A year and a half ago, I wrote a piece about how hard it is to communicate with the WCC Board of Trustees. The Trustees filter constituent communications through the WCC Administration. The preferred communication method is now a contact form. Begrudgingly, the Trustees also have an email address. The contact form has improved nothing. (For the voters, that is.)
The contact form makes independent communication with the Trustees hard, especially when it doesn’t work. No one can communicate directly with the WCC Trustees. That is probably fine with the Trustees, but it doesn’t work so well for the public that elected them.
In 2019, the Administration intercepted all public communication to the Trustees. And when I say “administration,” I mean that any time someone used the email@example.com email address, the contents went directly to the WCC President and the WCC General Counsel. No public communication went to the Trustees until after it had been filtered through the College President and the College Attorney. Worse, the WCC Administration would then “interpret” the communication for the Trustees before passing the communication to them in the monthly Board packet.
Frankly, that is outrageous when you consider that the Trustees maintain hiring and firing authority over both of them. Were someone attempting to report something confidential to the trustees, or something that reflects badly on the WCC President or General Counsel, it would be possible for that communication to get permanently “lost” without ever making to the Trustees.
WCC Trustees are elected officials. They don’t want to hear from you.
When the College sets up an email address called firstname.lastname@example.org, it seems like any communication sent there would go directly to the WCC Trustees. As part of their oversight responsibilities, the Trustees should have individual, privately accessible email addresses. They are, after all, elected officials, and doing anything else raises questions of transparency and integrity.
I recently skimmed through the Trustee profiles on the WCC website. Of the 7 WCC Trustees you’ve elected, only one provides independent contact information. Apparently, only one of the 7 Trustees wants to hear from you. That is as good a reason I can think of not to re-elect six out of seven Trustees.
Trustees who don’t want to hear from you don’t deserve your vote.