What does it mean to hold elected officials “accountable”? Katie Krongard (“We don’t pay attention to our school board, and this is what we get,” Aug. 1) seems to think it means raising her voice “often” and “loud(ly)” to remind elected officials that “they represent us.” Really? Does any elected official need frequent, amplified reminders by whom they were voted into office? As a former city council member, I found when constituents like Ms. Krongard insisted I was accountable to them, what they really wanted was for me to do their bidding. That never felt like being held accountable. It felt more like an effort to coerce, intimidate, bully.
What being accountable truly means is a willingness and ability to explain the reasoning behind choices and actions. While elected officials win the opportunity for public service by appealing to voters, those voters are only one constituency to consider when conducting the public’s business. The issues before school boards affect more than voters’ interests. Teachers, students, district and school staff, individuals and businesses that support schools, the larger community and future generations all have a stake in school board decisions.
True public servants try to account for all these integral competing interests, not just the loudest voices in the room.
Bill Anderson, South Salt Lake