UNLIKE editorials meant to reach large numbers of people, this one is intended for only five members of the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board: Robert Corcoran, Louis Elmy, Dino Galella, Phil Latinski and John Quinn.
You blew it.
After Luzerne County residents – including tens of thousands of voters, plus state lawmakers and public servants – made tremendous efforts since January 2009 to reform and reshape our corruption-marred court system and corruption-marred county government, the task of overhauling the most corruption-tainted school district in our county fell to you and your board colleagues. The five of you, the feckless five, failed to deliver.
By voting last week, in a 5-4 split, to halt a far-reaching search for a new district superintendent and instead simply hand the job to the in-house candidate, you circumvented the intended hiring process, snubbed your board cohorts and surrendered credibility.
By refusing to recognize and prohibit the destructive influence of nepotism on a public institution such as Wilkes-Barre Area School District, you revealed your insular thinking.
Worst of all, by showing your true colors at a time when destiny called on you to do something grand, you reinforced many area residents' defeatist mindset that in Luzerne County nothing will change. Ever.
And, unless you soon provide evidence to the contrary, maybe those people are right.
It is as if the five of you toured the still-smoldering ruins of the Great Chicago Fire, heard the public's cries for revised building standards and improved firefighting forces, but instead responded by saying, Nah, we'll stick with the old way of doing things.
Your actions at the Nov. 5 school board meeting disappointed and disgusted us. We needed to tell you that in a letter.
We hope other people will, too.
• Write to the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board at this address: 730 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 1871 1.
• Attend its next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Administration Building, at the same address given above.