…some animals are more equal than others.” George Orwell Animal Farm
I read this in high school. Apparently, Orwell’s observation is every bit as appropos to our school board as it was to Stalin’s Russia.
Our first extensive discussion at last week’s marathon Board meeting had to do with Alanna Oswald’s motion to consider a seven-period-day. I misunderstood the intent of her motion and added my own substitute amendment more narrowly restricting additional spending to “western secondary” schools. I wanted that spending to begin in September. My motion failed as did Alanna’s. There were four board members who voted against it.
Later in the meeting (at the 3 hour, 11 minute point on the video) I was surprised and offended by a motion to take the Rupp law firm’s retention off the table. I made my my distaste for the Rupp Firm so vivid that other Board members found my comments “disparaging” and “threatening.” It must have been the gun I was waving. After a twenty minute discussion the same voting bloc forced Rupp down my throat. If you watch me in the video for the next twenty minutes you will see that it was all I could manage to contain my wrath. I rock from side to side. I shuffle my papers on the dias noisily, I sit back with a grim expression. I’m clearly channeling Charles Laughton or Spencer Tracey in some old cinema crime drama. I’m every bit as entertaining as the pros if you ask me. Then, to my delight, Art Johnston made a motion to allow board members other than the Chair to talk to our attorneys. Here’s what school board member, Rosie Loeffler-Kemp said to defend our policy only permiting the Chair to talk to our attorneys as our “point person”:
I was not impressed and, it turns out, for good reason.
Two days ago as I reviewed the Rupp Billing for 2014, I came to understand why Ms. Loefler-Kemp has no problem with our current policy. Its because she hasn’t had to abide by it.
On December 10th, my birthday BTW, 2014 Rosie got to chat with Attorney Rupp or, as the billing says: “telephone conference with school board member Loeffler-Kemp regarding possible censure of school board member.” Just who that member was, was made clear by the $117 charge five days later to: “begin drafting proposed resolution regarding censure of Harry Welty.” The expense also included our attorneys reading of my blog. (Here’s a recap of that travesty)
Rosie’s was a short call at 3 tenths of an hour for a measley legal charge of $46.50. Rosie wasn’t the Chair but that didn’t stop her. It helps to be an animal who has been created more equal.