Thursday, December 21, 2006

Lessons learned from the School District

I visited with Superintendent Bryan Bowles of the Davis County School District on Tuesday, and I walked away with a couple of impressions.

First the facts.

The School board said that the Davis Parents Association lawsuit would have a chilling effect on transparency. (Note: we did not discuss the boundary dispute on Tuesday, but spent our time on the indictment of the Rosses and subsequent auditing measures)

Bowles told me that the two Davis employee's were indicted the same day that he, and the press, heard about the indictment. He did not, at the press conference, offer any hint to the press that the district had taken steps to prevent future fraud two years earlier.

I was assured on Tuesday that a list of security measures taken would be prepared on Wednesday morning.

Now onto the principle.

Transparency isn't just about having press conferences, open meetings, and involving parents in decisions. Transparency is about pro actively addressing obvious concerns to the public.

Obvious concerns like the citizens trusting the School District with the next 4 million.

Concerns about whether this consultant, who is part of the 'old boys network', will provide a better solution than the solution prompting a lawsuit.

Bowles should be commended for visiting with the Legislature, and others who are interested in the Districts well-being( i.e. myself and others). However, the Superintendent should have handed the press a timely notice of changes that had been implemented since they discovered a problem.

That has yet to happen.

2 comments:

Jeremy said...

Tyler,

I sometimes criticize your politics in your comments section but today you deserve some major props.

Thank you for getting involved directly in issues affecting Davis County then providing primary reports on your experiences. It makes your blog a resource worth paying attention to instead of just another site with a political junkie complaining on the internet.

Very cool of you...even if you are often just another Republican tool! (just kidding)

Tyler Farrer said...

Jeremy,

I take the term 'Republican tool' as a compliment coming from you. :)

It seems that may be a true description of me during the election cycle, but once these folks get elected, I get after them as much as anyone else.

Your point is a good one that a strong two-party system has hefty pluses.