Why must board operate in secret?

Isn’t the Everett School Board a publicly elected body? Aren’t the board members supposed to be representatives and hopefully reflective of public opinion? Shouldn’t they at least comment on their decisions if only so people might know their views?

Apparently not. Not after their most recent, and yet again secret, non-inclusive decision making to select a new superintendent. Asking citizens to complete their Web site survey on the desired qualities of a superintendent is well and good, but what about some public involvement as they narrowed the applicants? How about some progress reports and open examination?

Have you noticed how closed they are, even when they are “open”? The board deliberates in executive session, makes announcements in special meetings and circles their wagons. Their game plan? Don’t provide updates and give public notice only via their Web site. It’s all a good cover but I doubt if everyone (anyone?) makes hourly checks of their celebrated Web site to discover what they are up to now. We shouldn’t have to find out after the fact.

Perhaps I’m wrong, but when was the last time you observed or even heard about any disagreement or open discussion among this board on an important matter?

The patrons of Everett schools — citizens, taxpayers, parents — as well as district employees and students, deserve better. Instead, the board has been taught well by rarely having public discussion and always displaying a united front.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing for all board members to seek citizen input and openly discuss their own views before making decisions?

It’s a shame. Everett could be so much more than just a good district. They are supposed to be representatives. Let’s insist they begin to act like ones who truly value public judgment.

Michael Wartelle


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