The Emperor of Aldersonville: Lakota becomes “The New Clothes”

Patti Alderson is a state-central-committee woman tied to many political heavy weights from Governor Kasich to John Boehner. She is one of the wealthiest citizens in Southern Ohio and is involved in many charities—and has been a major levy supporter for Lakota schools. Years ago my group No Lakota Levy offered to her charity The Community Foundation to join forces and help the children of Lakota and the pay for play extortion rates exhibited by the public school and their labor union. Instead of working with me as proposed, she decided to attack me which became the foundation of a media blitz led by her and her friends on the Lakota school board. When I heard what she said about my reaching out a helping hand I made my opinion of her type of levy supporters known—which of course she understood clearly and took all the offense that I intended. The rest is history. Reflecting on the matter I have come to believe that the real reason she was so angry with me wasn’t just the truth of my statements which conveniently found their way into every media outlet in Cincinnati. It was because I am likely the only person in America who does not kiss her ass. When it comes to Patti Alderson, politicians want her money, business people want her alliance, public employees want her ability to control the temperament of a community, and countless legions of parasites just want to be invited to her parties. Click the video below to hear my radio segment on 700 WLW talking about this issue. I was careful not to name names at the time of the interview, because at that time all the guilty parties were not so obvious. But over time, the pieces came together nicely.

When the deal was offered to the Community Foundation to join forces I wasn’t all that impressed by her reputation. Wealthy people like her put their pants on like everyone else, so I didn’t see anything coming from her as particularly special. To me, she was clearly playing politics when she refused to help the youth at Lakota by picking sides in favor of the levy supporters at the expense of the children attending. So I have first-hand experience of how she conducted her business—leading to the things that I said about her supporters backing the Lakota levy. And while all this was going on, it surprised me how people who were quite intelligent, wealthy, and powerful coddled her so openly. It disgusted me—because the real cause of the school levy at Lakota fell right on her doorstep, and too often she skated away free of responsibility because nobody challenged her—because nobody wanted to be on the political out with her—since she controlled so much.

So I have some context to her proposal of bringing the Boys’ and Girls’ Club to the Lakota area. In order to achieve this she wants to share expense, time, and space with Lakota schools. Under this plan, the Club would use the space after school and during the summer, while Lakota would expand kindergarten to all day for those who wish, and have a place for younger pre-school children during the day when school is in session.  Seven months after the 2013 levy passed, there was a proposal for tearing down the old Union school and building this shared new facility. During the last levy campaign the following excerpt was taken from an article in the “Journal News” published in May of 2013, “’No part of this levy is just going to be hanging out there undisclosed as far as what it’s going to be about,’ said Joan Powell, school board president. ‘It’s very important to recognize that of the levy dollars we are contemplating asking, virtually all of them are dedicated to either additional personnel we need to give help along the way, for security, or for technology.'” So now that Lakota got their money, it is time to start breaking the promises which won their votes, and at the center of the activity—as usual is Patti Alderson.

People in the know around the politics of the situation have reported that Patti’s group received around $350,000 cash as a giveaway from Attorney Mike DeWine to purchase a building down on Smith Rd for another youth center. Alderson’s company was the real-estate broker on the deal and collected the commission. Now, none of that is big stuff to Patti—its chicken feed really, but is part of the game of politics which she enjoys controlling. And in order to control those strings there needs to be an unquestioned, mutually agreed upon target—and that is the exploitation of children. When I had my fall-out with Patti, it was because I was trying to take away that exploitation which left the pro levy argument publicly stripped down with nowhere to hide. I hoped at the time that more people would listen to my argument over hers, but in the end, it was a lesson of the old children’s story, The Emperor’s New Cloths. Patti is used to everyone telling her wonderful things, because they want her money just like in that famous story. Then when a child says—“but you’re naked”—anger ensues. I was the one who metaphorically told her and the rest of the levy supporters they were really naked and was using the children of Lakota as their cloths to hide behind. Most people who I thought had guts and nerve stood down and got behind Patti. They told me privately that they supported me, but publicly they stood behind Patti. Most did, but not everyone.

Recently Patti gave up her position after 15 years as head of the Community Foundation. publicly it seems that Patti wishes to pursue her interest in this Boys’ and Girls’ Club deal. But Beth Hauer believes it’s something else related to her—which can be seen in the comments section of the Journal News link shown below.

I wonder if Patti Alderson’s resignation has anything to do with the formal, documented complaint that I filed against her as CEO, the Foundation, a now former V.P., the West Chester Tea Party, the Cincinnati Tea Party and a number of other people concerning the last election for a Fiscal Officer for West Chester Township? I have to tell you, Journal News, that I am not happy about your decisions not to publish anything about that federal complaint, and to publish glowing articles about Patti Alderson.

From that same Journal News article written to give glowing praise of Alderson’s work over the years:

“She’s able to get things done because she does her homework,” said Foundation co-founder Debbie Boehner, the wife of U.S. House Speaker and West Chester Twp. Republican John Boehner. “She is a brilliant businesswoman. Patti’s always had her hands in something that’s a change factor.”

Boehner, who has been friends with Alderson for more than 35 years, said she is amazed with how much of her time and her talent she has given to this community, including spearheading the recent effort to form a Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty.

“I don’t think that anybody comes any closer,” Boehner said. “We ought to call it Aldersonville instead of West Chester.”

So now Patti Alderson is even more directly aligned with Lakota schools and is looking to tear down the Old Union School which has value by building something else designed to essentially provide free day care to more levy supporters and use the altruism of the escapade to get more shiny stars on her reputation.

