Is that everything?
By Steve Lund
Kyle Flood has embarrassed the Kenosha Unified School District by displaying conduct inappropriate for a member of the School Board. Should he resign or just endure the reprimands and apologize.
So far, he’s chosen the endure-and-apologize option.
That may work, as long as what we know now is all there is to know. We know about his ticket for possessing drug paraphernalia — marijuana pipes — for which he paid a $326.50 fine. We also recently found out about his vandalism citation for hosting a party at which damage was done to his apartment at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
The police report on the vandalism citation included a short video of Kyle and others at the party. Watch it at www.kenoshanews.com if you need to be reminded of what intoxicated 19-year-olds are like. For many, I suspect the first reaction will be relief that documenting every event with video wasn’t always so routine.
Let’s all take a moment to give thanks for the videos that do not exist.
Tuesday night Flood had to sit through his public reprimand. First there were citizen comments, only a few of which were about Flood, and some of them were supportive. That was followed by comments from his fellow school board members, some of whom were also supportive, although all six voted to censure him.
It could have been worse. As an expression of community outrage, it was bland.
That public scolding is all the board can do. He can’t be suspended from an elected position. Voters put him in office, and voters would have to remove him from office through the recall process. That’s not impossible, but it’s not easy, either. It would take 9,129 signatures from school district residents on recall petitions, according to Kenosha County Clerk Mary Schuch-Krebs,
The number of signatures requred represents 25 percent of the 36,515 votes in the school district in the governor’s election in governor in 2010. For a point of comparison, look at last week’s Unified primary election. There were 10,248 votes cast for six candidates. Assuming everyone who went to the polls voted for two candidates, the primary election only drew 5,124 participants. That’s only 54 percent of the signatures that would be needed on petitions to force a recall election.
It’s hard to imagine this being high enough on anyone’s agenda to put in the effort required for a recall,
That would change if something new comes up. Parents and teachers shouldn’t have to put up with a local version of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on the School Board.
And the board doesn’t need any more distractions. Given the history of friction between superintendents and the School Board, the district probably was already at a disadvantage in attracting candidates for school superintendent. Having a board member famous for his police record isn’t going to help.
So that’s the question of the day: Is that everything? If it’s not, Flood should save everyone a lot of trouble by resigning.
Steve Lund is the editorial page editor of the Kenosha News.