Willie Jett, the superintendent of St. Cloud schools, “plans to present a draft of a plan to the school board at its Aug. 9 workshop.” Everything you need to know about Jett’s proposal is found late in the article. That’s where it says “The proposed plan also recommends Jett and St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis form an advisory task force to work with the planner, city and school district. The advisory task force’s meetings would be open to the public. Von Korff emphasized the task force’s role would be to provide advice to the city and district but it would not be a decision-making power.”

After I led the media portion of the Vote No campaign in 2015 and after the bonding referendum was soundly defeated, the St. Cloud Times wrote an editorial criticizing the School Board for not collecting enough public input. In that editorial, they insisted that more public input sessions be held. Shortly thereafter, the Board announced a listening tour, which actually turned into a presentation tour with limited input from the public and large PowerPoint presentations from the Board. (Surprising, right?)

Last week, after the Board announced that they wouldn’t repurpose Tech to become the District offices and welcoming center, they announced the purchase of the Minnesota School of Business for $5,600,000. It isn’t coincidence that the School Board is forming another advisory board. This advisory board will have little actual input into the School Board’s final decision.

This is just the Board’s latest dog-and-pony show. This Board isn’t trustworthy. Willie Jett, Al Dahlgren and Jerry von Korff are hoping that we won’t notice that they’re playing the same game. They’re hoping we’ll be satisfied with more bureaucratic sleight-of-hand.

Dr. Jett, Messrs. Dahlgren and von Korff, you aren’t trustworthy. This sham won’t repair your reputations. It will only enhance your reputations as being untrustworthy.

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