Opinion & Editorial

Through the Eyes of the Colonel: It’s a sad state of affairs if we can’t trust our elected officials

We have three organizations that our taxes support. They are all very important to our livelihood. I refer to the Creswell City Council, the South Lane County Fire & Rescue Board and the Creswell School District Board.
There are elected persons that comprise the leadership of these organizations and generally do an outstanding job. The board members are responsible for many things – including finances, employment hiring and firing of employed leadership persons, deciding on methods of operation and mostly being the persons designated as our representatives.
All decisions are to be made in open meetings. No items can be voted on or decided on in secret, such as in an executive session. Mostly this is covered by law from the State of Oregon.
I am greatly concerned by the actions of the Creswell School Board. They had an executive meeting on March 14 and excluded the press from attending, which is against the rules, as explained by a recent column I submitted to this newspaper.
The Chronicle then submitted requests for those meeting minutes, which are required by law to be a true reflection of the matters discussed with the inclusion of the views of its participants.
There are certain items, such as labor negotiations or a student’s expulsion or medical records, that cannot and should not be revealed, but those are not the items that were listed to be discussed.
The minutes The Chronicle later received from the board listed the statutes for which the meeting was held, but did not include any points of discussion or any indication of who said what.
Suppose the board was discussing monetary issues or construction or a myriad of other things that concern your children and our taxes? We need to know that! We don’t need a surprise.
I question the leadership capabilities of this board. If the chairman doesn’t understand the rules, or chooses not to comply, then he certainly is in the wrong position. The school board needs to explain their actions or lack of same.
It would be a sad state of affairs if we couldn’t trust the elected officials in our city.



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