Once again, Carl Paladino is promoting the appointment of another handpicked Superintendent that he and the Board majority have selected. Wednesday night’s (June 17th) Executive Affairs Committee meeting included an extensive and heated debate about the recruitment and selection process for a new Superintendent. If Mr. Paladino has his way there will be no defined or diligent process. In fact, he’s not interested in a discussion of prospective candidates’ competencies, relevant experiences and demonstrated success in addressing many of the challenges that confront this District. He’s not concerned about vetting said candidates before consideration of their viability as a contender for the position and sees no need to wait for a report before setting up interviews.
And as for the interviews? Mr. Paladino thinks we’re wasting time to develop an interview protocol, determine a set of interview questions, arrange time for candidates to meet with stake-holders or even set up a time-table to guide the process. Paladino’s response to the minority bloc’s call for the Board to exercise due diligence in conducting the search for the most critical position in the District, was to accuse the minority of dragging our feet, not being cognizant of the low morale and other stressors on staff and not caring about the children in the District.
Of course there would be no reason for the Board to develop a systematic, transparent process for selection of the District’s next leader if that individual has already been selected. Of course, there would not be a need to interview a slate of candidates, if the next Superintendent has been offered the job already. Of course it’s not necessary to engage the community for feedback on the competencies of the Superintendent if that individual has the support of five votes and they don’t care what the stakeholders think or expect in a new leader.
According to Paladino the Board should just get it done. This search should be concluded with the appointment made by the end of June! And if the minority bloc doesn’t agree to fast track the process, Paladino has threatened that he will get the majority members to appoint a new Superintendent, perhaps as soon as the June 24th meeting.
The ultimate issue is that once again, not for the first or even the second but for a third time, one member is leading a segment of the Board with the majority vote to make a decision for this District that circumvents an open, deliberate and diligent process for the selection of a new leader. Furthermore, the majority’s action will disenfranchise the minority members of the Board and the constituents we represent. Under Education Law, the Board’s primary responsibility is fiduciary accountability including hiring and supervision of the chief educational officer and policy development.
Those are requirements for the entire Board, not just a segment or one individual, who wants to run the District like it’s his own private corporation.