Not too late to stop WR layoffs

Thursday was truly a sad day for the Western Reserve school and community. A board of five people, a superintendent and a hatchet man have taken a thriving school back 30 years. Their lack of action and leadership placed our school system in its current financial state. A school district does not deteriorate to this point financially overnight. At the board meeting, their answer to this problem was to eliminate 21 positions, effective this July. When you make cuts to balance your finances, everything should be on the table and evaluated. At the public meeting, we should have been presented with facts, figures and a presentation showing the logic behind the decisions. At one point we were even told this was the board's meeting, not ours. Last time I looked, all of these people worked for and answered to us for their actions. When these cuts were established, not all other options or departments were looked at to help offset what we as a community are faced with.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

Thursday was truly a sad day for the Western Reserve school and community. A board of five people, a superintendent and a hatchet man have taken a thriving school back 30 years. Their lack of action and leadership placed our school system in its current financial state. A school district does not deteriorate to this point financially overnight.

At the board meeting, their answer to this problem was to eliminate 21 positions, effective this July. When you make cuts to balance your finances, everything should be on the table and evaluated. At the public meeting, we should have been presented with facts, figures and a presentation showing the logic behind the decisions. At one point we were even told this was the board's meeting, not ours. Last time I looked, all of these people worked for and answered to us for their actions. When these cuts were established, not all other options or departments were looked at to help offset what we as a community are faced with.

At the board meeting, their answer to this problem was to eliminate 21 positions, effective this July. When you make cuts to balance your finances, everything should be on the table and evaluated. At the public meeting, we should have been presented with facts, figures and a presentation showing the logic behind the decisions. At one point we were even told this was the board's meeting, not ours. Last time I looked, all of these people worked for and answered to us for their actions. When these cuts were established, not all other options or departments were looked at to help offset what we as a community are faced with.

Three of our five board members are up for re-election this year. They have had almost fours years to work on a long range plan so we did not get to this point. I am told two of these board members will not seek re-election. One of these board members suggested that if we did not like how things were being done, then we should run for office. I will be the first to take that suggestion. One voice can make a difference! Open, honest communication with all would be the first step! I would suggest both of these board members resign now and allow the community to place two other people on the board to start working toward a solution to our problems that will be in the best interest of our students and the taxpayers.

I encourage anyone willing to take the time to become involved. It is not too late to reverse the actions that have been recommended and get our school back to the quality that we have come to expect.

Mark L. Blair

Comments

bingcrosby (Ano...

Tough call...I don't know the particulars, but it certainly must have been a difficult decision to make.
Mr. Blair, if you're planning on running, good luck, and I mean that in a sincere way. Public Service can be tough, with some very difficult, and not always popular decisions to make.
To clarify something though...Whichever person said it was the Board's meeting, not the public's was correct.
Yes, Board members are elected by the people, and answer to district residents, but it's a meeting that the public is invited to.
That's made very clear by the Ohio School Boards Association, and Ohio Revised Code. If you run and win a seat, you'll learn that very quickly.