Letter: District requires too much from school board members | AspenTimes.com

Letter: District requires too much from school board members

Editor’s note: The following letter originally was addressed to John Maloy, superintendent of the Aspen School District.

Dear John,

On the day after applications were due for school board candidates, I submit to you this suggestion: Let’s change the terms for these positions and get more people involved in educational leadership in the Aspen School District.

I know a half dozen concerned residents, myself included, who, to quote Mahatma Ghandi, would like to “be the change you wish to see in the world” and wanted to throw their hats in the ring. To a person, none of these dedicated people was able to give up their livelihood in order to serve their district.

The current system we have is so onerous it feels like a form of disenfranchisement, revoking the privilege to serve. A four-year term? It’s not the U.S. presidency, for goodness’ sake. Twice-a-month meetings that can run as long as six hours each? Meetings held during the workday? And, of course, all the necessary responsibilities of this post that any diligent director would be undertaking.

I commend the five directors who are currently serving for donating their valuable time to the community. Their politics are irrelevant on this point; I appreciate their service.

That said, the ante for serving, which many would like to have the opportunity to do, is so high that few can serve. Neither a full-time, 9-to-5 employee whose boss wants to see them every Monday nor a working Jane or Joe who needs their waking hours to earn a living could possibly run for school board under the current terms.

What this means is we are left with the perspectives of a very limited section of the community, and that diminished view impoverishes us all.

Thank you for your consideration.

Lara Whitley