Monday, December 8, 2008
Hear no evil
This from Mary Carey's article in Saturday's Crusty Gazette about the School Committee voting down an online suggestion box: " We don't see a need for a blind suggestion box, a blog site for people to complain," said Alton Sprague, interim co-superintendent, summing up the view expressed by a majority of School Committee members.
In his 40 years working in public schools, "nothing good has come from a suggestion box," Sprague said. Comments about school employees on local online forums have been "spurious," he said. And the tenor of some of the email officials have received in response to a fatality involving a school bus earlier this year and the coming closing of the middle school pool has been "ugly."
So you gotta wonder how the Facilitation of the Community Choices Committee, feels about that Old-School statement denigrating anonymous surveys—after all, the FCCC relied almost exclusively on the 497 responses from Amherst taxpayers to formulate their budget recommendations to the Select Board and Finance Committee.
Perhaps Mr. Sprague was a tad unhappy with the Masslive Amherst Forum “discussion” of the tragic bus accident that took the life of a toddler. Somebody questioned why the Sprague’s were on vacation at the Cape at the beginning of the school year; kind of like a Health Club owner taking off the first two weeks in January--the best month of the year for the industry (New Year’s resolutions.)
And somebody offered up as a defense their (slightly) advanced ages. Yikes!
The recent anonymous survey of town employees turned up problems with the Town Manager’s style of leadership and resulted in the Select Board at the very least suggesting he work on it.
Many industries specifically solicit employee feedback for cost containment and often will reward good ideas with a chunk of the money saved. That way everybody wins. If you don’t like what somebody writes then don’t act on it (other than to delete).
But how are you going to know what you don’t know if you refuse to even listen?