Sunday, April 29, 2012

Korte's fishy math

If you read through the transcript, link, you find a red herring School Board Member Kathy Korte brought to the table during the discussion of the Citizens Advisory Council on Communication petition; her "yet another thing to do" math.

School Board Member Kathy Korte never misses an opportunity to remind interest holders of her suffering as their servant; the number of hours and amount of energy she devotes to her public service.

On the subject of communications alone;

"... there's nothing that we haven't tried or we aren't doing to try and reach out to the public that we serve. I do it every day. I spend too many hours doing it."
Board members pledge, before they run for office, that, they have the time to do the job. It seems silly to complain when the people take you up on the pledge.

An onus falls upon board members to decide, of everything they can, could or should do in their capacity as a board member, which can they actually do.

Let's say for example, Korte has 200 things on her plate; places people want her to be, things they want her to read, things the want her to do. Let's say she has whittled down her list, prioritized the more important 100 demands, and added them to her to actually do list.

Then comes the Citizens Advisory Council on Communication, asking for her time and attention. They did not ask for more of her time and attention, only their fair share of both according her prioritization process (presumably; those that offer the most bang for the buck in advancing the public, not her personal, interests).

The leadership of the APS is averse to situations where they cannot control the spin. They spend a million dollars a year controlling the spin.

Korte cannot own her aversion to two-way communication and she is grasping at straws. One of the straws she offered in her denial of due process for petitioners, was to argue, she could not do another thing; she cannot do 101 things. Her logic cannot stand scrutiny.

The petitioners have a Constitutionally protected human right to be put on the same list as every other interest holder; subject to her prioritization and according to the public interests. The CACoC petitioners are not asking for special treatment, just equal treatment. If they're less worthy than the 100th thing she does, then she has justification to strike them from her list.

In truth, Korte opposes the effort to create real two-way communication between the leadership of the APS and the community members they serve. It is because she, they, no one, can legitimately control the direction of a two-way conversation. The truth cannot be spun if there are real opportunities for exploration of issues.

The truth about the spending of public power and resources by the leadership of the APS belongs to those whose power and resources are being spent; the people. That truth is divided into two parts; the truth that remains hidden according to the law; the Inspection of Public Records Act and the Open Meetings Act, and the truth which is not excepted by the law.

That truth, the part that enjoys no exception under the laws, is divided into two parts; the part the makes the leadership of the APS look good, and the part that makes them look bad.

They are falling over themselves to get the good information out; a million dollars a year for Monica Armenta and APS' "communications" effort. They spend as many resources and as much energy or more, trying to keep hidden, the information that makes them look bad. Who knows what they have spent trying to keep, for example, the Caswell Report and other investigations into felony criminal misconduct in the leadership of the APS Police force, secret from public knowledge?

Their entire communications effort consists of a stream of information flowing in one direction. Nowhere is there a place to have the conversations Board Member Lorenzo Garcia was talking about when he offered; we're going to have to learn to have the harder conversations.

Korte will undoubtedly attack me and my motivation for wanting to talk about things that make her and the rest of the leadership of the APS "look bad". The truth is, the looking bad part is only the chips falling where they may. It has to due with establishing accountability in public service and politics. She can characterize my effort to address accountability issues as "negativity", but it's only another red herring.

It's about the answering of questions, not about why they were asked or by whom.

photos Mark Bralley

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