The Times Endorses Hersey
Update: when I read the Times' endorsement, I went and checked at the Federal Way website to see if Hersey still worked there. And there he was. But I had many saying no, he isn't and today I went and looked and poof! he was gone.
So Director Hersey is no longer a teacher.
end of update
The Seattle Times has endorsed Brandon Hersey to retain the school board seat he was appointed to in District 7. There were a couple of interesting statements on his part and a glaring error from the Times.
The glaring error was calling Hersey "a former Federal Way elementary school teacher" and he's currently still a teacher. (I did tweet this at them but no correction. The hubris of the Times editorial board never ceases to amaze me.)
In an endorsement interview, Hersey was candid about the board’s challenges and changes necessary for effective governance, particularly knowing when board members should, as he said, “lean in and, more importantly, know when to lean out” of operational decisions.
“I think that it’s critical to know, as a board director, what role that you play and how to do that effectively,” he said. “Because when you don’t, you have instances where we might be getting more in the way than we need to be.”
Question to Director Hersey - Is "leaning out" of the annual budget an operational decision that the Board should be involved in?
Because there's a new push to move the majority of items on the Board meeting agenda to the Consent Agenda (where all items are voted as one single group), then sure, I'd say the Board is leaning out. Or rather, they are not affording the public to give any real input in a public way. You have Chandra Hampson and Liza Rankin who toss their heads and say, "Well, we discussed this extensively with staff at Board committee meeting X."
Except very few outsiders ever go to committee meetings.
Except that the edict has come down to having the bare minimum of information in the committee minutes so anyone who WAS trying to learn more without going to the meeting can't do that.
I wish some Board members would have some political courage and ask for items to be taken off the Consent Agenda. The rule on that is ANY Board member can ask for ANY item to be taken off and it will be taken off and moved to the Action item portion of the agenda.
Here's how the Times ends the endorsement:
In his next term, he should leverage the trust he has earned to push the board toward more meaningful community engagement and greater openness and transparency, particularly in the search for a permanent superintendent.
Yes, every damn election, it's "more accountability and transparency" and it never happens. Exhibit A: Hampson and DeWolf being found by an independent investigation to have bullied a couple of JSCEE staffers. How are those two being held accountable?