I would like to ask the four newly-elected board directors, Doug Benevento, Jim Geddes, Judy Reynolds and Meghann Silverthorn, “how does it feel to have been elected unfairly?”
The following is from the Colorado Revised Statute, Title 1 Elections, 1-45-102 Legislative Declaration. It reads:
“The people of the state of Colorado hereby find and declare that large campaign contributions to political candidates allow wealthy contributors and special interest groups to exercise a disproportionate level of influence over the political process; that large campaign contributions create the potential for corruption and the appearance of corruption; that the rising costs of campaigning for political office prevent qualified citizens from running for political office; and that the interests of the public are best served by limiting campaign contributions, encouraging voluntary campaign spending limits, full and timely disclosure of campaign contributions, and strong enforcement of campaign laws.
Nowhere should this Colorado Statute be more important to the integrity of elections than in a school board election where parents, grandparents, former educators, and community members active in our schools should have a chance to become elected without having to have large campaign contributions in order to compete.
The Douglas County School District has been found guilty of violating this important Colorado Statute. And you, rather than take action against those who specifically broke the law, intend to attack Julie Keim with an appeal seeking damages to cover court costs. I am completely astounded by your arrogance in attempting to downplay the violation and your refusal to admit wrongdoing.
You’ve now been presented with an opportunity to extend a hand of partnership, offering 1/7 of a voice to the 48% of Douglas County who did not vote for your favored candidates by considering someone to represent US in Justin Williams’ proudly vacated board seat. But instead, you announced that you will be seeking like-minded candidates. I know one person, in particular, who is not only eligible, and who would be an outstanding representative for our community – Mr. Gary Colley. He is a former teacher, parent and tax-payer, who has likely been to more board meetings than any person in this room. I do hope you will give him fair consideration. I think he would be a phenomenal presence to help bridge the communication gap that exists in this school district.
In a meeting last week of Gary’s recently-formed Community Accountability Committee, including the DAC chair person, the importance of you, the board, sanctioning parent and staff surveys was discussed. We were told that it would be really expensive and would take very long to produce viable questions and controls. Could it really be so expensive to do a parent and a staff survey? Would it really take an army to produce good questions and controls? Even if this were the case, wouldn’t that be a worthy expenditure, given the unhealthy climate filled with mistrust and disconnect between the community and upper admin? It seems to me this would be a much more worthy expenditure than, for instance, paying high fees for Marc Prensky to present a speech for our teachers who, incidentally still feel it is important to learn to read, write and know arithmetic; a man who asserts that children no longer need to learn these things because SIRI can do it for them? I won’t even tell you what search results SIRI produced in response to a math request she did not understand from my 8-year old son. I think most of you would have been offended by it!
Please stop throwing our tax-payer dollars away and please communicate to us your plans to hear and value the 48% of Douglas County voters who have been silenced.