If somebody is firing shots at you, you shouldnt give them more ammunition.
Thats a lesson they dont seem to have gotten around here as regards Lee Muns.
Lee has had his problems lately. His sons legal troubles are bad, and Lees confrontational attitude has gotten him shut out of the School Board clique.
The members of that clique - i.e., the other four trustees - generally have convinced themselves that Muns is verbally reckless, thrashing around to make waves to raise the tide of his political ambitions. (I know because theyve told me as much.)
One recent fight was over the change in coaches at Evans High School, where Muns troubled son graduated from in May.
Chad Muns played football at Evans for hard-nosed coach Lee Chomskis. When Evans Principal Don Brigdon forced Chomskis to resign this spring, Muns the elder didnt take it well.
And thats putting it charitably. Muns went on the warpath, and plenty of Evans sports boosters agreed with him. But even many of those who sympathized with his views soon felt like he gnawed too long on the bones of a dead issue, chewing on Brigdon and Chom-skis successor, Marty Jack-son, long after the scraps of the controversy should have been discarded.
Even so, the battle would have eventually faded away.
Instead, a private school has intruded into the scene, and its loaded a whole armory full of ammunition for critics of Chomskis firing - especially Muns.
The issue leaked out to the public with an anonymous letter from parents of Evans High football players. They told school officials their boys had come home from summer weight training puzzled; theyd been asked to use their muscle-power to load up unused Evans High weight equipment into a truck, where it was taken to Aquinas High School.
Once the investigation got underway, it was pretty clear the rules for getting rid of school surplus hadnt been followed. In fact, there was considerable disagreement that the equipment was surplus at all; the schools weight trainer said no one even asked him if the equipment was needed, much less whether it could be hauled off to Aquinas.
So why was it all hauled off?
Well, the Evans athletic director is married to the Aquinas head coach. And the guy who replaced Chomskis used to be the coach of Aquinas.
Can you say smoking gun?
Its obvious there is a cozy relationship between the folks from the two schools, which isnt all bad. Wed like to think our schools can get along. But giving Evans property to a private school isnt the platonic cordiality most people have in mind.
Just from the little information the public knows outside the closed rooms of school disciplinary proceedings, its obvious the Evans-Aquinas connection has gotten a few people in trouble.
The bigger point, however, is that this screwed-up episode has handed a wheelbarrow-load of ammunition to Muns, who never wanted Marty Jackson to replace Lee Chomskis anyway. This mini-scandal certainly lends credence to Muns skepticism about the changing of the guard, even though in my eyes he was wrong to try to micromanage Brigdons school personnel decisions.
he other school board members and central office administrators may not like the fact that Muns rarely hesitates to shoot his mouth off, even if they think his own foot is sometimes the unintended target.
But like it or not, folks who break the rules, or defend people who do, are rarely in a position of moral authority. Muns has the upper hand on this one, and earns the right to fire off a few I told you sos - courtesy of those who passed the surplus ammo.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to bpaschal at newstimesonline.com.)
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