Q&A: Carol Anne Teague seeks seat on Mingus Union School Board
Question 1: Do you agree with the current Mingus Union School Board practice of using personal email accounts to conduct school board business? Please explain.
Teague: There is no law or regulation or Mingus by-law that requires MUHS Board members to use a Mingus email address.
Board members who tried to join the official MUHS server ended up getting hundreds of irrelevant emails per day. Board members don’t need to know that somebody is looking for a renegade projector. Also, getting your Board emails on a phone or tablet was inefficient and cumbersome.
The solution for those who want to respond to official business in a timely manner is to either just use their personal emails or to create an email address dedicated to MUHS through an accessible server like gmail that will work on mobile devices. Cottonwood’s chief of police and board member Steve Gesell has done it this way.
By law, if somebody wanted to see official emails (no matter what server they’re on) they have been and would be produced on request.
Question 2: How would you grade Mingus Union High School’s board and administration on transparency and the district’s compliance with Arizona’s open meetings law? Please explain.
Teague: Three MUHS Board members are a quorum. A quorum can’t talk about Board business without noticing the public at least 24 hours beforehand - that’s a violation of open meetings laws and the Arizona Attorney General investigates vigorously. If the AG’s office finds that there has been a violation the consequences are dire. BTW - Three Board members can be in the same place at the same time as long as they don’t talk Board business.
Tons of resources and staff time get wasted every time a frivolous complaint is filed, yet people who couldn’t care less about open meetings laws and who do care about snarking at Mingus have repeatedly complained to the Arizona Attorney General’s office about Mingus OML violations. The AG investigated and dismissed the complaints every time.
Transparency? I reached out to staff and board members at Mingus about these two questions. I got clear answers.
Question 3: Do you want to see Upper Verde Valley voters have the opportunity to vote on a consolidation of the Mingus Union and Cottonwood-Oak Creek School districts? Please explain.
Teague: Absolutely. I favor a vote on consolidation when the voters are given the time to know the real facts. Consolidation has been raised numerous times. It has been presented to voters and we shot it down twice.”
The recent litigation was not about voters voting – it was about a misleading petition circulated to many non-school district voters with at least one signature gatherer admitting to covering up the petition language.
BUVVS tried to ram through a hurried, half-baked consolidation. I was at court where this last attempt was decided. I was horrified at what BUVVS is willing to do to our kids. I wish that every voter in the Verde Valley could have been there to hear the testimony.
I support the right of our people to vote on issues. I will oppose any attempt to mislead voters, and I will always protect the best interests of our kids.