Sunday, June 1, 2008

Why Shimmin?

LT has a good explanation of why one might want to see Shimmin recalled. I'm posting it here because it's buried in a larger comment over there:

In other words, if Debi had voted in favor of the Sand Ridge amendment (which we don't think Kennedy favors as a policy matter) AFTER learning the financial consequences, listening to the advice of the district's lawyer and making appropriate revisions, and explaining to the public why this was the best decision for the district as a whole, Kennedy would not like the decision, but he would not oppose the decision as bad board behavior. LT holds to the same standard.

We do not believe that recalls of elected officials is appropriate
based on disagreement with policy. We think that recall is appropriate when the elected official is not meeting the minimum standards for prudent behavior, particularly when the behavior damages the people who are supposed to be protected by the official.

We think that Debi has crossed the boundary into imprudent behavior to the extent that the public has the right to throw her out of office. We think that, not because we disagree with her decisions, but because we disagree with the WAY she makes decisions.

I agree with that explanation. It's about where I stand - it's not the policy so much as the process. Not the outcome of the votes, but the path used to get there. Again, I think Shimmin could be a good board member under different circumstances (namely, without Alexander or Wineteer around), but as of right now, she's certainly struggling.

Finally, we should all remember that while she did run for the position, she was walking into a huge mess. This situation is complex, complicated, has a long history, and isn't anywhere near being resolved. In some ways, Shimmin is at the mercy of a lot of different forces at play.


Anonymous said...

An observation and a explanation from a different view why Debi should be recalled.

When new board members are elected, they go through a learning curve. They are encouraged to attend boardmanship training to familiarized themselves with their roles, duties, authorities and laws that govern their conducts and decision making processes. This usually occurs right after they are sworn into office. They are great classes offered by OSBA or on the national level. It is also a great way to network, meet other Board members from accross the State and from other different States. A place to share ideas of what is working for each different district and how it can work in their districts.

Board members are elected to oversee a budget that is worth millions of public funds and the education of the community's children. That is a lot of money and responsibilities for board members. Therefore they OWE it to themselves, the community and the students to do more to educate themselves on the process. They can not be professional over night.

Since Josh and Rick had been elected, they had never taken a class on boardmanship or any other courses to educate themselves and you can see it by the way they vote, act and discuss different items pertaining to the school district. Their actions speaks volume of their knowledge on school board roles, authorities, duties, policies and laws.

Now it takes me back to Debi. She has not taken the time to do the same and it is now about 1 year since she got elected. Her thought process of how things should be done had set in based on how Rick and Josh formulate their decision making process. It is sad because once you head down that road it is really hard to make the correction. Other board members from other district that goes thru these kind of struggles had the same experience from their boardmembers who refused to attend these helpful courses and classes.

Lebanon is not the only school district that have problems with out of control board members. But the main problems are from Board members that do not quite understand their duties, policies and authorities and had refused to educate themselves on how to become true professional, caring, ethical and problem solving board members.

So recalling Debi because she neglect to perform her duties as a
board member by educating herself will be a reason for me to recall her. Her future decisions will be always with question marks from a stand point. One will always wonder then if she did it in an ethical way, thoughtful way, legally and professionally.

So far she had not pass the test so it is time for her to go before more damages are done.

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