Fri, April 03

Editorial: Let's hope new VACTE leader brings transparency to organization

Congratulations to the governing board of the Valley Academy of Career and Technical Education on the quick turnaround for naming a new superintendent to the joint technical education school district.

For the sake of solid administrative stability, let's hope Lisa Aragon's current "interim" title as superintendent is removed on or before the end of her three-month contract with VACTE.

And most importantly, let's hope Aragon's leadership will be such that she can cure what appears to be some basic systemic flaws with the VACTE organization.

In a word, VACTE needs to buy in to the concept of government transparency. The series of events surrounding the recent resignation of former superintendent/CEO Lois Lamer hardly inspires trust in the organization.

Consider the following:

• Camp Verde resident Linda Buchanan had to go through the Arizona Ombudsman's Office to get VACTE to release copies of minutes from several board meetings.

• When first assured by VACTE Board President Steve Dockray that the Verde Independent/Camp Verde Bugle would receive a copy of Mrs. Lamer's resignation letter March 21, he subsequently responded to requests for the letter - a public record - by saying "no comment."

• Meeting minutes concerning Mrs. Lamer's resignation were void of details other than that it was accepted by the board in a 4-1 vote. When asked who cast the dissenting vote, again Dockray would only respond with "no comment."

• Agendas and records of minutes are, at best, hit and miss on the VACTE web site. In recent weeks, many of the documents have disappeared from the organization's web site.

A cynic would think "those guys are hiding something."

And if that is true, what is it?

A fix is clearly needed for VACTE.

Let's hope the new VACTE leader has the cure for this organization.

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