I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On Hiatus

Because I've been voted Chairman of the Escambia County School Board for 2012-2013, I'm putting my own personal opinions on the back burner and I am going on a hiatus from this blog....but I will be back once my term as Chairman ends in November of 2013! 
Blogging on this site has been a very useful and cathartic release for me over the last five years.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the outlet and the communication with constituents-- those in agreement with my positions and also those opposed.  Due to some circumstances which I will describe below, I’ll be taking a temporary hiatus from writing on this Blog.  I will be back, though. 
Last night I was voted to be both the Chairman of the Escambia County School Board and also the Board’s legislative liaison to the Florida School Boards Association for the 2012-2013 session. 
The succession plan for the chairmanship had been discussed at this 11-15-2012 workshop, and as I discussed assuming the chairmanship (as was contemplated and agreed to in a meeting held on 11-22- 2011) three of the five board members expressed concern with my blogging on my blog site while I was the chairman; The problem, apparently, is that public perception could be that my opinions on my blog are the opinion of the entire board.  
I don’t consider myself anyone’s spokesman, even though I’m the Chairman, just as I’ve never subscribed to the idea that any other previous chairman or the superintendent was my spokesman.  We are each independently elected, constitutional officers and our own spokespersons. 
However, I’m mindful and I understand the concerns of Patty Hightower, Bill Slayton, and Linda Moultrie.    Therefore, I’m going on a hiatus from blogging on this site until such time as I am no longer the chairman or for one year.  This action on my part, while depriving me of an outlet for expression over which I have 100% control,  will apparently alleviate the concerns of these three board members, a number representing a majority of the board.
Someone who was extremely intelligent, and also more logical than any human, once stated “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”    In this case, this phrase is appropriate, so I’ll step aside for awhile.

I’ll miss the interaction and also the vehicle for disseminating information.
But I’m not going to be a mime or a mute.
 I will be working and writing a lot over the next year, primarily on .     I am also considering the use of other social media, like twitter, pinterest, dropbox, tumblr, and others potentially, to disseminate district information of interest.  There are more ways than just Blogger to communicate…
I’ll be around, and I will always retain and will never relinquish my individual right to freedom of speech and my own personal opinions.
 But I will be cognizant of the expressed concerns of other members of the board and I will do what I said I would do regarding my blog. 
My overarching  goals for the next year: 

I’ll strive to be the best prepared, most professional, courteous, and amiable Chairman I can be.  I’ll run efficient meetings, and I’ll strive to be magnanimous. 
We have some difficult problems as a district that we must work together to solve, and I’ll certainly allow neither my ego nor my personal opinions to become the cog in the wheel of progress in our district.

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