Mailbag: District's claims of transparency fall short

Long-serving Newport-Mesa Unified School District Trustees Dana Black and Martha Fluor state that the school district has become more transparent during the past 20 years, trying to learn and improve in terms of parent/community involvement, and they point to the parents' budget advisory committee and audit committees as progress.

If this is true, why then did Black, Fluor and their fellow board members at the time summarily "shelve" the several recommendations of the well-publicized NMUSD Community Involvement Task Force, made up of citizens and district parents? I'm sure that those many concerned individuals who served on the task force painfully recall the months they spent during evenings and weekends, which, in the end, meant absolutely nothing in terms of assuring greater district openness and meaningful reform.

Kent S. Moor

Corona del Mar

Editor's note: The writer is a former member of the N-MUSD Community Involvement Task Force.

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E-mails show effort to suppress Foley

Trustee Katrina Foley talks about representative government, and she has a point. When one member of the board of education is not permitted to put something on the agenda, or be heard by the community (transparency), then not only is one part of the city not truly allowed to be represented, but the other communities are not informed as well.

The latest revelation of the e-mails between the president of the board and the superintendent clearly show that there is a concerted effort to suppress Foley. If this continues, then the area that Foley represents will not be effectively represented, and the people that will suffer are the students.

Sandy Asper

Newport Beach

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Policy for agenda should be corrected

Presently, the N-MUSD's policy is to prevent a member of the board from placing an item on a meeting agenda unless it is approved by the superintendent or the board president. At the board meeting of Feb. 15, board member Katrina Foley asked that this policy be changed so that a member could request an item be placed on the agenda without any other approvals.

She was voted down, 6-1. How can a member represent his/her area if they are not permitted to propose agenda items that they feel are important to their area, but not of importance to the president or superintendent? I should think that any parent of a school-age child would strongly disagree with the present policy and would want the representative of their particular area to be heard. Further, I should think that parents of school-age children would insist that this undemocratic policy be corrected.

Martha O'Meara

Costa Mesa

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How about Goldwater?

Here is a simple solution to the Reagan Statue Controversy. Ask the donors if they would consider a statue of Barry Goldwater in lieu of Ronald Reagan. Goldwater was revered in Newport Beach, he was a mentor to Ronald Reagan and Reagan's famous speech in support of Goldwater's 1964 presidential candidacy launched Reagan's political life.

Perhaps most important to the opponents of the Reagan statue, Goldwater was a Newport Beach resident when he lived at the Balboa Bay Club during the summer months.

Dudley Johnson

Newport Beach

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