Friday, April 03, 2015
Anne Sharp and the one thing she would do differently
She could have mentioned the nearly $100,000 she and the board spent to change the color of seats in the Joplin High School gymnasium.
Or maybe the $8 million in "might-as-well' spending on athletic frills that she and the board approved last year.
Or at the least she could have mentioned the idea of crossing ethical boundaries and using district teachers and facilities for her own benefit in a campaign video.
The question was posed to Anne Sharp at a meeting of the Southwest Missouri Conservatives. "If you could do anything differently, in hindsight, what would it be?'
Apparently, there is nothing in the board president's 15-year-career on the board that she would change.
"We wouldn't have a tornado."
The answer was not well received by the conservative crowd, which listened to pitches from Sharp, her opponent in next Tuesday's election, Jeff Koch, and two of the candidates for the one-year unexpired position, Melinda Campbell and Nancy Good.
All did well, with the exception of the one who is already on the board, which she told the group put her at a disadvantage.
Group members were concerned about the board's borrowing of $74 million to keep operating while it waits for governmental agencies to cover building expenses. Sharp was reminded by a questioner that the board had promised there would be no need for any more borrowing when it sold district voters, by a 45-vote margin, on a $62 million bond issue, the largest in the district's history in April 2012. Sharp was not concerned
"Oh, you call that long tern debt?" she said. Audience members laughed at Sharp, which clearly flustered her.
She was also battered by questions which hinted at, but did not come right out and say, that Sharp is a puppet of Superintendent C. J. Huff, parroting his every view and holding none of her own. One such question concerned whether the board had anything to do with writing its response (it did not, it was done by the C. J. Huff Administration) to a question on the state audit about the board following the Sunshine Law. The board response, dictated by Huff, was that the board would form a citizens' committee and receive input on whether it should follow the law or not.
Sharp's answer was the board had made that decision after consulting with its attorney.
That answer did not sit well with the conservative group, which seemed to think that following the law was something that a school board member should have to do without having to consult an attorney to see if it is all right.