Hodge pushes for budget, board transparency
Johnson County Community College board member Benjamin Hodge is keeping up the heat on college president Dr. Terry Calaway in a row over college governance transparency.
The Kansas City Star has now weighed in, siding with Hodge and against the broad interpretation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act that Calaway and others had used to justify the handling of general budgetary matters in a closed executive session of the board of trustees.
Hodge gives his take on all the latest at Red County, publishing the Star letter written by managing editor Steve Shirk. Earlier, Calaway wrote to the newspaper to object that Hodge provided information from the closed session to reporter Jim Sullinger. Hodge contends – and I tend to agree with him, as clearly does the Star – that the information should never have been privileged.
The whole incident might seem inside baseball, of interest to only those with a direct connection to the college. However, as a publicly funded institution of higher education in the heart of Johnson County, there are broader implications at stake. Issues like open governance and of how and how much we spend at JCCC.
How will this all shake out and will it impact the upcoming board elections? Stay tuned for more coverage….
Post Script: It looks like this could develop into one of those political flaps where the “cover up” (that’s probably too harsh to Calaway, but you understand what I mean) is worse than the actual “crime” (may or may not have been an actual crime here). The issue started out as a small one, but in drawing attention to it Calaway has made it a larger one, and one that he may lose.
Full disclosure: I’ve known Hodge a number of years and worked on one of his previous campaigns, as has been documented for some time on this site.