Landsiedel’s Sour Grapes

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Editor,

School board member William Landsiedel has never been as passionate about any issue as he was in his failed bid to stop the board’s approval of a live stream podcast of our school board meetings.  Once again Landisedel reveals his true colors…unintentionally.

Thus, he claims that empowering parents who can’t make meetings to our school board live from home is “political.”  But it is his opposition to openness and accountability going into an election year that is politically self-serving.

Similarly, he claims video live online podcasts will promote “grandstanding” for cameras, but it was Landsiedel who engaged in grandstanding by claiming his opposition to video archived meetings is about limiting spending to classroom needs. Yet, his voting record includes hundreds of thousands of dollars for questionable one-year non-classroom procurement costs, while the one time cost of a basic video system like our City Council uses is spread out over decades.

Landsiedel argued there was no community support for greater transparency through video access, but candidates who made live meeting podcasts and video archives lead issues in their campaigns garnered over 6,000 votes in 2014.  No wonder Landsiedel is worried about increased scrutiny as he decides whether to seek re-election.

Landsiedel voted for a huge spending spree to hire a top-heavy central school district staff in 2013, including inflationary salary increases for several senior administrators who proved unqualified and resigned or were fired. It was a few parents who attended the meeting who blew the whistle and stopped waste and abuse in that case.

Landsiedel went along with that scam because no one was watching, wasting more with one vote than the cost of a proven cost-effective video system used by thousands of government agencies nationwide as a tool for open communication and public participation.

The cost in public relations consultants, bad hires, reversal of actions after public outcry, all related to poor community communications, is far greater than the cost of a new communications system to reach the whole community. We can afford it and it’s the right thing to do for a community that cares about its schools.

Who does Landsiedel think he is fooling?

Howard Hills, Laguna Beach

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1 COMMENT

  1. After nine years of attending Laguna Beach High School, our family bids adieu. Reading the decision to video tape school board meetings was a fabulous parting gift to many of us who have relentlessly voiced our frustration with the school board. The convoluted response regarding the cost is a prime example of why video taping is essential. Transparency and accountability is the cornerstone of any successful board. The future of Laguna Beach Schools is looking brighter already…

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