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Monday, July 30, 2007

TNT Blasts Tacoma School Board on Open Meetings

"On the surface the motives usually seem innocent when bureaucrats and politicians start down the road of doing the public’s business in secret. For Tacoma School Board members, it started as an effort to be nice to Ethelda Burke, deputy superintendent. ... 'I felt the fair thing to do was not surprise her on Thursday' at the meeting where the board was to vote on the interim superintendent, board member Kurt Miller told a reporter. 'I thought that would have been unprofessional.' What’s unprofessional is forgetting who the boss is. In being 'fair' to Burke, the board cheated the boss (the public). What’s unprofessional is making a decision (the decision not to hire Burke) you keep secret from the boss. What’s also unprofessional is telling Burke your secret on Wednesday, and then preparing to go through a charade on Thursday at the open meeting when you let the boss (the public) in on the decision you really made the day before. In this case the board decided it was more important that Burke know about its decision than that its boss (the public) know about it."

The public is the boss. That's an outdated concept, we know, but it's the law.