Our current board lacks the ability to engage in open and honest dialogue. No one is challenged when presenting information and no one's conclusions are questioned. The board has essentially been degraded to a point of ineffective governance. Whatever district management wants, they get. No questions. No debate. No opposing views.
Why wouldn't our community seek to change this condition by electing people to the Board that care about how public resources are being spent? Why wouldn't our community seek to elect individuals that offer a pattern of constructive engagement in every aspect of district management? Our current board seems to be meeting privately to make sure that everyone takes the same position on every issue. Once the board meeting starts, no one has anything to say about any topic other than "Aye". And we wonder why no one attends board meetings.
Board meetings are a real snoozefest where the outcome is determined by the agenda and the minutes offer no new information. All that is proposed is passed. Every word that is uttered goes unchallenged. Where is the constructive engagement? Where are the discussions? Sometimes it is helpful to initiate a counterpoint or even occasionally play the devil's advocate just so our community can take comfort in knowing that all points have been offered and all positions have been presented, discussed and subjected to meaningful deliberation. Our current board is spineless.
At present, district management governs the district. The Board is impotent. District management develops an agenda and then drives it down the throat of our community with the illusion of a real board's endorsement. The end result is that our unions get weaker, staff get trampled upon, and every district employee quickly discovers that they need to jump ship and swim to shore or join in the mutiny by swearing allegiance to the kingpin of management - and we all know who that is.
Personally, I am tired of watching what has happened to our district and to our schools. When we have an ineffective board, there is no way to control the manner in which management exerts their unique form of control. Without accountability to a board, management does what they want and pays little attention to a board that is incapable of asking a probing question.
In an ideal world, the Board (or at least one that follows board policies and understands the reason why they exist at all) would stand up to bullies of management and demand a greater degree of transparency. If this current board had any real, collective intelligence, they would look around and understand that the problems plaguing the District right now are a direct result of their inability to demand more from management.
Of course, it wouldn't hurt for this current board to follow their own policies. How Gary Noble thinks that he earned his seat in the last election is still a mystery. Sure, your friends may have changed the rules, but your "election" was to the height of an earlier standard. A standard that you did not meet. As for Pat Shields, it is still shocking how he could be so closely involved in the creation of "Powerful Partners" and then allow them to go so many years without paying a dollar toward the lease they signed. And will they keep changing their name every time a bill arrives in the mail? Of course, we shouldn't forget that Ann McMurray was the one that directed Marla Miller to start negotiating for a contaminated piece of property before they even had the results from an environmental assessment. Bruce Williams was part of that decision but then his policy violations and personal issues eventually bounced him from the Board.