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Letter: Three Board Members A “No Show” at School Board Meeting

The Swine Flu strikes the board of education. At least that’s what the audience of about 60 community members and school district employees thought we might hear announced on Thursday night when the June 18 Mineola Board of Education meeting was unexpectedly cancelled. After all, why else would three board members “no-show” the last business meeting of the fiscal school year?  There must have been a valid, acceptable explanation, right?

Some of you may be thinking, “Oh, those three are probably making a statement of some kind because this was, coincidentally, the last meeting of our current superintendent and board president.”

There were 14 pages of agenda prepared and posted for the June 18 meeting that, by law, was cancelled due to lack of a quorum. The appointments and/or salaries of over 200 people were on that scrapped agenda.  There were also contracts, RFP approvals, and even the resolution to use the general fund balance overage to pay down the district’s debt on that agenda.  So if the three members were making a statement, perhaps someone might be thinking, “Once again, personal agendas are more important than the business of our children’s education.”

Now, flash back to some campaign promises, one of which was “saving the district’s taxpayers money!”  The next thing some of you may be thinking is, “I wonder how much a re-do of this meeting will cost?” It’s not just the meeting itself, but also the effect of temporarily paralyzing the business of the efficient running of our schools. (We would ask the district to calculate that, but that would only waste more precious time and resources.)

We can only hope that the three board members realize that they weren’t just “dissing” a coffee klatch with a few friends. On the other hand, if they do realize that, how can they justify their actions? At minimum, a board member’s obligation to their constituents and the community is to show up prepared to the two meeting dates per month that were agreed upon, a year in advance, by those very same board members. And if that is too much responsibility for these three board members, then perhaps they should consider stepping down.

Regardless of what you may be wondering about why the three board members missed the meeting, perhaps the real question to ask is “How dare you?”

Lisa Lao and Mary Ellen Williams