Posts Tagged ‘281 Leadership’

Editorials: Time For A Change & Board Is Out Of Touch

July 2, 2008

More 281 residents are speaking up against the current leadership and another proposed referendum in our school district. From the MN Sun-Post July 2:


Time for a change?

To the editor:

Strong leaders can pull a community together. Superintendent Stan Mack does the opposite on all school issues in Robbinsdale District 281.

In the fundraising effort by parents to keep ninth- and 10th-grade sports programs intact, Mr. Mack chose to make a statement that said, “Armstrong parents are better at raising money than Cooper parents are.”

This is totally unacceptable language that Mr. Mack has shown by this type of statement.

A real leader does not put schools versus schools, parents versus parents and even teachers versus teachers. This type of leadership only puts hostility back into the whole school community.

Hopkins School District 270 made the right choice a few years ago to put in a new leader.

Now it’s time for School District 281 to do the same thing.

Jeffrey Beck
Golden Valley


The following letter appears in the printed Sun-Post, but is not offered to view online (however a Vote Yes letter is online). I’ve transcribed it below:

Board is out of touch

To the editor:

Do you find it interesting that the District 281 School Board is begging for money again for the last two years in a row?

The voters rejected their request by a large margin last fall, but he School Board is determined to put their referendum back on the ballot again despite the message we sent them last year.

Aren’t you getting a little tired of public officials ignoring the wishes of the people they represent and stubbornly pushing ahead with their own special interests? I certainly am.

Can they possibly be calling for another huge tax increase at a time when our state unemployment rate is at a 17-year high, energy costs are going through the roof, gasoline is over $4 a gallon, foreclosures are at record levels and the housing market is depressed?

I realize there is no good time to raise our taxes, but some times are better than others, and I can’t think of a worse time than now.

The School Board request may have some merit, but their timing is terrible and the fact that they appear to be so out of touch with what is happening in the economy is troubling indeed.

Could it be that they are so caught up in their own agenda that they couldn’t care less about the problems of those of us who pay their bills?

I wonder what color the sky is in the School Board’s world.

Richard Moon
Golden Valley

281 Leadership Shows None Lately

June 22, 2008

An interesting editorial at the MN Sun Post:

The district spent $20,000 for a strategic planning consultant and completed a whirlwind process that involved input from at least 1,000 residents and resulted in a call for improved communication.

The district now has committed $17,500 for a financial planning program, led by a consultant who is suggesting the district needs to look at reducing its staff.

A citizens group called Unite 281 has worked hard to get signatures from 1,000 people requesting a levy referendum on the Nov. 4 election ballot.

Area residents have spent hours of time and raised thousands of dollars to reinstate after-school activities that were cut for the 2008-09 school year following last fall’s failed referendum.

And hundreds of residents who flooded the board room last fall when school closings were being considered have offered their help and support in maintaining the district’s standards.

Now it’s the School Board’s turn to act. It should select members for a citizens financial committee and get that group up and running without further delay.

It must select a board member to replace Paul Magnuson, who is moving to Switzerland this August.

And the board needs to reach consensus on a list of proposed reductions for the 2009-10 budget.

Here’s one opportunity to gain public trust by selecting a qualified replacement. Read more examples of why there needs to be a serious shakeup with the leadership.

Citizens and consultants alike have pinpointed a need for strong board leadership and improved district communication.

Both of those areas need immediate attention. School Board meetings are long and not nearly as productive as they need to be. Instead of biting the bullet and moving ahead, board members continue to postpone decisions and request additional information from staff.

As a result, the School Board finds itself in the same position as it did in 2007. It is heading into summer – when many of its constituents are on vacation – with significant decisions hanging in the balance.

A four-hour School Board work session on June 9, for example, was frustratingly inefficient, fraught with tedious work-smithing and unfocused discussions. The bulk of the agenda was pushed to yet another work session in July. The School Board doesn’t have this kind of time to waste.

It is well past time for the board to exercise strong leadership and address the important issues it faces. The time for making decisions is now.

Stonewalling is central to most of this administration, and these examples highlight their incompetence. Hopefully someone will present leadership while citizens work towards replacing them with competent leaders next year. Superintendent Mack’s contract also expires next year. Let’s hope it’s not renewed.