Story last updated at 4:44 p.m. Thursday, October 17, 2002

Apology issued to teachers
It is apparent from the number of write-in votes generated against me for issuing a response to the nonconfidence vote against Dr. Peterson that tension is high and that settling the school contracts needs to be done soon. I was pleased that a quality candidate like Mrs. Wassilie was chosen, but disappointed that she was pulled into a political dispute. Apparently the term "nonprofessional" in the response was offensive. It was never intended to imply that the employees were not professional in their jobs, only that in my opinion this vote was in poor taste. I apologize if it was taken otherwise.

There is anger over Mr. Putney's negotiating tactics. While he was hired to do the human resources job, not for negotiations, he did have experience in that area. We as a board did concur with him being our negotiator. Obviously we, like the employees, felt his tactics were unacceptable for the Kenai and he was replaced as our spokesman. An apology for his behavior was issued by Dr. Peterson to the union leaders in May of this year. Apparently that has not been disseminated so I will again publicly apologize for the problems he created in negotiations.

In my opinion it is madness to have such dissension between the board (who are mostly teachers or families of teachers), the administrators (who are former teachers) and the current teachers and support employees. We should all be working for the same goal. I am hopefully and actually optimistic that a resolution will be reached in mediation. I am concerned that it will take much longer to restore a sense of trust and to soothe the anger and animosity that some have expressed.

Nels Anderson