The union-backed school board members down in Douglas County really jumped the shark by putting petty politics ahead of student interests as they refused to accept the resignation of Director Doug Benevento. In a move that intentionally leaves a vacant seat on the board and no representation from large parts of Lone Tree, Castle Pines, and Highlands Ranch, board members Wendy Vogel, David Ray and Anne-Marie Lemieux launched a pair of dubious claims as to why they are throwing up more roadblocks to progress.
Although notified by email of Benevento’s resignation, the trio declared at the time of the vote that they needed a copy of Benevento’s letter to approve the resignation. Board President Meghann Silverthorn furnished the letter before the vote, but that turned out not to be good enough.
The three dissenting members then claimed a conspiracy was in the works for to replace Benevento with a reform candidate, and, thus, give this individual a head start in running for re-election to the board in 2017, when Benevento’s term was up. An unusual charge, given that Benevento had served for six years, is busy in his professional life as a practicing attorney, and has accomplished everything that he set out to do as a member of the board.
For a group that claims to want to put Douglas County students and families first, we cannot understand how stonewalling the appointment of a new member, and leaving a major portion of the county without representation accomplishes that end.
A special session of the Douglas County Board of Education is scheduled tonight, September 8, at 3:30 p.m. in the Wilcox Admin Building at 620 Wilcox, Castle Rock. If you can’t make the meeting, you can watch it here.
October 4 will mark the third consecutive meeting without Benevento, and if his resignation is not accepted before that time at that point, a 60-day clock will begin where the board can vote on a replacement. If no replacement can be decided upon, the board president will appoint the replacement, who will serve out the remainder of Benevento’s term, which expires in November 2017.