Editorial Opinion: Silencing voice of the people in the name of expansion?

The Cowley College Board of Trustees raised a lot of questions earlier this week when they appointed Nancy Burger, of Winfield, to fill Sid Regnier’s vacant seat in a unanimous vote on Dec. 11. While Burger has a background in K-12 education, which might qualify her for the position, the public couldn’t have known this because the Board came to its unanimous decision with no public discussion and without any public interviews of either Burger or the other applicant, Michael Bergagnini. This raises questions as to how this decision was made. The application submitted by Burger did not specify her background working in education, other than to mention briefly that she had a background in education. No details were given. She did mention in her application that she spoke to board chair Bob Juden about what the position entailed before submitting the application. Interviews of potential trustees do not fall under Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA) exceptions, meaning any interviews by a majority of the Board legally should have taken place in an open meeting. So how did the Board come to a unanimous decision without any public discussion or interviews, especially when the one trustee Burger said she spoke to didn’t attend the meeting due to illness? How did the Board decide she was the best candidate for the position when her application didn’t even detail her history...

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