I was inspired by the Ken Hoover (a sitting but retiring School Board member) post on his Facebook page:
One of our School Board members recently posted her thoughts about citizens who criticize City government. Other posters have wondered how her colleagues feel on this subject. I am loathe to post on Facebook, but I don't want my silence to be misconstrued as agreement. So, my thoughts:
We should not dismiss our critics as “haters”. Just the opposite; we should count our blessings for having an involved citizenry. We must look past any harsh language used and focus on the valid critiques that will help us improve as a Board, as a District, as a City. Despite what you may hear, people don’t complain just to complain.
Every citizen has the right AND the duty to work to make our community better. Our most fundamental duty is to be informed voters. If you don’t like the way your leaders lead, speak up. If necessary, elect different leaders.
On November 9, AH reported on Facebook that he got the following responses by email, and received permission to repost.
Please understand that I meant no harm to the School Board to which I serve. These were my remarks, and mine only. I do not speak for the board.
I have served this community for many years and as you read, I was wanting the World Series game to be over. Tenth inning, tied, rain delay, last game of this historical event, and reading comments on the "Is my City Corrupt" page, I did what I have told my children not to do, I posted a negative response. I regret this and apologize to you and those that I offended.
My work is not complete on the school board. We will continue to strive for "excellence always" with all of our stakeholders. I hope you will continue to support GMSD in this endeavor.
Please forgive my delay in responding to your email re: Ms. Parker’s comments. There’s no need for anyone to assume what I think or don’t think about the business of the City. My words are my words just as Ms. Parkers are hers. I can’t imagine why anyone would assume that I would need to make a public statement regarding comments made by a member of the board of education of which I am not a member, but you asked me directly, so I want to answer in kind. This response to you is public record and of course you may share it with others as you wish. I only ask that if you do share it, you share all of it, so as to accurately reflect what I’ve said. Thanks for that.
In your email you mentioned that you were “…certain that you do not agree with Ms. Parker’s sentiment that Germantowners who are critical of city leaders should just move out because they are not wanted here.” Aaron, I am a Realtor in our family owned business and meet with parents every day to help guide them through the purchase or sale of their home. I consider it a great responsibility to be entrusted with, for many, their most significant investment, just as I do about my work as your alderman. I’m here to represent all the citizens of Germantown. Those who voted for me and those who didn’t. Those who agree with me on an issue and those who don’t. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love Germantown because we are made of up neighbors who, for the most part, act lovingly and kindly to each other. I’m sure you’d agree with me that it’s unfortunate when we don’t. I don’t happen to think that because someone disagrees with me that they aren’t a good neighbor. To the contrary, I think those divergent opinions help me, as your alderman, make the best decisions for our City. I don’t think anything I’ve done or said, to date, would make you think otherwise. If so, I sure wish you’d take me up on that offer to get a cup of coffee.
Links to Shining a Light On Germantown Blog Posts