Sunday, August 29, 2010


The issue that caught our attention was the recent attack on School Board Vice President Mrs. Gardenour at a recent School Board meeting.

We thought the School Boards primary responsibilities are to:

* Set the vision and goals for the district

* Adopt policies that give the districts direction to set priorities and achieve it's goals

* Hire and evaluate the superintendent

* Adopt and oversee the annual budget

* Manage the collective bargaining process for employees of the district

We have attended a few school board meetings and found a typical meeting will include many business items, such as approving the school calendar, adopting curriculum, overseeing construction, and approving contracts without side vendors.

Maybe the following School Board members: Neal Smith, DJ Hines, Mark Boone and School Board President Roger Whaley needs to figure out what the real definition of transparency is.

In fact we'll do it for them.

Definition of transparency: the condition in which nothing is hidden.

What others had to say:

Elaine wrote: "Yes the Superintendent was picked by the board and they are his boss. For him to insist that they be his puppet is ridiculous. And the media and the public has every right to know what is going on during the meetings."

Gail Parish wrote: "This is America this is a democracy not a dictatorship and every person be they on the board or not has a right to disagree with the superintendent AND speak to the press. I think it's called Freedom Of Speech."

Mark said it best: "I find it odd that a majority voted to remove Gardenour from her VP post but then voted to remove or severely edit most of the items that she objected to. Perhaps some of the majority may want to examine their own hatred. They obviously agreed with her points."

Source: New Albany Tribune

We totally agree Mark!

Freedom Of Speech would like to add and state our position on this issue:

In our opinion, it is sad and unfortunate that D.J. Hines, and Neal Smith did not have enough confidence in their own arguments that they resorted to behind the scenes tactics along with School Board President Roger Whaley to attempt to oust Mrs. Gardenour as Vice President.

Unfortunately, Mark Boone new to the School Board chose to be a part of this misguided effort.

We also believe the citizens of New Albany, for whom they are accountable need to understand what happened and why it must not be tolerated.

Was this political or personal?

We say both!

Is the School Board now fracturing into an us-versus-them mentality that will result in bruising power struggles over key decisions?

Board members aren't elected to warm seats, build power bases, belittle other school board members, dole out personal favors or take advantage of what few perks come with the office.

Board members are elected to ask questions, to closely scrutinize budgets for waste and make difficult decisions about spending limited funds. They're supposed to hold staff accountable for explaining proposals so that the public understands what's happening in their schools.

Our community needed to know that these four school board members and Asst. Supt. Brad Snyder was about to pull the wool over their eyes and Mrs. Gardenour was not about to let this happen!

If you know anything about Mrs. Gardenour, she would never be a rubber stamp for the School Board or any board she might sit on.

And if you ever think this woman is a "coward" you are in for a fight as she has never been one to back down from a fight or what she believes in.

She makes her decisions based on facts, and believes in accountability, checks and balances and transparency.

We applaud School Board Vice President Rebecca Gardenour for standing up and taking those personal attacks.

Most citizens knows this was nothing but a set up and these School Board Members were out of their league when they chose to take Gardenour on.

As Kevin Bacon said in "A Few Good Men," those are the facts of the case and they are not up to dispute.

Footnote: To all our readers. We ask that you contact the following School Board members and voice your opinion on their personal attack of Mrs. Gardenour and transparency:

Roger Whaley, President:
D.J. Hines, Member:
Mark Boone, Member:
Neal Smith, Member: