Showing posts with label Jenks Public Schools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jenks Public Schools. Show all posts

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pledge signers are elected to school boards for first time


Lynne Hardin and Melissa M. Abdo are the first school board members to have signed FOI Oklahoma's Open Government Pledge.
 
Hardin was elected Tuesday to lead the Oklahoma City School Board. She defeated incumbent Angela Monson by 169 votes, 3,376 to 3,207.
 
Abdo ran unopposed for the Jenks School Board.
 
As candidates, Abdo and Hardin promised that they and the school districts they were elected to govern "will comply with not only the letter but also the spirit of Oklahoma’s Open Meeting and Open Records laws."
 
They also pledged "to support at every opportunity the public policy of the State of Oklahoma that the people are vested with the inherent right to know and be fully informed about their government so that they can efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power."
 
FOI Oklahoma began the Open Government Pledge in spring 2008 as part of a national effort to spur public commitments to government transparency from candidates for president down to city council contests.
 
Signers are listed on the FOI Oklahoma website.
 

 
Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Jenks School Board candidate promises open government


An unopposed candidate for the Jenks School Board has signed FOI Oklahoma's Open Government Pledge.
 
In signing the pledge, Melissa M. Abdo promised to comply with the spirit and letter of the state's open government laws.
 
She also pledged to "support at every opportunity the public policy of the State of Oklahoma that the people are vested with the inherent right to know and be fully informed about their government so that they can efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power."
 
Abdo will replace School Board President Joe Hidy in representing Ward 3. Hidy chose not to seek re-election after serving two five-year terms.
 
Abdo is president of the Tulsa Area Parent Legislative Action Committee. The organization was created five years ago by a small group of parents, including Abado, whose children attended Jenks Public Schools.
 
The nonpartisan group has grown to include parents from the Sapulpa, Sand Springs, Union, Owasso and Broken Arrow school districts. Members visit the Capitol during the legislative session to lobby for or against specific education bills.
 
FOI Oklahoma began the Open Government Pledge in spring 2008 as part of a national effort to spur public commitments to government transparency from candidates for president down to city council contests.
 
Signers are listed on the FOI Oklahoma website.
 

 
Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications
 

 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Suspended Jenks head football coach being paid more than $94,000 to work at elementary school


Suspended football coach Allan Trimble was reassigned to Jenks East Elementary School, the Tulsa World reported Saturday.

Trimble's duties include helping students who might have discipline issues, coordinating and supervising a daily morning outdoor run for students and coordinating and supervising a planning committee for the school's new playground equipment, according to the newspaper.

Trimble also is starting a mentoring program to help students who need academic support, the newspaper reported.

Two weeks ago, the school district refused to say where Trimble had been reassigned or what he was doing to earn his salary. At the time, district spokeswoman Tara Thompson told the Tulsa World that no documentation was created that explained Trimble’s new assignment or duties. Thompson would say only that he was "assisting with administrative duties and special projects at a Jenks Public Schools site." (Read FOI Oklahoma Blog related posting.)

The newspaper on Saturday didn't explain why the school district had decided to reveal Trimble's new job and duties.

Trimble was suspended Oct. 2 following an investigation that exposed multiple recruiting violations.

The Tulsa World's reporting Saturday focused on football booster club payments to Trimble that violated district policy. Reimbursements to Trimble for in-state travel violated district policy because he already receives a $2,400 car allowance as part of his contract with the district.

The Tulsa World discovered the payments when it reviewed booster club financial records released by the district to the newspaper.


Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Journalism

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jenks Public Schools won’t say where suspended football coach has been reassigned or what he is doing to earn $94,000 salary


A Jenks Public Schools District official says no documentation was created that explains suspended football coach Allan Trimble’s current assignment or duties, The Tulsa World reported today.

“These matters were conveyed to him orally,” district spokeswoman Tara Thompson wrote in an e-mail response to the newspaper’s request for such a record.

The state Open Records Act specifically makes available a public employee’s title or position. (OKLA. STAT. tit. 51, § 24A.7(B)(3))

Jenks district officials will say only that Trimble is "assisting with administrative duties and special projects at a Jenks Public Schools site."

Trimble was recently suspended following an investigation that exposed multiple recruiting violations.

Thompson said the district is not required to create a document clarifying Trimble’s current job and, therefore, won’t.

How, in the name of good government, can the Jenks Public Schools District not have in Trimble’s personnel file a record of where he’s working and what he’s supposed to be doing?

How could he be evaluated on his job performance without such documentation?

How could anyone other than the official who conveyed that information to Trimble know what his job expectations are?

Does the school district not keep such records for any of its employees?

Hiding the information only raises suspicions that Trimble isn’t doing much, if anything at all, to earn his more than $94,000 salary.

If Jenks school officials want this story to go away, they should be forthcoming with taxpayers and quit trying to find clever ways around the state’s Open Records Act.

After all, Oklahomans “are vested with the inherent right to know and be fully informed about their government.” (OKLA. STAT. tit. 51, § 24A.2)

That's because, "as the Oklahoma Constitution recognizes and guarantees, all political power is inherent in the people." The purpose of the Oklahoma Open Records Act is “to ensure and facilitate the public’s right of access to and review of government records so they may efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power.” (Id.)

Jenks Superintendent Kirby Lehman and the Jenks Public Schools Board of Education should make the information available.

If they don’t, voters might want to consider more open-government-minded candidates when they next elect school board members. According to the district Web site, School Board President Jon Phillips and member Ron Barber are up for re-election in 2010.


Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Journalism