, Salem, MA

April 2, 2013

Letter:Residents should be aware of board chair's role

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

I am currently a member of the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee. I wish to respond to the March 27 letter to the editor by Roger Kuebel of Wenham, in which he endorses three candidates for the School Committee in the upcoming election.

Kuebel is the current chairman of the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee. In this capacity, he is required by the School Committee bylaws not to represent or advocate any position other than the majority committee position in a public setting in which he is present in his official capacity. While Mr. Kuebel penned his letter without noting his title (The Salem News has indicated it), it is important for citizens and voters to be cognizant of his position as chairman and the special responsibilities this places on those who hold this role. It could be argued that Mr. Kuebel is simply acting as a private citizen in endorsing certain candidates. However, it could also be argued that impartiality is central to avoid running up too closely to the prohibitions on chairperson conduct that our bylaws seek to keep in reasonable check. I offer this advice to chairs of public bodies — “nota bene!”

Ann Minois

Member, Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee