Lakewood School Board Is Broken
I am writing to you concerning the current state of the school board for the Lakewood City Schools. From my perspective, the board is at worst broken and at best seriously damaged. As a lifelong citizen of Lakewood and a graduate of Lakewood High School I find the processes and procedures used by the current members of the board to be disturbing. This school board keeps telling the public that it is completely transparent, yet they continue to pass policy in violation of their own bylaws and with sleight of hand that would make Houdini proud. I maintain that they do not operate transparently but under a cloak of invisibility.
I have been watching a minor policy move through the process of implementation. This policy was enacted in violation of the school board bylaws and was written by a school board member in such a way as to place even more power into the hands of school board members. This policy clearly creates a conflict of interest between several independent commissions that are overseen by the board and the board members that serve on those commissions. The conflict arises from the fact that sitting board members are not prohibited from serving as voting members of these commissions. How convenient of the policy writer to exclude that conflict from the policy, not to mention that two of the commissions that seat school board members now have no limit as to how long they can serve. Is this a coincidence? I am not so sure. An interesting side note is that when I presented these issues, in greater detail by letter and by public comment, before the board at their July 11, 2011 meeting not one elected official asked me why I was so unhappy with them or for any sort of explanation. They just scurried off to their last executive session of the evening. Not only did they not speak to me after my presentation, but they spent several minutes discussing the open gym program after the presentation by the speaker immediately following me. My only conclusion can be that the members of the school board felt that my issues were of little importance to them.
I find it disturbing to see that school board for the Lakewood City Schools holds the members of the various commissions and the public at large in such low regard that they would pass these relatively minor items in violation of their own bylaws. If the smaller issues are being so recklessly handled, what is happening with the big issues? They seem to have numerous special board meetings and a high number of executive sessions. What sort of back door dealing is taking place at the Board of Education? The citizens of Lakewood deserve better. There will be three positions open during the November election. The citizens of Lakewood need to take a close look at this school board and make wholesale changes.
Richard W. Krumreig