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Letter: Unanimous votes raise suspicions

To the Editor:

After observing 80 percent-plus open Ellsworth Community School Board monthly meetings by the Concerned Citizen Group members, one among several observations stand out. The board has been observed to vote unanimously on all issues with only three exceptions. All three followed closely after this was pointed out - again with no public discussion.

In the board’s defense while doing a survey of our four local sister schools, an administrator commented, “We’re told if you want to pass a referendum, the board needs to pass it unanimously.”

It has been rumored that new board members are directed in their orientation by the Wisconsin School Board Association to always vote in unanimity.

How can seven representatives elected at-large to fairly represent over 12,000 registered district voters, vote consistently with one opinion? How can the promise of our Constitution, a republic democracy, be realized under these conditions? What needs to change to make it a reality?

Our board recently voted unanimously, without public discussion, to defend and support their selected board chair’s alleged abusive and threatening behavior to a local citizen. This is an illustrative example of the board’s “governing process” throughout the past six years.

The board has declined three formal requests to discuss their governing process with the Concerned Citizen Group. In this case, there were no fiscal or academic choices at stake.

This was a clear example of board individual and joint decisions to choose a “block” vote. Is this the example of governing “process” we want mentored to our youths?

Which throws open the broader question. What are the ethical standards for public office for those who serve, including those being served? Is change needed?

A just and fair “process” for all concerned returns fair justice in kind. The Golden Rule.

Nick Even

Bay City