Back to Reynolds…
It was not long ago that we expressed our dismay at the new crop of Oregon school district leaders taking the helms of complex contract negotiations with little or no knowledge of how to get a deal done. The teachers in Reynolds have finished the second day of their strike, and it seems that inexperienced district leaders are not the only problem Reynolds teachers face. The Reynolds Board has actually hired a lead bargainer who doesn’t seem to know how to find a deal.
Word on the street is that Reynolds Board attorney Paul Dakopolos is more seasoned on the litigation front and unseasoned when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of contract negotiations. This might not be a problem if he was negotiating a contract re-opener in Jordan Valley, but strike negotiations in Reynolds, of all places, is a whole other story.
Let’s face it. The Reynolds Board needs some help. Their recent history is notorious. Other area teachers tell us that it is not uncommon for districts in the region to preface statements with things like “At least we’re not as bad as Reynolds…” The Reynolds Board needs reasonable and experienced leadership. It is possible that some of the more seasoned contract negotiators passed on the chance to lead this Board because they saw the writing on the wall. Who knows? What is clear is that it is time for the community in Reynolds to stand up and demand that the Board put the brakes on their newest train wreck.
We’re not eternally pessimistic. There was one time in NFL history that a first year starting quarterback actually led his team to Super Bowl victory after a train wreck of a season the year before. Does Paul Dakopolos have what it takes to channel Kurt Warner? Probably not. The Reynolds Board does seem like they are running a circus at times, but they’re definitely not the Greatest Show on Turf.