Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Unwarranted secrecy is an affront to democracy

Democracy depends upon a fully informed electorate.
The worst possible thing a politician or public servant can do,
is anything they do in unnecessary secret.

Citizens cannot hold politicians and public servants accountable for their public service, if their service is conducted in (unnecessary) secret.

School board members have three jobs,

  1. create district policy, 
  2. approve district budgets, and 
  3. hire superintendents.
Voters are entitled to hold board members accountable for each.  They are entitled to hold board members accountable for their conduct and competence in hiring their superintendent and in extending his tenure.

We are entitled to hold board members accountable, at their election, for their record of holding the superintendent accountable.

Four board members are running for re-election; Paula Maes, David Robbins, David Peercy, and Lorenzo Garcia.  Before election day, but after early voting has begun, they will "evaluate" Winston Brooks, and they will extend his contract beyond the terms of their election to the board.

They will do this in a meeting in secret from voters.
They will do this in a meeting they will not record.

They will not be held accountable at election because voters have no idea what they're doing.

Keeping the truth from voters, amounts to disenfranchisement, pure and simple.  Every relevant fact about APS Supt Winston Brooks' performance over the last year, will be shared only with manifestly conflicted board members, men and women who have a personal interest in the outcome - If Brooks looks good, the board looks good; if Brooks looks bad, the board who hired him and keeps adding to his golden parachute, looks bad.

How are voters to hold board members accountable for holding Brooks accountable, if the whole process is carried out in secret?

Brooks' evaluation is a sham,
in no small part due to the fact
that establishment media interest
in fully informing voters in
anticipation of very important
elections, is a sham.

photo Mark Bralley

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