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Response to Pasciak article featured in The Buffalo News 6/24/19

Ms. Pasicak,

I will be brief because the broken record of the newspaper’s CAO coverage keeps skipping to the same tired note.

Whatever journalism ethics you and the paper once had seem to have evaporated. At no time did you say that the CAO’s hiring of JWE was approved by the Office of Head Start of HHS, despite me telling you that. Why? Because if you said that, you’d have no story.

As it is, the aspersions you cast are so weak. J. Walker Enterprise (JWE) has worked for 253 Head Start programs, and you called 10?! I don’t know what the needs were of other Head Starts. We grew from 1,700 students to 2,700 students in a two-year period, at the same time HHS was mandating higher credentialing of our teaching and childcare staff. At least $700,000 of the $1.7 million you highlight was for tuition payments for students enrolled in the Child Development Associate’s certification program, something I told you previously. The per student tuition cost was $1,850/student versus the $2,400/student cost charged by college-based programs in our area. I told you this as well.

After refusing for five months to cite anything from the S&S audit that contradicted your many false accusations, you now use it to confirm something we already told you, that we are looking to bid the work.

You don’t say JWE is an MBE; you didn’t call and/or report what any of the 253 programs said about JWE’s work. Might 225 out of 253 praised it, benefitted from it?

And, finally, you fail to provide the context I gave you in my response: That $140,000 a year spent on training, staff, parent and program development (excluding tuition payments) for a $33 million annual program is reasonable. The Head Start budgets in Rochester and Salt Lake City are 60 – 70% of ours. Of course you would expect their spending pattern to be smaller than ours. HHS did approve our contractual services with JWE. We had a lot to do and a short time to do it in.

You then repeat the same tired lie that the “Board of the CAO voted to fire L. Nathan Hare.” You already know that a faction of the Board attempted to terminate me through an illegally called meeting, and that a large majority of the full Board set that faction’s action aside literally 7 days later.

But that’s just another unfortunate truth you avoid telling readers because it messes up your entire false premise.

If we move forward and hire people to work in-house on training, do you honestly think we could find three or four people for less than $140,000 a year? You couldn’t hire two reporters for less than that.

I’d turn this into a letter to the editor, but for your own embarrassed reasons, you wouldn’t run it – since it exposes your bias and lack of professionalism and ethics.

L. Nathan Hare