Request an answer or information that may cast the district in a bad light and you get stiff-armed. You get excuses. You get the stall, stifle, and stymie. Taxpayer requests for records filed under official circumstances are delayed over and over.
It’s all in an effort by the district to get the interested parties to eventually forget that they asked for the information and hope that they’ll just go away.
The latest case in point is a Facebook exchange between Trustee Vicki Snell and some taxpayers who questioned why there is a shortage of seats, bathrooms, and team rooms at CM High, particularly since tonight is the big football game against Estancia. Here are Snell’s replies to posts about the shortages:
“… final placement of the bleachers is not complete.”
“It’s not perfect but it should be okay for one game.”
“Let’s see how this year goes and the principals/coaches can make changes, corrections, improvements as needed.”
“Yes, no team rooms but we will make it work. It’s about one evening every other year.”
“Let’s wait and see the final configuration.”
“Balancing needs, wants and equity can be a challenge.”
“…discussions for future are in play.” [Trustee Charlene Metoyer]
That’s what passes for meaningful communication in the district. Did you read a single word of sympathy? Forget about an apology, which would have been nice, there wasn’t a word of compassion in these quotes or in any of the complete quotes from which these were pulled.
How about a declaration of action? Something like, “I agree the situation is bad and so I am organizing a meeting to get it corrected immediately.” Or to look into it. Anything.
That’s what would happen in the private sector where people have to be held accountable. But in the N-MUSD, there is no accountability. The bottom line once again is that there was no sympathy (forget the apology) and there was no mention of immediate, definitive next steps because they just don’t care. They just don’t care.
Instead these frustrated taxpayers experienced what many of have been dealing with for a long time: “not complete,” “should be okay,” “let’s see how this year goes,” “it’s only one game,” “let’s wait and see,” and my favorite: “discussions are in play.”
Discussion are in play? Really? Great!!! I’d like to attend, so…
- Who is holding them?
- When are they being held?
- Where are they being held?
- What is the goal of the discussions?
- When will the discussions be completed so we can start fixing the problem?
There were also a couple of mentions that there wasn’t enough money to make the upgrades. Oh, really? Here’s an idea: Stop doing things that trigger so many lawsuits and legal issues and use that money to pay for the improvements. Here’s another: Reduce the size of the bloated bureaucracy created by the superintendent – a bureaucracy that has failed to improve academic performance in schools that most need it (see recent post).