Monday, January 30, 2012

Korte's defense; umbrage

School Board member Kathy Korte fought back against grumblings about APS' redistricting decision making process, expressing her umbrage in a letter his morning in the Journal, link.

Korte points to constituent apathy as the
root of constituent unhappiness; people
who had an opportunity to speak up and
did not, are now complaining that their
interests were ignored.

Her defense rests on the premise that the community had an opportunity to speak up. She argued, there had been four public meetings and that, each board member had nominated two citizens to meet with the community, thereby “involving it”.

That plan obviously didn't work; it didn't "involve the community".

No small part of the reason why community members aren’t lining up to participate in "decision-making" APS style, is the actual role of community advisory groups in the decision-making process;

"... any recommendation made by it could be ... completely disregarded by the seven board members."
Community members are well aware of their lack of actual influence and therefore are disinclined to be part of a photo op and little more; they become disinclined to continue to play the game.

Korte is a long time complainer about the lack of community participation in efforts to involve them in decision making.

She is being disingenuous.

The efforts to “involve the community” are actually efforts to create a show of bodies at meetings, in order to create perception that the process is legitimate. The meetings are not held to actually give interest holders an opportunity to participate meaningfully in decision making about their interests; their power and their resources.

If Korte was really interested in engaging with interest holders, she would be fighting for the Citizens Advisory Council on Communication. She would at least be willing to give their petition due process; a public hearing and a roll call vote.

She is not.

Korte's real desire to engage with interest holders is betrayed in her refusal to point to a time, a day, and a place where she will sit still and respond candidly, forthrightly and honestly to legitimate questions about the public interests and about her public service.

She will not entertain questions about her complicity or complacency in;
  • efforts to cover up felony public corruption in the APS police force leadership;
  • the denial of due process to hundreds of APS whistleblowers' complaints, and
  • the abdication of the entire leadership of the APS, including Ms Korte, from their responsibilities and obligations to "model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts!".
  • denying due process for legitimate petitions; including the Citizens Advisory Council on Communication petition.
Instead Korte blows smoke;
The public received adequate notice of the meeting and the agenda as set forth by the Open Meetings Act.
"Adequate notice" to the leadership of the APS, to Korte, means the absolute least notice required by the law, a position she supported personally, link.

According to school board policy, students are taught that their good character is forfeit unless they are willing to defend it by
"... doing more than the law requires and
less than the law allows."
By definition, their role models are held to the same standard,
and were, until the board removed the role modeling clause
from their own standards of conduct;
In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult,
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
Now they are "legally" free to;
  1. do as little as the law absolutely requires and
  2. use every technicality, loophole and conceivable legal weaselry
to restrict access to records and meetings.

It's hard to hide from the truth;
  1. Board meetings begin when interest holders are at work, at only one location.
  2. The opportunity to sign up to speak at the public forum, expires before interest holders can get to the reason. There is no good and ethical reason that someone cannot sign up for the last two minutes of the forum, any time up to those last two minutes.
  3. Speakers at the public forum find their Constitutionally protected human rights to assemble peacefully, speak freely and to petition one's government over redress of grievances, are abrogated. To the extent your legitimate complaint makes board members or senior administrators feel guilty or incompetent, it is disallowed.
  4. If board members authority to disallow the free exercise of those rights is challenged, a publicly funded, private police force; a praetorian guard in the truest sense, will arrest the petitioner, link.

Korte is complicit, complacent or willfully ignorant of an ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Neither Korte nor any other member of the senior leadership is willing to point to a time, a day and a place where they will sit still and respond to any legitimate questions, responding candidly, forthrightly and honestly, until the questions have all been asked.

When the question is;
will you tell the truth, the whole truth and
nothing but the ethically redacted truth?
Any answer except yes, means no.

The Journal gives her all the space she wants to throw bombs at dissidence and disallows dissidents no counter fire.

Our community would do well to remember that APS must always be about our kids. I am ready to continue working with my fellow board members, community groups, teachers, parents and stakeholders to put our children first.

Are you?
If dissidence enjoyed the same Journal space as Korte,
Journal readers would see;
Ms Korte,

Interest holders are willing to hold open and honest public discussions of legitimate issues, for example;
1. administrative and executive standards of conduct and competence, and
2. actually honest accountability to them,
3. student standards of conduct and competence, and
4. the obligations of their role models, and
5. and the legitimacy of due process for complaints against administrators and board members.

Are you?
As for the Journal and the establishment media, their candid, forthright and honest investigation and reporting upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS speaks for itself.

photo Mark Bralley

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