Apr 15, 2011 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
About 50 residents recently petitioned to reduce the size of the Jordan-Elbridge school board from nine to seven members. According to state law, 50 signatures is enough to require the proposition be put up for a vote.
Residents will decide whether to reduce the size of the board on May 17, when they will also vote on the 2011-12 budget and elect three new board members. A vote in favor of reducing the board would go into effect July 1, 2012, and would not change the outcome of this year’s school board election. In spring 2012, with three board members’ terms expiring, only one seat would be filled.
School board member Michael Jorolemon offered this response to the proposition. Jorolemon will be up for election in 2013.
“I know there has been some discussion about the pending proposition to reduce the number of Jordan Elbridge school board members from the current 9 to 7.
“I often include in my discussions about pending changes at work the reminder of Newton’s Laws from basic physics, that for every action there is an equal and opposition reaction. In making decisions and changes, the corollary applies that for every decision or change there are effects, some as intended, others unexpected – often negative.
“In reducing the number of board members to 7, I try to look at the positive and negative effects as I would for every important decision I make.
“From the positive:
— There is no financial incentive for the change, as board members volunteer their time.
— The more different perspectives you have to discuss an issue, the more insightful the final decision will be.
— Having more members on the board increases the representation of the community as a whole.
— The amount of time a board member spends fulfilling their duties is enormous. It is equivalent to having a least another part time job if not more. Decreasing the number of board members results in having to spread the work load amongst fewer people.
— Additional two members helps bring depth to the board, providing individuals with different skills, knowledge bases and experiences to share and help critically review the material presented in order to make the best decision possible for the entire community and all the children.
“From the negative:
— Less opportunity for the community to be represented.
— Less perspectives or voices to help guide decisions.
— More work for the elected members to try and accomplish
— Potentially increasing the time commitment needed for each individual board member in order to give due diligence to their duties.
— The board loses some of the history. Some in the community may be looking for just that. But one of my favorite quotes (for which I can not remember the author) is ‘History doesn’t repeat itself. Men always do.’ We need to have the historical perspective which gives insights into past decisions which could indeed affect future ones.
“When I sit back and critically analyze the proposal, my conclusion is that keeping the board with the current nine members has an overwhelming more positive affect for the community than does changing the membership to seven.
“I hope that many members of our community will sit back and critically review the proposal for themselves. If they come to the same conclusions that I did, I hope they will do what is truly in the best interest of the Jordan-Elbridge community and all our children and vote ‘no’ on the pending proposition to decrease the number of school board members.”