Archive for category Fayne’s Potluck Stew

I’ll make the Time

I continue to be asked, “what do you think”, “what would you do”, “where have you been”, or “is there something that smell in the District?”.

My first statement is that three board members should resign, Gary Dahn, Michael Dahn and Bob McWilliams.   Why? because they were there during the period when the district’s funds (our funds) were either missed used or what ever the final determination will be.  Listen to the tapes during the past three year’s budget discussions.  They were there and agreed, voting for the expenditures, approving some type of budget.  All during those years the district continued to spend on STUFF.  Remember who were Dr Cullen’s supporters those years, who just smiled and agreed.  Then things changed, we really don’t know what changed.  The word “ACCOUNTABILIY” appears to be a forgotten word.  “I didn’t know”, when they should have does not mean it’s OK.  When you accept the responsibility, and they did when they ran and won, they should also stand up for the screw-ups.

Now the word is that this board and a few others in the past has over/missed spent $2,000,000 plus, that’s millions.   Many of the citizens has been raising the flags, asking what is the long term plan, the answer was always, we need it, other schools have them, we need to move into the future or finally Schreiver want it.  The District now has a lighted football field, IPods, laptops, increase in employees, soccer field, new water wells and a feed the community program.  I have been here a number of years and have heard so many time that the food/feeding programs was making money and now I understand it may be losing money these years; not making money.

Now, a new budget that over spends by over 300,000 dollars.  How can an organization pass and agree on a budget that spends more than it is forecasted to make, it does not.  The board members has a responsibility to manage our tax dollars.  They took an oath, they failed and they should take responsibility for that failure.  Past weeks Ranchland’s article seem to read that the board is “proud” of the new budget; but what did they say no to.  Isn’t it time to feel the pain.  Calhan did this past year.  What is District 22 doing, appears like they are still spending or wasting our tax dollars.  The wrong lesson is being taught hear, stop writing bad checks, live within the money we give you, that is the lesson this board should be teaching.   Until this and future boards understand that they are there to insure that our children receive a good education, preparing for the future, I will never support any bond or additional monies.   I will always say NO, until they get it right.

On the Open Superintendent position, no I don’t feel that Mr Smith should be hired.  He to was here during this period.  Start with a clean slat.  The entire District 22 is at fault, even the citizens/patents.  We should have stopped it, called the law.  It is our dollars, we should demand accountability.



Integrity in Leadership


I’m Sorry………will be Better

Yes, I have been lazy in posting.  Been working on my website and collecting writings but not releasing my concerns until my blog.  I will be better.  A lot of things are happening around Ellicott, the fire, schools, the district, politics and some happy things.

As a calendar entry, we will be hosting a town hall on the 18th of March at the Community Center (Bingo hall) in Ellicott.  Currently we have

County Commissioner Longinos Gonzalez, State Representative Paul Lundeen, Sheriff Bill Elder, District Attorney Dan May, Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman, Public Works Jim Reid, that will be attending.  So write down you questions and get them answered.  Meeting will start at 6:30pm.  Seating is limited so ……..


Integrity in Leadership

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A few years ago some California’s tries to get a law pasted to join Mexico.  After reading this let’s try it again.  This will fry you. Pelosi is dumber than a rock. Last night she said that what sanctuary cities in Ca. are doing is not illegal. She also has said it isn’t costing the tax payer’s a dime. She is right it is costing millions.



Interesting  that the LA Times did this.  Lou Dobbs reported this on CNN and it cost him his job.  The only network we would see this on would be FOX.  All the others are staying away from it.  Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, this should be of great interest to you! Just One State – be sure and read the last part…
If this doesn’t open your eyes, nothing will!

From the L.A. Times.

1.  40% of all workers in LA County (10.2 million people) are  working for cash; and not paying taxes.  This is because  they are predominantly illegal immigrants, working without a  green card.

2.  95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.

3.  75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.

