A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Need for Oversight

The Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District's contracts with its Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, and Business Administrator/Secretary are subject to revision at the next school board meeting scheduled for 25 June 2009, according to a public notice at the MARSD website.

As might have been expected with an open salary and benefits discussion, there was much gnashing of teeth this weekend in reader comments on the Aberdeener blogsite. His post about the board's responsibilities concerning the superintendent's recent request to transfer Cliffwood Elementary School's principal to troubled Strathmore Elementary, a thoughtful discussion of divergent perceptions of the board's function, became a place for his readers to wax eloquently about these too-opaque personnel contract discussions.

While Aberdeener's article focused on whether or not the board should play an aggressive oversight role in BOE personnel strategic moves, some of his readership took things in rather dark directions and eventually turned on Aberdeener himself. I marvel at how these anonymous commentators can so effortlessly provide narratives for innumerable conspiracies by persistently-ill-intentioned bureaucratic boogeymen. They should take up the mystery writer's trade. In forty posts they managed to complain of retribution against union members, the tenure of an imbecilic administrator, public corruption that pads the pockets of officials at the cost of the proper education of our youth, a possible return to croneyism, more politics as usual - including broken campaign promises by board members (read Joey) -- and even the superfluousness of the board itself.

Ignoring the jadedness and bad faith demonstrated in many of the comments, few came to the point. Maybe the board's processes aren't open enough to avoid appearances of conflict of interest. Maybe policy changes could help avoid this sort of public and professional angst? It certainly cannot be healthy. It all gets back to Aberdeener's original point -- the need for improved oversight by the board.


Post a Comment