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Letter: Deep divide

To the editor:

As a 25-year resident of Douglas County, I’m very concerned with the deep divide that has developed between the district administration, board of trustees and the teachers. We have an opportunity to put the district back on a program where the education of the students is of primary concern. This can only be accomplished where the administration/ trustees and teachers are jointly working to achieve this common goal. The biggest problem is that the administration/trustees didn’t even know that the deep divide existed. I think they know now. I talked to a retired teacher and he stated the problem is the biggest it’s ever been. One trustee, John Raker, was quoted in an article in the Oct. 25 issue of the Reno Gazette-Journal; he “rips the union chief,” Marty Cronin. This is a sure way to deepen the divide. At election time, I question whether it was done intentionally.

We have four children who graduated from Whittell High School and my wife and I are very pleased with the education they received. Knowing many of our children’s teachers, we felt comfortable and pleased with the education they received. Two of them went on to college. This letter is not about teachers or comments on the controversial “testing”issue.

The function of the trustees is to set the policy and direction of the administration to ensure that the students are educated within prescribed public laws. This can only be done with close cooperation and interface between each group. Breakdown between any of the groups will result in the students not getting the education they deserve or that we are paying for. Somewhere between the administration/trustees and the teachers, this deep division has occurred and must be addressed. I recommend that we replace some of the incumbents with people who are willing to make the decisions necessary to ensure the education of our students. Teachers don’t need to be distracted with the current situation.

One area where the trustees displayed their lack of public trust is the recent event where the Attorney General’s Office reprimanded them for a violation of the open meeting law. To write it off as a clerical error is beyond reason. Pat Corbitt, secretary to the board, said she just didn’t have the time to correctly get her job done. She had enough time to have a letter published in the Oct. 21 issue of The Record-Courier as to the reasons why she openly supports the incumbents. The open meeting law is specific as to what action can be taken at a meeting. It’s simple as ABC – if it’s not posted on the agenda for action, then no action can be taken, period. What’s of real concern is that the district’s legal counsel, along with two trustees who are lawyers, allowed this to happen. What’s going on?

Three candidates need your serious consideration for election as trustees for the board. They are William Laughlin in Area 3, Randy Green in Area 4 and Keith Roman in Area 7. I hope you will join me in voting for them.

Donald Lally

Zephyr Cove

Oct. 29