Steamboat Springs Education Association: Disappointed with school board
We are writing as members of the Steamboat Springs Education Association and as concerned community members to express our deep disappointment and dissatisfaction with the events of the last board meeting on Nov. 7, where board members Roger Good, Joey Andrew and Sam Rush deliberately refused to fill the recently vacated vice president position.
The Colorado Association of School Boards requires the vice president position to be filled, but that three-member majority refused to do so, attempting instead to push a motion to hold an entirely new election of all school board officers. The vice president position was the only one vacated, yet these board members are using the situation to try to take over all officer positions with board members who will vote their way.
Holding a new election for officers mid-cycle is in violation of state statute and goes against the recommendations of CASB. This attempt to oust an officer of the board is just another example of certain board members wasting valuable district time and money trying to pursue a political agenda that breaks down public trust and keeps our district from moving forward with the important work of educating our students and serving our community.
Rather than obstructing progress, a responsible board member would volunteer to fill the vice president position, or barring that, would agree to Michelle Dover taking the position as she volunteered to do and allow the board to get on with business.
Three board members — Good, Andrew and Rush — refused to do so and are now holding the process hostage with no legal basis or support. If they do not like the leadership, they need to deal with it through appropriate board procedures and stop taking up district time with political maneuvers.
Despite being informed at the meeting that the statutory law does not support new officer elections, Andrew and Good ignored that information and deliberately and publicly made and seconded a motion to hold new officer elections in violation of the law. They knew it could not go forward but wasted time and created discord nonetheless.
We are disappointed that members of our school board are representing the district so poorly with their disrespectful and unethical public behavior, and we are dismayed they are pushing a political agenda during valuable district time.
We understand that not everyone agrees all the time. That should make our board stronger, as varying viewpoints can spur innovation.
As educators, we work hard every day to try to instill within our students the values of ethical conflict resolution and collaborative problem solving — by refusing to fill the vice president position and allowing the board to move forward, Good and Andrew are not modeling that behavior for the students they are supposed to be representing.
We ask that the school board return to the business of running the district and doing what is best for our schools and for our students. This community deserves better.
Steamboat Springs Education Association
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