For many, the following first person account will fall into the category of
"TLDR", which is completely understandable. That said, please proceed if you
find irrefutable proof of Tom Long's deceptive ways of any value.
.) Jay Wheeler has said and written much
since becoming a school board member.
.) As far as I know, Jay Wheeler has never
lied to me, about me or anyone else.
.) On the basis of my own personal experience,
I believe Jay Wheeler has credibility.
.) Tom Long has also said and written much
since becoming a school board member.
.) Tom Long has intentionally lied to me and about me.
He has also lied to his constituents. Tom Long has
even lied to the school district public information
.) On the basis of my own personal experience together
with hard documented evidence, I know that Tom Long
has little if any credibility.
.) Anything Tom Long says or writes must be considered
in the light of his unflinching penchant to deceive.
This is a very long narrative. It begins years ago (2004-2006).
I knew nothing about the Osceola School Board back then. I didn't know Tom
Long, Jay Wheeler or any other school board member. What did I know? I knew
the school district was foundering under the leadership of then
superintendent, Blaine Muse. That's about it.
Then I read something in the paper written by Jay Wheeler, something about
needing to replace Blaine Muse. So I wrote to Jay on July 12, 2007:
I know that you do not directly represent my school
zone (I live in Harmony), yet you do strike me as one
of a few in a position of influence who truly
recognizes the problems we have with our Osceola County
schools. You also seem eager to do something about it.
My wife has been after me for months to write to you
about the matter detailed below.
I fully support you in your efforts to get the truth
out, for mine was one of many families drawn to the
area with promises of a "Great Education" in Harmony
). Although I have been
remise delivering my responses to Starwood of late (too
busy), I hope to continue soon, especially with one
about the ongoing education problem in Harmony.
Please find below a series of email exchanges between
myself, Blaine Muse and Debra Pace (Harmony High
Thank you for your consideration.
This was Jay's response, just a few hours later:
From: Jay [mailto:jaylw...@earthlink.net
Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2007 4:23 PM
To: Schiro,George E
Subject: Re: Concerns from Parents in Harmony
It was a 4-1 vote to retain the Superintendent at the
6/26/07 meeting. His supporters are, Tom Greer, David
Stone, John McKay & Thomas Chalifoux. If you ever have
any school issues, feel free to contact me. My cell
number is 407-973-4141
. You may give that number out to
anyone with a school issue without hesitation. After
all my job is to work for you, and your neighbors. I am
out of town right now, and will check on the PIV next
That was the beginning of my relationship with Jay Wheeler.
Remember, this was the very first time Jay Wheeler had ever communicated
with me, someone he didn't know from Adam and someone not even within his
own voting district. Bear in mind also that I called my own school board
member (John McKay, district 5) multiple times and never received a call
Can you understand at least a little why I'm inclined to be supportive of
Back in 2007 Jay Wheeler was just as combative as he is today. Why? Because
Osceola County had what some believed was an incompetent superintendent who
needed to be replaced. For whatever reason, the majority of the school board
(4 of 5) didn't agree with this assessment and they continued to sanction
mediocrity in Osceola Schools as they had for years before.
Jay Wheeler was the lone voice speaking out openly to make a change. For
years no one listened.
The other school board members eventually came around to Jay's way of
thinking and Blaine Muse was finally replaced by Michael Grego.
I thought Jay should be commended for his uncompromising efforts to improve
the educational standards in Osceola County, so I wrote a letter to the
editor of the Osceola Gazette July 18, 2009:
Voice makes difference
That was my very first public commentary on school district matters in
From that time until the present I've communicated with Jay Wheeler several
times. Not once has he lied to me, not once in all these years.
The first time Tom Long ever communicated with me was 2 days after the
"Voice makes difference" letter was published in the Gazette (see above). As
I recall, first he called me on the phone. Then he followed up with an
Date: Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 8:47 AM
Subject: Re: Hello
I could send you multiple emails, full of facts,
figures and emails between Mr. Wheeler and myself,
regarding just one issue, Signature Crossing. In the
body of evidence, Jay misrepresented the truth, used
misdirecting language, attempted to bully and when
faced with the facts, downplayed the issue.
