In case you missed the December 3rd board meeting during which I took my oath of office, below is a statement I made with respect to managing the perception of pay-to-play in Neshaminy:
During every political season, one of the most prevalent and controversial issues is pay-to-play where campaign contributors are given lucrative contracts as a form of payback. Pay-to-play is not a Republican thing; it is not a Democratic thing. It is a political phenomenon that exists everywhere. Fortunately Neshaminy is spared the perception of pay-to-play for the most part because school boards are obliged to go with the lowest bidder. One notable exception to the low-bid process is for our solicitor, and appropriately so.
Since we do not want to low bid on a solicitor because good legal counsel is invaluable, we as a school board should do everything possible to give the public confidence that our appointment of a solicitor is not tied into campaign contributions. We can do this by adopting a policy that precludes any solicitor from consideration of employment by Neshaminy if they have made a donation either directly or indirectly to a Neshaminy school board candidate during a recent campaign cycle.
We can make this idea even better by reducing a candidate’s dependency on raising campaign funds by providing them with a valuable communications tool at no cost - the Neshaminy Cable TV network. Through such vehicles as televised debates or candidate profiles, this will be target marketing at its very best. And I am confident that our active community members would appreciate this as an avenue by which to learn more about who they should vote for.
I’m not asking the board for consensus on this idea now - I’ll bring this forward again
in the new year and ask that we refer the idea to Board Policies committee for development. And if we work on this together as a bipartisan measure, we can craft a solution that will help to ease the public concerns over pay-to-play without creating an advantage for any one political party. I hope every board member will support this idea.
So what do you think . . . good idea or waste of time?