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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

RE: O’Brien, Hartley Reveal Appalling Disregard for Citizens’ Rights

By Michelle O'Brien


September 29, 2019

It’s very unfortunate that Mr. Bockhorst chose to deliberately obfuscate the conversation held by the Mayoral candidates at the recent Chamber of Commerce forum.  Rather than share the entire answers of the candidates, he chose to take one snippet of the conversation in order to make a very serious false allegation against two of the candidates by alleging  that we would purposefully ignore the rule of law as it pertains to the Open Meetings Act. 

I have been through multiple Boardmanship trainings provided by the Alaska Association of School Boards, and in that training learned, and subsequently put into practice, that when and if your fellow Board (Assembly, Council, et al) members vote in such a way on an issue that does not reflect the position that you supported, then it is incumbent on all Board members to support the decision that was made by the body. I specifically referred to that during the debate, yet Mr. Bockhorst chose not to mention that.  You should wonder what his true motivation was in doing so.

As I have stated in my candidate letter, often times while on the School Board, I thought that I had come to a conclusion regarding an issue, and when I heard the thoughts of others, either via public comment or those of other Board members at the meeting, this additional information enabled me to make a better, and sometimes different, decision.  This in no way, shape or form means that I condone closed meetings out of the public eye. Having a comfort level with fellow Board members by knowing and respecting their points of view only serves to create a more cohesive team, and does not go against the Open Meetings Act when one is diligent about the process.

If you are interested in hearing the actual full debate, there are multiple sources at which to do so. I would urge you listen, rather than rely on the clearly manipulated piece of information to which Mr. Bockhorst refers.

Michelle O'Brien
Past District Governor, Rotary District 5010, Alaska-Yukon 2016-2017
Public Image Coordinator,  Rotary Zone 24W, 2018-2021
General Chair, Rotary Zones 24&32 Conference, Montreal, 2018
Committee for Young Past District Governors, 2017-2020, Chair 2018-2019
Ketchikan, Alaska  

Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.


Received September 29, 2019 - Published September 29, 2019

Related Viewpoint:

letter O’Brien, Hartley Reveal Appalling Disregard for Citizens’ Rights By Dan Bockhorst


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