Wolf sent packing
By Tom Long
Is this how things get done? read the story
There are several issues that I believe we are at odds
with. It appears you are in Jay's corner, no matter
what, so I will share just one of his traits of telling
the public one thing, then doing the opposite.
School Board member takes perks
By Budget Review Committee UPDATED
What our good friend isn't boasting about read the story
Yes, you can share this with Jay. He has seen it all
before and knows I keep every piece of material. After
a long exchange of lengthy emails, he finally admitted
that my "numbers were not incorrect."
As you can see, Tom Long had it in for Jay Wheeler long before he (Tom) ran
for the school board himself in 2010. He believed then as he does now that I
will support Jay "no matter what."
Shortly after Tom Long was elected to the Osceola County School Board I met
with him and asked if he would be willing to join this newsgroup to answer
questions about school district matters. He agreed (see "Welcome Tom Long!",
). At the time Tom Long acknowledged my years of
exposing the shortcomings of Starwood / Harmony Development Company in this
forum and he was completely supportive of that effort.
At the time I also made it clear to Tom Long that I have no loyalties to Jay
Wheeler or to any other politician, but rather, my loyalty is to the truth.
Do I always agree with Jay Wheeler? No. What follows is an op-ed article I
wrote for the Osceola Gazette criticizing Jay and Mike Grego for not taking
high school exam cheating seriously. This Gazette article was based on a
much more detailed expose' previously posted in this forum (see 'What Does
"Exam" Mean in Osceola County High Schools?', http://tinyurl.com/q72fp4j
The 'best' for our children?
Again, the truth and what is simply right and proper is more important to me
than any loyalties to Jay Wheeler (or any other politician). This fact is
further supported by something currently found on Tom Long's website - one
that exists solely to discredit Jay Wheeler. Long uses me outright in his
ongoing attack campaign (see http://tinyurl.com/o5jsgbb
From: George Schiro [mailto:9992200...@schiro.name
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 12:08 PM
To: Jay Wheeler
Cc: Suzanne D'Agresta
Subject: RE: Channel 9 news story/Osceola School Board
members under investigation-click on link
It's good to see that you can include a specific URL
link in your emails when you want to Jay. But the
timing of all of this seems very coincidental, don't
Anyway, I just wanted you to know up-front Jay that I
have been struggling with myself about what happened on
the phone the other day. I don't think that I can keep
silent about it anymore. Perhaps the school board
attorney can advise us on how to properly handle this.
As you know, you called me on the phone and asked me to
contact other board members like Barbara Horn and Tom
Long. You wanted me to persuade them not to vote for
Terry Andrews to fill the interim school superintendent
position. I said that this was fine with me since I
would prefer that someone like Mr. Andrews replace Dr.
Harris at Gateway instead (before the IB teachers leave
there). You said that you were OK with Mr. Andrews
going to Gateway, although you don't think very highly
of him. You also said that you wanted me to try to
convince the other board members to install Debra Pace
or Beverly Carbaugh as the interim superintendent. I
responded that based on my experiences with Debra Pace,
I don't think that she is qualified to fill the
At the conclusion of our first phone call I think that
I left you with the impression that I would do as you
asked. But when I got off the phone with you, I thought
about it for quite awhile and realized that what you
asked me to do might violate the Florida Sunshine Law.
So I called you back on the phone and asked if I would
be acting as a "conduit" if I did this for you. I don't
recall whether you agreed with me or not.
Anyway, I made the choice not to call the other board
members as you asked and I have not discussed our
conversations on this matter with anyone else until
Did I handle this matter properly Ms. D'Agresta? Or was
there there something else that I should have done?
