Board functionality should be considered

info@islandpacket.comNovember 25, 2012 

Your recent opinion regarding school board openness presents the right theme, but misses the point on functionality.

In order for the board to be successful it must function as a team not as a group of individuals. Incoming school board member Paul Roth indicated that the discussion of the chairmanship was not appropriate in public "without the rest of the entire board." Instead of chastising Roth, you should commend him for insisting that all board members be present when this discussion occurs. Additionally, an individual board member has no power outside the board room. While he or she should gather information and opinion from constituents before board discussions, it is important for board members to share these results with "the team" before talking with the media about them. Not only is this acceptable procedurally, it is a common courtesy that should be extended to fellow board members.

All citizens should expect openness from their elected officials and the school board is no different. My reminder to them would be that their first duty is to the children, their constituents and their fellow board members, not the media.

Michael S. Clemens


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