The past few years it’s been difficult to watch local politics.  They are low down and ugly.
Those in public service – both elected and higher position employees – used to follow a code of conduct embracing  ethics, honor and integrity.  They were polite and respectful to patrons.
Not so much anymore. Locally, and nationally, the bar has been slipping.
We used to be surprised to catch a “professional” in a lie. Not so much anymore. It’s almost expected.
Ego and power are in the forefront, the blame game, and “cutesy shennigans.”  You know — clever, often vulgar remarks on social media.
We’ve wrote many editorials about unprofessional posts, and it seems it’s not going to stop..
USD 231 hadn’t even finished appointing Katie Williams board member when screen shots of vulgar posts credited to her began appearing. It’s sad and embarrassing, this is the board who oversees student, teacher and staff behavior.
How will the district enforce appropriate behavior with a teen, when they can’t control themselves? How do you discipline a teacher for social media posts, when your public persona is “don’t be a twat.”
Really cute — for a 16 year old, not so much for a member of the BOE. And that was just one of the more benign.
Another thing that we’ve noticed the last few years is the absolute disdain and disrespect often displayed towards the public.
Here’s something — You work for the taxpayers.
If you – city or school district – think you are a social media influencer, stay on the internet, not in a professional position.
If you make more money than Average Joe and think you are a power broker building an empire — get a private sector job and use your own money. There is a big difference in raising taxes and picking winners by providing huge tax abatements.
You’re not above a fast food or retail employee or a tradesman.
And using the city or school attorney to shut complainers or questioners up is cowardly.  It’s wrong to use taxpayer funds to further your own ego and goals. It is an abuse of power.
It’s wrong to skirt or circumvent the rules for your own convenience, gain or retaliation. Especially when you are in the position to enforce them.
Rather than rationalizing away problems, deflecting and finger-pointing at those who speak up, maybe you should listen, correct if needed, and move forward.
The negative politics in this town is hurting us: growth has slowed down; none of the local entities work together; Gardner’s budget has doubled; Gardner has a negative reputation, and we’re losing students.
Accept blame when necessary. By listening, considering and correcting course, you progress. Otherwise you are stuck. It’s okay to be wrong or make a mistake. We all do.
It’s embarrassing when the school board is told only 21 percent of our math students are on track, and they excuse and launch into an explanation of how it doesn’t really matter, and the KSDE information is incorrectly stated.
Tell that to the students when they don’t qualify for a job. If you’re telling us state educational requirements are bogus, stop and think of what you’re saying. Why would you excuse a failing system. Is that what you’re saying?
Or is it just our local administration excusing and failing?
Do better.
It’s time for people to stand up and quit accepting excuses.
Demand accountability.