District's attorney OK'd process
On Oct. 29, the Haines Borough school board was required to fill
a vacancy for Seat D. This is the second year in a row that the borough election process failed to provide enough interested candidates to fill all vacant seats.
The district’s focus is always on making the best decision possible for the benefit of student achievement. It is necessary to balance the personal reputational interests of the applicants while maintaining compliance with all legal and ethical requirements.
The process that was followed was approved by the district’s legal counsel. In support of the process, he cited the same case that Mr. Morphet cited in his article. While Mr. Morphet quoted the first part of a paragraph, the conclusion of the Alaska Supreme Court came in the subsequent sentences: “However, a discussion of personal characteristics and habits may well carry a risk that the applicant’s reputation will be compromised. Such a risk is especially acute where the qualities of several applicants are being compared. We believe therefore that the City Council was authorized by (the Open Meetings Act) to meet in executive session while discussing the personal
characteristics of the applicants.”
The board publicly voted unanimously to appoint Ardy Miller, Ph.D. During these challenging times of declining student enrollment and funding uncertainties, Ardy’s extensive experience and formal training in education will provide assets that will be well utilized by the school board. Please provide a warm welcome to Ardy as she takes on
her new role.
Editor’s note: The above-referenced Supreme Court case – in which the court stated that “ordinarily, an applicant’s reputation will not be damaged by a public discussion of his or her qualifications relating to experience, education or background – or by a comparison with those of other applicants” -- pertained to a discussion of a city manager job applicant, not to a discussion of political candidates seeking appointment to public office. –T.M.