One of my biggest fans was wondering why I hadn’t commented on the Brian Allen pay raise debacle. I tend not to comment on public schools too much, at least on this blog, because my children aren’t attending public school. There are a few issues that I do feel quite passionately about, one of which I may discuss further in this space.
I don’t have an opinion on the Brian Allen pay raise. It seemed like a no-win scenario. Either you give someone a raise, or he leaves and you pay to search for a new CFO, who will likely need time to be brought up to speed, when we don’t have a lot of time to bring someone up to speed. That’s not a decision I’d like to have to make.
We elect people in part so that they can make the decisions we don’t want to have to make. We prefer to complain about the potholes in the road, or the fact that our schools aren’t doing well, or that we’re not doing enough for the elderly, and in the same breath complain about our tax rate. We love to blame the colleges for not paying their “fair share”, the teachers for not working miracles, the DPW for New England weather. We’d love for our unpaved, sans sewer road be fully upgraded, as long as we don’t have to foot the bill. We want innovation in schools, as long as the innovation fits neatly into a “certified” box.
Rarely do we acknowledge that things are more complicated than they seem, or that we don’t know what we’d do in the same situation.
Sometimes there are no easy answers. Sometimes there isn’t a right answer. Sometimes you make a decision knowing full well that people will castigate you for voting one way, and that those same people would have castigated you had you voted the other way.
I do know that as long as we live in a world governed by sound bites and gotcha journalism, our discussion of the difficult issues will not improve, and we will have no better understanding of why they were made.