Sunday, October 19, 2008

Failure of leadership

The more I ponder Superintendent-Gate, the more bothered I am by the whole situation.

And this story helps puts a lot of those problems into the proper context.

This is a failure of leadership because proper leadership would not have rewarded the superintendent with a contract extension and then, just a handful of weeks later, force him into retirement over 'philosophical differences.'

Furthermore, there's no polite way to say this, but the board has ultimately lied to the public for the past half a year regarding this situation. It's a lie to claim that this was a good-natured depature based on health reasons when, in fact, you reveal down the road that you had these differences with him and forced him out. It's a lie when you said that Tom Dohrmann approached you and asked to retire when, in fact, you approached him and told him to step down.

I mean, that's the fact of the matter. An elected body of officials has been brazeningly lying to its constituents on this matter, and it did so during a contested election cycle with two of its current members vying for reelection.

Compounding the problem is Tom Breedlove's indifference to this situation. Along with Rich Clark, Breedlove is one of the last two candidates seeking a spot on the board (and, considering he's got an 'R' next to his name on the ballot, he's all but assured to win). One would think that Breedlove would recognize the seriousness of this issue, but he doesn't and says 'it's not a huge thing to me.'

Um, deceiving the public isn't a huge deal? Wasting money on an additional salary for a non-active employee during a budget crisis isn't a huge deal? Showing poor judgement in re-upping, then dismissing an employee isn't a huge deal?

What in the world is a huge deal to Breedlove?

That type of indifference is what helped created this problem, isn't it?

Listen, if the board had a legitimate difference of opinion with Dohrmann, then they are within their right to remove him from his position. But to renew his contract and then force him out a few weeks later, to mislead the public for half a year about the nature of the split and keep an additional superintendent's salary on the books at a time when you're having to cut funding for necessary services for the district is a monumental failure of leadership on the part of the Oconee County Board of Education.


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