In advance of your annual reorganization meeting on Thursday, July 2, I write to encourage a change of chairperson. Although I have warm personal feelings toward Chair Bridgeford and consider him an exemplary human being in many respects, for the following reasons I believe he should step down as chair: 1) rotation of elected leadership is healthy for elected bodies; and 2) taking responsibility for leadership failure is essential to maintaining a credible public entity.
Mr. Bridgeford has done an outstanding job as Chairman. As far as the failure to notify the public of the Superintendent’s interviews, it has always been the responsibility of the Clerk of the Board to send notices to the media and for some unknown reason, this was not done. The Board honored the potential candidates’ request to keep the interviews confidential as to protect them. Regardless of what was not done, Mr. Bridgeford is a man of high integrity and has given untiring service to our students and employees and I will be proud to nominate him as our Chairman.
Our reply was:
Board Member Parent:
Whether or not my elected officials agree with my perspectives, I am always interested in their thought processes. We disagree about where “the buck stops” in regard to public notice, including informing the media. Had the Board done with regard to the superintendent interviews what City Council has with those for city manager — i. e., voting in open session to hold future closed sessions within the city at undisclosed times and unspecified locations during a finite time span — the FOIA provisions would have been satisfied. That responsibility does not appear to me to fall within the purvue of the clerk but rather with your legal counsel at the request of the chair or Board. I do agree with your assessment of the chair as a man of integrity and tireless service to our community. He nonetheless has legal responsibilities that go with his position. Please note also that I have not called for a grand jury proceeding in this matter. I do, however, believe some act contrition is in order.