Monday night, I made the following public comment to the school board regarding the district’s actions concerning community awareness:
“It appears as though this district is trying to hide the fact from the community that there is some serious litigation going on. I understand that legally, if something else comes up after the newspaper has been printed, you can still add it to the agenda up to 72 hours before the meeting. That could happen on occasion and wouldn’t constitute a pattern. However, the last three times this board has discussed my suit or charges against you, it has not made it into the agendas printed in the local papers. And two of those times involved a missing item letter in the “closed session” portion of the regular meeting agendas. To me, it would be a pretty hard sell to say that’s been done on accident. The last three times seems like an attempt to keep the vast majority of the community unaware that there is still litigation going on, including a new, federal charge.”
I was very surprised to hear Superintendent Wayne Rotan assert in response that “It has not been left off of there the last three times.” Before speaking to the board, I checked with the papers to see if there had been an error on their part; they said they printed what they received from the district, as they received it. And I never claimed they were left off the legally required posted agendas; if that were the case, how would I even know about it? The fact is the district didn’t provide it to the local papers the last three times they discussed the issues—June 22, April 27 and March 30.
I was also disappointed by Mr. Tom Lounsberry and Mr. Andy Snow’s questions. They were only concerned with the fact that law and policy had been followed, as opposed to whether or not this community has been being adequately informed. Notice that I never claimed the district has, at any point, been in violation of policy concerning this. My concern was and is one of ethics, not what they can do, but rather what they should do.
I find this disturbing because not only does the district have the original lawsuit filed against them, they now are facing federal investigation as well. This is information I believe the constituents, taxpayers and citizens of this community need to know. And it is my belief they shouldn’t have to go online or to the administration building’s door to find it out, especially when agendas are regularly posted in the papers, where most turn to read them.
If anyone has interest in the entire comments made to the board or to hear the responses made first hand, it is available at salon.glenrose.net.