EDITORIAL: Valpo School Board needs term limits

2014-05-14T00:00:00Z 2014-05-14T09:40:54Z EDITORIAL: Valpo School Board needs term limits nwitimes.com
May 14, 2014 12:00 am  • 

The Center Township Board, which appoints one of the Valparaiso School Board's members, voted unanimously last week to put its unwritten rule on term limits into writing.

Center Township's appointee will serve a maximum of two terms. The Valparaiso City Council, which appoints the other members, should do likewise.

The Township Board makes an appointment to the five-member School Board once every four years.

Township Board member Stephen Buck, who formerly served on the School Board, introduced the proposal to put the term limits in writing.

"I felt because there is not an appropriate representation for Center Township on the board, it behooves us to have term limits. This will allow more people to have a voice," Buck said.

The unincorporated portion of Center Township contains more than 35 percent of the school district's assessed property value and a similar proportion of the district's enrollment. Buck said to be fair, the township should appoint two members of a seven-member board.

But changing the board's size would require changing state law.

The board is already a statistical outlier. It is the only appointed, rather than elected, school board in Northwest Indiana.

If the School Board is to be changed, the best change would be to turn it into an elected board so the board members are directly accountable to the voters and not to the City Council and Township Board.

But enacting term limits is the next best thing. Now the Valparaiso City Council should follow suit and put the same term limit in place for its appointees.

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