at 7:50 p.m. Meeting began at 7:04 and adjourned at 8:15 p.m.)

 

October 28, 2009: Absent

 

7 Meetings:

 

PRESENT AT 1.25 MEETING

ABSENT FROM 5.75 MEETINGS

 

Attendance rate: 17.8 percent

 

2009 Perfomance Committee Meetings

 

September 17, 2009: Absent

 

1 Meeting:

 

PRESENT AT 0 MEETINGS

ABSENT FROM 1 MEETING

 

Attendance rate: 0 percent

 

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Short URL: http://www.a2politico.com/?p=1815

6 Comments for “After Trustee Friedman Buys “Second” Home in B-ham, AA BOE Meeting Attendance Rate Plummets to 17.8 Percent”

  1. [...] In short, no one with philosophical differences to those held by the current Board members need apply. After all, the last thing we want on Boards representing the interests of the taxpayers are individuals with potentially differing viewpoints. I found it profoundly disturbing that the current Board members counseled BOE Treasurer Randy Friedman not to resign when he purchased a second home in Birmingham so his children would have a shorter commute to the private school they attend there. This act showed quite clearly that this group of people wouldn’t hesitate to put personal relationships above the good of the District, parents, students and taxpayers. Why do I say this? Not a single one of them made a peep after Friedman’s attendance rate at board meetings, committee meetings and study sessions plummeted to an abysmal 17.8 percent after his purchase of his Birmingham home. I wrote about Friedman’s attendance record here. [...]

  2. If he doesn’t go to meetings, he should resign. But he seems to have his primary residence in Ann Arbor, and I actually think it’s a good thing for people who don’t have kids in the public schools to serve on the school board. After all, everybody pays taxes to the schools, whether they have kids in the system or not.

  3. As long as he shows up to vote “yes” on the teacher contract, then there will be no complaints from the public school watchers. Regardless of his attendance, he will not be recalled (a usual tactic) by the MEA since votes yes!

    Being on the school board gives him leverage with the MEA–MESSA for his drug business
    so as long as he makes the contract vote meeting and gives the MEA everything that they want (regardless if we can afford it or not), he is the golden child and darling of the district. What is not to love!

  4. What “contribution” is Trustee Friedman making when he’s not attending the Board meetings, committee meetings or study sessions? Thanks to A2Politico for thinking to look at this! AnnArbor.com quoted what Friedman said and A2P looked at what Friedman has been doing (for longer than the last few months). At a time when the District is in a financial crisis, the Treasurer is gone missing. I simply cannot believe the other BOE member told him not to resign. I guess it doesn’t matter, then, if a trustee even goes to the meetings. Sheesh.

  5. There are people willing to say he is an asset to the board.

    I think he left the board, like he left town and his kids left the school district.
    It would be in everyone’s best interest if he resigned, because performance like that is intolerable, and many, many hard decisions lie ahead, and the taxpayers and the AAPS staff and children deserve to have a board member’s full attention during the next few years.

    He has moved on, he has his reasons, and that’s fine. However, there are always consequences in life, and far better he face up to the fact he doesn’t have strong interest in being on the board of education anymore, as evidence by his life choices and his attendence, than everyone having to deal with that problem.

  6. They don’t happen to get paid mileage to drive to the board meetings, do they?

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