Letter -Unhappy with boardI tuned into the school board meeting on Tuesday, July 10, and almost had to turn off the TV. It was difficult to watch
By: Dick Pearson, Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
I tuned into the school board meeting on Tuesday, July 10, and almost had to turn off the TV. It was difficult to watch the orchestrated display of affection from the paid public employees giving homage and accolades to their boss Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten. Come on folks, this is ridiculous, over 30 minutes of employees, school board members and the like, showing admiration and support of the superintendent.
The words of praise made it seem like a retirement party. The difference is, a retirement party occurs after 40 years of sweat, sacrifice and dedication in the business world, not at a Tuesday night school board meeting.
What I witnessed next was even more appalling. In short, it was a public trial of Sandy Gehrke and it was obvious the superintendent was directing the agenda. The superintendent and the board president, Mr. Holland, are sending a clear message -- if you disagree with our plans you best keep quiet. If you are an independent thinker and voice your opinion, you will be ostracized and publicly reprimanded.
It was disturbing that Mr. Waldspurger, a taxpayer paid attorney, was brought in to interrogate Ms. Gehrke. Ms. Gehrke has been on the school board for a mere three months and admitted she made a misstep. In the past Mr. Waldspurger was brought in to defend board members, not grill them.
Why did the superintendent and the board president choose to publicly convict Ms. Gehrke? Ms. Gehrke received no support from other members, no team work and no loyalty from board leadership. What kind of leader reprimands their staff publically? This is the exact opposite of what Mr. Holland says he requires for future board meetings.
The information quoted in the Star-Observer came directly from the attorney and the administration. Why has no one bothered to interview Ms. Gehrke?
In closing, I would recommend that Mr. Holland, Ms. Bowen-Eggebraaten and the rest of the board not be afraid of members with differing opinions. Keep in mind, Ms. Gehrke received the most votes in the last election.
Dick Pearson, Hudson