I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Chronicle for their persistence of the truth, and for providing critical information to the community that is more than lacking from our school district office and school board.
I resigned from the Creswell School Board due to continuing situations, as you experienced, which resulted in your filing the ethics complaint that was reviewed and accepted for investigation.
The fact that the complaint was found to warrant investigation in the first place is a rare thing. The fact that it was subsequently dropped speaks more to the state of our current politics than factuality.
In my experience the board has, for many years, ignored Oregon School Board Association recommendations on public information, Board Responsibilities and Obligations which has led us all here.
The board is an elected body, not a volunteer group, not a place to advance personal projects or programs.
If any member should feel it to be a thankless job it is, in my opinion, self-inflicted and they should leave that position.
Our schools are for education of our children; the board is the public’s representative and is responsible to them for how that is accomplished.
The board has sworn under oath and is obligated by statute and Constitution; although that accountability is severely lacking in general, based on my opinion and experience there.
The school board has an agreement among themselves to “speak with one voice,” which is intended to ensure support and continuity among members.
As a result, if one member should say, violate Public Meetings Law and no one makes an attempt to stop, correct or discuss it, they are in effect liable as a group, it would seem.
Our schools belong to us all, and the District is responsible to the board and the board to the public. Any distrust that may exist, in my opinion, is due to the lack of information provided to the public on an ongoing basis and with little to no attempt for it to be provided except, you guessed it, by you, The Chronicle.
Thank you again for your service and dedication to our community.
Whyat S. Ocumpaugh