Sometimes it’s not about the mask, but what the “mask” is covering.
Two such instances are on display this week: Gardner’s mayor who wanted to bypass city policy to fill a council vacancy; and when the board of education’s response about in-school, at home education numbers  was called into question to a state senator.
In a rush to fill a council seat vacated by Rich Melton, Gardner’s mayor suggested via e mail that the seat be filled without opening the application process.
His suggestion was called into question, and he later apologized.
Because two council members insisted on transparency, there have been six applications received and interviews will be discussed in public
Comments on social media regarding data the school board submitted to the legislature’s education committee seems split between those who want children back in schools, and those who don’t.
The real issue is that information submitted to the state was questioned, and Sen. Molly Baumgartner attended the last meeting asking why time had been spent rebutting the information, rather than just correcting it.
As usual, the school district’s administration spent more time and effort trying to “control” the information, as opposed to just doing what’s right and apparently wrote a lengthy e mail regarding the issue. That makes the district look foolish.
With the pandemic, it hasn’t been an easy year for elected officials — especially school board.
But USD 231 has a long history of hiding behind any possible statute, law, delay or confusion possible to control the message and limit information. Sometimes the lengths they will go to borders on paranoia..
We’ve editorialized about it before.
For both entities, being upfront would have avoided a lot of problems – embarrassment being one.
But this shows what can be accomplished when residents become involved and step forward.
Thank you to the parents, staff, residents and elected officials who have focused their energy to demand accountability and  to keep communication open.
Masks can protect us, but they can also be used to hide.