Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - October 6, 2007

Silverman represented wishes of constituents

I have to admit I was a trifle shocked when I read Andrew Dys' "Board botched play on turf vote." Not that he was wrong about the imprudence of the final decision for turf and a scoreboard. No, the thing that shocked me was his apparent lack of awareness about the way representative government is supposed to work. Dys paints Jim Vining as the hero and only leader left on the school board. The other board member who voted against it, according to Dys, is not a leader because he "changed his vote after people bombarded him with complaints."

First of all, representative leaders are responsible for making sure they make good decisions for their constituency. But elected officials must put the proper weight on those constituents' wants and interests. After all, they're the ones who voted for the official in the first place to represent them, not necessarily to decide for them. Being a good leader demands that not only does the leader use all the evidence and resources available to come to a sound decision, but also that, as a representative leader, he makes sure that one of those resources is his constituency.

It seems very unfair for Dys to say that Vining is the only leader left on the school board. This other member, Jason Silverman, who "changed his vote after people bombarded him with complaints," seems to be the true leader. He didn't "change his vote"; he changed his mind on how he would vote. He listened to those he represented and rightly let them inform his decision, regardless of how he personally felt about it.

According to Dys' interpretation, Vining is the leader because he made the "right" decision and then stuck to his guns. However, what if he wanted to vote from the beginning for turf and a scoreboard and refused to change his mind? Just because he happened to make the "right" decision from the beginning does not make him a good representative leader. I applaud his vote, but I'm not sure that he deserves the designation of being the "one leader left."

Silverman, upon hearing what his constituency wanted, put aside his personal preferences and let his decision be informed by their voices. This is hardly joining Vining at the 11th hour. This was doing what the people who voted him into office would want him to do. That, to me, seems to be the mark of a true representative leader.

Angela M. Alexander

Rock Hill

Is school district really listening?

Ah, here we go again. The Rock Hill school board is "asking for citizen input to make the best decision in reassignment." Do we all remember the last request for input this board asked for? From many parents, significantly more than 75, came cries and pleas of "please don't make us send our children across town when there is another high school much closer to our home."

While they went through the motions of drawing maps, eliciting feedback and holding town meetings, I am to this day convinced that the decision had already been made according to some criteria determined behind closed doors to satisfy some agenda. The city's best interests are seldom taken into account when this board makes decisions, to wit, Chairman Bob Norwood stated after all was said and done, that if he had it to do over again, he would build the new high school in an area in which the city was growing.

There's a concept! To Ms. Geouge, I feel your pain.

Mike Winn

Rock Hill

Rescind invitation to Bruton Smith

I was just sitting here thinking, "I sincerely hope Bruton Smith does not even think of coming to York County," and Andrew Dys writes an entire column telling him to "come on down."

Sandy Howie