Friday, March 27, 2015

APS Superintendent to be hired in secret

For all their blowing about how openly and transparently the next superintendent will be selected, the brunt of the decision making will take place in secret.

The board will adjourn into "executive sessions"; meetings in secret from the communities and community members they serve; in secret from the people whose trust and treasure they are spending.

The very first thing they will do is turn off all recording devices.  The law does not require them to turn off their recorders.  Rather, weakness in the law allows them to "not create" an incontrovertible record of the meeting.  It is important because they have a history of making decisions in secret that they couldn't defend in court.

There are good and ethical reasons for some government to take place in secret.  Some discussions really should take place in private; some public records really should remain unpublished.

That said, the worst thing a politician or public servant can do is anything they do in unnecessary secret from the people whose power they wield and whose resources they spend.

Therefore the need is for more disclosure not less.

Is there any reason why we can't insist upon knowing what they intend to do and ask in secret?  The law requires their "reasonable specificity".  No specificity is not reasonable specificity no matter how much money they are willing to squander in litigation against the public interests.

The Journal has a responsibility to inform the democracy. 

How are the people supposed to hold school board members accountable at election if they are uninformed about their public service?

Call upon the Journal to investigate and report on your behalf;

What does the board intend to do in their meetings in secret?  What questions do they intend to ask, the responses to which stake and interest holders are better off not hearing?

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