Our Sunday lead editorial will be about the Lexington/Richland District 5 school board’s conspiracy of silence over the resignation of Superintendent Scott Andersen. As I was editing it earlier today, it occurred to me that I had video of the superintendent together with his board at a time of perfect unity — just under a year ago, when they came to visit us to promote the bond referendum that failed last fall.
I had posted video from this meeting before, but the clips concentrated entirely on the board members. They, after all the ones who are elected and therefore directly accountable to the people (or should be, their recent secrecy to the contrary). And the thing that impressed us was their unanimity on the bond referendum. None of us could remember when the District 5 board had been so unified about anything, so that was where the news lay.
But I remember having the impression that the unanimity might have resulted in part from a good selling job by the superintendent. Superintendents work for boards, but all of them strive to lead their boards when they can. And when they lose that ability, they are often on the way out.
In the above clip, watch for two things:
- Mr. Andersen’s breezy confidence as he makes his pitch, even to the point of joking about his having "skipped over the price tag." This was obviously a guy who was comfortable in front of his board members.
- His board was comfortable with him, chuckling and joshing about the fact that "Scott’s not from around here," after the superintendent had explained his ignorance about a piece of property the district had been interested in (ignorance that critics of the board had misinterpreted as a deliberate attempt to deceive, according to Mr. Andersen).
To help you remember, I’m imbedding below the old clip from that meeting as well, with the board members speaking.