Carney Has Closed-Door, Non-Public, Secret Meeting With Select Christina Board Members

Delaware Governor John Carney held a closed-door, non-public, secret meeting with two Christina Board of Education members yesterday.  Which members?  And what was the discussion?  And which board member got shafted when they should have been there based on the discussion?

Board President and newly elected board member Pastor Meredith Griffin met with the Governor to discuss Christina’s Wilmington schools and the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission.  I know Pastor Griffin is on WEIC, but he is NOT Christina’s representative on the committee.  That board member would be Harrie-Ellen Minnehan.  So why was she left out in the cold from this closed-door, non-public, secret meeting?  Has Griffin’s clout in Wilmington made him the Christina Governor Carney golden boy thus leaving Minnehan locked out of discussion?  For that matter, why the heck is Carney even having two board member meetings?  Why not invite the whole board?

Who is whispering tidbits in Carney’s ear for this Birth-4 Early Childhood Super Center “powered by Christina”?  Not saying it’s a bad idea, but who is going to pay for that?  Unless the State of Delaware is paying for the whole thing and NO funds would come from local taxes, I say go for it.  But I don’t think Christina has the coin to take on a project of that magnitude at this point in time.

My crystal ball is telling me I might have a more vested interest in what happens in Christina in the coming future, so fair notice.

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5 thoughts on “Carney Has Closed-Door, Non-Public, Secret Meeting With Select Christina Board Members

  1. Is it not the prerogative of the Governor (or any official) to meet with whomever he or she deems necessary to discuss whatever it is he or she wants to discuss? 2 members of a CSD’s Board (or any board that has >3 people on it) is not a quorum, so it need not be noticed publicly.

    Before I go further, no I don’t implicitly trust DDOE, or the Governor’s office. But I do not take issue with Carney talking to members of our district’s leadership or members of our Board. Dr. Griffin was elected as Christina’s representative to the East Side Community Schools Committee, so while he may not be the elected rep for WEIC, this isn’t really a stretch. You don’t have to be the elected Board rep to discuss WEIC with the governor, or anyone else.

    You have to know (or I hope you do) that the idea of an additional early childhood education center has been discussed throughout Christina for YEARS now. CEEC is overcrowded with a wait list and has been for some time, and is located in the suburbs. Christina does not have a similar service for children in that age group in the city. And we should.

    I’m not quite sure why talking about this topic with the Governor is taboo.

    To answer your question on “who’s going to pay for that?”, CEEC is currently supported by a combination of state, local, and federal funds and program fees paid by parents or guardians who enroll their children. I have no idea what kind of financial setup we could structure for a Birth-4 center in Wilmington but I know a great way to begin figuring it out; talking with Dover.

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  2. Has zero to do with the topic. 100% about transparency. Individual board members have zero authority to represent the district. For the Governor to ask (As if they do) and them to accept (as if they might) AND BOTH sides CHOOSING to not tell the other 5 elected members who all represent the programs and city in question is poor form and breeds mistrust and dysfunction. Ignoring that aspect betrays all previously stated concerns about board “behavior” and reveals the truth that it’s about certain people, not certain behaviors.

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  3. State government and Christina District have trust issues. District has been found to be lacking in managerial capacity and State has been found lacking in addressing structural educational tenets. The state and district have put themselves in contentious positions that remain unresolved. New superintendent will have to navigate the Bermuda Triangle of a Board, DOE, & Governor. No party is without sin, other than a brand new super and trust will have to be built. Private meeting may have helped on two fronts of the triangle and hurt the third but two birds in the hand is worth more than one in the recalcitrant board bush.

    State is by no means more efficient or consistent but a new Governor attempting to address the contentious WEIC proposals and a new CSD superintendent, specifically about Wilmington, would seem to be a first step to broaching the subject. There were no votes on district action and it was a meeting with a Super and board reps directly representing Wilmington ‘constituents’. The Dilbert process of a “Pre-meeting” before the meeting might apply here. Would the Wilmington rep be interested in the Governor’s ideas prior to presenting them to the entire board? Would the Super be interested?

    Other established board members already have histories known by the state. Other established board members have already ‘marked’ their philosophical territories in the sand. Perhaps the governor was trying to establish some basic ‘ingredients’ with more interested parties before beginning the process of ‘sausage making’ with the entire board. There is little confidence that the governor will break any molds from the prior democratic administration but the overwhelming issue is what to do with and how to interact with a contentious, non-contiguous district and its students in the Wilmington island.

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