JeffCo school board decision draws questions re:transparency

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ScienceChic created the topic: JeffCo school board decision draws questions re:transparency 26 Dec 2013 13:39 #1

Not to bring partisanship into this, but I'm pretty sure that if a liberal majority had done this, there would be outraged screaming from the right at the lack of transparency and possible illegality of it, not to mention the cost to the taxpayers. I'm concerned because there aren't many official news stories on it (so much for the "liberal media" :biggrin: ). I'm going to do my best to attend the next school board meeting on Jan 16th. If you can't make it, but would like to follow along, they tweet updates live during the meeting ‏@JeffcoSchoolsCo: https://twitter.com/JeffcoSchoolsCo .

JeffCo school board decision draws questions about transparency
By Zahira Torres
12/17/13

The Jefferson County school board's new majority may have skirted a law that requires them to conduct business openly by hiring an attorney without a public interview process, according to an open-government expert.

Thomas Kelley, a lawyer for the Colorado Press Association and The Denver Post, said the board's 3-2 decision last week to hire Colorado Springs-based law firm Miller Sparks LLC may have violated the state's open-meetings act, which requires board members to conduct business in public.

"It's not all that common for a board of a public entity to, by itself, conduct interviews, but when they do, at least when it doesn't involve interviews for a personnel position, they have to do those interviews in public," Kelley said.

Led by board president Ken Witt, the majority hired Miller Sparks to represent the school board without seeking proposals for the contract, publicly vetting the candidates or getting cost estimates. Witt and board members Julie Williams and John Newkirk — who were elected in November on a conservative platform — did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The school district already has an attorney, but the new board members wanted their own representation. Board members Lesley Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman said they were not against considering the idea but believed the process lacked transparency.

Read more: JeffCo school board decision draws questions about transparency - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_24744 ... z2oc8qBFnY
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Your Voice: Jeffco school board less than transparent
Posted by Michele Patterson on December 18, 2013

Jeffco PTA believes in and advocates for both transparency and fiscal responsibility, good stewardship of taxpayer dollars, when it comes to decisions impacting our children and schools so we were shocked and appalled by what transpired at the Jeffco Board of Education meeting on December 12. Although we saw some good dialogue exchanges and collaborative decision making from the Board as a whole that evening, our three new board members made a gross error when they voted to hire an attorney – separate from the district’s representation – to represent them without discussing the cost to taxpayers or where the money for this attorney would come from, and without a formal RFP process.

Equally troubling, our three newly elected board members had already conducted interviews and chosen the attorney they would hire without involving fellow board members Lesley Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman.

Is this what we are now to expect in Jefferson County? The actions of our board on December 12 don’t bode well for transparency or fiscal responsibility. ...Given this, we must wonder what our new board is planning – what, exactly, do they need an attorney so urgently for?




Email your board members at:
kewitt@jeffco.k12.co.us ,
juwillia@jeffco.k12.co.us
ldahlkem@jeffco.k12.co.us
jnewkirk@jeffco.k12.co.us
jcfellma@jeffco.k12.co.us
and board@jeffco.k12.co.us .

Next School Board Meeting: January 16 at 6:30 pm
http://www.jeffcopta.org/
https://www.facebook.com/JeffcoPTA
https://twitter.com/JeffcoPTA

More Questions (and Ducking) on New Jeffco School Board
by: Colorado Pols Wed December 18, 2013

Following up on a story that first appeared here at Colorado Pols (and Jeffco Pols), Zahira Torres of the Denver Post digs into the strange goings-on among the three new members of the Jefferson County School Board:

- See more at: http://coloradopols.com/diary/52658/mor ... Oy1s3.dpuf

Caldwell: Jeffco school board didn't take long to raise eyebrows
By Alicia Caldwell
The Denver Post
12/17/13

Just a few weeks after being sworn in, the new conservative majority on the Jefferson County school board has already caused a stir, and not in a good way.

The board majority is suspected of running roughshod over Colorado's open meetings laws when it hired a board attorney out of the blue at a meeting last week.

The bizarre part of the whole scenario is that Ken Witt, Julie Williams and John Newkirk have the votes, quite frankly, to do what they want.

Yet that is what some — including at least one fellow board member — think happened Thursday when the trio quickly voted to approve the hiring of Brad Miller, a charter school advocate, to represent the board.

"We haven't even talked about the price," protested Lesley Dahlkemper as the majority pushed ahead with the vote, leaving her and Jill Fellman to vote against the idea.

There is so much that is odd about how the events went down, it's tough to know where to begin.

