The result: "four write ins" of social security age.
Smith tailored his language a bit for a similar Op-Ed that ran in this morning's Herald-Leader.
He cited the weak effort to recruit candidates. "... just a few notices in education journals under Help Wanted and that we are an Equal Opportunity Employer (wink, wink), but Kentuckians preferred." And suggested, "The two men running for governor could stop this charade."
Next week, after the election, Gov. Ernie Fletcher can render a signal service to the state with a proposal to his appointees who dominate the board to do two things:
• Have a joint public meeting with him and his Democratic rival, Steve Beshear -- a civil discussion of educational issues from three perspectives: the two candidates and the board.
• Halt the hiring process until whoever has been elected governor can consult with his advisers and the legislative leadership about the maximum prospects for helping education with a bipartisan approach in the 2008 session of the General Assembly.
The board has no known reason to doubt that the interim commissioner, Kevin Noland, who has guided the department for almost a year, can carry on until spring.
At that point, the governor and the General Assembly should be positioned to forget the mishaps of 2007 and cheer the state board if it embarked on a truly professional national search to find the best qualified person worthy of Kentucky's modern educational legacy, which is the most sweeping effort ever made by any state to improve its schools.
The last time Smith's advice was ignored was mid July. That's when the board was going to hire an interim commissioner while searching for a permanent commissioner. Leon Mooneyhan was hung out to dry and Keith Travis learned that he did not have the full board behind him.