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Letter: School Board, not president should decide agenda

2:50 PM, May 7, 2013  |  Comments
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Contrary to the Stevens Point Journal and Portage County Gazette editorials criticizing the school board for not electing a board president, we should all rejoice.

Once again, independent thinking board members like Bob Larson, Angel Faxon, Lisa Totten and Kim Shirek are standing up for our students and us taxpayers.

In contrast, Scott, Renae Sheibley and Terry Rothmann appear to be taking marching orders from school superintendent Attila Weninger, and desire the power of board presidency to advantage themselves.

Sheibley had her chance at president and fell short. Newly elected Rothmann finished fourth (in the April 2 election), far behind Lisa Totten and Kim Shirek. He is finishing out a one-year vacancy. I agree with the Journal that he lacks the time and experience to be president.

State law requires a school board to elect a president. It doesn't require the president appoint committees and determine board agendas. These powers were given to the president by our school board (Rule 141).

Last month the board wisely discontinued committees and will instead meet twice a month. The only remaining presidential power is, along with the vice president and superintendent, determining the board's agenda.

Our appointed superintendent of schools is supposed to be working for our elected board. They shouldn't have a vote on what does or doesn't get on the agenda.

The board president and vice president are only two of nine board members. Providing them arbitrary agenda authority is a minority contrasting a majority. Ask Larson or Totten how many times they've tried to get matters discussed by the board and been refused.

Similar to what Stevens Point and Portage County governments provide, every school board member should be guaranteed having any matter put on the agenda.

On Monday, the school board will again meet to choose a president. The question everyone should answer: do you support repealing board Rule 141 to ensure that the school board presidency is a position of leadership, not dictatorship?

Reid Rocheleau

Stevens Point

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