Letter to the Editor

Response to article about superintendent

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Dear Editor:

According to the articles in local papers, Mr. Asbill has done great things for the school district and has the support of a group of school employees and the editor of the Cassville Democrat. Yet, he is resigning. The "problem" according to Mr. Asbill, as reported by the Democrat, was one board member.

Someone in a leadership position who is making "hard decisions" should not be surprised that not everyone agrees or even likes him.

The Democrat reported the James H. Klahr, assistant attorney general for the State of Missouri, recommended on Jan. 12, that the school board release the minutes of two closed sessions of the school board that had been held seven months earlier. This created a number of questions for me after reading school statutes at www.dese.mo.gov.

• Could Mr. Asbill's problem be the closed sessions?

• Did the closed sessions violate the Sunshine Law?

• It is reported the board did vote during a closed session on May 26, 2005.

• Did they follow the guidelines for closed sessions of school boards? State statute requires publishing the information about any vote taken during a closed session within 72 hours after the vote. Was this the first report given to the public seven months later?

• Who was advising the school board in May 2005? Usually school boards look to the superintendent to advise them.

• Did Mr. Asbill know the statutes regarding closed sessions? Did he advise them correctly? Did they refuse to follow his advise?

If Mr. Asbill is unhappy with an elected official, he could do what any other voter in the school district can do, vote for someone else next time. The school board does not serve at the pleasure of the superintendent. The superintendent is hired by the school board.

Patsy Garner

Cassville, Missouri