Saturday, October 29, 2005

Why Won't Junker Go On The Record?

The last column I wrote for the Stillwater Gazette reported the rumor going around town that School Board members Choc Junker and Nancy Hoffman might retire from their positions after the next election.

Under the existing rules, if Junker and Hoffman retired after the new year the School Board could decide on their replacements, all by itself—without the voters; without an election.

After the “retirement rumor” column appeared, School Board member Hoffman immediately wrote in to the Gazette and went on record to state that she has “no intention of” retiring.

But Choc Junker did not write in to confirm or deny the retirement rumor.

I find it disturbing that he hasn’t. The fact that Hoffman immediately went on record to deny the rumor--and that Junker hasn’t--keeps this rumor alive and lends it some credibility.

If any School Board members—and I’m not just talking about Junker here—are considering retiring in the near future, they should announce their plans to the voters prior to the upcoming election. The ability of some School Board members to fulfill their duties is already called into question--because two of them recently missed an important $27 million dollar spending vote due to important personal obligations. (School Board Chair George Thole missed the vote because of a serious illness in his family; School Board member Chris Kunze says he missed a $27 million dollar school spending vote because he had to go on a personal business trip.)

All the voters in the district need school board members who can serve out their terms and show up for the meetings. And all of the voters have an interest in seeing that School Board members are elected—not appointed by their fellow politicians. So I think that Junker should go on record to officially confirm or deny this retirement thing, prior to the election.

Maybe someone should ask him. For the record.


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