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Letter to the Editor

Al needs Constitution refresher

May 05, 2010 - Dear Editor,

I hope Dr. Al Roberts goes to Clarkston High School and spends some time freshening up on the First Amendment. Then, perhaps, he will stop making veiled and not-so-veiled threats to sue the local newspaper and taxpayers who "malign" him by publicly asking legitimate questions about how their money is being spent and how two important administrator positions were recently filled.

Private citizens, board members and the newspaper should not have to file Freedom of Information requests for information that many school districts post on their web sites.

Taxpayers have the right to examine district expenditures and question if their money is spent responsibily.

They also have the right to ask why, out of 600 applicants for two positions, the two best ones just happened to be Clarkston district employees.

Dr. Roberts' latest claim that people will not buy houses ("News riles Roberts," April 27) in Clarkston if the newspaper does its job and asks tough questions is beyond ridiculous. If anything, what would keep people from wanting to move here is a reputation that school district business is not conducted in a transparent way.

When you work in an important capacity for the taxpayers, criticism comes with the territory -- and the salary. Answering civil criticism with defensiveness and threats to "keep a file" of newspaper coverage is inappropriate, unproductive and, frankly, un-American.

It also sends a terrible message to our young people, who are underserved when those who should be exhibiting leadership in tough times needlessly pick fights with the newspaper and the people who pay their salaries.

Kelly J. Kolhagen

Independence Township

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