Please do not invalidate the
By Choc Schafer & Karen Eakes
May 07, 2007
One of the most critical responsibilities of a school board under
State law is to employ a superintendent. This means a school
board hires, gives direction to, monitors the progress of, and,
if determined in the best interest of students and the school
district, terminates the employment of the superintendent.
The majority of the School Board voted to terminate the Superintendent's
contract under part 12e of his contract, voluntarily signed by
the Superintendent, which allowed dismissal for convenience.
Using the "convenience" clause, which was recommended
for inclusion in the contract by the Association of Alaska School
Boards, does not mean that there were not underlying reasons
and facts considered by the Board when the Superintendent was
The alternative to dismissing for convenience , which provided
in this case for 30 days notice and 6 months severance pay, is
to dismiss "for cause" As we have learned from matters
involving other administrators, dismissing for cause may lead
to time consuming, expensive litigation. Dismissal for convenience
does not. Board members chose this route to save the public time
and money in a difficult process.
Dismissing for convenience does not mean dismissing for the heck
of it. Over a period of time, Board members expressed concerns
about the Superintendent's performance in a number of areas,
- As board members, we repeatedly
experienced misinformation, lack of full disclosure regarding
information, or withholding of information by the Superintendent
when the Board was involved with important and sensitive decisions.
- Due to lack of budget oversight,
a very large budget deficit was discovered in the fall. This
error was not corrected in a swift manner as it should have been,
but instead was used to create public division within the educational
community and the community at large.
- The Superintendent failed
to supervise and evaluate some administrators in a timely and
effective manner, which has resulted in great expense to the
- In addition, the Superintendent
did not publicly support some majority Board decisions creating
an adversarial and ineffective relationship with the Board.
The people sponsoring this
recall have chosen to ignore these facts.
As Board members, we had lost confidence and trust in the Superintendent.
As elected public officials, we must be responsible and accountable
to the public that elected us. That is what we have done.
The School Board is elected by the citizens of Ketchikan to make
Please do not invalidate the electoral process by supporting
this recall effort.
Choc Schafer, School Board Member
Karen Eakes, School Board Member
Received May 07, 2007 - Published May 07, 2007
About: Choc Schafer has been
a School Board Member for seven years and is a 23 year resident
of Ketchikan. Karen Eakes has been a School Board member for
seven months and is a 33 year resident of Ketchikan
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