In an April 16 editorial, we urged the Sioux City Board of Education to appoint an individual or group of individuals from outside the district to undertake an independent examination of concerns raised by John Chalstrom, the district's former chief financial officer, because we do not believe the board itself is independent enough.
Not only do we urge the board again today to take this step, but we offer the name of one respected local citizen who we believe possesses all the proper tools necessary to undertake an unbiased, thorough and professional examination of the Chalstrom charges for the school board and public and who we believe is willing to take on the task if asked.
He is Brian Miller, the retired commander of the 185th Air Refueling Wing.
As a result of reporting by The Journal, here is what the public knows about the Chalstrom matter so far: On Feb. 13, Chalstrom was placed on administrative leave, with pay, by the district. Two days before he was placed on administrative leave, Chalstrom shared with school board members, through a third-party intermediary, a list of allegations about Superintendent Paul Gausman. Allegations, as reported by The Journal on April 9, included the following: Gausman created a hostile work environment and Gausman threatened to terminate Chalstrom if he presented alternative budget proposals to school board members outside regular board meetings. On April 10, the Board of Education approved an agreement to end Chalstrom's tenure.
As we have said before in this space, we believe the public deserves to know to what level, if at all, Chalstrom's charges have merit.
Board of Education President Mike Krysl told a Journal reporter on Thursday an internal investigation of the Chalstrom charges is under way. We are encouraged by the fact an investigation will proceed.
However, we continue to believe the public will be best-served if a full review is conducted by an individual or individuals from outside the local public school system, not from within.
This editorial appeared in the April 27 edition of the Sioux City Journal, another Lee Enterprises publication.