IMHO, Jay was overzealous in his efforts to protect the school district from
a serious and potentially long-term mistake. Jay knew Terry Andrews. He knew
Andrews was not qualified to be a superintendent. He was trying to stop it
before it started. As it turned out, Jay's assessment of Terry Andrews later
proved to be 100% correct. Did he handle this matter properly? I don't think
so. No doubt he understands that now. Did the school district attorney think
Jay did anything wrong? Apparently not. She dropped the matter and I never
heard from her again about it.
So what was the fallout of my unflattering articles and reporting Jay to the
school district attorney? Nothing. Did Jay Wheeler go after me with some
vendetta? No. Did he write all kinds of nonsense attacking my credibility?
No. Jay never mentioned the unflattering news articles nor the attorney
matter and he never treated me differently after that either. Jay continued
to return my phone calls and my emails and his attitude and tone of voice
remained unwavering. In other words, he handled our differences like a
normal adult. He accepted them and moved on.
Apparently Tom Long appreciated my expose' on the Osceola exam cheating so
much that a week later he selected me as 1 of 10 citizens in Osceola County
(2 from each school board member plus 4 from a union and the chamber of
commerce) to recommend superintendent candidates to replace Dr. Grego (see
"Osceola County Superintendent Citizens Search Committee",
Note that the first committee meeting resulted in a majority decision to not
record the meetings. I was vocally opposed to that decision and so was Tom
Long (although he didn't voice his opinion publicly). Remember Tom Long was
the "transparency and accountability" candidate during the 2010 school board
election. He even offered to lend me his audio device to record the meetings
myself. I thanked him but decided to buy my own high fidelity audio recorder
Bear in mind that Tom Long was not only well aware of my long history of
being openly critical of Starwood / Harmony Development Company in this
forum, but he was also aware of my demonstrated impartiality when it came to
Osceola School District matters. Why else would he have personally selected
me as 1 of his 2 representatives for the citizens search committee?
The first instance of Tom Long's deception occurred shortly after the 2011
superintendent selection debacle (the one that resulted in Tom Long's
preferred choice - Terry Andrews - being appointed over every other far more
qualified candidate - then subsequently dumped by the school board a year
later). This was documented among many other instances of public deception
in the series "Subtle Little Lies" (see http://tinyurl.com/oa2pr9h
). It was
also alluded to in a subsequent Osceola Gazette article (see "What kind of
.) Tom Long lied to me as well as to Martha Mann, assistant
to Dana Schafer, Public Information Officer - Osceola
School District, by withholding a specific email from a
public records request. Initially, Long responded to
the public records request with many emails while
intentionally excluding the one in question (you can
see the specifics of this instance among the "Subtle
Little Lies" series, http://tinyurl.com/q6u8uex
I was looking for a very specific email I knew ended up in the hands of the
anonymous blogger known as "Carl Cricket" (aka Mark Rosenbauer, someone who
seems to enjoy having anonymous dialogs with himself while pretending to be
several people). Long intentionally withheld this one requested email
thereby giving the false impression he had not given it to anyone. Yet he
did give it to someone - Rosenbauer. Tom Long wanted to hide that fact. He
didn't want anyone to know he was secretly forwarding materials behind the
scenes to "Carl Cricket".
So how did he do it? Instead of forwarding the email to Rosenbauer in the
normal way (ie. by clicking the "Forward" button), Long printed the email on
paper and physically handed it to him on the sly.
Here's what Martha Mann wrote about it:
From: Martha Mann [mailto:ma...@osceola.k12.fl.us
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2011 11:55 AM
Subject: Fwd: RE: RE: Fwd(2): RE: Public Records Request
Mr. Long called to let us know that the reason he did
not have a forwarded message to Mark Rosenbauer is
because he printed the message and gave Mr. Rosenbauer
This should complete your request. Thank you!
Osceola County School District
Community Relations Specialist
817 Bill Beck Blvd.
Kissimmee, FL 34744
I really had no idea about the real Tom Long until that incident.
