I have been getting a ton of questions about about who I support in School Board Races and I tend to stay away from endorsements as I hope to partner with this board to find ways to share overhead and resources. I did attend the League of Women Voters forums on October 13, 2010 and wanted to share some thoughts.
I am optimistic because there are a number of outstanding candidates and in most cases whoever wins should bring something positive to the district. The winners of this election face a desperate financial situation due to poor state decisions that have left local governments paying for earlier unaffordable tax cuts.
Seat 2: Gary Smith vs. Richard Hinds
These are both great candidates. I have known Gary for awhile and I think he could make the board function better. I did not know Richard Hinds and I have to say that he absolutely blew me away. Richard in my opinion is absolutely brilliant and data driven. I agree with the Post Bulletin that whoever loses this race should seriously be considered for the open seat to be appointed.
Seat 4: Susan Nee vs. Julie Workman
Again these are both outstanding candidates and are both very knowledgeable. I hope the second place finisher here also gets consideration for the open seat. I sat at the forum trying to figure out which was the better candidate, but am still struggling with that.
One answer that particularly impressed me with Julie Workman was when asked if the district should eliminate sports. Both candidates said no, but I was particularly impressed with how Julie not only answered but then used data to explain her answer. Susan was also very knowledgeable.
Seat 5: Michael Resman vs. Terry Throndson
This race is the reason I posted this entry. I left the forums absolutely disgusted with what I heard from Terry Throndson. My most basic qualification for any candidate is a level of empathy and integrity. I feel we will get neither with Mr. Throndson. Hear are 2 paraphrased quotes from Mr. Throndson.
“82% of the district budget goes to teachers and staff; that doesn’t leave much for kids.”
“My business taxes went up 1400+% last year and 300% this year.”
News flash: our kids derive value from those teachers, that is why we have them. Also his tax number is either manipulated, a lie, or he failed 6th grade math, or some combination. Being dishonest is not a good trait for an local elected official. I did request that the Post Bulletin fact-check the second statement.
I left the forum thinking that the only reason Mr. Throndson wants to be on the school board is to lower his own taxes. If this is his goal he should be running for Governor as he has been the number one cause of local property tax increases. I understand that Terry is a very hard worker and a good businessman, but the school board needs leaders dedicated to the quality of our educational system.
Conversly Michael Resman may be one of the best candidates in the race. He is knowledgeable, patient, and running for all the right reasons.
Seat 6: Deborah Seelinger vs. Anne Becker
Full disclosure: I did not see all of this forum. Again two good candidates. I thought that Seelinger had some good knowledge of the district through her extensive involvement. But I don’t think that anyone should feel ashamed for supporting either.