Archived Story

Parents, taxpayers deserve answers in Weigel resignation

Published 10:04am Thursday, March 6, 2014

Niles Board of Education meetings have been a popular place to be in recent weeks, as rumors about the future of the district have become almost palpable within the community.

They’ve been so well attended the past couple weeks that, unless you showed up early, there’s a chance citizens couldn’t get in.

That’s not a good thing. Even if someone did, no one got any answers in regards to the rumors and turmoil surrounding the district and superintendent Richard Weigel.

The board met relatively late Wednesday night, starting at 8 p.m. on a night when the district was also playing in a district basketball game, going into two more closed sessions before ultimately accepting Weigel’s resignation.

Why did he resign? What was the separation agreement? Why did one board member vote against accepting the resignation? Why did another member abstain?

All are valid — and vitally important — questions to the parents of students in the district and the taxpayers that pay for the schools. Unfortunately, the board chose not to answer any of these, initially declining any comment until a later time and then releasing a statement through its public relations firm about an hour later that basically answered nothing. It referenced conflicting vision and other vague terms but did nothing to answer any of the questions about what the board president called “an investigation.”

Everyone deserves more than this. The parents deserve more. The teachers and administrators deserve more. The students deserve more. The citizens deserve more.

The public should never be turned away from a “public” meeting and the board must not forget that the citizens are the ones paying the bills and deserve full disclosure.

Transparency and communication are crucial components when it comes to the faith and trust in how public institutions are operated. The Niles School District certainly earned a failing grade in this case.

 

Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Craig Haupert, Ambrosia Neldon, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.

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