4.  Over 2/3 of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal, whose births were paid for by taxpayers.

5.  Nearly 35% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals; they are here illegally.

6.  Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.

7.  The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.


  1. Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.
  2. 21 radio stations in LA are Spanish-  speaking.

    10.  In LA County, 5.1 million people speak English; 3.9 million, speak Spanish.  (There are 10.2 million people, in LA County.

    (All 10 of the above facts were published in the Los Angeles Times)

    Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops, but 29% are on welfare.  Over 70% of the United States’ annual population growth, (and over 90% of California, Florida and New York), results from immigration.  Also, 29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens.

    We  are fools for letting this continue.



Fayne Mc Dowell

Integrity in Leadership

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Chef is back at Work

Well the Chef is back! It has been a strange and filled fall.  A few trips and a rebuilt shoulder and here we are just about in, 2017.  I hope everyone had a great Christmas and will have a safe and positive new year.  The nation will need our prays and support, remember give Change a Chance.

I believe a lot of you know some Ellicottors that have had some health issues they also need our prays and a hug when you see them. We all need hugs in life.

Now, to another sad issues. Have you read last week’s Ranchland?  I have a few more School board recordings to listen too; but the best word I would use is “lost”.  Mr Hill must have seen the same in his three articles, in a single paper!  “Crisis Funding”, is this a new term for District 22? The Chef hates to make this statement but he will; “I told them so”.

Let’s take a brief look at the past six month’s agendas, what stands out? Spending , spending on “make us feel good things”.  There are at least two, maybe three members whose priority seems to be only “sports”.  Then there are two that seem to drift among “things”.  Sometimes it is difficult to understand in what direction this board and Superintendent are leading our district.  This is my opinion, this district is “dancing” to two types of music; (1) the non-english speaking students, (2) Schriever Air Force Base.  I ask; what happens to the other students?

Those that have been diners at the Potluck, you will remember all the past discussions concerning “budgeting”. The district continues to dump money, our money into a sink hole.  Now the district is creating a “Rural Outreach Task Force”. First; what is the mission of this task force and program. The district seems to be moving toward a Left leaving, “let’s take care of everyone.” If one would read the mission/purpose of a school district, providing money and food to those in need isn’t there. Could this be illegal?  Just how much has the board members donated to this program, their personal dollars, how much has the Superintendent, Principals, Teachers donated? It is a wonderful idea as long as it is some one else’s money.  Assisting the less fortunate is the responsibility of individuals, churches and government programs. This group manages our tax dollars; wrong, they are spending it. I would like to know why this superintendent and school board feels that the school district should take care of the community, isn’t the mission just to educate our children?

Let me again state how this district should create/manage the district’s budget.

(first) task the Superintendent to submit a budget for district administration, district’s personnel cost (salaries and benefits) and any contracts.

(second) task each principal to develop a budget for their schools.

(third) task the sports director to submit a sport budget for each sport.

(fourth) the school board creates a non-education program/projects budget.

(fifth) task the transportation director, food director to develop budgets for their function.

(sixth) task the CFO to develop a bottom line, overall dollar amount. The draft budget should not be shared until the Board reviews the drafts of all tasked functions. During the review, the hard work is to make all organization’s draft budget met the CFO bottom line.  If not it goes back.

Each function must include, everything from paper towels to software, computers, desk, paper, pencils, anything/everything. The first yearly budget will be hard, but afterwards not so hard. If a function bust their budget during the year, the only way they can get additional funds is to get another function to move dollars or the school board reviews and votes to fund or not. This is the only way businesses fund themselves. You hold those in charge responsible and accountable for each and every dollar we the taxpayers provides to them.

Once the budget is approved the CFO creates a functional account, deposits the approved amount into that functions account. Then that manager is held accountable, with the CFO providing the board a status report, 25%, 50%, 75% and Red line status. If a manager over spends, fire them.

“Loosey-goosey spending”, “crisis funding”; why are we here? Who is watching the hen house, 12 wolves?

