The truth is a difficult thing to hide. Oh, yeah, there are people, businesses, and institutions that get away with lies. Happens all the time. But eventually, truth wins.

There is a growing group of people in Newport-Mesa seeking more truth from the N-MSUD. They’re not asking for much, actually, just the things that we’d like to see from everyone on the planet. These include:

Accountability – This is not the same as finger-pointing and blaming, which is the hallmark of a toxic work environment. Accountability means that people of high integrity step forward to claim ownership of tasks. Accountability means that when something goes wrong, those same people feel comfortable accepting responsibility not because they aren’t concerned about job security but because it is the right thing to do. To date, for example, not a single person has stepped forward to take even 1% ownership of the royal screw-up that is the placement of the solar panels at Estancia High, or the outrageous 80′ that were installed and removed to help protect those panels. Ultimately, we know where this responsibility lies but admitting it requires integrity.

Transparency – This means that all of those semi-secret dealings receive a much higher profile. Let’s take the semi-secret payments to former Dept. Super Paul Reed. This exercise was done with the barest amount of exposure, and if you talk to John Caldecott, he may tell you that that is giving them the benefit of the doubt. So why was it done on the QT? Here’s a hint: It wasn’t executed that way because the district thought you’d give them a standing ovation. Transparency means an end to the “special meetings” that are a blip on the public radar before they are conducted. Transparency means that all the stuff similar to what Caldecott is requesting is made public so that we can use those attorney payments to improve our schools. Or send Brian Ristow to New Zealand.

Fiscal responsibility – See the Reed payments. See the wasted 80′ pole entry. See the mounting legal bills. See the Swun Math program expenditures. Etc. (and there are a lot of Etcs.) This means that there is a heightened awareness and understanding that every cent of the money that is being spent is coming from people who work or are retired and pay taxes and they expect a more judicious approach to spending that what we have been seeing.

This is what they want and they don’t think it’s too much to ask. Had they been getting it, they would have not created a new Facebook page to report on the lack of these characteristics. Here’s the link:

The FB page is an excellent way to inform more of the public of the rubber stamping, mismanagement, and low employee morale that plagues the district.

Like it and visit it often.

Steve Smith
Taxpayer, N-MUSD