Friday, April 03, 2015

KOAT knuckles under, or ...

KOAT was at the board meeting yesterday. They filmed the whole thing; they conducted on camera interviews.  And then they decided to not cover the story they witnessed; a rift on the APS school board with regard to the process by which the next superintendent will be selected.  A serious rift over a serious issue; open government.

KOAT didn't report anything about it.  KOAT viewers will be kept in the dark about an issue even the Journal, link, found newsworthy.

Muller-Aragon told the Journal on Thursday that she voted against the list because at the beginning of the meeting, she felt the board improperly voted to go into closed session.
Either the board went into executive session according to the law, or they did not.  It makes a difference because if the moved into their secret meeting illegally, the selections they made are moot; the votes don't count and the meeting needs to be redone.  But only if someone decides to sue APS over the issue.  Otherwise; they skate.

Board member Lorenzo Garcia told the Journal that there was nothing improper about the vote, made necessary by the "inflammatory remarks" he alleges Muller-Aragon was making at the time*.

* The board has a problem with allowing people saying "inflammatory" things to their face.  A United States District Court Judge has just ruled, link, their policy against inflammatory remarks, unconstitutional.

The issue is over "calling the question"; a process provided for in Robert's Rules of Order, and abused Thursday morning.  The board has formally adopted Robert's Rules as their own.  If the question was called in violation of Robert's Rules, they ended discussion in violation of their own internal rules.

I am not a parliamentarian.  Neither is Lorenzo Garcia.  (I will bow to controverting fact)

Nor is, I am guessing, the person who told Garcia it was all "legal".  Again just guessing; APS Modrall lawyer Art Melendres who witnessed the entire episode first hand.

Missing still; any actual resolution of the complaint; a final determination whether they adjourned according to the law.  Does the fact that they adopt rules they obey or not at their own discretion make any difference?  A complaint has been made and needs to be addressed.

The final determination will not be made soon.
It will not be made until far later than too late to make any difference.  KOAT isn't going to dig into it; neither is the Journal.  They will do what they always do; act as if nothing happened.

Missing as well, videotape of the meeting.  You can't go to APS' award winning website and see for your self what happened.  They don't videotape their committee meetings, though both of the techs who do the videotaping were in the room for this meeting - keeping an eye on a tape recorder I suppose. The most you can hope for is an audio recording which you will have to go pick up in person and then pay for.

It is hard to tell why KOAT bailed on this story.  It could be that APS (and former APS school board heavy hitter Paula Maes, President and CEO of the NM Broadcasters Assoc) wears a big enough shoe that they can just tell KOAT to kill the story or never get another on camera interview.

It could be that whomever at KOAT, simply decided on their own to keep their viewers in the dark; creating beliefs or impressions in stake and interest holders that are untrue or misleading.  They have recently censured one of my comments on their earlier report on Muller-Aragon's stand.

When the Bill of Rights was written, Constitutional protection was specifically provided for the free exercise of the human right to be the press.  The protection was provided because they understood how important the press is to a functioning democracy.

KOAT (KRQE, KOB) and Journal have an obligation to inform the democracy.

Unfortunately, they can't be held accountable when due to their complicity or complacency, they decide to do otherwise.

photos Mark Bralley

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