Integrity in Leadership



PS… Just received and read the Dec 29 Ranchland, more defining statements by the District’s board members, “the state’s exciting school funding is unfair”.  Then another extreme statement from the Board President: “Hickenlooper administration’s recent actions “creative financing”.  Let’s look back a few years, the state on Colorado has been discussing the reduction of educational funding and the need to review policies.  Let’s also point out the state has been run by Democrats.  I don’t remember a single board member out supporting a change in the states leadership.  I wonder if and who they supported.   Again Dr Cullen states, “Colorado school districts to serve “at risk” students and to serve “students of poverty” should be funded accordingly.  Again I ask, what is the role of our school districts?  Dr Cullen then points the underfunding finger at those of us, and there were many that voted no Amend 66 (66% to 33%).  It is so surprising that individuals that are in charge of an organization that is poorly managed always points to the taxpayer to bail them out.  Dr Cullen again states, “it was residents in affluent districts voted to defeat the measure.”  I will soon know just how many El Paso county residents said NO, about the same 66%, I bet.  Those that voted No maybe tired of funding poorly managed functions.

Look at the Dec 22, Ranchland article, Student Count down at Ellicott, 50% of the paragraphs talk about spending educational dollars, but we foresee a funding issue, seems to be a disconnect.  Now the board is going to up the mil level, it is time for the citizens to stand up and demand accountability.

Another question I have, the district speaks of a vocation program, I fully support a rural district having a voc program, but why is so much attention placed on the welding program? Now discussion of increasing the welding facilities.  Has anyone research the demands for welders in the Colorado area?  Just a brief look finds very few positions.  Now let’s look at auto repair, heating and cooling, construction, medical and transportation.  The papers are full of positions.  Welding is fun but I estimate 1 in 50 can find a job that can support a family.  Is anyone looking at the value?

My final statement in this posting is that we are in changing times and we must change with the times or fail. If you were asked football or another teacher, a soccer field or a science lab, sidewalks or a math teacher, computers for everyone or a up-to-date computer lab.  Folks we are going to have to make some hard decisions, members of this board has failed to and will fail to educate our children, but we will have lights on the football field for those two football games, great management.

Back in the saddle again.

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What would I do?

May I first discuss another subject, the wonderful country we live in. A number of years ago I read a small book call, “Following my Bucket List”. If you don’t understand the term “bucket list”, it is just a personal list of thing you would like to do before God calls you home.  I, personally limited my list to 25 item, I complete some and remove them and then replace them.  Many of the items on my list are places to visit or things to do.  Some are places to go fly fishing, other are places where our history took place.  While I travel I have my eyes open as to the many beautiful places in our nation.  There are so many places,I might love to live.  I just found another; Jackson, Wyoming, not just the city, but land fifty miles north-west and the south end of the Great Teton National Park.  I always look at a restate book for ranches or land; I always find that special piece of heaven on earth.  This one is 3000 acres of a 86-year-old cattle ranch, one owner family.  A river runs through it, hay fields and well maintained ranch house and beautiful trees.  Just below the Teton mountains, so I will be playing the lotto.  All I need is 9 million give or take a few dollars.  Checking my notes; if I hit the jackpot and bought all the places I love I only need 122 million that would allow me to own 11 places.  Do you have a bucket list?  Everyone should take the time as life moves along.  My next check off is 7 days in the Everglades, sounds great.

Now back to the community. I was at one of our newest business, Subway and had a discussion with a parent of a D22 student, who was also a student in past years and she asked me if I was supporting the efforts the district was making toward becoming a support center for the county.  She stated that she had read some of my post but did not completely understanding where the Chef stood.  Then within an hour another parent ask me, basely the same questions, so here is where I stand.

