Publicly elected officials are circling the wagons in McCall and refusing to talk about why their school superintendent isn't on the job. And the McCall Star-News, in a blistering editorial,
argues that, thus far in the controversy, the school board is more beholden to their legal counsel than their constituents.
"It is obvious the process has been hijacked by attorneys, who have no regard for the public interest unless their clients directly benefit," writes this week's Star-News
The rumors are rampant after McCall-Donnelly School District Superintendent Glen Szymoniak was placed on leave in late November, first replaced by middle school principal Susan Buescher as acting superintendent, who in turn was replaced by elementary school principal Jim Foudy as acting superintendent. Additionally, the school board placed two unnamed employees on leave.
A string of closed-door meetings, ranging from two-and-a-half hours to five hours in length, have kept the local school board busy in the past few weeks.
And all of this secrecy has triggered the ire of the local newspaper.
"The McCall-Donnelly School District board of trustees is facing a dilemma that all elected bodies eventually face, namely how to balance the responsibility to be transparent with their patrons and taxpayers with the need to respect the privacy and rights of their employees," wrote the Star-News
. "The answer is easy, especially when the employee appears to be the most important and highest paid person in the school district."
Meanwhile, Szymoniak and all of the board members aren't saying a word.
"I'm not supposed to say anything," Szymoniak told the Star-News
"We have been instructed to talk to no one," said trustee Frank Eld.