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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Lynchburg School Board Appointees: Interviews Public or Private?

The News and Daily Advanceis offering its opinion on if the interview process for the post of School Board members should be public or private. There contention is that the process should be made fully avaible to the public. City Council disagrees, and plans to hold the interviews in private in full council session.

There are points on both sides of the issue. Open sessions would allow full disclousure of the interview and selection process. Something that the city council should consider in light of recent federal investigations of the Mayor. It would be open to full review of how and why each candidate was selected to the citizens of Lynchburg. These are important appointments. Overseeing how the Lynchburg Schools are run from the quality of education, to the use of funds in our school system, should not be taken lightly.

On the other hand, at least one member of City Council contends, that there is no real mystery of what is going on here. According to the News and Advance, he purports that a certain confort level would be apporpriate and would be provided if the process is done in private. I can see his view point, private interviews would be more telling of what the candidate could offer.

Something to consider though, is that the transcripts of these hearings would be private. And even if a Freedom of Information Act request was made. It would not be valid under current laws as pointed out by the News and Advance.

Could there be an alternative solution? I would think so. How about if the City Council decided to published the transcripts of the meeting after the interview process. This could have several benifits. 1. Citizens of Lynchburg could see the care and concern the City Council used to pick the right candidates. And 2. Even the candidates who were not selected could see why and how they were not selected.

To me, things that are in the open have a much better acceptance to the citizens of Lynchburg. And would end any thoughts, if there were any, that someone was given an advantage in the selection process.


(City Council and local issues)

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