God tells us that we should offer a helping hand to our fellow citizens.  I do not believe that it is our district’s responsibility to take care of our fellow citizens.  It is the responsibility of the school district to provide a safe place to educate our children, educate our children and prepare them for the future.  It is not a school district responsible to feed individuals or provide food supplies to the community.   A school district is not a social organization whose mission is to “change the social structure of its’ community.  It is also not the school district’s responsibility to provide summer daycare.  If we want to provide activity for our children, then have summer school.  The Wing Commander of Schriever AFB has stated that the air base community would prefer having school on Friday because it causes difficulty in providing daycare for the parents.   If the Air Base wants summer daycare, let them provide it.  Our district is rated  below the 50% level, we have a long ways to go in giving our children a higher level of education.  Every dollar and ever asset should be directed at education, not community enhancement.  If there is a need outside education, it should be addressed to the El Paso county.  Ellicott is not a city, it is a community.  This district is one of the lucky ones, we do have a reserve fund, but if you listen to the meetings income is going downward not upward.     Tax money is collected for a purpose, in this case for the education of our children.  The Impact Aid is a replacement funding for federal lands that do not pay school/property tax.  It is to be used the same.  It is not military children monies, it is an “impact tax” based on not receiving tax dollar from the military lands.

We have a food bank, we have more than 10 churches in the community, we have individuals collecting money, clothing and food for fellow citizens.  So it is not a function that isn’t being addressed.  If the school board directors and Dr Cullen feels the need to support their fellow citizens, give of your time at the food bank, donate “your” money, go to church and give.  This is just my opinion, but I don’t believe they are doing anything but spending educational dollars on “stuff”.



Integrity in Leadership


PS:  I copied this from the DOE’s website, I don’t see summer trips, sport events or summer daycare as a program, that we should be spending TAX dollars on.  Impact dollars is not just for the military children it is to pay-back the fact that the federal government pays no property/school taxes.  It is to refund for the impact of having federal land in your district. and the requirement to provide schooling to federal children.


“How do school districts use Impact Aid?

Most Impact Aid funds, except for the additional payments for children with disabilities and construction payments, are considered general aid to the recipient school districts; these districts may use the funds in whatever manner they choose in accordance with their local and State requirements. Most recipients use these funds for current expenditures, but recipients may use the funds for other purposes such as capital expenditures. Some Impact Aid funds must be used for specific purposes. All payments are distributed by wire transfer directly to the bank accounts of school districts.

School districts use Impact Aid for a wide variety of expenses, including the salaries of teachers and teacher aides; purchasing textbooks, computers, and other equipment; after-school programs and remedial tutoring; advanced placement classes; and special enrichment programs. Payments for Children with Disabilities must be used for the extra costs of educating these children”

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Hello and Lets get out the Paint

Sorry it has been awhile but there has been a lot going on.  Most not good.  Have you thought that things could not get any worst, then it does.  District 22 is.  I have been discussing a recall.  There are at least two that need/most go.  The President has zero leadership skills.  We must remember that three are the board members vote/agreed to all that they are now screaming about.  We are wondering why the community isn’t behind them,, have they forgotten what they have done to the community?  They were the first family I was warned about and now they can’t understand why some of the leading families have separated from the community.  It is hard for me to stay involved because ….. but I’m like  “Smoke Jensen”, I want the good folks to win, half the fun is the fight.  I guess we will start the SOS group again, lets let the county see the picture.



Integrity in Leadership


Facing Disappointments

Sorry thought I had posted this a few days ago!


Wouldn’t the world be a wonderful place; if we all could see into the future?

Have you listened to any of the recent school board meetings? The May meetings must have consumed over 10 hours in three separate meetings.  Then we wonder why no one attends.  The regular meeting May 19 was 5 plus hours and they still failed to do anything dealing with education.  There was 13 discussion items and 20 action items.  Then they must have added 5 or 6 more items.  Mr William stated that he was not prepared to issue Dr Cullen a Letter of Reprimand because he had not read it; because he just received it.  This board continues to change agenda item the day before, what happened to the informing the citizens?  Listen to Mr M Dahn (under his breath) say, “why don’t you know the status of……..”.  The board needs to make a list of the things the Dahn board and the Hudson board passed to the Superintendent.  Isn’t Dr Cullen’s job educating the Ellicott children?  Not deciding whether to dig a well or not?

