Public statement at BCSD Board Meeting

I attended tonight’s BCSD Board of Trustees meeting. Following are the comments I made regarding Paul Bates’ resignation. Board Public Statement Policy requires that speakers not refer to people by name, hence my referring to Paul Bates as “the former Chairman of the Board” in this statement.

Dear Trustees,

I am sorry to see the former Chairman of the Board need to resign from the Blaine County School District Board of Trustees. He takes the high road in choosing to step down from a position of public trust. He could have chosen to maintain his seat; however, that action would most likely be seen by many as hypocritical. How can one who sits on expulsion hearings for under age substance use also make it possible for such behavior to occur in his home? Rather than venturing into that gray area, the former Chairman chose to make a clear statement that underage substance use and abuse is not to be tolerated in our community. I commend him for his decision.

There are some in Blaine County who might take this situation as an opportunity to kick a man while he’s down. To such people I say: such tactics only reflect badly on you.

At one time in our community, social hosting was seen as the lesser of two evils. However, it is my belief that social hosting of minors simply exacerbates a complex problem. Having homes in our community where minors know they have easy access to alcohol does not reduce underage drinking. It is my opinion that such homes likely increase the amount underage drinking. I commend our former Board Chairman for acknowledging the changing climate of what is acceptable here in Blaine County and for recognizing that a School Board Trustee is held to a higher than average standard of accountability. I wish him and his family all the best.


Ellen Mandeville


Filed under News

13 responses to “Public statement at BCSD Board Meeting

  1. Lonnie Barber

    Really? He took the high road? “The former Chairman chose to make a clear statement that underage substance use and abuse is not to be tolerated in our community?” REALLY? In all actually he did just the opposite when he allowed UNDERAGED DRINKING by BLAINE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT STUDENTS while serving as THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD! Then he minimizes it, points the finger at his daughter and tells everyone that he was in another room sleeping while teenagers were partying in his house. What parent believes that? He did the right thing when he resigned but he did not in anyway do anything honorable or “take the high road” by doing so.

    • We all make mistakes. Some people admit them more graciously than others.

    • Barbara Browning

      As if Barber is even remotely familiar with “the high road” or “honor” or “doing the right thing”.
      Some of us became familiar with Lonnie’s methods of operation during the past few years. Now more members of the public are learning the truth about a petty low class tyrant who decided it was time for “payback” after he was fired. Bates paid a high price, but came out of the affair infinitely more respected by our community than the snake who instigated it.
      Incidentally, coming from a person who is supposedly educated, this LB rant reveals a sad lack of emotional control, English language expertise, compositional capability and editorial skill. During last night’s school board meeting, LB sat chewing gum with his mouth open, rudely whispering to his buddy Guthrie and generally being completely disrespectful of the proceedings. I suggest he use some of his ill-gotten gains to enroll in some classes on manners!
      Thank the stars our school district is rid of this creature!

    • alan

      You reek of REVENGE Barber. Take your payoff ‘bag’ money and get outa town.

    • Daryl Fauth

      I disagreed most of the time with Paul Bates’ positions on various topics during his tenure as a School Board Trustee, however in light of my disagreements with the man and his opinions, he admitted his mistake in judgment and was accountable to us all by his subsequent resignation.

      I can only hope as parents we can demonstrate to our children and students the same humility, compassion, accountability and responsibility for our own mistakes and teach them to do the same. All mistakes have consequences and Paul Bates owned up to his.

      You, on the other hand Mr. Barber are the polar opposite. Your comments in the email to the media, on this blog and at the school board meeting last night were presented in the guise of a ‘concerned parent’ but we all know your true colors. You are nothing but a vindictive, intimidating schoolyard bully. You continue to contribute nothing positive to our community but take anything you can get away with.

      One thing is for sure…it is because of you and your dictatorship that I pay a lot closer attention to school board meetings than I used to. I’m tired of getting hosed by the waste and mismanagement we endured under your reign.

      Good riddance, Mr. Barber!

    • Lance

      Mr. Bates has something Mr. Barber will never have.

  2. Pamela Plowman

    I don’t have any problem believing Paul. I would have been in bed, too. Kids need practice at being independently responsible.And they will, on occasion, mess up.

    • Pamela Plowman

      Hi Ellen–Pamela here. Is it possible to place my response UNDER Lonnie’s remark? Sorry I didn’t do that myself–I’m a newbie at this blog stuff 🙂

  3. Of all the jobs I have had in my lifetime, parenting is by far the hardest. Kudos to Mr. Bates for showing his children and students the consequences of a bad choice. Choices in life come with consequences, some that may only affect the person directly and then choices that affect others as well. My Family has been directly affected by choices the district has made, many were very disappointing.

  4. Diane Barker

    Mr. Barber,
    You invite commentary when you publicly criticize Former Chairman Bates. So I will accept your invitation.
    I find it incredibly perplexing that you could dare to question Mr. Bates’ behavior and ethics. Mr. Bates has given his time and concern to the students of our district. You, on the other hand, have taken so much from our students. Your decisions to contract with McKinstry cost out students millions of dollars. You gave away a software platform (Silverback), developed by our district, at an undetermined cost, to your former boss, Jim Lewis. And then you had the audacity to demand an outrageous severance package costing more than $600,000.
    So when you go out around town Mr. Barber, look at our students and know that you cost them each several thousand dollars in education. Look at the taxpayers and know that your inept leadership cost them millions, and your unwillingness to accept a reasonable severance package cost those taxpayers hundreds of thousands more dollars just to get rid of you. A lot of money to be sure, but worth every dime.
    You, Mr. Barber have only taken from our community and students. Mr. Bates on the other hand, has only given. I don’t know how you sleep at night, or show your face in this town. But Mr. Bates should sleep soundly knowing he is, at the very least, an ethical man. You on the other hand, do not share that quality.

  5. Tricia Lochman

    Finally we have people who understand Mr. Barber. How does he manage to show his face in public?

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