There has been some tension between MMSD Board members and administrators, but generally the relationships have been civil and those involved have displayed mutual respect. All involved should be proud of this.
Besides limiting contact between board members and administrators, the March 30 letter tells school board members that administrators have been instructed to notify Harness if a school board member contacts them by phone, e-mail or in person.
In addition, the letter requires administrators to request permission from Harness before contacting a school board member; they must also provide a reason for doing so.
According to the memo, Harness must be present during any meetings between administrators and school board members and that the meetings must be prearranged.
The letter, signed by the administrators in the district, indicated that they felt their trust had been violated when an alternate staffing plan was introduced at a March 19 school board meeting. The plan was aimed at saving programs and positions in an effort to forestall the need for a referendum at this time.
I don’t think you can blame this entirely on the state finance system, but clearly the pressures of annual budget conflicts and the difficulties of referenda are part of it.
Thomas J. Mertz