Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hometown Insanity, Part Hiatus Interruptus

I have some brief Internet access, and what do I do? Go straight to Blogger.

I missed the latest Lebanon School Board meeting - apparently, the Board rescinded its earlier decision to "appoint" Ken Ray as interim Superintendent, leaving Assistant Steve Kelley in charge.

While the Lebanon Express story I got that from confirms it, the story doesn't make any mention of why that decision was made or who made it - the Board, Ray, or both. I'd really like to know what happened in the executive sessions meeting between Ray and the Board. Regardless, I think it's a good idea. There's no real reason to appoint Ray over Kelley besides some misguided attempt at a power grab that Ray - hopefully - wasn't willing to play along with.

You should also check out this comment from Anonymous, who adds some interesting background.

[A side note on anonymous comments: I understand the need for anonymity, but I wish anonymous commenters would pick a name and stick with it, even if it's a fake name. It would be nice to know if people are coming back. That's all.]

From the same Express story, I really like this part:

[Retired Superintendent] Davidian told the board members if their objective is to get rid of Jim Robinson they should buy the superintendent out and not waste his or Peck's time with a review.

During the audience comment portion of the meeting prior to Davidian and Peck speaking, Paul Bullock elicited a round of applause after he urged the board to spare the community the political drama and buy out Robinson's contract.


This suggests that Davidian sees right through the bull on this one. Suspending Robinson pending a performance review is not what Alexander, Wineteer, and their allies want unless it leads to his dismissal. They - and lots of other folks - want him gone, and anyone who pretends otherwise is either in on the game or blind. I am really starting to hate this kabuki dance, and I would die of joy if some enterprising Express reporter just blew the lid off everything. It's called investigative journalism, and I know it's hard, and I know it takes money and time, and I know the Express probably thinks it would put their reputation in the community at risk, but enough is enough. This is hurting the community, and even journalists are people and community members. Come on, folks. Crash the party. Please.

I'm also starting to feel for Chris Fisher. He's not quite talented enough to put the brakes on this train wreck, though he's trying his best. The injustice is that since he's on the wrong side, he's getting flack for doing his best to be responsible. That's pretty shameful - it's one thing to disagree with him while acknowledging his effort, as Shimmin apparently did in the last meeting, but it's another to call for his head just because he doesn't agree with your point of view. That's low, and both parents and teachers should know better. So I ask again: Is this really the model of politics and governance you want to use as an example for your children?

3 comments:

pax said...

When do you announce your candidacy? I'll be your manager.

Me said...

I've been checking out this Paul Bullock guy. It seems he ran for and lost a position on the Sweet Home school board a couple of years ago. (Lebanon Express archives: Paul Bullock, 57, is a computer programer and business consultant who is making his first foray into public office.

Bullock says he is running for the school board because he says that education in Sweet Home is atrocious.

He says that what he sees as the greatest problem facing the school district is its entrenchment in educational bureaucracy that has not been willing to change.

Bullock says the board needs to look at things differently, take a fresh look, look at new options and new ways of doing things.

"They need to have an open mind," he said. "I've seen no indication that they're willing to do that.")

I wonder why he's so interested in Lebanon schools?
What's his beef and why is he so anxious to buy out the superintendent?

Roxy said...

Journalists are people!?? No way! :) I thought they all wielded mighty red pens of doom and breathed ink onto blood-soaked paper.

I think the whole scenario is an example of political horse-race journalism. The pessimist (sp?) in me believes the public isn't in an uproar about the situation because they are instead enveloped in the race. Who's going to win? Alexander? The minority? It's a tug of war and those with the stronger words and power of persuasion will win. Fights are fun to watch and this struggle, although quite sad and at the expense of the district's reputation, takes the cake.

 
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