Just when you thought the circus known as the North Idaho College board of trustees couldn’t possibly make its big tent bigger and pack it with even more jaw-dropping acts that defy belief, the three ringleaders pulled off the seemingly impossible.
In three meetings spanning six days, Trustees Todd Banducci, Greg McKenzie and Mike Waggoner let loose their ideological tigers.
Between the circus performances Monday, Thursday and Saturday, mathematicians couldn’t keep up with the potential open meeting violations being committed or the possible lawsuits being seeded. The spectacle of political ally Art Macomber being hired on the spot Monday night to serve as legal counsel to North Idaho College and the trustees was eclipsed three nights later, when Macomber admitted he had written the hiring resolution and set his own generous hourly fee.
That means he and Banducci lied Monday when they claimed Banducci had written the resolution.
That was just a warm-up act. The real show-stopper occurred Thursday night when the board majority put the college’s competent new president, Nick Swayne, on leave, even though they failed to include that little bit of business on the meeting agenda — a breach of Idaho law.
They then unveiled their desire to place another crony, former NIC wrestling coach Mike Sebaaly, back in the president’s office — and no, that wasn’t on the agenda, either. Announced Saturday, Sebaaly ended up declining the offer anyway.
The three ringleaders then voted Saturday to offer the job of interim/ acting president to an individual whose name they refused to provide to the public during the meeting and authorized McKenzie to begin negotiations with this person if he is interested.
This is no longer just brutal incompetence. The trustees and their untrustworthy new counsel should familiarize themselves with the word “malfeasance.”
Here’s a definition from law.com to help them out: Malfeasance: n. intentionally doing something either legally or morally wrong which one had no right to do.
It always involves dishonesty, illegality or knowingly exceeding authority for improper reasons … This distinction can apply to corporate officers, public officials, trustees and others cloaked with responsibility.
Since Banducci and McKenzie began their institutional deconstruction project two years ago, NIC enrollment has plummeted, financial support has evaporated and a sense of doom has taken residence in the college’s offices and classrooms.
In just the last week, NIC’s existential outlook has gone from deeply worrisome to downright alarming.
All the legal powers at the people’s disposal must be mustered rapidly, while there’s still a college to save.