Taxpayers have spent half a million dollars refurbishing the old school, putting in new windows, adding air-conditioning, and re-carpeting rooms in the building, not long ago. The school is structurally sound and by tearing it down equity will be lost in it. A charter school or maybe a business could make good use of it as new school buildings that have gone up in recent years often require additional money for structural repairs.

While the school system takes over the childcare responsibilities after school, there are many local day-care centers that will suffer. Parents often want the school to handle their children after hours because it is less expensive. This way the taxpayers are subsidizing childcare for parents under the leadership of Patti Alderson. The parents will pay less because the school system is building and maintaining the structure and the tax payers will absorb the cost.

There is a very great possibility that in this shared project the donor-grant funded responsibility could fall behind in payments do to the funding mechanism failing. These things always work so well in meetings, but reality often deals different cards. That would leave the school system to pick up the slack. The Club has received a $500,000 grant, and the rest will come from donors. This means that at some point in time, tax payers will be asked to cover the costs of mismanagement which history indicates this to be the future of this endeavor.

It is a huge undertaking to decide to provide the luxury of all-day kindergarten (when the value to the children is questionable), subsidizing childcare for parents, extending busing (when recently there wasn’t money to provide it), and tearing down a perfectly good school to make room for a new building which will just turn out to be another temple built to honor Patti Alderson.

The taxpayers passed a levy, and within 5 months, this plan was unveiled which was kept from voters prior to the election. This appears to be a “bait-and-switch” situation led by an underhanded and unethical group of people. No Lakota Levy said this all along—I certainly did.

Patti Alderson is now openly cozy with the Lakota school board and even sat with them, superintendent Mantia, and a facilities person from Lakota in a round table discussion on Monday June 23rd.  At the meeting a decision was made to pursue a land lease arrangement with the Boys & Girls Club for the Union school property. It was discussed that Lakota would not fund a new building. It was estimated that demolition of the existing building would cost about $500K. The building currently has an occupant that will end its lease in approximately a year, (summer of 2015). Lakota made a study to see if they had room with existing facilities to house an expansion of the all day kindergarten activity; there currently exists enough space within Lakota’s current buildings to due this service expansion. It was said that someone who wanted to put a charter school in the existing building had first dibs but superintendent Mantia saw that proposal as potential competition for Lakota which didn’t make her happy.

The financial attractiveness for Lakota is that the district would get some revenue for the property – possibly to offset the cost of the building demolition. It would be a long-term lease. It sounds like Boys and Girls Club could, in turn, lease some of the building space to others. The plan is to have the all day kindergarten be tuition funded, which is why it will likely fail and fall back on the tax payers at a future point. Lakota’s lawyers will now draft a land lease plan and at this point it would seem that the approach would not redirect any of the levy fund’s commitments as stated to the public. But the devil is always in the detail in these kinds of things—and a few years down the road when things don’t work out the way everyone intended, the financial loses will have to be recovered somewhere by somebody—likely the tax payers.

This is where my problem with Patti originates. The last levy at Lakota is projected to generate well over $10 million dollars from every property in West Chester and Liberty Township. Yet Patti is a rich woman and has the ability to generate vast sums of money just at her charity events. She has in her power the ability to fully fund Lakota as a self-contained entity. If she wanted she could remove the burden of Lakota funding from tax payers—but that is not what she’s interested in doing. Her focus instead is to use other people’s money and resources to use “good causes” to show what a giving person she is. My experience with Alderson is that she enjoys more being the center of attention than actually solving problems. Children are an easy target and are the most exploited demographic group of people on planet earth, and that exploitation is alive and well in West Chester—or as Debbie Boehner says—“Aldersonville.” The real goal of the effort at Lakota will be to expand kindergarten for parents too busy to care for their young children. Everything else about this whole deal is to inflate the ego of Patti Alderson—based on my experience with her. People tell me all the time that she means well, and has the best of intentions—but I’ve seen her behavior up close and she showed me her fangs—and that is not a person who is trying to do “the best for the community.” The context of that niceness is to be seen as the Emperor of Andersonville—as defined by John Boehner’s wife Debbie and her new “social” cloths.

In the story The Emperor’s New Cloths a vain Emperor who cares about nothing except wearing and displaying clothes hires two swindlers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or “hopelessly stupid”. The Emperor’s ministers cannot see the clothing themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions and the Emperor does the same. Finally the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense, not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true, but continues the procession.’s_New_Clothes

I am happy to be the only one in the crowd not functioning from a desire to keeping up a destructive social pretense. The Boys and Girls Club deal with Lakota for Patti is just another robe for an Emperor of Aldersonville where everyone kisses her ring and begs for her money. Just like the school levy campaign was a chance to get like-minded supporters of altruism together for parties, cakes, and back-scratching. It is why she chose not to take my offer of a partnership because the goal wasn’t helping kids; it was in exploiting them for the causes of wearing new cloths and showing them off to the people of Andersonville. In the end it won’t be Patti Alderson writing a check for all her ideas—even though she could—it will be the tax payers still paying for her metaphorical wardrobe years from now once she has disappeared into history and the many monuments dedicated to her charity work will be lost to future generations who could care less who or what she ever was—or anything she ever did.

A special thanks to the many people who contributed to this article. It helps to have so many eyes and ears in the trenches. Not everyone is intimidated by the Emperor of Aldersonville, and lucky for the tax payers of Lakota, the number is growing.   Let’s see, what was it that Patti said about me to the Cincinnati Enquirer……………“We refuse to accept funds where political statements are attached.”  She also said she had no affiliation with Yes To Lakota Kids.  Oddly enough, one of those members was on her arm Monday playing their part in making a deal with Lakota.   Ahhhh, the emperor has new clothes indeed–and of course politics played no part. 

To review the deal that Patti was so against, CLICK THE LINK BELOW to read an article done about it in Forbes.

Rich Hoffman