John Klar: Woke hush money in Vermont?

By John Klar

In early June, a Vermont high school student who spoke out against toxic Critical Race Theory in his school was summarily dismissed from his position as a lifeguard for the school. The brave and articulate student had dared state a fact that his town found intolerable: “This is why we have fifth-graders coming home and saying they wish they were black.” The liberal press in Vermont did not criticize the town’s unconstitutional violation of this student’s clear rights — it approved!  But because the actors knew that it was patently unconstitutional to fire Alex Katsnelson for his speech, they paid him his full wages for a 50-hour week for the entire summer!

In the initial dismissal, town management fled the constitutional reservation faster than Geronimo in a jet:

We have made the determination that your public comments cause legitimate concern around your ability to equitably look out for the safety of everyone who attends our pools. In addition, we feel that your public comments are likely to cause future disruption with our residents. Your comments have already begun to cause disruption amongst your peers who have seen them. Your position by its very nature requires a degree of public trust, not often found in other instances of public employment. We cannot create an unsafe environment at our pool, nor can we create a situation where any of our residents feel unsafe or unwelcome at our pool.

Instead of berating a minor about public trust while erasing his off-work liberties to have an opinion regarding his high school, perhaps these miscreants should reflect on their “positions of public trust, not often found in other instances of public employment”: do they not owe as much to the public as the high school lifeguard they bullied?

An out-of-state bureaucrat was recruited for the task of unifying the Vermont municipalities of the Village of Essex Junction and the Town of Essex. In claiming the credentials to effectively merge the towns, Unified Manager Evan Teich had this to say in 2018:

However thorny merger discussions become, Teich said, he’ll attempt to frame them in terms of a more effective business model that also “has the right feel.” Creating an open, honest inventory of the obstacles will be a priority, he continued. “Whether it’s rules, controls, or trust — something is making you pause,” Teich said of the greater community. “Maybe it’s territorial. It could be fear. It could be money. But you’ve got to get to the bottom of it,” he added. “Ultimately, for sustainability, you owe it to the taxpayer to provide the services at the best possible cost.”

But Mr. Teich has done the opposite. Maybe it was territorial, or fear, that motivated Evan Teich to abuse his power and position to betray the community to bully a teenage lifeguard. In his “more effective business model” that “has the right feel,” he paid nearly $5,000 to Alex Katsnelson to not save lives at the pool — all summer.  I guess this is how Teich “provides services at the best possible cost.” However, crushing a kid’s liberties while charging taxpayers for an invisible lifeguard seems a bit unsustainable.

In a July 8 letter to lifeguard Alex, “Unified Manager” Teich wrote:

I am writing to follow up on our June 23, 2021 meeting regarding your employment status as a lifeguard for EJRP. I have decided to continue your paid administrative leave until the end of the summer. Paid administrative leave will end on the last scheduled day of your employment with the Village, August 21, 2021, unless you are notified otherwise prior to that date.

Presumably, had Alex notified the media of his payments, or spoken further against the Village, he would have been “notified prior to that date” of a termination of roughly $600/week of public hush money.

Will the Vermont attorney general, or any other public authorities, investigate Teich’s actions?  Essex receives state and federal funds, so it was not Essex Junction money that was paid to Alex — it was everyone’s.

It is unclear whether residents of Essex approve of Teich’s actions. Are they happy their town illegally oppressed Alex and then illegally paid him off? Or are they upset he wasn’t silenced more harshly, and that he was financially rewarded for speaking truth to power? Perhaps Teich will solicit their opinions now that they know the truth.

Sometimes it pays to oppose toxic Critical Race Dogma. That is what Essex Village Teiches.

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. This commentary originally appeared at American Thinker.

Image courtesy of Essex Parks and Recreation
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6 thoughts on “John Klar: Woke hush money in Vermont?

  1. Nothing shocks me about this state anymore. My daughter was in EWSD when this occured. I was wondering what the outcome was. Now that I know my tax dollars were used to fund a quid pro quo arrangement to buy the young man’s silence, I am speechless. I was already concerned over the young man loosing his job for voicing a simple fact.

  2. You are getting warmer

    What about the EB-5 hush money? lol…big banks writing big checks to hush the whole thing and not have to be involved.

    we have green mountains because we swept all the corruption under our fields.

    “affordable housing” is another one, zero interest loans, loans wiped off the books….

    planned parenthood pac is another one, funding the entire democratic party

    VNRC is another one, moving lobbyists in and out of key government positions

    Our windmill and solar panel kick backs…….

    Costco gas pumps, permitting and hours of operation….

    Crony capitalism is the first cousin to socialism, both corrupt. Best get your hip waders on before you go the barn/swamp, the old rubber boots don’t go up high enough.

  3. Why doesn’t this surprise me? Essex/westford school district in arguably the most corrupt in the state. Guaranteed secretary of state Dan French has his fingerprints on this…..

  4. The corruption seems to be an open secret now and the levels of it are staggering.

    John perhaps your next article should be “Where are all the whistleblowers in Vermont?”
    It appears you need some help..
    Taking back the state starts with cleaning up the state- not the other way around.
    The Right has been manipulated by our own party into falsely thinking when we vote them in more power, they’ll do this and that.. which never happens.
    The Left then takes over with incremental wins that we allow to happen.
    And here we are now reading about what is going on in this article.

    We cannot keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.

    • Whistleblowers have no one to go to in Vermont…as whistleblowing requires an outlet that can protect their anonymity. Being able to guarantee anonymity is the minimum bar of safety if you’re going to go up against the oligarchy.
      Stand up an speak truth to power and see how fast the blowback starts happening.
      Vermont press has failed in this sense – we’re a captive 4th estate here.
      Investigative reporting takes time and money.
      Press releases are cheaper and require less staff, and no lawyers (for an investigative reporter, having a lawyer on staff is essential).
      Vermont whistleblowers go further up the independent media foodchain.
      Whistleblowers are, by definition, defined as domestic terrorists by the DHS.
      So, you wanna’ be a whistleblower? Its guaranteed to fekkk your life up, so it will never be the same, change your social status, and even your bank account in some cases (activists having paypal and bank accounts shut down with money in the accounts not returned).
      Its not a career choice.
      And by definition, whistleblowers have a job to lose.
      With joblessness on the rise.
      This is why Vermont has few whistleblowers, or only those that can get on out of state stations while VT press covers it up.

      • We have the appian way, aka Vermont Digger, where they cancel/fire/arrest anyone who goes against the narrative.

        Common soviet tactic.

        We don’t hang anyone any more, or crucify anyone, that’s so first century. We just make is such they can no longer have career in teaching, government, colleges, hospitals, municipalities, press, and Vermont Government job, any job or business tied to government…..

        It’s quite effective.

        And Vermont is known to have one of the most caustic populations on social media…….

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