From yesterday’s Recorder article “Doors still closed to museum employees” by FRANCINE D. GRINNELL:
…as board member James *Walrath* put it “Our liability ended when we closed that building. We had no choice, contrary to what the press said. We closed the building, not the museum and the museum has been disingenuous to say we closed it. We’re offended.”
I truly sympathize with the offense felt by Mr Walrath. I guess I also owe him an apology. I always felt he was in favor of closing Bacon school but now I realize that he just voted to close the building not the school. I’ve misunderstood his all so nuanced positions on the museum and on Bacon school. How disingenuous of me!
And how disingenuous of me to think the school board has a choice in these matters: Clearly it is a fait accompli. Not a thing to be done. Le fin.
And how disingenuous of me to think the school board as the lessor of this building to the museum for many, many years bears any liability, culpability, accountability, responsibility for the museum. As Mr. Walrath states, “Our liability ended when we closed that building.” Le fin redux.
And lest his subjects fail to appreciate the magnaninimity of the board, Mr Walrath heralded (from Recorder article above):
“You have been in the building at the pleasure of the board; you have no lease or agreement. We don’t want to be adversarial. We could call a moving van and put everything in storage.”
I wrote in a prior post:
If the latter approach is used, it would unfortunately demonstrate a clearly regulatory, legalistic view of the district’s responsibility to the local community. It goes a long way toward answering whether the district sees itself as a partner in the community or simply a detached member of the community (with the exception of passing the school budget once a year).
Clearly Mr Walrath and ostensibly the board view this strictly as a legal matter and as such, the only response should be a legal response from the museum. Mr Walrath may state that the board may unilaterally displace the contents of the museum, may prevent staff from accessing the building, may not have any written agreement with the museum and , with the closure, that the district faces no liability past, present or future. I’d challenge each assertion on its merits.
In the end, the school district leadership once again demonstrates their relative contempt and disregard for their community.