Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Power of the Self-deluded

Some years ago I had a friend who had been a school board member for over two decades. Through several conversations with her, I learned that school board presidents don’t have any more power than any other board member. Their duties are to sign checks so district bills can be paid, set the agenda, and run the meetings. Unfortunately, the Hickman Mills school board president believes her powers are far greater. For the first meeting of the new board, she tried to assign seats, like the board members are kindergarten students.

What she didn’t realize is that Debbie Aiman, who has been on the board for two years, didn’t want to sit in her ‘assigned’ seat. Instead, she wanted to sit in the seat ‘assigned’ to Darrell Curls, who was elected to the board last year. Mr. Curls didn’t appreciate that. He parked himself in the seats reserved for the audience and kept yelling that he wanted to sit in his assigned seat and Ms. Aiman had better move.

George Flesher, who has been on the board forever, offered to trade seats, but Ms. Mims, the board president, said he couldn’t do that, Ms. Aiman would have to go to whatever seat she had been assigned. With leadership like that, it’s no wonder the Hickman Mills School district isn’t doing any better than it is.

As hard as it is to believe, I’m told this arguing over who would sit where went on for almost 30 minutes with Mr. Curls sitting in the audience seats the whole time and Ms. Mims asking for a ruling from the school district’s attorney, as if where board members sit were a legal matter. I have to wonder why Ms. Mims believes she can or should treat the rest of the board members like kindergarteners and why she believes that is more important than actually being a good role model for the rest of the district. I also have to wonder if Mr. Curls, who wants to be elected to the house of representatives, would represent his district by acting as childishly as he did over where he would sit.