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October 9, 2012

News and Tribune letters: Oct. 9, 2012

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Reader urges a school board change

I have been wondering for some time how long it would take for the Greater Clark School Board to, once again, stick its collective foot in its mouth. And, without prompting, they did it at a September meeting.

It is clear that this board has no definition of “conflict of interest” in their vocabulary or any idea what their own bylaws and rules and regulations say is inappropriate (Board Code of Ethics #6.B.).

Of note is one instance where the president of the board, Christina Gilkey, decided it was appropriate to vote to approve the “agent of record” contract for her uncle, Culpepper Cooper.

Now, outgoing board member Ernie Gilbert, who has already secured employment for family members through Greater Clark, decided to vote to approve the renovation of his son’s (Chad Gilbert, Greater Clark teacher and coach) house with labor provided by the Greater Clark County Schools in the form of the building trades class at Prosser. With board member Nancy Kraft as the only recorded dissenting vote, the board approved Mr. Gilbert’s son’s house to be the object of this semester’s renovation project.

You couldn’t make this up. You couldn’t script this in an episode of “Glee,” “Jersey Shore” or “The Sopranos”

This is beyond the pale. This is a school board who sees themselves as above reproach and, maybe, above the law. Do we really want another four years of this? Do we really want our kids’ education to take a back seat to what our current school board can get for themselves or their relatives?

Let’s elect members of our school board who have our kids’ educations and the economic development of our community at heart, not the narrow-minded, self-centered interests that this current board has demonstrated time and again.

When you go to the polls Nov. 6, don’t forget to turn the ballot over and vote to change the hypocrisy that is plaguing this Board. Remember, you can vote for all four school board races on the ballot, not just the one in your district.

— James H. Wesp, Charlestown

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