on consultant seems a bit stingy
consultant Walter Kulash came to Macon by request to do exactly
that - to consult with the Road Improvement Committee and the road
program's manager, Moreland Altobelli. For rendering that service
Kulash received $53,000 and - most recently - a passel of criticism
leading to investigations of him in both Georgia and Florida.
his advice on how to make road expansion in Bibb County more palatable
to its critics, Kulash suddenly appears No. 1 on the engineering
community's most unwanted list.
As we understand
it the Florida Board of Professional Engineers is investigating
Kulash to determine if he has engaged in conflicts of interest in
Florida (where there has never been a complaint against him), presumably
because the head of an engineering firm here decided the consultant
was guilty of a conflict of interest in Georgia. That came of Kulash's
testifying at a court hearing for CAUTION Macon, a non-profit group
trying to stop the widening of Houston Road. Kulash was paid for
his trouble by CAUTION.
A similar engineering
board in Georgia is on Kulash's case for being involved in a Georgia
engineering matter without having a Georgia license. The question
is whether Kulash's consulting work actually constitutes the practice
It's true that
Kulash was in the employ of the other side when he testified for
CAUTION Macon, and perhaps that's technically a conflict under engineering
rules. But Kulash was giving his honest opinion. There's no reason
to believe he would have testified otherwise if he'd been put on
the stand by Moreland Altobelli or the Road Improvement Committee.
Frankness is not generally held to be unethical or unprofessional.
As for the license,
it would seem that if Kulash's work in Georgia (he holds a Florida
license) required one, Moreland Altobelli, which hired him, would
not only have advised him of that fact but also have helped him
obtain whatever document he needed.
We don't know whether
or not Kulash handled himself with impeccable professionalism. But
at this point it seems the man's reputation is being unnecessarily
sullied for insignificant reasons.
R. L. Day/For
the editorial board
ties education hopes to bold initiatives
When editors met
recently with legislators, a few lawmakers complained - probably
with justification - that Gov. Roy Barnes is on a power trip. If
true, this question presents itself: Does it matter?
away the last remaining curtain from in front of his education reform
package before a joint session of the House and Senate on Thursday.
His proposals, taken together with those aspects he unveiled in
his budget message, are nothing if not extraordinarily bold. They
are so bold, in fact, that he asked his fellow politicians to join
him a sort of "Profiles in Courage" stand on the most
that particular book probably has not been embraced by a majority
of the General Assembly. For example, he asked them to support abolishing
teacher tenure. This is a system intended to protect courageous
teachers from undue political influence if they happen to cover
controversial material in their classrooms.
It is also covers
a lot of complete and total incompetence. Many are the parents in
central Georgia who felt they had to take their children out of
the public system because they were powerless to affect the quality
On that note,
Barnes has proposed the creation of seven-member school councils,
to include two parents, two business persons and two teachers. The
councils would have real authority over curriculum, activities,
budgetary matters and codes of dress and conduct. They would name
a new principal when a vacancy occurred from a list of three submitted
by the superintendent.
These two proposals
alone represent a walk through a political mine field. The education
bureaucracy, as Barnes called it, is politically active and powerful.
Its legions will not like either idea.
coupled with the creation of a new bureaucracy to carry out the
mandates of accountability, may make for a very interesting legislative
Woodgeard/For the editorial board