Featured Letter: A suspect time to hold a meeting

07/04/2014 7:00 AM |


To the editor:

The decision to make personnel appointments at a special meeting held by members of the Greenport School Board at 7:30 a.m. last Wednesday is suspect at best. Although the second item on the agenda was for public commentary, it was obvious there would be little, if any, input from the community for a meeting at that hour. There were only three board members present at that meeting and the deciding vote was cast by a trustee who is vacating her seat as of July 1. 

What is even more intriguing is that it was held in the office of a superintendent who will be retiring from the district, also on July 1.

There is no doubt in my mind that the board cleared all the legal hurdles so the appointment cannot be contested. There also might be sound reasoning behind what appears to be the sudden appointment of these two individuals. However, the optics of a lame duck board and lame duck superintendent making these appointments at an early morning special meeting that the vast majority of the public could not possibly attend raises many valid questions.

Why wasn’t this appointment made at the June 18 meeting, when all trustees were present? Were the two board members not in attendance last Wednesday aware that this meeting was taking place? Was the meeting held because they were not sure if they would have the votes after July 1?

Was the incoming superintendent part of the decision-making process for these appointments?

The board members have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the interests of their constituents. By holding a meeting under these circumstances, one needs to ask, whose interest were they looking after on the morning of June 25?

After speaking to many members of the community, I am far from the only person asking these questions.

Gregory Wallace, Greenport