Specific Concerns About How He Was Represented

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 11, 2013

Dear Editor,
    I have several concerns about "A Failure to Communicate” [News, Feb. 8] but I am limiting this letter to the way I’m represented.
    I am quoted as "Former Trustee Mark Williams." I would like to point out that I have not spoken to Mr. Whittaker since I left office in November. Nor have I been “openly critical of PRMO's results.” I did comment in late 2011 that the district's process regarding IDEA was poor. But I didn't attribute that all to PRMO [Public Relations and Multicultural Outreach]. Further, I didn’t ever make a blanket statement or criticism about the district’s public outreach, as seems to be implied in the article. In fact, while there is certainly room for improvement, I believe there has been much effort and good work by PRMO to better reach out to all of the district’s diverse stakeholders.
    I also believed that there was (and likely still is) a workload imbalance for PRMO. As indicated by Mr. Whittaker, Mr. Sánchez's department is understaffed relative to other urban districts, especially with the increased demands placed on the current PRMO staff – demands that are far more than was expected (or thought capable of being delivered) by his predecessors.
    Finally, I am described as a "rules martinet.” I realize that snarky criticism can play well to audiences, but I do think that term is intentionally misleading. For the Citizens Communications over which I presided for six years, I think you'll find that I was not “hanging on the clock" - I let speakers go over their allotted time on numerous occasions (too often, some have said). I did believe that persons who signed up should speak for themselves and not take a slot to just let someone else speak. But I only had to deal with that issue a few times, and the issue only escalated during the IDEA deliberations.
Mark Williams
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