Saturday, January 16, 2010


On January 12, 2010, The Canton Repository picked up on a press release from the Northwest Local Board of Education, part of which the SCPR picks up on, to wit:
District officials want suggestions on how the district should move forward. This is not a meeting about a levy but an opportunity to participate in the discussion.   (emphasis added)

Using suggestions from the event and other sources of resident input, the Northwest Local Board of Education will create an action plan ...

The question that the SCPR has is this:  is this an exercise in kidding oneself?

The Report believes this meeding has everything to do with a levy.

School officials would serve themselves better in being straightforward with Northwest's consumers of educational services.

No rational person will believe that the community meetings and "action plans in the making" on the brink of putting a levy on the ballot in either May or November is unconnected with the levy effort.

"This meeting is not a meeting about a levy" (the phrase)  may be correct in the "technical nomenclature" sense of the word meeting.  But in a "gestalt" sense, the survey done recently by the Board, the meeting last week (that somehow got omitted - inadvertently - from the the district's website calendar) and the meeting for this coming Monday billed as not levy related,  coalesce to make it clear to a discerning person that "the phrase" is at the very least a disingenuity and at worse an "in-your-face" insult to to thinking/analytical people.

Although Superintendent William Stetler's fingerprints are all over this approach, the official line is that Stetler is not a part of  this "let's slip one over on Northwest voters" approach.

Everyone in Stark County knows that the Northwest and Fairless school districts are in the worst financial shape of all the Stark County districts. And the SCPR believes it is because they have lost the trust of their respective publics.

All the geniuses from Northwest have done is to deepen the skepticism of many Northwest voters.  The leadership of Northwest would have better advanced the cause of honesty and its concomitant of trust by owning up to the obvious.

Everything they (the board members and the school administration) have done since the levy defeat in November, 2008 is to employ gimmickry and tactics in hope of achieving the miraculous:  the passage of a substantial levy in a school system that has been a long time in building mistrust in the toughest economic times that this nation has faced in many a year.

The Northwest school leadership can continue to play the "ostrich head in the sand" routine or they can get real and start building real trust by being straight with the people.

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