A public official: An appointment to an elected position should not be made in private
Perhaps the intent was well-meaning -- an attempt to discuss the merits, and demerits, if you will, in private of the men and women who have offered their services as a replacement for recently resigned District 2 Wayne County Board of Education member Shirley Sims.
But no matter how you look at it, the county-commission-appointed committee's consideration that some of its meetings should be closed is ill-advised at best and breaking a promise of transparency at its worst.
Forget for a moment that it is simply against the rules. This is not a personnel action, but an appointment to an elected slot.
And also forget that one of the members of the selection committee is related to one of the candidates -- so, therefore, because of the potential for questions, there is an extra need for openness.
But, with all due respect to those who are candidates for the post, if there is a single person who would mind having his or her resume discussed in public -- and a vote being taken in the same manner -- he or she should withdraw from consideration immediately.
A school board member is an elected official. He or she is subject to the same questions that are asked of any candidate for a public post -- and therefore, also subject to the same "invasion of privacy" if you want to call it that.
So there is no need for any protection from embarrassment for someone who is eager to take on such an important job. In fact, complete openness should be a requirement.
And that should start with the appointment itself.
Published in Editorials on July 19, 2010 11:09 AM