On Tuesday, Jan.4, 2011, I will be taking the oath of office. I invite everyone who is interested to come. It is at 6:00 pm at the District Office (575 N. 100 E.) in American Fork and shouldn't be very long.
The Oath is stipulated in the Utah State Constitution, Article IV, Section 10. It reads:
I do solomnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State, and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity.
In preparation for this oath, I have re-read the US Constitution (including the amendements), and am in the process of reading, for the first time, the Utah State Constitution. The most interesting thing I have found, so far, is the repetition of the phrase no citizen shall be "deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law" (US Constitution: Amendments 5 and 14, Utah Constitution, Article 1, Section 7). Combined with the oath to "discharge the duties of my office with fidelity", I think that places a very large burden on myself and my fellow board members for the fiduciary oversight of the district. It then follows that without an elected board, our constituents would be taxed without representation, being deprived of "property without due process of law". Part of the reason for this blog is to give you insight into my thinking, but also to give you a forum for communicating with me. I am sworn to uphold both the US and the Utah Constitutions. I plan to consult them frequently in determining how to faithfully discharge my duties as a school board member, in your behalf. I hope that you, too, will take some time to read through these documents, and judge my performance based on this oath.
In addition to the oath of office on Jan. 4, we will be voting on the President and Vice-President of the Board. These officers have no more authority but more responsibility. The President attends more of the committee meetings, conducts board meetings, and gives the offcial direction from the Board to the Superintendent. The President is also the only one who is to communicate concerns from the district (i.e. the superintendent) to individual board members. It is inappropriate for district personnel, including the superintendent, to correct or otherwise instruct a board member. The Vice-President is there to take over when the president is absent. Under Utah Law, these elections for board officers must take place in an open meeting, and cannot be done by secret ballot.