School Board member served with integrity

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In late 2012, I relinquished my position as an elected official serving as a director for the Walla Walla School District Board of Education.

Recently I perused the U-B and read the unsupported and undocumented babblings of a disgruntled man, Vernon Filan. I have a right to publicly defend myself as a past elected official and to respond to his attack on my integrity and ethics.

“Attack letters” such as Vernon’s are passé, they are ill-conceived and undocumented and they are “bully” in nature.

During my tenure on the School Board, never once did I witness nor hear a rumor of Vernon attending a regular Board meeting. Never once did Vernon attend a budget work session. Never once did Vernon serve on any committee. Never once did Vernon participate in an honest conversation about any fact or issue.

Yet once more, he blindly attacks and bullies the integrity and ethics of community members who give of their time for the community and students.

This is a different world we live in now and we need to have people who work together to solve issues. We don’t need “yes” people, but we need thinkers, an informed community and active decision makers.

I served my community and did so with respect, dignity and honor. I made decisions based upon morality and ethics and financial soundness. I am proud of all of the decisions I made while serving on the School Board. While some of them were more difficult than others, they were all done with the intent of doing the best we could for the students, staff and community.

Regardless of the direction of some of the decisions, I am sure I would have heard from the opposite side of how I “blew it” ... or how I somehow tried to parlay my “unpaid” Board position to benefit me or my cronies financially.

Our society has evolved where unsubstantiated or ill-documented “attackers” are merely bullies. People want change, families want action ... good schools, activities for children (pools) and now, more so than in the past, we need supportive and active community members who are informed.

It also implies that we need a School Board willing to tackle tough issues and make decisions. I feel honored to have served this community.

Jim Lehmann

Walla Walla

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