SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



A fair process is not limited to private meetings
By Susan Doherty


June 12, 2006

When elected officials don't respond to their constituents, how do you get their attention? Perhaps my methods for getting the school board's attention were a little over the top, and if so, I apologize. Since my posting on Sitnews, I have had a lengthy conversation with the School Board President.

In his letter School Board member Harpold refers to a process. Where was the process that should have been followed by the Superintendent long before we got to this point? Mr. Eklund gets demoted on the last day of school. If Mr. Eklund doesn't agree with his demotion he can sue? Is that where we START the process? I don't think so.

The process starts with an evaluation, which Mr. Eklund had in April of 2006. Was there a plan of improvement, did Mr. Eklund receive an unsatisfactory evaluation? NO. On May 10, the board approved the Administrators' contracts, which reflected Mr. Eklund being paid the salary for high school principal; Was that not a vote to approve Mr. Eklunds continued employment as the principal? Then on the last day of school Mr. Martin informs Mr. Eklund he is demoting him because Mr. Martin had talked with Board members and decided that the District needed new leadership at the high school.

A fair process is not limited to private meetings between Board members and the superintendent to discuss school personnel outside of a school board meeting. A fair process involves gathering all pertinent facts in an impartial manner At least one board member feels the Superintendent misrepresented some important factual information while building his case against Mr. Eklund. Perhaps other board members also feel they were played , or will feel that way after hearing more information on Wednesday. If that is the case, the decision is very simple: vote to not accept the demotion of Mr. Eklund and make clear your desire to retain him as the principal.

I expect our elected officials to serve the community that elected them and to use the power given them to make decisions in the best interest of the community- and the kids- they serve.

Susan Doherty
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: "I have already stated my background, look at who has responded negatively to my comments. Draw your own opinion on their past history, and where their interests lie. 26 year resident."



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