Letter: In MV, a lack of transparency
Re “9 relatives hired for unposted jobs” (Monitor front page, Aug. 16):
I’m a bit surprised at Merrimack Valley School Board Chairman Tom Godfrey’s being unaware that the workers hired had relatives in the district. Besides the nine hired for these temporary positions, there are many employees related to employees in administration and at least three related to school board members, one being Godfrey.
In Godfrey’s response to one of the requests for information, he stated that “in furtherance of transparency” he was providing the information requested. But at the Aug. 12 school board meeting Godfrey announced that the board would not be discussing these requests for information in the public meeting, even though it was on their agenda for that evening. Godfrey said that instead the board would discuss this issue in a nonpublic meeting. To date, these requests for information have not been discussed in a public meeting. There may be some “Right to Know” issues here.
Godfrey has talked about transparency, but after he became chairman of the school board, he announced that the board would no longer answer questions or have discussions with the audience during its public meetings. Godfrey has also talked about being a “good” chairman. A person does not become a good member by talking about transparency or talking about ethics. A person does not become a good member by reading books on being a good member.
Finally, some could perceive Godfrey’s comments about filling these positions with only students from Merrimack Valley as being discriminatory.
(The writer is chairman of the Salisbury Board of Selectmen.)