Assertiveness versus ineptitude
Consider this the tale of the two major boards elected by the citizens of West Linn: The West Linn-Wilsonville School Board and the West Linn City Council. Each five-person group elected by you has a great impact on your wallet, children and your neighborhood.
The big City news this week is the termination of Eileen Stein, our former City Manager. If you read other sections of this newspaper this event may qualify for the greatest injustice perpetrated by three rogue Councilors. Of course, all the writers "reasoning" is pure conjecture since Ms. Stein chose to negotiate her separation agreement behind closed doors out of the purview of the public. While you can conjecture all you want about the reasons she should stay or go, the fact that Ms. Stein chose not to air the specific allegations on her purported lack of suitable performance speaks volumes. This was similar to her exit strategy from the City of Sisters a number of years go. The virulent and half-truths concerning the "three rogue councilors" authored by the likes of Farber, Johnson, Palmer and Perry and printed monthly by the Tidings shows a complete lack of understanding to what an intelligent, demanding and ASSERTIVE elected official should do.
Three cheers for all assertive public officials!
I want all the readers to know my primary objective is to improve the academic performance of our children by spending your taxes (the highest tax rate dollars in the area) wisely on their behalf. We aren't even close.
Just so we are on the same page for the meaning of "ineptitude" Webster says its one who is unfit, unsuitable or foolish. Lets' look at the WLWV School Board's actions over the past 2 years. They did give the Superintendent a 4% raise while the percentage of our children just meeting the State average in mathematics dropped from 61 to 54%. Almost half our kids are failing! The Oregon Department of Education Report Card should be the District's measuring stick for academic progress but all you hear and see from the school board and administration is this web site said our district is best, etc., etc., etc. Really! The board told you voters that all $20-plus million was needed in the recent Bond. Our little school district is now over 1/3 billion in debt. With our enrollment DECREASING 132 students over last year perhaps a new $25 million dollar Performing Arts Center or stadium expansion could have waited. Finally, our high schoolers' SAT scores average is 100 points below their peers at LOSD high schools. We need a board that is not foolish or unfit but demanding.
In fact, we need a board that is ASSERTIVE.
Mike Taylor is a resident of West Linn.
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