I expected a response to the article that was written regarding my remarks at the board meeting on Feb. 19. I stand by my invitation and would welcome more dialogue.

By Mary Jane Baniak
Vice President
Mineral County BOE
I expected a response to the article that was written regarding my remarks at the board meeting on Feb. 19. I stand by my invitation and would welcome more dialogue.
I appreciate the delegates taking time to explain why they feel they have been open to their constituents. Transparency is always the best way to legislate and govern. We must have open communication, cooperation, and a willingness to learn and grow to advance the agenda that has our children’s future as our priority.
I’m just not sure how they can explain that they are listening. If two work stoppages in two years, resolutions by school boards, and official statements against proposed legislation by state agencies and authorities are not hints as to how we feel about the legislation being offered, then I don’t know how to be more clear.
My biggest personal issue with the response was when Delegate Howell stated that he had a meeting with me and I “didn’t show up.” This was clearly verified by his own office in Charleston as being a false statement as we had no scheduled appointment. (Delegate Howell did say he would meet with me if I scheduled a meeting with his office in Charleston. No meeting has been set up yet).
If there is one thing I do, Delegate Howell, it is show up! I’m a busy mom, hold a full time job, am a board member and a runner. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am dedicated and committed to helping improve my community. Being a mom requires that level of commitment. That’s what moms do...we show up, we find out the truth, we lead with empathy and strength, and we get stuff done!
Update: I’m determined to be proactive and hopefully, open the lines of communication between our representatives and our school systems. I will be traveling to Charleston next week and I scheduled a meeting with Delegate Howell and a meeting has been initiated with Delegate Rowan.
I’m compiling a list of our needs and I welcome and encourage any input from staff and community members that can help move toward improved communication and help convey our needs in order to better work together for the future of our children.
Finding ways to have open, continuous, and transparent dialogue well before next year’s legislative session should guide us all more clearly toward our common goal of providing students in Mineral County and the entire state of West Virginia the absolute best education that we all know they deserve!