Board members must preserve communications post on Monday

On Monday, as you’ve reported, the school board will be asked to eliminate the position of communications manager, so expertly held by Casey Mahon.

All of us who care about being informed of a school system we cherish, and one we fund through our taxes, should protest eliminating the position of communications manager.

This is a position where a professional manager develops plans to tell the different audiences in our school district what we need to know in the ways we get messages.

During Mahon’s five years of professional communications leadership, I’ve seen confidence grow between the public and the school administration and school board. We’ve come to believe and to trust that this administration and this school board are making the best decisions for 13,000 students.

A communications manager understands that it’s essential to inform the staff so they know what’s going on in the school system that directly affects them.

Mahon, along with others on staff, helped manage and communicate two successful tax levy renewal campaigns, resulting in preserving $30 million.

I’ve been in the communications business for many years as a journalist and 10 as a school communications manager for the Bloomington School District. Mahon is the best school communications manager I’ve encountered.

He also has served the community well. He has earned a high profile in the professional community particularly in the Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce and Three Rivers Community Foundation, where he is a board, marketing and executive committee member.

Since the superintendent has recommended that the position of communications manager be eliminated, Mahon has decided to start anew no matter what the board decides on Monday. He has been told his last day of employment with the district will be June 30.

Mahon stresses he does not want this discussion to be about him, but about the importance of professional communications for a school district this size.

So, my message is about preserving a position and department to keep us informed so we can continue to know and trust the decisions made on behalf of the students who depend on us for funding and support.—Donald R. Heinzman, Elk River