Should Officials Distribute Personal Newsletters?
If an elected official sends information from a governing body's meeting, should it be allowed?
A topic at the last West Morris Regional School Board meeting hit a nerve with one representative, Jacke Schram, who wanted to know why Marcia Asdal was sending out email newsletters with board information to residents in the district.
Schram, who represents Mendham Borough, charged that Asdal was not properly differentiating between her own opinions and those of the board as a whole.
As previously reported on Patch, Asdal said she does not think her readers would confuse the article’s statements with those of the school board, especially since she always devotes the last page to an external article she pulls from one of many education blogs she reads.
Though noting that he was not singling out Asdal, board President James Johnston cautioned that, according to the New Jersey School Boards Association, communicating personal opinions as they relate to board actions is a sensitive issue.
“That can be, for lack of better words, misleading to the public and disruptive to the function of the board and the administration of the schools,” Johnston said.
Asdal said she is aware of the sensitivity but also reiterated a statement saying that board members don’t give up their rights to free speech.
So, Patch readers, what's your take? Should this kind of activity be conducted by board members? Should action and information processed at meetings be left there?
Tell us in the comments and vote in the poll. As always, thanks for your participation.