Tom Long's secret machinations with Mark Rosenbauer come as no surprise
considering their long-standing relationship over the years. Rosenbauer even
included Tom Long (aka "Jjz...@cs.com
") on his communications with the state
of Florida back in 2009 (see "CWHIP 06-28" letter,
"Comment_-_2009-03-05_-_Mark_Rosenbauer.pdf" attachment). Besides being
well-known as the anonymous blogger staunchly supporting Cindy Hartig and
Tom Long over the years (while simultaneously and anonymously lampooning
anyone else he doesn't like), like Tom Long, Rosenbauer was caught lying and
cheating himself years ago (see "Probe Targets Councilman",
and "St. Cloud Councilman Lied On Job, Probe
.) I believe Tom Long was lying to all of his constituents
when he wrote (see "Answering Questions",
District 1 school board re-election candidate, Jay
Wheeler wrote, "Bash me all you like." I don’t
consider revealing Jay’s true, public record,
bashing. After all, any career politician must run
on his record. Not just the one he invents, but the
I will not call him an idiot, dumb, incompetent,
dysfunctional, or any one of a dozen or so names he
has called me publicly. Nor will I call him crazy
as he did a past chairman, immoral, as he called
the rest of the current school board, or
dysfunctional and inept, as Jay did the Department
No, Tom Long won't say or write any of those things openly and honestly like
Wheeler does. He would rather do it like a weasel.
Exactly the same technique was used by Cindy Hartig while she was the school
board chairperson (see "Subtle Little Lies" - look for "Cindy Hartig #10 is
a lie of omission", http://tinyurl.com/p43mc5b
). She also used "Carl
Cricket" as a conduit to publish propaganda she didn't want anyone knowing
she was actually responsible for.
Given the opportunity, I think Tom Long would prefer to have his anonymous
blogger do his dirty work for him, just like he secretly used Rosenbauer to
write a letter to a superintendent candidate in 2011 (again see "Subtle
Little Lies", http://tinyurl.com/q6u8uex
Here are just a few of the many anonymous pronouncements made about Jay
Wheeler over the years by "Carl Cricket" et al:
Okay, all this stuff about the idiot Wheeler makes me
wonder just where Lawson Lamar is. Even his office
couldn't lose this one since Wheeler has already agreed
to the allegations! Next, where's the IRS since
Wheeler, I'd bet, never claimed that "extra" money as
income, even if he did pay it back the one time, his
actions are enough to warrant closer examination. The
man is an admitted corrupt politician.
Most Stupid Politician(in our opinion) Award
Goes To Jay Wheeler!
So, let us begin with the most outrageous, most stupid
thing, (that we’re aware of) done by Osceola County
School Board member Jay Wheeler.
Ranger Company owner Kip Bonar is a campaign financier
for McKay and Wheeler.
One month later, the selection committee awarded the
Highlands job to WG Mills.
Changing the rules during a procurement process to
benefit a friend and donor is unethical and immoral.
McKay and Wheeler do not represent the best interest of
Osceola County citizens. They care about their own
Mr. Wheeler has proved himself to be very dysfunctional
in his lack of support for the school systems teachers
and staff by refusing to attend expulsion hearings as
ALL the other members do, but if Weisheyer does as Jay
tells him, that will be two members away from taking
care of school board business! Just something to think
His tenure on the school board adds up to a
disappointing waste of taxpayer dollars and time.
Worse, our children suffer with inept leaders like
(insane, mentally ill):
Wheeler Attacks Fellow Board Members In Continued
Insane Rant As In Past! YOU Be The Judge!
Wheeler will take credit for anything which comes out
of the audit that doesn't make him look bad. Otherwise,
he's the hero of Osceola County, in his very little
mind. I hope the Superintendent AND School Board will
come up with some standards to eliminate Mr. Wheeler's
free movements on various school campuses. If not, THEY
will be held responsible when this very mentally ill
man snaps, and he's on campus when that happens.
Thus Tom Long is not only a liar, he is also a hypocrite.