I’m not for wasting money, but it is getting close to discussing a RECALL. If you haven’t attend or listened to a board meeting you must.  It is like a playground augment.  Both the Dahn’s act as if they were elected yesterday, they question ever thing as if they never heard of anything that happened the last couple of years.  Remember they served in the Hudson period.  Example:  the renting of the farm-house, G Dahn acted as if he never hear of the agreement with the teacher, he needs to look back at his email I sent him;  Wed 5/7/2014 7:13 PM.  I asked the board and Dr Cullen, what were the rules.

My suggestion to the board is slow down, way too much on the table.  What the board is trying to do is embarrass Dr Cullen and others, but; they are only embarrassing themselves.  The wrong way to run the insane asylum.

Also I believe that the Board is wrong as to how they ask the administration for information.  Mr G Dahn stated that the Board members has the right to all district records and information and can request it at any time.  He based this from information gain from the lawyers.  I believe he is wrong and miss heard the lawyers.  Based on the state law and guidelines there are two ways to use the word “board.” The Board refers to all five as a group, board member is one person.  The Board is so very wrong when they stated that any board member can ask/demand information from any district employee.  This is wrong, only the Board can request/demand stuff from the district’s employees.  Listen to the board meetings all five of the Board request information, some making calls,  walk in request, and at board meetings.  Request for information should be a Board request, a discussion and then an action to make the former request.  This is (1) to manage the requests, (2) to ensure that the Board is 100% informed of the total requests being made.  No single board member has the right to make a request, it must be a formal request by vote by the Board.  I do not believe that each board member has the authority to call the superintendent and tell him to provide whatever, but this is what is happening.  The administration is doing nothing but responding to individual’s request.  Some request are silly.



Integrity in Leadership


A Special Day

I just finished watching the Memorial Day Ceremony, it was sobering and touching. Today is a special day for me, a day to remember the 16 brothers that served with me that gave their “all”.  The jungle of Vietnam, the streets of Panama and the desert of Iraq, places that claimed the best we have.  I believe every family has at least one that we honor today.  We here is the Springs have a great honor to say thanks to the many in uniform and those that have served, so please say thanks.   Take those extra steps to reach out your hand to shake their hand.   We are free because others have served and paid the highest price, their life’s.  Just a single word, Thanks



Integrity in Leadership

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Thank you, to Hanover’s High School

The past Friday two Hanover Seniors came to my home to WORK for three hours chopping cactus out of my pastures.  Two very polite and impressive young men.  The first thing they did was to introduce themselves, shook our hands and started to work.  The seniors were supporting a hire a senior program to support their senior trip.   The trip is to visit and work (cleaning the beaches) at Galveston Texas.  Thank you guys it was my pleasure to met you both, good luck in the future.  It was great to see young folks working to reach a goal; not just with an open hand.


Integrity in Leadership

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What is going on in OUR school district and OUR country?

First to our school district; have you read the latest “Thunderhawks’ Voice”? We have a “Rural School system” that has issue with educating our children; but just can’t stop getting involved is every social program it can.  Just what is the mission of  District 22, I’m confused?  I guess the citizen’s of Ellicott should ask the five members of the school board.  It appears we have become a social left leaning organization.  Front page: Summer Recreational Program, Summer Mobile Pantry and Free lunches during the summer.  Are we having summer school, are we advancing the education of any of our children?  Listen to the recordings of the last six board meetings, jot down the number of discussion dealing with education, advancing the ability of the children of Ellicott or preparing the children for their futures.  This district has a superintendent that continues to create THINGS , outside the scope of education.  We have a school board that spends hours searching for what.  Spending hours deciding whose job it is to manage Mr Chisman.  It is amazing that this district continues to want to be a junior District 20 or 11.  I’ll ask and parents should also ask: How many Ellicott graduate’s have complete a 4 year advance degree program? But we will soon have a great soccer field.  We have a principal that has a very poor attendance record, another that is well lets say a question mark.  The district has three current board members that voted to extend the superintendent’s contract but now wants him gone, we have three board members that miss spent $500,000.00 impacting the general fund account.  The school board needs to get back on track or resign.  This district is doing everything to replace the responsibly of our children’s parents.  Another question:  why is this district trying so hard to become a “big” school?  What is wrong with being a “great” rural school.  More to follow.

