2:35 AM, Fourth of July

After four lovely days with my grandsons playing in the Wisconsin Dell’s water parks I’m back in Duluth where a short time ago I was assaulted with a dream about being chosen to be a principal at a dying public school just minutes before its students assembled in the auditorium for their first day of class. I woke after my attempt to give a compelling speech to the kids resulted in all but a handful of them sneaking out of my speech. I guess I should take my dream to mean that vacation is over.

I didn’t completely tune out the difficulties of good old ISD 709 while in the Dells. I answered an email or two and took a call from the Tribune’s education reporter despite scowls from Claudia for letting business intrude on our fun.

Before bed last night I saw a cryptic note from our District’s Chief Financial Officer alluding to data sensitive material that was attached. I didn’t open the email at that time supposing that it would refer to the long awaited audit by our State Auditor which was prompted by a petition of Duluth voters. More about that in the next post.

But that was not the subject of the post. It was a legal analysis from our school board attorney Kevin Rupp. Mr. Hanson noted that it was a private communication that could only be released to the public after a majority vote of the entire Board to do so. I guess I would be pushing my luck to hint around at its momentous contents. I’ll risk sharing the dismissive reply that I sent all my fellow School Board members regarding the secret document’s contents:

Far be it from me to unilaterally make public this highly charged letter from the School Board’s attorney, Kevin Rupp. I will wait for the entire school board to weigh in and cast a majority vote on this question. If that vote should fall short of a majority I will consider whether to join Art as the potential subject of removal by releasing the analysis in defiance of a no vote and thumbing my nose at the rediscovered authority of our long ignored school board policy book.

To be clear, I wish to make all charges against Board member Art Johnston public. Apparently, there is one court opinion referenced at the end of Mr. Rupp’s three pages of analysis that suggests elected officials “personnel” data should not be considered as being off limits to the public. That’s good enough for me. I’m all for transparency.

Harry Welty

On to the State Auditor….