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3-3 votes has him breaking his own rule

There is an old newspaper adage: Don’t write an opinion piece when you’re angry. You may regret it later.
I’ve purposely followed that advice in recent weeks. But no longer. I’m still angry.
After reading about the recent 3-3 votes by the Glencoe-Silver Lake School Board over renewing contracts for Superintendent Chris Sonju and Business Manager Michelle Sander, I had to scratch my head in amazement.
What happened?
First off, a 3-3 vote is a rejection of a motion, or a no vote. There is no way of breaking the tie other than another vote.
Second, the rejection has left the district’s top two administrators dangling with contracts set to expire June 30. That simply is not fair.
Have the two administrators done something wrong? Did they both get bad performance reviews? Was it because the district did not pass its operations levy in November? Why would three members of the board not renew the contracts of two of the best administrators this district has had in recent memory.
The GSL School Board’s action simply makes no sense. It needs to be explained by the three board members who voted against renewing the contracts. “It’s not the right time” simply does not cut it.
Over the years, I have been one of the most vocal critics of the GSL district when it comes to spending money. I have fought with the teachers’ union over raises during some pretty tough times, like the seven years of statutory operating debt (SOD) in the early-2000s.
I also fought the school board during those same SOD years over excess spending of funds for new programs the district could not support over the long haul. Those years were ugly times.
But once GSL worked its way out of SOD, with some pretty severe and painful cuts in staff and programs, Sonju and Sander were hired to lead the district forward. They have led the district into years of financial stability. They have given the district and its school board steady leadership and solid financial advice.
So what changed? Why screw around with something that’s not broken?
I was not at the Nov. 13 school board meeting, but The Chronicle (Nov. 21) reported that one of the board members used Facebook comments as a basis for her no vote. There were some negative comments apparently.
Are you kidding me? What could you have been thinking? Ever bother to check out those negative comments with the targeted people, like Sonju and Sander? That is not only necessary to make informed decisions, it also is common courtesy.
What the school board needs to do now is to revisit the contracts of Sonju and Sander and renew them now before the two head off to lead some other district. That 3-3 rejection was a pretty strong message, and slap in their faces, that the board does not support its top administrators.
We know what we have in Sonju and Sander, and we have confidence in both of them. If they leave, we have no idea what we’ll get in return.
GSL School Board, get this non-issue settled now before you lose your administrators because of some cock-eyed Facebook comments and concerns about “timing!’ Stop the nonsense and do the right thing!

(Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, 2014.)