Wednesday, July 24, 2024

EDITORIAL: Which board is worse? It's a toss-up

| October 25, 2023 1:00 AM

The race is on and the competition fierce. The outcome is too close to call.

Who will win the MIB Award for 2023? Heading into the homestretch, the trustee majorities at North Idaho College and the Community Library Network, both featuring Kootenai County Republican Central Committee-anointed “leaders,” are neck and neck for the Most Inept Board (MIB) Award.

NIC trustees Todd Banducci, Greg McKenzie and Mike Waggoner had a huge head start and, at this point, still must be considered the MIB favorite. The Defecta Trifecta is back in the spotlight today, when they’ll emerge from a closed meeting and resume their quest not to save accreditation for the college, but to further expose their dunderheaded obsession with President Nick Swayne and perhaps find new ways to waste your hard-earned money.

The NIC board majority might shed a little light on an employee's mysterious “potential” lawsuit, but who knows? With this group, accurately predicting a meeting outcome must be limited to “the audience will be outraged.”

Meantime, the library network majority of Rachelle Ottosen, Tim Plass and Tom Hanley bolstered their MIB bonafides recently by proudly announcing it was cutting ties with the Wicked Woke Witch herself, American Library Network President Emily Drabinski.

While that was cause for popped corks in some ultra-conservative corners, what received little more than a shoulder shrug was the fact that the library network majority is proving to be ultra-unconservative fiscally.

Even as local legislators are decrying Uncle Sam’s runaway spending, somehow, the CLN and NIC boards are getting a free pass to fritter away the public’s money. Because of increased risks from dangerous proceedings with both boards, legal fees and insurance costs have escalated rapidly.

Consider: In fiscal year 2022, the library network’s entire legal bill was $3,670. That’s less than half what the board has now budgeted for Colton Law every month.

Both the CLN and NIC boards have brought on massive insurance increases because they have so dramatically ramped up risk through their inept leadership, yet you won’t hear a peep about that from your local legislators.

While it may be fascinating theater, NIC and CLN board meetings are two- and three-hour tragedies unfolding before our very eyes. No matter which one wins the 2023 MIB Award, this much is guaranteed:

The public will be declared the clear loser.