Education association criticizes board appointment
Steamboat Springs — Members of the Steamboat Springs Education Association are dissatisfied with the school board’s action to appoint a new member without voter input, according to a letter addressed to the Steamboat Springs School Board.
Association President Mike Smith presented the letter to the school board Monday night saying the procedure to appoint Pat Gleason was unfair.
“We feel that the procedures followed were rushed and unfair to the voters and need to be carefully reviewed,” Smith wrote in the letter. “This decision was made with only school board recruitment and could have the appearance of being self-serving rather than that of serving the public.”
School Board Treasurer Tom Sharp said many times the school board finds itself in the position of having to recruit community members to various district positions because of the lack of interest.
“We always follow the notification process diligently,” Sharp said. “No one applied. When that occurs, we as a school board encourage community members who are involved to consider the position.”
Sharp said he understood the association’s position but he didn’t think the board acted inappropriately or unfairly.
Sharp said he hoped the board would receive multiple applicants.
“We were obligated to appoint someone,” Board President Paul Fisher said of the 60 days the board had to appoint a new member. “The board had the opportunity to say ‘no’ to Pat. The fact remains, no one stepped forward.”
Letters of interest were due to the district by Nov. 30. As of that date, there were no letters, but the board received one that weekend. Gleason was unanimously appointed to the board at the Dec. 3 school board study session.
“He is experienced, dedicated and hard working,” Sharp said. “It’s perfectly appropriate for this board to encourage a hard working person like Pat to step forward.”
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