By Benjamin J. Marrison, The Columbus Dispatch
Despite our best efforts, we may have let down the good people of the Olentangy school district last week.
But not for a lack of trying.
Part of our job is to keep you informed of things as they happen and, whenever possible, before they happen — especially when your tax dollars are at stake.
Last week, the Olentangy Board of Education and its teachers union reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract. Reporter Collin Binkley requested a copy of the agreement on Monday after sources told us that both sides had agreed to terms. We wanted to report the details in advance of votes by both teachers and the school board so that district taxpayers and teachers would know what was being considered.
It’s a fairly standard story and one we see as a duty to report.
Other school districts routinely provide such information, as state law requires. But Olentangy’s attorney, Gregory B. Scott, played hide-and-seek with public records, using semantics, gamesmanship and obfuscation to delay the release. For three days.When editors read Scott’s initial response to our request, we were surprised at what we viewed as his arrogance in representing a publicly elected board of education and the taxpayers of one of central Ohio’s largest school districts.