BTW, lest there be any doubt about Mark Rosenbauer being the anonymous
blogger "Carl Cricket", here is an admission in his own words (see
or the "Carl Cricket.pdf" attachment):
Okay "insider", you got me. I have written the blog. I
have always stood behind my words, and backed them up.
How about you? Now, with that great admission(nearly
half the county suspected as much) go ahead and reveal
yourself so we all can know who you are, as YOU said
.) One more example of Tom Long's duplicity affected me
personally. He actually lied about me from his official
position during a public school board meeting, a most
obvious and egregious abuse of his (meager) power as a
school board member, someone we are supposed to trust.
This occurrence is documented in a video of the meeting
made available online by the school district
Note: The school board's management of its video
resource has been somewhat spotty at best. The
ability to "deep link" to any specific video for
the sake of easy reference would be the ideal. But
sadly, the district's website does not support this
feature reliably. So as of this writing the best we
can do is reference school board videos in general
) and use a
narrative description to help readers find specific
videos on their own.
School board videos are currently arrayed at
in reverse chronological
order. As of today, the first video discussed below
(12/04/2012) can be found on page 5 (see the page
list at the bottom of the https://sdoc.eduvision.tv
page). As time goes by this video will be found
lower in the list of pages. Bear in mind that these
instructions will apply only for as long as the
management of Osceola County School District
meeting videos remain unchanged through
During the 12/04/2012 meeting I approached the school board to point out how
Tom Long blocks my emails. You can see my presentation starting at the
"00:10:00" mark of the meeting video (that's 10 minutes into the meeting).
Listen past my presentation and you will hear Tom Long make his usual
nonsense claim: "I've answered his questions over and over again."
Clearly Tom Long was very angry with me. Yet you would never know it by his
demeanor. He was cool as a cucumber when he followed with something new:
He wanted to get into a physical fight with that
individual because after everything was done he
wanted to rule that particular committee.
This is the quintessential Tom Long. He takes the nugget of an idea and
fabricates something altogether new from it.
Was there an incident? Yes. Was I present? Yes. But Tom Long's depiction of
the incident bears only a perfunctory semblance of what actually happened in
The committee in question was the superintendent search committee (again see
"Osceola County Superintendent Citizens Search Committee",
). Remember, this is the same committee Tom Long
personally selected me for (see above), the same committee process which I
documented in great detail and which resulted in an honest yet unflattering
assessment of Cindy Hartig and Tom Long (again see "Subtle Little Lies",
and "What kind of people?",
), an assessment which Tom Long is clearly still
very disturbed by.
After completing our task as a committee, the chairperson, Lissette
Brizendine, asked each committee member in turn how the selection process
might be improved in the future. When I had the floor, among other things, I
mentioned that it might be a good idea to have committee members either turn
off their cell phones or set them to vibrate. Why? Because there were phone
calls during meetings that were somewhat disruptive.
That was it. I didn't raise my voice. I didn't point a finger. I didn't
single anyone out. I simply made a matter-of-fact suggestion, and even that,
only after being asked. It is the same suggestion made at the outset of many
meetings by the current Osceola School Board Chairman, Tim Weisheyer. There
was nothing more to it than that, until one of my fellow committee members
jumped out of his chair and raised his voice with words to the effect "How
dare you make such a suggestion!"
Again, in a calm and matter-of-fact tone, I proceeded to explain that such a
policy is common during meetings of all kinds and no offense was intended. I
didn't want to fight. I didn't want to do anything other than coolly explain
my position and try to diffuse what had clearly developed into a potentially
negative situation. I had no idea why my suggestion was so troublesome to
this fellow committee member other than that he had received cell phone
calls during meetings.
After Tom Long's false accusation was made in public, I spoke to a half
dozen people in attendance during the committee meetings. What did they
personally witness of the event depicted by Tom Long?
Here's what I asked Assistant Superintendent Lissette Brizendine:
From what you remember as the chairperson of each
committee meeting, please answer the following question
to the best of your ability:
Did you feel that I was threatening in any way, either
verbally or physically, to anyone at anytime?
