May 13, 2017
John Newkirk has published an article that you can read below. You can also read it on his Facebook page.
Links to Geri Zahner’s website and to several supporting blog pieces on this site, are listed at the end of this blog.
My latest Opinion column for the Courier newspapers talks about hypocrisy in our public servants. Complete quotes (condensed here for brevity) can be found by clicking on the hyperlinks:
Selective outrage is all the rage these days. That is, what one group calls outrageous becomes perfectly acceptable behavior — so long as they’re the ones doing it.
Examples of selective outrage abound in places like Washington, D.C. and Berkeley, but we really don’t need to go that far. We can see it right in our own backyard.
Three years ago, Jeffco Public Schools found itself searching for a new leader after the superintendent resigned (and as Secretary of the Board of Education, I had a front-row seat). We hired a national search firm that specializes in public school leaders and, with their assistance, evaluated applicants until there were about half a dozen semifinalists, the identities of whom were contractually confidential. After interviewing each semifinalist, we rated them on a scoresheet provided by the executive search firm. Ultimately, the list of contenders was narrowed down to a single finalist — and that’s when the outrage began.
“It’s hard to comprehend how the new board members could even consider presenting a single finalist,” decried accountability chair Bill Bottoms, “The entire Jeffco community deserves the opportunity to compare at least the top two candidates prior to the final vote.”
“After spending taxpayer money on a nationwide search, we have a single finalist,” the PTA president harrumphed, “How can we be assured [he] is the best leader when you won’t allow us to compare him to other candidates?”
Jeffco United’s Wendy McCord, who would go on to spearhead the infamous Jeffco recall, charged that “of the dozens of fully-vetted candidates, you and your colleagues determined that the citizens of Jefferson County didn’t deserve the opportunity to compare and contrast.”
Ironically, among the loudest voices were none other than future board members Ali Lasell and Amanda Stevens, both from the so-called Clean Slate campaign. “After a nationwide search, the school board voted to name one finalist,” complained Stevens, “Despite sixty-five formal applications, he was sole finalist. I felt consigned to accept a decision made autocratically rather than invited into the public process.”
“In the name of transparency,” Lasell pleaded, “allow the community to review the contract and allow the community to engage… I am very concerned about the ‘solo finalist.’”
Fast forward three years, and this “Clean Slate” has hired the same search firm, followed the same process, and presented the same scenario to Jeffco taxpayers: one single finalist. Only this time there are no letters of outrage from the accountability chair. No bellicose blogs from the head of the PTA. No teacher sick-outs, no student walk-outs, no protest marches, no change.org petitions, and no cries for a recall.
Translation: “It’s only OK when we do it.”
Curiously, a date stamp from the Jeffco Schools website shows the announcement for their sole finalist (local labor union favorite Jason Glass) was posted on April 21 — the week before semifinalist interviews. This has led to speculation that Glass was the board’s preferred pick from the get-go, and their “nationwide search” was nothing more than squid ink.
As a boy, the only Sunday school lesson I remember where Christ got jaw-dropping, eye-popping, table-throwing mad was when He confronted hypocrites.
Be ye either hot or cold. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. If it’s right it’s right and if it’s wrong it’s wrong — regardless of the political parties involved.
Well what a concept.
This November, principled Jeffco voters can demonstrate their solidarity by voting out this not-so-clean slate on our Board of Education. There are impostors in the temple, and the selective outrage is deafening.
Courier columnist John Newkirk served on the Jefferson County Board of Education from 2013 – 2015. He attended Wilmot Elementary, Evergreen Junior High, and Evergreen High School. He lives on a working cattle ranch near Conifer with his wife and children.
Some additional resources
The above article can be found on John’s Facebook page:
Geri Zahner-Heasley’s website www.tipofthespear.net
Geri Zahner collected and posted a good history on her website, of the early days after Julie Williams, John Newkirk and Ken Witt were elected to serve 4-year terms on the Jefferson County Colorado School Board.
She picked it up right after the election of the three reform school board members in November 2013. You can follow at Geri’s link within her site, the tactics of the unions, the two democrat school board members, and superintendent Cindy Stevenson. Geri’s website is: www.TipoftheSpear.net.
The Left keeps repeating the same dishonest tactics over and over. You can see that what they are doing now is not unusual for the Left. I hope that some day the voters will catch on.
Some helpful Blogs on this site: