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The Verdict Is InPosted Wednesday, July 20, 2011, at 3:47 PM
We sat in the air conditioned board room of the Eureka Springs School District when the meeting was called to order by Rusty Windle. The school board went into executive session to discuss their verdict concerning the Connie Bentel hearing of last week. And where do you think the board held their session? They scratched their heads in the cool comfort of the board room while we, the district taxpayers, were relegated to ninety degree heat in the parking lot.
This is the disrespect, we the citizens of the district are afforded by this school board. There were only five members including Rusty Wendle present. They could have met in the kitchen. There were at least twenty citizens. But they just didn't give a "rat's derriere" about their constituents. And so we waited outside in the heat for a half hour while the board dithered over their decision. I think they were hoping we would all go home.
Finally, we were ushered back into the board room for the verdict. There were four counts considered against Bentel. On the first count: Violating privacy, the board voted 4 to 0. On the second count: Not following instructions, the board voted 5 to 0. On the third count: Getting involved in issues beyond the scope of a secretary's position, the board voted 5 to 0. And on the fourth count: making too many errors on district records, the board voted 5 to 0. The meeting was adjourned.
Connie Bentel's firing was upheld. Bentel's representative, Mr. Bill Gettino, asked Wendle if he did recluse himself. He took a moment to answer while he looked toward the ceiling and rolled his eyes. Then he said that he didn't recluse himself because he felt that the students' testimony was inaccurate. He reiterated that he had not made up his mind when he had his meeting with them.
So, there you are folks. There's your school board in action while claiming they always have the students in mind when they are making their decisions.
I reminded the board of their statement that was made a few months ago, "If you don't like our actions, you can always vote us out." As I left, I said, "We're going to do just that."
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I'm Enid. No, not the town in Oklahoma, but a transplant to Eureka Springs from Minneapolis fourteen years ago. I'm a writer, journalist and sometime artist. My real love is expressing my opinions on almost any subject, as you have seen in my many letters to the Editor of The Lovely County Citizen over the years. Now, I'm happy to say that I will be writing a blog titled In a Twist for your amusement, amazement or commiseration. Thanks for giving me a read.