Saturday, March 17, 2007

The View From The Cheap Seats BY Jerry Haferkamp

The View
The Cheap Seats

By Jerry Haferkamp

“To be, or not to be? That is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them”. (From Shakespeare’s Hamlet)

People sometimes ask why I write this column. I don’t get paid to do it. I don’t do it to get my name in print. I only put my name in after some complaints were made about columns with anonymous writers. The answer lies in Hamlet’s soliloquy written above. Whenever government commits acts against the general good, someone has to take arms and oppose them. I chose to do that.

My current topic is the St. Charles School Board’s decision to prove to this city that their word means nothing. They broke a promise that was given to employees and adhered to for years. This was no small promise. Homes were purchased and lives were planned based on this promise. The present board has shown that their promises are but dust in the wind.

Several speakers challenged this action at the last Board meeting. I was one. All the speakers were opposed to the new policy that doesn’t allow non-resident employees to have their children attend our schools. The Board again displayed their arrogance by a gunshot quick motion to approve the evening’s agenda before Dr. Towers had the opportunity to amend the agenda to address this issue.

The best thing that can be said of this act is that it was committed after several young students left the meeting. One was a student who had been recently honored on the “Do The Right Thing” program. She alerted family and neighbors to a fire, possibly saving lives. It is disturbing that we have children that can “do the right thing” and four adults on the Board that can’t even grasp the concept. I’m glad the young girl didn’t have to witness the behavior of these four.

Board member Wayne Oetting took several minutes of the meeting trying to convince people that by removing one student from a classroom the district would save about $8,000. I’m not sure if he was trying to convince himself that we are stupid enough to believe that or just trying to show us that he is.

It is time that those of you who want to restore employee confidence in this board to call or write to the Board members who have betrayed your trust and encourage them to live up to their word. Those Board members who have betrayed our trust are Karen Perrone, Wayne Oetting, Mary Darting and Dennis Hahn.

It is time these Board members honored the promises made to our employees. They have shown that they won’t do this unless forced. It is up to you to force them. You can sit around and be part of the problem, or you can take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them.

Get involved! Don’t expect someone else to do it for you. The ball, as they say in tennis, is in your court. It is of no use for me to write these columns to alert you to the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” if you only agree with me but fail to act. I’m calling on you to help these employees of our schools, your employees. It’s time for you to act. Your employees are counting on you.
If you want to help, write “Honor Your Promises” on a sheet of paper and mail to:
Dennis Hahn, President
St. Charles Board of Education
1025 Country Club Road
St. Charles, Mo. 63303
Or if you want to be part of the problem, just sit there.

That’s the view from the cheap seats