Manatee school board wise to hone communications as crisis deepens

November 10, 2012 

Given this week's report about the Manatee County school board and interim superintendent holding a meeting with laughter and light chatter as they worked toward establishing stronger communications, one wonders: Can a "Kumbaya" moment be far behind?

Shoot, that might help a board more popularly described as "dysfunctional."

But David Gayler articulates the district's financial and personnel difficulties and board distrust in stark terms: "You had an aneurysm back in September," the interim district leader stated, only a few weeks into the job. "What I found out is that you are still bleeding."

Indeed, he cited disturbing revelations about the ongoing discovery of more and more unbudgeted items. How could the district finances fall into such disarray? We hope to learn that answer soon.

With Dave "Watchdog" Miner's election to the board this week, we figure he'll bite into this mess quickly. And we seriously doubt he intends anything like a "Kumbaya" hugfest.

But before the board can become an effective problem-solving, consensus-driven body, those communications skills need sharpening -- as Gayler intends.

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