Monday, April 15, 2013

Fox C-6 Board Members Delete Emails Without Reading Them!

I received a couple of Read Receipt messages on Sunday evening from Board Vice President Dan Smith and Director Cheryl Hermann informing me that they deleted my email message regarding the Board Meeting Packets without even reading the email. Their decision to NOT READ my message could be seen as a violation of school board policy. Dan Smith is set to become the Fox C-6 School Board President at the April 2013 board meeting. Perhaps he doesn't take his job seriously. Perhaps he doesn't feel the need to answer questions from the community as to why the school board did not discuss the posting of Board Meeting Packets on the district website during open session. Perhaps he doesn't believe that decisions made by the school board need to be documented in board meeting minutes. I can't speak for Mr. Smith, but deleting email messages without reading them speaks loudly to the community to which he was elected to serve.

Board Members Should Read School District Policies
I would like to recommend that our school board members take some time to read our school board policies. I've made this recommendation many times over the last several years. I haven't seen much evidence that shows that they understand what their roles and responsibilities are to the patrons of the Fox C-6 School District. They took an oath to uphold the duties and responsibilities as outlined in our school board policies. Our superintendent Dianne Critchlow tells me in emails that our school board members are caring and competent. However, the actions of our school board members speak much louder than words!

The citizens of our community elected these people to serve as our voice in the school district. When they are asked simple questions that they don't want to answer, they simply ignore the questions. Or, in this case delete those questions. That type of a response DOES NOT show the community that they are "caring and competent" board members.

Here are the email messages that I received from Dan Smith and Cheryl Hermann:
From: Smith, Dan - Board Vice President
Subject: Not read: Fox C-6 Board Meeting Information Packets on District Website
Message: Your message was deleted without being read on Sunday, April 14, 2013 9:07:19 PM (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada).

From: Hermann, Cheryl - Director
Subject: Not read: Fox C-6 Board Meeting Information Packets on District Website
Message: Your message was deleted without being read on Sunday, April 14, 2013 9:08:22 PM (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada).

Board Members Not Answering Emails
I know of several others that have sent email messages to our school board members and haven't received a response from them. What is the point of having individual email addresses if your board members aren't willing to read your email and respond? Several people have commented on the Topix website about how they have contacted our board members and spoken to them and said how helpful they were. Perhaps the people posting those messages are board members and school administrators trying to fool the public! Or, perhaps those people were telling the board members what a great job they are doing. Our board members appear to respond to those types of comments.

Former board member Ruth Ann Newman recently stated in her letter to the editor in the Arnold-Imperial Leader newspaper that she "liked to think about the positive aspects of problems and concerns. Too many times, the focus is on the negative." Asking school board members to answer questions as to why they don't want to post public records or why they didn't record their decisions in the board meeting minutes IS NOT BEING NEGATIVE!! That is simply asking your school board members to do their job. Our district has been plagued for a number of years by a school board that has not been doing its job. I have been amazed by the number of people that have come up and told me how happy they are that our recent school board election ousted the two incumbents, Pete Nicholas and Ruth Ann Newman. My father even told me the day after the election that everyone he spoke to was happy with the school board election results including himself. I think that speaks for itself.

Were Messages Deleted By Board Members or Someone Else?
I found it odd that both board members deleted my message within 1 minute and 3 seconds of each other. Perhaps it wasn't the board members themselves that deleted my messages. Maybe they were deleted by our superintendent or the school board secretary. Or, perhaps my messages were automatically deleted by their computer system because the board members never downloaded my original email message that I sent nearly 4 weeks ago that they never responded to. Who knows? Are our board members getting their email messages?  Since they don't respond, it's hard to tell. The old email address went directly to our school board secretary and not to the school board. Perhaps this is just another way of keeping our school board members from being burdened with having to answer questions from the public.

Actions definitely speak louder than words!!