As a citizen, I urge the Bettendorf School Board to take the recent board effectiveness survey seriously, especially since 71 percent of respondents are staff or parents of current students.

In four of six key measures, significantly more respondents rated board performance “poorly” than rated it “well.” When respondent comments (56 pages) are reviewed for insight on the ratings, it is depressing to see frequent mentions of “board micro-managing,” “board members with personal agendas,” and “lack of collaboration among directors.” The atmosphere on our school board needs to improve.

The only incumbent on the ballot, Pepper Trahan, may be unintentionally contributing to the problem based on respondent comments and feedback from current and past board members. She has a great resume and no doubt added value in her tenure.

However, this value is likely diminished due to an apparent inability to earn support and buy-in from other board members and staff. Another candidate, Maxine McEnany, feels she can work well on the board.

There are five other candidates for the three seats. Of these, Andrew Champion, Adam Holland, and Richard Lynch represent the strongest candidates in my opinion. None of them have the downside associated with the candidates mentioned above.

Most importantly, they appear to have the backgrounds, skills and attitudes the board sorely needs immediately. I am voting for them because board cohesion and smart educational policy are both possible.

Joseph Kehoe


Editor's note: Kehoe is former president of the Bettendorf Community Schools Foundation.