08/08/12 — Missed point: Commissioner's rant not good way to start 'open dialogue'

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Missed point: Commissioner's rant not good way to start 'open dialogue'

We thought it might be too good to be true.

We just did not think we would know without a doubt that it was merely a dream quite so soon.

Within a month of making a reasonable request to meet with school officials, not to chastise them or to critique their methods, but to understand how the school budget planning works, Steve Keen has reverted back to county commissioner form.

The commissioner had suggested that his call for a joint meeting was a way to foster unity and communication among groups with the sole purpose of creating better schools.

And then, he decided to lambaste the school board for not acting with lightning speed on his request at its regular monthly meeting this week.

And as if that was not enough to erase any good will he had built, he decided to spend a bunch more time listing the money that the county has given to the schools -- and implying that when the county spoke, the school board should jump.

Sigh. Here we go again.

So, one more time. The school board runs the schools and does not answer to the county commission. The county commission does not give money to the schools out of the kindness of its heart -- it is required to do so by state law.

If the county commission, and Steve Keen, want a better dialogue with school officials, it must come from mutual respect and a true willingness to learn and to join forces to make things better in the county schools.

That is not some great state secret. It is just common sense.

On the other hand, the school district has been offered a chance to step up -- and it should -- even if Keen has once again put his foot in his mouth.

Ignore the mistake and head to the meeting with good intentions of your own. Offer the information and explanations and then be part of the solution.

That is what the community wants to see.

And remember, all of you, that this is not about politics or who is right or wrong.

It is about the kids.

Published in Editorials on August 8, 2012 11:32 AM