COMMENTARY: The political discourse seems always limited to the good that the money will do. Any discussion of stewardship ends when someone asks — “Sure their stewardship sucks, but how can you do that to the children?”
It bears noting; at least some of those children are old enough to appreciate and benefit from a comeuppance for pols and public servants running amok. It would encourage them to see that politicians and public servants can be in fact held accountable for their public corruption and incompetence.
How can stewardship not be part of decision-making in the appropriation of nearly 600 million tax dollars? How can voters decide the fate of hundreds of millions of their hard-earned dollars without examining and reviewing the stewardship of those who are supposed to protect their trust and treasure from continuing waste, fraud and abuse? It defies reason.
The only reason that stewardship is not on the table is because the “stewards” would rather that it not be, and because they are connected enough to the establishment’s media to ensure that their stewardship will not be examined and reviewed by them and in public.
If the stewardship of the leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools could bear even cursory examination and review, they would celebrate their record, not hide it. If the best predictor of future stewardship is past and present stewardship, and if anyone cares about future stewardship, then it behooves them to examine and review the current and past stewardship of the APS board of education, and anyone looking to become stewards of hundreds of millions of tax dollars.
The test of stewardship could not be easier. All you have to do is ask one question of any politician or public servant looking for money: Can you point to your honest-to-God accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence within your public service?
The trick is getting them to answer. Except that they answer when they don’t answer at all; any answer except “yes” means no. They have answered and their answer is no. If their answer is no; we oughtn’t give the drunks another drink, the addicts another fix.
Ched MacQuigg is a retired shop teacher and blogger. He has been a longtime advocate of honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct for politicians and public servants — in particular for the leadership of the Albuquerque Public Schools.