I had a brief chat with Scott Leopold prior to the meeting. He gave me an update on my request for the raw Fallon data, specifically to help answer the question of how many people surveyed changed their mind about wanting a $206 million “bond issue” once they heard their taxes would climb a bit. He mentioned that Mr. Fallon wants to delay in delivering that information until the February 25th special board meeting when he (Mr. Fallong) will be presenting and is able to deliver that information “in context.” Again, I don’t like that approach, but it is what it is.
Turns out it was a relatively short meeting – I think it clocked in at 53 minutes. The comments (both public and by the board) took up half that time. Since it is less than an hour, I highly recommend you watch it – the board members speak a bit and you can get a sense for where they are at and form your own opinion (as opposed to drinking my kool-aid *grin*).
The recognitions, as always, are a feel-good reminder of good things that are happening in our district. I wonder what it would be like if we also highlighted “challenge areas”. Right now, the folks that speak during public comment generally fulfill that role. But what if the district and/or the board had a running “leaderboard” of, say, the top 5 things they see as the issues of the month. Or year. They could even chart their progress against it; “Last month we identified and resolved these two issues, thus we are moving two more concerns onto the leaderboard for us to tackle this month.”
I gave the first public comment; I volunteered to deliver it since another representative was stuck at home with a sick child. I also sent this to the board and Kristine Chalifoux responded. So to qualify, I am not on the CB building council, and I do realize that the board has not made any official plans to expand CB – it’s all kinda up in the air at the moment.
Chuck Jackson spoke next about the need to be mindful and to intentionally “program” school for all kids. We have to pay attention (perhaps in different ways) especially to those who routinely are not well represented or spoken for.
The Board commented next. As Stig mentioned, Jamar sets the bar extremely high when he shares about his exploits; not only is he sharing what he as a board member is doing, he is really taking a bit of time to get out to the schools and immerse himself in what is going on. This is awesome! The sad thing is I don’t see other board members trying to match him. I wish they would. Stig also spoke a bit, and he focused on how school has to be about the children. I heard Sue Grey say that in the past few years as well, and I always wonder what that means. I assume when the Board says it, they are focusing on the desire to steer away from concerns that are raised by adults about adults. My concern is that we live in community; good schools make good communities, and good communities make good schools. Yes, I totally understand that sometimes we adults become so heads-down, “all about the numbers” and addicted to information (*raises hand* guilty) that we loose track of how the kiddies are doing. But we can’t just throw out the kid-centric card to ward off pesky parents. Rather, I think we need to educate the adults as well. All of us have a lot to learn about parenting, social/mental health and just plain getting along with each other. Or to be a little tongue-in-cheek, does “about the children” mean a significantly trimmed down administration? *sly grin*
Stig wrapped it up by again acknowledging the board candidates present in the audience (John Williams III, Chuck Jackson, Scott MacAdams, Lynn Stuckey); he also mentioned that he and Ileana are running as well.
There was a bit of talk about the working cash bonds (also covered by Meg Dickinson in her NG article – bluegrass asks a very reasonable question, the kind of thing Don Kermath was arguing against early on last year). Jamar asked for clarification that this falls under the $14.9 million cap established last year and in fact, is more or less part of the same thing (just the second phase, if you will). I observe two very noticeable comments by two board members. The first was Phil Van Ness, who said he did not agree with the way the previous board went about the WCB in the first place; again, this sentiment echoes what Mr. Kermath, Bambenenk and many others were saying. But he and others had a lot of praise for the district in their progress. The other comment was made by Kristine Chalifoux who thanked the public for their support.
Ken Kleber had a number of HR items to speak to, and again board members had a number of clarifying questions/comments.
At the very end, Stig had the board move to accept the consent agenda with one modification made during closed session. I personally found that very odd. We have absolutely no context for the modification. I mean, it had to be one of the items already on the consent agenda, right? But which one? That rubbed my fur the wrong way.
See ya at the Community Dialog?