Good Intentions
Published: June 17th, 2009
By: Jessica Lewis

Good intentions

No one decides to run for school board with the idea that before the year is over, they are going to be distrusted and accused of misleading the community; however, often times, that’s exactly what happens.

Being on a school board, a village, town or city board can be a thankless job. That’s probably one of the many reasons that more people don’t choose to run. In this job, I have the benefit of observing a lot of boards from an outside perspective. I get to see town and school board meetings that have virtually no impact on me, as I don’t live in those areas, and it gives me an idea of why some seem to have great relationships with the community, while others don’t.

Last night, I attended a particularly painful meeting in Oxford. The Oxford Board of Education met for the first time after extending the contract of Superintendent Randall Squier, a step that the community and I thought they had put off during their last meeting. That was not the case. During the last meeting, there was confusion. Things were said that seemed to imply a decision wouldn’t be made at that time, and then a few minutes later, that decision was made in executive session.

Community members were outraged and accused the board of being deceitful. The board members looked tired and frustrated, and I’m sure after the four and a half hour meeting was over, more than one member was questioning why they ever got involved in the first place. People yelled at them, swore at them and some even seemed near tears as they addressed the board.

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