Letter: A violation of public trust
November 18, 2015
The Aspen School District board has many issues. One that has received too little attention is the improper election procedure the board followed in November.
Three seats were up for election: one for a two-year term and two for a four-year term. Because the school board screwed up the procedure, only the two four-year seats were filled in the election. The board ducked responsibility, blaming a secretary. Great idea — take credit for successes, and blame others for failures. The board said it would appoint the remaining member, a move that would deny voters their right to elect that position.
The board claims it has legal advice supporting its position. This is not the first time local officials obtained convenient legal advice to frustrate the democratic process. (See Aspen's city attorney's denial of Referendum 1's applicability.) Regardless of the legal authority, the real issue is public trust. The public is questioning the board's empathy with public sentiment on other issues (sensitivity to minority groups' religious practices). This is no time for the board also to flout the democratic process.
The school board should accept responsibility for its electoral error and conduct a special election to fill the open two year seat.