In an intriguing outcome to yesterday’s East Hampton School Board vote, residents opted for three newcomers, saying no thank you to one incumbent who has strong ties to the community. This may well signal a level of anger with the district over its poorly handled, surprise demotion of Gina Kraus, the popular John M. Marshall Elementary School principal, as well as a long period this year when the East Hampton Middle School principal was absent for what was described as a medical problem. Then, too, the vote might have reflected frustration that the board repeatedly withheld budget documents from the public though state law requires they be made available. It is hard to know for sure.
What is important is that the school board, from here on out, wrest a greater degree of control from the administration and district lawyers who prefer to work in law-breaking secrecy. Wendy Geehreng, J.P. Foster, and Richard Wilson, the additions to the board, will need to remember who they are working for — taxpayers and students — and that openness and communication are paramount.