- Special Sections
- Public Notices
With Christmas just days away, the thought of writing a full column on one topic just wasn't going to work. Or maybe it's just the distractions that come with the holidays have rendered me incapable of staying focused on one topic. Either way, instead of a full treatment of anything, I'll offer a few "stocking stuffers" on some items that have caught my attention. - The Jefferson Circuit Court has provided a gift on behalf of open government. Last week, the court issued a decision last week that could have repercussions statewide. The Courier-Journal filed a lawsuit against the Jefferson County Board of Education regarding its superintendent evaluation. Most school boards, including Marion County, have typically gone into closed session for their annual superintendent evaluation. The C-J argued that these evaluations should be conducted in open session. Several organizations - the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky School Boards Association, the Jefferson County Teachers Association and regional educational cooperatives across the state - filed briefs in support of closed-session evaluations. In the end, the court ruled that the superintendent's evaluation should have been conducted in open session. The Jefferson County Board of Education tried to argue that the closed-session was allowed under provisions regarding litigation, collective bargaining and personnel. The court ruled that none of these exemptions applied to a superintendents evaluation, and more specifically in regards to personnel, the only reason to discuss the superintendent in closed session would be if the board was considering disciplining or dismissing the superintendent. Even then, only that portion of the evaluation could be conducted in closed session, according to the court ruling. The Jefferson Circuit Court decision is the second such decision this year. A court in Spencer County reached a similar conclusion regarding superintendent evaluations. And both of those decisions supported Attorney General's Opinions. I fully expect appeals, but for the time being a new precedent seems to have been set, and for the time being, superintendent evaluations should be conducted in open session. - Due to an unusually open schedule this past weekend, I re-watched all three of "The Godfather" films. They are epic. They are Shakespearean, and they would make a great gift for any film buff. - The BCS is still stupid, a fraud and a sham. College football's highest division of competition still will not have a champion, and pretending that Alabama and Texas are more deserving than TCU, Boise State and Cincinnati is exactly what is wrong with the system. Until a (minimum) 16-team playoff is implemented, then college football will only have an "alleged" national champion. My hope is that the Associated Press votes for the TCU-Boise State winner or Cincinnati (if the Bearcats beat Florida). The so-called "tradition" of the bowl season isn't worth preserving. To prove my point, ask anyone who considers him- or herself a football fan if they watched the New Mexico Bowl, the St. Petersburg Bowl or the New Orleans Bowl? -A privacy rights organization, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, wants the Federal Trade Commission to look at policy changes by Facebook. According to the organization, Facebook changed its privacy settings to make user's names, profile photos, gender and other information publicly available. I'm torn since I'm avoiding becoming part of the Facebook collective. I understand EPIC values its privacy. At the same time, it's hard for me to believe that anyone who has voluntarily signed up for Facebook has made privacy a personal priority. That's all for now. Enjoy the holidays, everyone, regardless of which one's you celebrate or what you choose to call it.