News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Shoshoni school board didn't follow wishes of the voters
Jan 11, 2013 - Jim Kennedy, Riverton
After following the process for the replacement of Sean Walker on the Shoshoni school board, it seems that the board members truly didn't follow the wishes of their patrons.
Although Garry Smith received the fourth-largest number of votes, the board chose the individual who came in a distant fifth in the election.
There is no precedent for following elected order, but in a democracy when the constituents speak or vote, the school board should follow their wishes.
But when the president of the board addressed the constituents, "we are going to do this process whether you like it or not," was the voice of the voters heard?
This statement sounds as if Kevin Smith, the board president, is challenging the patrons in a "bullying fashion."
Another point that demonstrates Garry Smith should have received this position is trustee Steffen's comment that supporters of the district should vote for three candidates, not four, which constituents did, but Mr. Smith came in fourth.
Again, there is no precedent to select Mr.Smith, but where's the democratic process? Was Mrs. Fegler near that third position? No.
Unfortunately, if an individual reads between the lines there are issues that are hidden within FCSD 24. But even worse, the patrons of FCSD 24 are unfairly treated by its elected officials, who supposedly represent and work for them.
Fortunately, the community can challenge this situation. If there is a condescending attitude by the board, then constituents can form a committee and if necessary recall all board members.
But in the end, only one group is hurt, students, but they are ones we want the best for.