Letter to the community – Steve Fisher

One of the most predominant questions on the tongues of Greene County residents in regards to our schools and to our community in general seems to be “what direction are we headed?”

This question seems to be front and center in discussions that you and I are having with many other citizens, students, teachers, and leaders. It seems that the issues and their solutions seem to be as varied as the people asking the questions. Many believe the direction is not good. But why do we seem to be struggling to come to consensus?

Is the solution as easy as just getting back to the basics?

Why do we seem to try to make things so complicated and contentious?

Does it seem to you that sometimes the people and their leaders are talking past each other or just don’t understand who works for whom?

Several recent editorials and guest commentaries in the paper and online have offered valid concerns, criticisms, and some solutions that I believe have merit.

One of the most common concerns that keeps rising to the surface is the question of leadership. So where does leadership start? I think it begins with you and I getting involved and voicing our concerns to our leaders and then holding them accountable to carrying out the desires that we have, and they aren’t that complicated…

We all would agree that we want a safe, orderly place to raise our families and to give our children a high quality education.

We all want to be able to have the opportunity for gainful and meaningful work and to be able to pursue our dreams.

We want the institutions that serve us to to operate efficiently and effectively and to be corrected by our leaders when they fail to perform.

We want to be able to express our beliefs and our faith as long as we don’t negatively inflict our will on others.

We all want the opportunity to shape our own destiny.

Simple! Right?

I am running for school board to try to help our community reach these goals…

I believe our school system belongs to the community and it’s people, not to the bureaucrats or to educrats or to the government.

Because of my service in the U.S. Army, I understand how the chain of command is supposed to work and I believe that the top of that chain is the people who elect the school board. The board should be respected and appreciated for all the work and service that the good people elected to the board willingly give for no compensation. In addition to showing thanks for their service, we also need to kindly hold them accountable for their actions or in some cases their inaction.

Next, the board should set policy, follow the law, and most importantly hire and direct the superintendent on how they want him/her to run the school. The board should not have to micromanage the daily affairs of the district. The board should also hold said administrator to account when she/he or, by proxy, the other administrators aren’t fulfilling their duties and/or assignments to the satisfaction of the board or ultimately to the people. The administrators in turn, manage the rest of the staff and hold them accountable to keep the school and its business of educating our children in order.

That’s it! Simple, right?

I’ve served in many capacities, on many boards, and when everything works by these basic principles things run pretty smoothly and serving on a well functioning board is quite rewarding and there is little contention and few challenges. I do have experience, in a couple of instances, of being involved in helping to turn around more than one organization by being able to identify challenges and find innovative solutions to bring those organizations back to these simple principles and ultimately to good success.

The last two board resignations from the Greene County School board were both former East Greene board members. I’ve been asked by one of those, and by other former board members, and by many other folks from the east side of the county to run to represent the interests of this area in regards to closing down the school in Grand Junction and other concerns that will come in that process.

To conclude, I believe strongly that we need to start thinking and operating like a county wide community and a county wide school so we can move forward for cooperative good success! I look forward to trying to help facilitate that goal.

Experience… Accountability…Common Sense… Simple!!

I would appreciate your support. The election is March 14, which is over spring break so remember you can vote early at the Greene County auditor’s office. If you have any questions or comments please call me at 515-370-1246. Please remember…be kind!

Steve Fisher, rural Grand Junction

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