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The Bloodletting Continues

Another Administrator Bites the Dust

The Desert Independent

March 11, 2017

BLYTHE, Calif – In an e-mail to the Board and staff of the Palo Verde Unified School District, Supt. Charles Bush made a terse announcement that the Director of Maintenance, Operations and Transportation (MOT) was placed on Administrative Leave effective Friday morning with no mention of an end date. Marty Braden was to have been "called on the carpet" for another round of harassment. However, Mr. Braden beat Mr. Bush to the punch and paid a visit to his physician on Thursday who then signed off on a medical leave as his stress levels were way too high. Mr. Braden can now join with his wife, Val Braden, the Business Director who has been on stress leave herself since last November. Mr. Braden is in good company as our erstwhile Superintendent seems to want to truncate the careers of anyone more competent in their jobs than he is.

Marty and Val Braden both came to the district after selling their business in Canada and settling into Blythe as permanent "snowbirds”. They have become assets to this community since their move here over ten years ago. Mr. Braden oversaw the construction of the new Felix J. Appleby Elementary School, bringing it in on time and under budget. He also wrote a successful grant with the State for $2 million to create an Olympic calibre swimming pool. The new and improved football field and rubberized track were built under his aegis as well.

Val Braden started out in the district in the Personnel Office running the classified employees and their benefits. She left us for a short while to become the Business Director in Lancaster USD where she oversaw a $250 million yearly budget. Very competent and classy, she returned to Blythe when the local office had a vacancy for a director and has had perfect audits ever since. The need for consultants from Vavrinek, Trine and Day was diminished as she was able to complete the initial budget as well as the P-1, P-2 and P-3 reports on her own.

The e-mail from Mr. Bush to the staff announcing Mr. Braden's leave is as follows:

Our Director of Facilities and Operations is out on an extended medical leave effective today. While it may be a bit bumpy as we transition to the loss, for most of you it will be business as usual. However, items that would normally go to Marty for approval will now come to me. Please be patient as I am sure that the additional workload will be difficult to adjust to, but I gladly accept gentle reminders and I promise that I will get things done as quickly as possible. We have great Supervisors in this department who have my full confidence. We will be relying heavily on them to get us through the transition. All of the staff who work in this department are excellent and I know that we will navigate through these rough waters and arrive safely on the other side.

Thank you all for the great work that you do everyday.

The Braden’s have a retirement home in Phoenix and both will be recovering from their ordeal with Mr. Bush, there.

As the deadline for non-renewals of contracts (March 15) is fast approaching, one can easily see the effects of workplace stress on the faces of the achievers in this district. Yet again, we call on the Board to protect the employees of this district from the clutches of megalomaniacs such as Mr. Bush. There may well be a special board meeting yet again to "clean house" of the experienced and well-qualified of the district. That date and time will be published as soon as we receive such an announcement.

Mr. Bush has been widely quoted as saying that "this board overreaches itself and needs to be put in its place." Please plan to attend whenever the meeting times are announced and ensure that Mr. Bush realizes his own place in the local cosmos.

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