To the best of my recollection of the committee
meetings, I would respond 'no' to your question.
All of the other witnesses made similar remarks. Not one witness supports
Tom Long's version of this event, not one. The statements of these witnesses
are part of the public record.
Therefore the above statement uttered into the public record by Tom Long
during a public school board meeting is patently false. It was simply
made-up out of whole cloth, as they say.
Tom Long's false narrative was clearly meant to serve one and only one
purpose, to call my own character into question. Why? Because I dared speak
the truth in public about how he blocks my emails, including those
specifically about my sons and their needs related to the Osceola School
District. This sort of "ad hominem" attack is a typical device used by Tom
Long to deflect attention from the truth.
Of course Tom Long knew full well that I would not be allowed to defend
myself against his scurrilous lie during the 12/04/2012 school board
meeting. Why? Because the "audience comments" section of that meeting had
already transpired. As it turned out, this was fortuitous since it gave me
the opportunity to question witnesses and prepare a more comprehensive
response. To this end I attended the subsequent school board meeting
(12/18/2012) and made another presentation (see the 00:31:05 mark - about 31
minutes into the meeting).
Please accept my apologies in advance. You will see that I am obviously not
a public speaker and I didn't have my remarks memorized. All I could do was
my best to proceed calmly with an obvious feeling of discomposure
considering how I was publicly and personally attacked by an elected public
official, an attack against which I felt compelled to publicly defend
Here are my opening remarks, spoken before I was interrupted by Tom Long:
How low will you go Tom Long?
As some of you may know, I have written several
independent editorials for the Osceola Gazette over
the years. In the past I have written about the
shortcomings of Jay Wheeler and Michael Grego. More
recently I have exposed the wrongdoings of Cindy Hartig
and Tom Long.
Some of you may also know that, unlike Tom Long, I have
a major stake in the success of the Osceola County
School District. My sons take their education very
seriously as do I.
You will notice that before I had a chance to say much of anything, Tom Long
interrupts asking for help from the school board attorney:
Mr. Attorney, would you like to express an opinion of
It would appear that Tom Long discussed the possibility of my response with
the school district attorney prior to this meeting. Clearly he wanted to
shut me down as quickly as possible. You can see how he even attempted to
control the meeting as if he was board chairman.
See how Tom Long repeatedly attempts to silence me in my efforts to defend
myself in the same public forum where I was personally attacked 2 weeks
before. He does his best to censor me. Even school board attorney, Larry
Brown, supported Tom Long's right to suppress the speech of a constituent
responding to him (after Brown uttered not a peep about Tom Long's public
personal attack on the same constituent 2 weeks before):
Public officials are subject to being criticized.
There's no question. If the speaker can criticize you
without attacking your integrity, your honesty. There
should be no accusations of crimes. There should be no
accusations of purposeful deceit. You know it's kind of
a gray line. But it's one thing to criticize. It's
another to impugn someone's integrity.
And do so without accusing you or another person of
being a criminal of having violated criminal law of
lying intentionally and willfully. Those are the words
I started to hear.
See the beginning of my statement again (or see the "Tom Long the
Deceiver.pdf" attachment). You will notice that I have thus far said nothing
about Tom Long's lying. Yet somehow the attorney already seems to have heard
it. How could that be? Perhaps Larry Brown was channeling a conversation he
already had with Tom Long. Bear one thing in mind. The school district
attorney is paid (from our tax dollars) by the school board to defend school
board members, not to defend constituents or what is right and wrong.
The school board majority, although reluctant to allow criticism of a fellow
board member, does finally relent and allows me to defend myself against the
lies spoken by Tom Long during the 12/04/2012 meeting.
Here are Tom Long's last words, just before I was finally allowed to speak:
I have no problem allowing Mr. Schiro to speak.
On the contrary, I think Tom Long does have a serious problem allowing
anyone to speak the truth about him in public. And as you can see for
yourself, he will say anything or do anything he deems necessary to attack
any detractor with lies or any other means at his disposal.