Remove the 45 Minute Restriction

Dear Members of the Jeffco Board of Education,
 
 
I write to you with deep concerns regarding a recent Facebook post made by Julie Williams in which she calls on her supporters to sign up for public comment in order to not “be drowned out by progressives.”
 
 
She also refers to the school board majority and Dan McMinimee as “reform minded” and goes on to say “anti-reformers will do anything to make us loose [“lose”] this fight.”
 
 
The school board, as you know, is supposed to be non-partisan.  Board Policy GP-07 states:  Board members should represent the interests of the citizens of the school district. This accountability to the whole district supersedes any conflicting loyalty to other advocacy interest groups, or citizens of a director district and membership on other boards or staffs.  
 
 
It also says:  Any member of the Board of Education may speak to the press, write articles or in other ways communicate with citizens.  Board members must identify any personal opinions as such and may not state personal opinions as if they are positions of the Board of Education.
 
 
Given the following, Williams’ post is alarming:
 
1.  The board majority’s refusal to hear all members of the public who wish to speak to them regarding the hire of Dan McMinimee. 
2.  The board majority’s decision to name only a single finalist to the position who also happens to be the Assistant Superintendent of Douglas County.
3.  The public’s concerns that the entire $40,000 superintendent selection process was nothing more than a public hoax with McMinimee intended for the position from the start.
4.  The public’s fear of a hidden agenda on the part of the board majority.
 
 
 
It indicates the following:
 
1.  The three of you consider yourselves “reformers” just as the Douglas County’s school board does and
2.  The three of you also consider Dan McMinimee a “reformer.” 
 
 
This only increases the public’s belief that the superintendent hiring process was, in all likelihood, a $40,000 deception.  That your agenda has been the Douglas County “reform” agenda all along, despite denials, and the choice of Dan McMinimee as superintendent was part of that agenda from the start.
 
 
It is growing increasingly difficult to believe otherwise.
 
 
In addition to being blatantly partisan, Williams post is offensive on many levels. It shows an unconcealed disrespect of and disregard for the general public that she was elected to serve.
 
 
While Williams is certainly free to say what she likes she is also a publicly elected official who is bound not only to higher standards but to state law and the policies of the Jefferson County Board of Education, which she agreed to abide by the night of her swearing in.  All three of you did.
 
 
Williams’ post is in possible violation of so many board policies at once, at the very lease it merits an open public discussion.   
 
 
As publicly elected officials of the Jeffco Board of Education, you are expected to make decisions with input from all stakeholders.  To ignore state laws, school board policies, and public outcry in order to impose an agenda or simply do what you please is abuse of power.
  
 
In closing, I ask that you please remove the 45 minute restriction on public comment on May 27 and allow every person and group wishing to address you, whether for or against the superintendent choice, the opportunity to do so.
 
 
This is about our children, all 85,000 of them, their education and their future.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Michele Patterson
President, Jeffco Council PTA
On Behalf of the Jeffco PTA Board of Directors