Instead of leading the charge to defend the Polk County schools up for Department of Education-mandated retooling, School Board District 1 candidate Billy Townsend should have returned to Bartow asking for head(s) on a plate of the people directly responsible for getting the district removed from the state Board of Education's agenda at the Sept. 23 meeting.

Or did these professionals actually believe their little 11th-hour "bait and switch" routine was gonna fly? 

Given the gravity of the situation and the academic futures of children and parents at stake, whatever possessed "the experts" at the district office to think they could just "submit revised plans that afternoon" (five hours into the meeting) and actually expect the board to grant a pass for the very lame excuse offered by School Board spokesperson Kyle Kennedy that "the original plan had inaccurate Florida Standards Assessment data." 

Candidate Townsend should now be holding Bartow's feet to the fire and demanding consequences for top-level incompetence of this nature. What else do the paper-pushers and number-crunchers have to do but to prepare for a state level meeting?

My own hunch is that the proposals were not even ready when resubmitted and the board was playing for time, knowing they would be granted an extra month to prepare due to this documentational ineptitude. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, what does the District 1 incumbent up for re-election have to say about this fiasco? His is supposed to be the voice of reason from a tried-and-tested economic leader lending his expertise to the School Board. How would he have "rewarded" such incompetence if and when he encountered it in his business? 

As Ricky Ricardo often had to say to Lucy, "You got some splainin' to do!" 

Craig B. McKee