It's no secret that I think way too much emphasis is placed on co- and extra-curricular activities in our district. I am a passionate proponent of providing a wide variety of activities for kids in the course of their education in order to give them a well rounded education. I do NOT, however, believe these "extras" should take greater precedent over the fundamental "three Rs," as they used to be called. That stance has undoubtedly led to my difficulty in remaining neutral about the "Gridiron Club" spending nearly an hour extolling the virtues of Ron Grovesteen in order to sway the Board to vote to rename the football field in his honor. The whole meeting was only two hours long. Some citizens in this endeavor were apparently not briefed on the five minute maximum speaking time and others were not told that if your comments are redundant, go on to your next point without repeating what others said before you. Clearly they did not come together as a unit to discuss what they were planning to say to best display a cohesive, efficient presentation.
The most frustrating part of this experience was seen in retrospect after the public portion of the meeting ended. I became highly perturbed when I realized that the board spent zero time in a public discussion about next year's budget, giving the public no clue as to why they think this budget is well thought out and meets the needs of the district while simultaneously allowing the Gridiron Club to monopolize nearly half of the meeting with their (in my opinion, anyway, in the grand scheme of things) trivial pursuit. I know that there are many folks who believe football is the meaning of life for the Evansville School District. I also know there are many more who take a more balanced approach to what Education should be. I wish the board had reined in the presentation and issued reminders about what the rules for presentation were. It was up to the members to do this and Mason only alluded to this in his post-presentation comments. He told the public that the board wasn't voting on this until the next meeting and urged the group to get a petition rolling because the criteria for honoring somebody with the naming rights of a venue is contained more in the number of persons he or she affected along the way than in the number of accolades he or she has accumulated. Well said, Mr. Braunschweig.
What do my readers think about this, both the naming itself and the time spent in the presentation?