Below are excerpts from an e-mail I received from Ron at ParentsCare. I'm happy to post other points of view as well. Just click on the link at the right to send them to me via e-mail.
"Thanks for keeping up the Seattle Schools blog. Now that we've cancelled our Times and PI subscriptions, we find more truth and honest opinions there. For reasons technically beyond our control, we were not able to contribute to the blog dialogue about the excess contributions that Mel submitted on Friday.
We recently received an opinion from a neighbor regarding the ballot choices and for District 1 position on the School Board, there was a brief message that called for a response. We include our response below as a way for us to vent and perhaps inform others.
While the campaign contributions are legal, it's clear that these candidates and endorsements, especially by Chow and DeBell for Maier, are Let's-Vote-No-For-Sally votes, regardless of the qualifications and experience of either candidate. If Blomstrom were running in Peter's spot, he might actually win.
Thanks again for doing what you're doing - helping us navigate the Seattle public schools with our eyes wide open.
Respect, Listen, Speak, Collaborate.
ps - this parent had the courtesy and sense of fairness to reply that he would vote for Soriano.
....I'm disappointed that while you took a lot of time to review your of thinking re: Prop. 1, you offered no rationale for your strong support for Peter Maier
...I've attended two of the School Board candidate forums. Peter showed up at the Seattle Special Education PTSA session just before 9 pm, when it was scheduled to close, saying he had a prior function to attend. For those of us who had already made arrangements for childcare and chose to attend this session at the scheduled time, this was not the best way to help us understand his candidacy. For some of us, this showed a tangible lack of respect. In the other candidate forum, Peter lacked depth of current knowledge of the school district and the issues, simply talking the talk. He is taking advantage of the public and Board acrimony over the lawsuit and school closure process. For those who don't like folks rocking the boat, Peter is a suitable candidate since he has no prior work history on a School Board. That appears to be why Chow and DeBell endorsed Maier. We visited the websites of both candidates and there's not enough there to support the belief that Peter can do the job or that Sally has done a poor job. With 4 years of experience as a Board member, 10 years in education, 10 years in policy analysis and public advocacy, and another 10 years in small business, Sally can and should be considered for another term to continue being a respectful, thoughtful and perceptive voice on the Board. Looking at the endorsements of current and past School Board members among other public figures plus campaign contributors to Peter's campaign also doesn't encourage confidence. It simply shows how elections can be bought. Peter and the other new Board candidates now have a lot of Eastside and deep-Seattle money in their pockets. Does that assure an objective Board member? Or will this help future political agendas create rubber-stamp votes of approval for Board policy? More schools will close, charter schools will be proposed again. If you take the time to review questions that have been submitted to Sally, you'll learn more about the person. Or attend a forum.http://www.sallysoriano.org/asksally.html
I think every candidate is sincere in their interest to run for the Board. When I learn about contributions being spread across several candidates and a paid lobbyist position (Pres of Schools 1st) is being touted as experience for the School Board, it means there's a candidate trying to run on a just-vote-no-against-Sally platform that unfortunately has a chance of winning, but for the wrong reasons. Sally is not a rubber stamp. She was labeled a rebel and micro-manager in the lead-in-the-water issue, school closures and lawsuit against the district, which was not her idea but had merit that compelled her to testify via deposition. Ironically, the school where our special-ed son was attending was closed, in part due to her supporting vote for its closure. But we supported her and the Board in that decision when a second solution was offered after parents, teachers and students learned the first solution the district offered was not acceptable for many reasons. In this process, we learned that for our special-ed son and our typical daughter, having the children at two separate schools was, sadly, the safest decision for them to succeed.
Finally, Sally is one of only two Board members who consistently made the effort to schedule and lead a monthly community meeting in her district. On time, rain or shine. A small but sincere step towards earning the respect and vote of her constituents. If I thought Peter Maier would make a positive difference over Sally Soriano, as a School Board member, I would vote for him. The money and endorsements for Maier and the other candidates make this a political fight to create a stronger rubber stamp School Board purchased with patronage money. Sally has done a commendable job and is clearly the better candidate for the position."
--- by Ron, ParentsCare