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Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Editorial on Greens was Misguided" by Ben Meiklejohn in the Portland Forecaster: August 16, 2006

Options state in last week's editorial regarding an informal meeting held in a public park are misguided. Firstly, it was not a "disregard of board procedure." Policy delegates responsibility of convening School Committee meetings to the chair, but we did not convene a Committee meeting. Policies do not prohibit individuals from meeting outside of official business meetings. Also, that it "is usually considered to run afoul of the state's right to know law" is presumptuous. Numberous attorneys substantiate that indivuduals may interact without public notice, unless there is a quorum that is making decisions.

Nonetheless, although not required by law, we believ ein being accessible to the public. That the "method of notice ensured that few members of the public attended," was a decision of our Chairwoman to not forward notice to the media, and further more not to notify us that it would not be sent out. Had we known this, we would have done it ourselves.

When we met informally in the park, we made no decisions nor voted. We talked casually about Portland schools, as any other would. That partisanship creates a tense atmosphere on teh Committee, and that "the new school year is not off to a good start," are exagerated characterizations designed to reflect Greens in the poorest light. The Committee rarely votes party lines, members work together in best faith to reach decisions, students attend good schools, and our teachers do a great job educating them. It's going to be a fine school year.

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