'Transparency builds trust'

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I am personally responding to the November 2nd Beloit Daily News Public Forum letter written by Dorothy Harrell.

I believe she based her criticism of another school board member and me on inaccurate information.

It is true there was a regularly scheduled Special meeting on Monday, October 29th and an item on that agenda included the review of Exhibit C which was unanimously approved at the October 23rd Business meeting.

It is also true the Board was informed there was additional personnel information entitled Exhibit C for the October 23rd Business meeting in a private area of the district website. Unfortunately, my password wasn't accepted so I was unable access the information.

There was confusion at the October 23rd Business meeting about Exhibit C because the agenda didn't include any details. Prior to voting on the personnel items, I viewed one page of Exhibit C on the iPad of another Board member. The information I saw looked fine so I voted in favor of the item.

It wasn't until after the meeting did I learn there were eight more pages of information in Exhibit C. Upon reviewing all of the personnel items in the document, it was clear policies 221.1 and 533 Rule 3 were not followed. In short, these policies state all promotions, job descriptions and pay raises need to be fully presented to the board for approval.

It's unfortunate that the information the Board needed to see and the public should have seen on October 23rd wasn't available for all to see. There are about 900 district policies, so it is understandable that new staff might not have known about these particular policies. In the future, we need to remember, transparency builds trust and following policy helps to prevent mistrust.

Nora Gard

Beloit

(Member, Beloit Board of Education)

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