In a nutshell – the “problem” with transparency is that it is frightening to anyone in DCSS – BOE member and/or administrator – who has something to hide. Transparency makes it crystal clear – no pun intended – that the emperor has no clothes.
Per Anonymous, 3:26 PM, 10/29/2010: “I asked my Board rep (one of the four not up for re-election) what his opinion of the open check register was, and he said that he was sick and tired of all this ‘transparency’ stuff. It is just one more thing that the ‘bloggers’ are bringing up to mess things up.”
Hmmm … this sounds a whole lot like Don McChesney. Although, it also has Paul Womack’s tone, minus the edge of profanity. Both should resign. Unfortunately, neither one is up for re-election until 2012.
On October 6, 2010, I wrote to the entire BOE and asked why the October 6 called meeting to discuss major financial matters was not televised on PDS-24.
- Jim Redovian, my BOE representative, did not respond. Typical. Jim’s attitude toward constitutents is just one reason – of many! – why I have voted for Nancy Jester. She is knowledgeable, interested, capable, has valuable professional skills and she responds promptly.
- Zepora Roberts did respond: “I don't know. I will forward your email on to our interim superintendent, Mrs. Ramona Tyson, and staff, to give you a response. Thanks.” To date – for 23 days – no response from Ramona Tyson or anyone else on her staff.
- But, Don McChesney’s clueless response takes the cake: “This was an open and public meeting which you could attend. Please check our website for posting of meetings so you can arrange your schedule to attend.”
Here was my response to Don:
“Thank you for the suggestion, Don.
“Currently, I am medical leave from my job with a debilitating back problem that makes walking extremely difficult, painful and somewhat dangerous. I am certain I am not the only handicapped person who is interested in the DCSS BOE meetings, but unable to be there in person.
“When I go back to work, which I am expecting to do, I will not be able to go to daytime meetings because I will be on the job.
“Let me assure you, it is not laziness on my part or an inability to “arrange my schedule” that made it impossible for me to go to Wednesday's meeting and will make it impossible for me to attend non-work-related daytime meetings when I go back to work.
“However, I do have television access -- at home and at work. It seems like broadcasting all BOE meetings over PDS-24 and podcasting would be the open and transparent thing for the DCSS BOE to do.
“How may I get a copy of minutes of the Wednesday, October 6, 2010 meeting, please?
“Thank you, again, for your response. I know you did not mean to be insensitive to a handicapped person -- but you were.”
To date: no response from McChesney. That includes no answer to my question about how I may get a copy of the minutes of the meeting. They certainly aren't available at e-Board.
Don McChesney seems oblivious to the fact that most taxpayers must work these days. Maybe I should have begun my e-mail to him with that very obvious fact?
Since McChesney suggests that I “just arrange” my schedule to attend board meetings, then may we assume that he would have no issue with teachers and others employed by DCSS “just arranging” their schedules to be at BOE meetings (including daytime meetings) and other meetings in which they have a vested interest? How about it, teachers?
Or, does it make more sense – good financial sense – to fully utilize PDS-24? Use PDS-24 to open up DCSS (day meetings, night meetings, called meetings, committee meetings, retreats), encourage transparency, and engage all stakeholders: taxpayers, parents, teachers, community members and – yes – students! Use PDS-24 to “pay for its keep” and let it partner in fully demonstrating the democratic process, community service and ethical, honorable behavior.
(Of course, it wouldn't hurt to make the minutes of all BOE meetings publicly available. When I requested minutes, I was told they were available only through an open records request.)
Part of the democratic process is to “Throw the bums out!” when transparency shows a complete breakdown in ethics, honesty, service, good judgment, commitment and honorable behavior on the part of elected officials.
Apparently the only ones who have a “problem” with transparency are those who have something to hide – or who support those with something to hide.