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I would like to take a moment to publicly reflect on a few concerns that are troubling me in regards to the recent dismissal of the school district’s superintendent, Mr. Doug Pfau, by the Meeker School Board.
I am bewildered as to what transpired with Mr. Pfau’s conduct and/or performance to warrant the school board’s sense of urgency to immediately force his resignation on such short notice. What possibly could the superintendent have done to warrant this abrupt and immediate dismissal? I, and many of our community members, would like to know.
When asked, Mr. Pfau stated he was not at liberty to discuss the issues at hand because of legal constraints. Upon further inquiry though, Mr. Pfau emphatically declared he had nothing to hide and did not mind if the reasons for his dismissal were made public by the Meeker School Board. He unequivocally stated there was nothing in which he did or said that would be cause for his dismissal.
After listening to Mr. Pfau, it again gave rise to additional questions that concerned me and left me puzzled. Did this man really do something so heinous that required his immediate dismissal instead of the normal course of action such as disciplinary action. or was there a private agenda being pushed by the unknown powers that be? Wouldn’t it be in the best interest of everyone for the board to reveal their reasons for his dismissal? Making their concerns evident would allow the public to understand what transpired to warrant the board’s decision instead of the appearance of hiding behind the closed doors of executive session. Was there foul play involved?
This termination occurs at a time when we as taxpayers are facing numerous economic challenges due to the current global recession as well as local funding shortages. I again ask the question, “Did the board have sufficient reason to justify the forced resignation of Mr. Pfau or are there hidden agendas, which are being forced upon us, the taxpayers.” The board’s decision to breach a three-year signed contract and risk legal exposure leading to a contract buy-out settlement is very costly to the taxpayers. Is this decision really in the best interest of the community?
Not only do I reflect on the monetary exposure to the community with the manner in which this decision was made but the sense of fairness of it all. Do we as a community want the action taken by the board to reflect on how we as a community officially resolve problems or conflict? Where is the sense of justice or fairness for this man to be forced to resign who accepted a position, secured it with a contract, purchased a home, moved his family, and invested both his time professionally and personally as an active member of this community. This decision not only affected Mr. Pfau directly, but his family and our community as a whole. Is this how we as a community want to be perceived by people seeking employment here in the future?
Many of the people I have talked to in this community have expressed their support of Mr. Pfau and felt that he was headed in the right direction whether or not they agreed with all of his decisions. They have also expressed their dismay in regards to the school board’s actions and felt that Mr. Pfau was good for our community.
Where do we go from here? Will we continue to sit idly by and allow these things to continue to happen because it is “safer” instead of raising our concerns and making them known because of the fear of retaliation and the potential consequences for “rocking the boat?” Does the school board deserve all the blame, or is it our responsibility as members of this community to constructively share our thoughts and concerns with them? Are our boards open to listening to their community members or are they only listening to their friends and family who they have the most contact with? Has our trust been breached or was our community interests upheld by our elected school board? Only you can be the judge.
These are just a few of the many questions troubling me and others, which we would like the answers to. It is up to each of us individually on the direction we allow our community to take.