Read more: Caldwell: Jeffco school board didn't take long to raise eyebrows - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/caldwell/ci_2 ... z2oc3UQTFI
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Jekyll replied the topic: JeffCo school board decision draws questions re:transparency 26 Dec 2013 23:27 #2

Thanks for the heads up SC. :like:

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homeagain replied the topic: JeffCo school board decision draws questions re:transparency 27 Dec 2013 15:01 #3

Well now, it looks like Parkco isn't the ONLY questionable government around these parts.....Jeffco generally is able to "get by" with ALOT of questionable action.....(The "new"
Safeway shopping center travesty being one of them).......(Oh my, what a surprise..."our" gov.
NOT working for the common good of the people.) JMO

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Ronbo replied the topic: JeffCo school board decision draws questions re:transparency 27 Dec 2013 15:35 #4

homeagain wrote: Well now, it looks like Parkco isn't the ONLY questionable government around these parts.....Jeffco generally is able to "get by" with ALOT of questionable action.....(The "new"
Safeway shopping center travesty being one of them).......(Oh my, what a surprise..."our" gov.
NOT working for the common good of the people.) JMO



Sorry, but this does not make any sense. What does Park County have to do with Jeffco schools and what makes Park County a questionable government?

I assume you meant A LOT rather than ALOT since there is no such word as ALOT. But what other questionable actions has the Jefferson County government taken? Why do you think the "new" Safeway shopping center is a travesty. Sure a lot of bussinesses in that shopping center have struggled to stay in bussiness but what does that have to do with the Jefferson County government?

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homeagain replied the topic: JeffCo school board decision draws questions re:transparency 27 Dec 2013 16:04 #5

Ronbo..I live in Parkco, which has taken A LOT of backlash for their "rural,cowboy sheriff actions and lack of "protocol"...Jeffco operates in "we KNOWN what's good for the mountain" mindset.

I have watched Jeffco ATTEMPT to bankrupt a small "mom and pop" business up here....time
and time again. I watched Jeffco ram thru the "new" Safeway shopping center...KNOWING full
well that the water problems would create an astronomical hurdle that MOST businesses could
NOT accommodate.....(subsequently BEHOLD a vacant,wasteland of store fronts WITHOUT a
viable business attached)......which THEN resulted in the entire center folding into bankruptcy....
and being sold off at a loss.....oh YES, Jeffco is watching out for the mountain.....(NOT)....JMO

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HEARTLESS replied the topic: JeffCo school board decision draws questions re:transparency 27 Dec 2013 16:16 #6

Politicians look out for themselves, not the people.

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Grady replied the topic: JeffCo school board decision draws questions re:transparency 29 Dec 2013 09:22 #7

Another view

It's sad the JeffCo PTA does not want an open exchange of ideas and to focus on what's best for kids. After charging our school board with breaking the law, intimidating members who disagree with this overt hostility, charging our organization as backing political candidates (we're a 501(c)3 as are they), banning JeffCo parents from their social media, and even making false statements about these parents, the PTA is now spinning that their leadership have been the ones harassed and bullied while providing no evidence or documentation backing any of their claims.

While outwardly proclaiming to strive for truth, the PTA has failed to seek the truth and are now manipulating it for their own gain without correcting their own mistakes and apologizing, as they have also stated as a core value.

[urlhttp://www.facebook.com/JeffcoStudentsFirst]Jefferson County Students First[/url]

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Mtn Gramma replied the topic: JeffCo school board decision draws questions re:transparency 29 Dec 2013 13:01 #8

homeagain wrote: Well now, it looks like Parkco isn't the ONLY questionable government around these parts.....Jeffco generally is able to "get by" with ALOT of questionable action.....(The "new"
Safeway shopping center travesty being one of them).......(Oh my, what a surprise..."our" gov.
NOT working for the common good of the people.) JMO


Just for the record, Jeffco Schools is a totally separate entity from Jeffco Government. Get your facts straight before you pontificate.

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Unpopular Poster replied the topic: JeffCo school board decision draws questions re:transparency 29 Dec 2013 19:29 #9

Mtn Gramma wrote:

homeagain wrote: Well now, it looks like Parkco isn't the ONLY questionable government around these parts.....Jeffco generally is able to "get by" with ALOT of questionable action.....(The "new"
Safeway shopping center travesty being one of them).......(Oh my, what a surprise..."our" gov.
NOT working for the common good of the people.) JMO


Just for the record, Jeffco Schools is a totally separate entity from Jeffco Government. Get your facts straight before you pontificate.



ha ha ha ha ha

You tell her Gramma!

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ScienceChic replied the topic: JeffCo school board decision draws questions re:transparency 29 Dec 2013 20:18 #10

http://www.jeffcopublicschools.org/boar ... ipate.html

Participate in a Board of Education Meeting
Those wishing to speak to the Board may do so at regular business meetings. Public Comment sign up is available online through the Public Comment agenda item when the agenda is made available to the public and until 3:30 p.m. the day of the meeting. Sign up is also available in the Board of Education office Monday-Wednesday until 5 p.m. and Thursday until 3:30 p.m. for those without access to the internet.


The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. ~Winston Churchill

Your scars exist, but it’s your courage that defines you. ~Nalini Singh

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