Friday, October 20, 2006

Porter's explanation

Here's MNPS BOE member Gracie Porter's (District 5) explanation for her abstention on the vote to give Superintendent Pedro Garcia another 3 years to run the system:

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2006 8:08 PM
To: Kay Brooks
Subject: Re: Garcia vote

As you may have heard, the school board meeting was filled with emotion and conflicting views. The board was far from being in agreement on all issues. The public and many special interests were also watching this vote to see how this new board would handle Dr. Garcia's contract.

I'm not satisfied with how Dr. Garcia has responded to the needs of our district, but I wasn't ready to show him the door. I hoped that this new board might be able to make some progress if we invested another year in building a relationship. If we were successful, we could extend Dr. Garcia's contract. If not, then we would face some difficult choices.

I was prepared to vote for a one year extension to Dr. Garcia's contract, but not for three years. My first vote reflected that view, but when the second vote came up, it was clear the majority of the board was going to support a three year contract. If I had voted no, some might have interpreted that as a rejection of Dr. Garcia. Voting yes could have incorrectly suggested that I agreed with a three year contract. An abstention was the only way to communicate that I thought another options was needed. My vote allows me to explain my position and I thank you for giving me that opportunity.
My immediate response back was:
Thank you for this partial explanation. I wasn’t a witness to the vote, and it’s not available online, so I would appreciate your patience here—

Why couldn’t you have stated you were voting no on 3 years but would vote yes for 1?

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