Thu, Jan. 23

Letter: Why is Mingus afraid of letting voters decide consolidation question?


Recent actions by members of the MUHS board have left many of us confused and shocked:

Last week, school board member Steve Gesell invited members of Mr. Groseta’s group to address the board, and explain why they felt that consolidation was best for students of both districts. Julie Larson, former COCSD Superintendent read a written response that gave reasons why it would be good for the children and the community. (Ms. Larson’s response can be found on Facebook at Consolidate Mingus Union & Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Districts.)

Bob DeGeer requested that the MUHS board consider passing a resolution that allows the public to vote on consolidation this November,  something that COCSD did last December. Or, if this was not possible, to offer a position paper explaining why they did not want their constituents to vote on this issue. Unfortunately, Mr. DeGeer’s questions were not addressed by the board, other than a cursory “We’re working on it,” referring to the position paper.  

Both speakers were interrupted during their presentations and subjected to relentless verbal attacks from board member Jim Ledbetter.  Steve Gesell made no comments and board President Anita Glazar did not intervene. The tirade was so intense that MUHS board member Anthony Lozano got up and left the meeting, saying he had “given up street fighting a long time ago.” Mr. Lozano afterwards visited Mr. Groseta and graciously apologized for the board’s behavior. Thank you Mr. Lozano.

It was later discovered that Anita Glazar, president of the Mingus Union School Board and a member of the Consolidation Advisory Committee had made an unauthorized trip to Phoenix the day before, to lobby Senator Sylvia Allen.  

This effort was intended to kill legislative bill SB1254, which would allow voters to petition for a ballot on school consolidation in November.

The report presented to the senator had not been approved by the advisory committee and was the catalyst for the resignation of two Consolidation Advisory Committee members.

We all care about our community and our children’s education, so, what has happened to honesty and respectful debate, and why are some members of the MUHS board and the Consolidation Advisory Committee determined to prevent the public from having the opportunity to vote?

Sandy DeGeer


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