I have been out of town for a while and while reviewing past issues of The Albany Herald, I saw an article by Terry Lewis entitled “Griffin supports school chief, but not new contract.” This article prompted a number of memories after spending 12 years on the School Board. I feel compelled to respond.
One of my earliest encounters with the “Reverend” James Bush occurred during my second campaign for the at-large School Board position. He called my office to let me know that somehow he had intercepted an anonymous letter sent to the Albany Journal. The contents of the letter, if published could hurt my chances for re-election. Bush informed me that purchasing $250 of campaign advertising in the Journal would prevent the inflammatory letter from being published. I purchased the unnecessary advertising and the letter was never published (in the Journal, at least).
Bush narrowly defeated Dean C.W. Grant who was a competent and dedicated board member. As soon as he came on board, it became readily apparent that he was lazy, incompetent and politically devious. For most board meetings, Bush arrived with a gym bag wearing a baseball cap. He consistently showed his contempt for meetings by making derogatory comments about their length or leaning his chair back to whisper to other board members while a meeting was in progress. Bush often dismissed himself early from regularly scheduled meetings because of a “previous engagement.” When the board had a problem with system bus drivers, Bush as Transportation Chair, delegated his responsibility for writing a final report to a more competent committee member.
The Aug. 8 article states: “After the board emerged from executive session to take the vote, board member Milton ‘June Bug’ Griffin voted against the resolution while board member James Bush left the building before the vote was taken.” Why does this not surprise me? This is the very same guy who voted to give himself a 400 percent pay raise! What a colossal waste of taxpayer money. The voters in his district deserve better than Bush. Voters beware!
RICHARD H. ANSON