Now on to the country. I guess it depends on who you ask but 53% of the voting public (GOP) has selected Donald to be our GOP candidate.  If someone had asked me to place a bet on Donald being our selectee, I would have said no-way it will be a losing bet.  But I am a republican and there is no-way I could ever vote for the other side so now I’ll remove my Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz’s yard signs/bumper signs.  Replacing them with “Making America Great Again”.  I have heard many of my friends saying I want vote, well that is wrong, that like giving two votes to Hillary, we can’t do that.  We must keep the House and win the Senate.  Wrap the pill in cheese and shallow it, you will feel better.

I just returned from 10 great days visiting the 50th state and watching my youngest son get married. The islands are a great place and full of beauty and great folks; but it is great to be home.

Now back to the District.   Let me say I have never been a Cullen supporter, did not support the hiring of a superintendent just because he had a Dr in front of his name; never supported the expanded pay check he received, never supported the multi-contracts he received, but now.  We must remember that three members of this current board voted to extend his contract for multi years.  These three individuals G. Dahn, M. Dahn and McWilliams also just above average evals concerning his performance.  These same individuals assigned him most of the projects they are now complaining about.  It was the Hudson’s board that gave up their responsibilities to the Superintendent.  It was the Hudson board and now the Dahn board that stepped aside and let the superintendent run the district.  Now; these same folks openly criticize him for things they gave him to do.

Another issue, has the Board Members ever listen to a meeting tape? I guess I’m use to different types of meetings.  It sounds like a group of kids fighting over time on the screen.  People stepping on each other, rambling on-and-on and side stepping answers/providing junk.  Example: listen to the Apr working section the Audit individual and the CFO, that is why the citizens see that the board isn’t getting anything done. 10,000 words to answer a two-word question.

Another surprise is Schriever making statements that there would like the District to go to a 5 day school week. Reason; so the parent would not have to pay for day-care; not of more contact time.  The board also discussed moving folks off the main table, but were confused as to what to do with the AF non-voting person, do they sit at the table with the elected board or with the Superintendent.  Again a bad mistake impacting the thought process.  Why don’t we demand a non-voting chair for the citizens of Ellicott, at least we could voice our positions on things.  Maybe a parent chair or a pass student chair or a drop out chair.

Another statement made by many is, “we are a rural school district, we are not district 21”. So true; we should adjust to the needs of a rural population, meeting the needs of children in a rural community.  Surprise: why are we chasing everything else besides “improvements”



Integrity in Leadership

P.S.  It is only 10:00 am and three phone calls asking the same question:  “where is the money coming from?”  A great question!  Is the school board using educational dollars to operate a food pantry?  Using federal educational funds to operate a summer day care program?  Using our taxes to operate a food bus service?  The district has federal/state funds to operate a student food program, is it being used to pay for all the expanded service or can it.   Who is paying the bus drivers, who is paying for the use of the buses, where is the money for the utilities, the manpower.  I was also asked, “do I understand that there is a need?  Yes, I do; but it may not be the way to do it.  I respond by asking this question; “Is it the Educational system’s responsibility to correct social ills”.   My opinion is NO.  It is the community’s and the churches.  Is it the SCHOOL district’s responsibility to set up a medical program?    Again listen to the board meeting’s recordings, they want the best soccer field, the nicest baseball field, the brightest football stadium and radar signs; but we are still in the bottom 50% of Colorado’s schools.  If we want to keep the kids busy during the summer let’s go to a year around school program.