Candidate Rosales Wasting School District Time and Money

Candidate Rosales Wasting School District Time and Money

In a bid to promote his own campaign, School Board candidate Tony Rosales has been issuing a series of attacks on the administration of the Great Falls School District.  While it probably takes Tony a few minutes to come up with his phony accusations, the district has clearly spent a lot of time and effort to set the record straight.  And that’s too bad, because the staff has more important things to do than replying to weird accusations from a wanna-be politician.

Is This Really How We Want School Personnel Spending Their Time?

The Electric published a good story that takes Rosales’ accusations point by point and covers the district’s response.  What becomes clear from this most recent story is that Rosales either doesn’t know what he is talking about or doesn’t care what the facts are, as long as he throws dirt on dedicated public employees to further his own political campaign.  Probably a bit of  both. For the complete story, follow this link to the Electric’s article.  https://theelectricgf.com/2024/04/10/gfps-responds-to-concerns-from-board-candidate/

One of Rosales’ central accusations against the district is that a staff member, Lance Boyd, sits on the board of Peace Place, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing respite care for disabled children.   Peace Place is a great program that gives parents time to do shopping and other tasks that can be very difficult for parents of kids with special needs.  Rosales asserted that this was a conflict of interest since other providers of similar services in the community did not get that “business” from the district, with the implication  being that funding was being channeled unfairly to Peace Place.  

Hey Tony, Who’s Got a Conflict of Interest?

Responding to questions from the Electric, Rosales said that he discovered this “conflict of interest” at a local meeting on autism and decided to challenge the district.  Rosales posted that it was a conflict of interest for Boyd to serve on the board, as the district refers students to Peace Place and pays for those services. He said that he heard about the situation from another provider who was at the meeting.”

The other provider, who was apparently complaining that he was not getting referrals from the district, is Kevin Leatherbarrow, the owner of Go and Grow.  The district explained that it was not referring to them, because Leatherbarrow had previously told him they did not want to accept federal funding which the district receives.

Tony Rosales is the Chair of the local Libertarian Party.  Leatherbarrow ran as a Libertarian for the Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2020.  Leatherbarrow has filed to run for the legislature in this election cycle, again as a Libertarian.  Rosales also filed to run for the legislature as a Libertarian in this cycle but withdrew, apparently to run for school board.  Tony Rosales is currently serving as Kevin Leatherbarrow’s campaign treasurer.  

If you liked the controversy and paralysis which took over county government after electing aggressive anti-government conspiracy theorists Rae Grulkowski and Sandra Merchant, you might want to consider voting for Tony Rosales. But if you want the school district to remain focused on its job, educating our kids, vote for Marlee Sunchild.

School Board Candidate Attacks GFPS Employee in Tik Tok Video

School Board Candidate Attacks GFPS Employee in Tik Tok Video

School Board Candidate Tony Rosales recently released a Tik Tok  video making vague allegations against a school district employee. Rosales notes that the employee is also on the board of Peace Place. He then questions if the superintendent and school district know about this educator’s affiliation with the nonprofit organization. He concludes by seemingly implying a conflict of interest as the Peace Place has “employees,” and, therefore, the school district employee has some sort of “obligation.”  While Rosales tries to frame this video as some sort of “gotcha,” his arguments don’t hold up to even the slightest scrutiny.

Firstly, volunteering is a good thing. Many educators also give their time to the community through volunteering, and serving on a board is one way to do that. Peace Place provides respite care for parents of children with disabilities and other qualifying needs. It’s a fantastic resource for caregivers, and it’s worthy of your support. Learn about their services here: https://peaceplacegf.com/

Now, on to Rosales’ concerns. The educator under fire is on a volunteer board for an organization that helps children. Supporting such organizations is highly consistent with the work educators already do. If an educator is aware of resources that could help a family, it’s appropriate to share those resources. As a volunteer, the educator isn’t receiving any personal financial benefit for connecting people with resources (if this is even occurring. Rosales offers no evidence of such, but the implication is there.) 

What’s more telling than the vague and ambiguous nature of Rosales’ accusations is Rosales’ own conduct in relation to the school and his campaign. Rosales volunteers with a GFPS Speech and Debate team. Rosales is presently running for the school board. In a display of hypocrisy, Rosales found it appropriate to use his volunteer role as an opportunity to further his political career. Rosales emailed numerous candidates and elected officials on behalf of the Speech and Debate team. In the email, he asks the invitees to participate in a “debate” event with his students. 

So let’s recap. According to Rosales, it’s inappropriate for a school employee to volunteer on a nonprofit board on his own personal time. However, it’s somehow totally appropriate for Rosales to use his volunteer role at the school to recruit politicians to speak at his event. Rosales’ behavior looks far more like a conflict of interest than the conduct of the school employee Rosales targeted. 

A final but compelling comparator is Rosales’ response to the city commission’s coming safety committee. This group is essentially a list of the current commissioner’s closest pals. The most glaring cronyism is seen with the appointment of Jeni Dodd. Dodd and Commissioner Rick Tryon are close collaborators, with both writing for the hate blog, E-City Beat. E City Beat. Dodd is equally cozy with Commissioner Joe McKenney McKinney. Now, despite a total lack of expertise and any relevant qualifications, Dodd will be giving input on of possible future levies and even budget management. Dodd’s presence on the committee is a fantastic example of an actual and alarming conflict of interest. Rosales is surely aware of this issue, as he too is slated to be on the committee. 

Rosales is clearly willing to throw an educator under the bus in the hopes of gaining popularity for his campaign. Yet, he doesn’t apply the same standard of conduct for himself, or his friends on the city commission. 

Should Rosales somehow be elected to the school board, how could he expect any GFPS employee to trust him?