Tuesday, January 25, 2011

West Seattle Blog follows up on levy

A reporter from the West Seattle Blog - one of the few remaining outposts of original journalism - is following up on the supplemental school levy.

You can follow his adventures here.

9 comments:

Melissa Westbrook said...

If you read that thread at the link, you'll see I answer some of his questions.

I will just reiterate here what I said there: if you want to sit down and look at the information I have OR who at the district said what and who to call, just let me know.

I get that people don't want to believe we could possibly be nearly $500M in backlogged maintenance. We are in it's been said by staff and is in district documents.

It's issues like that. I know, it's hard to hear, a little scary to believe but if we don't face down, own up and fix the major issues in this district, we will never get ahead.

Ask yourself, how can we live in a fairly strong city (compared with many others in this country) with an educated populace and yet our district continues to struggle? The answer is multi-layered but two things are clear. We are NOT a well-run district and yes, it is hurting us. Two, elected officials who try to brush this under the rug are NOT helping us.

I think one thing to consider is how foolish would I look (and Charlie) if we lied, embellished or made stuff up. We don't. We always try to get it right and both admit when we err.

Tracy @ WSB said...

Clarification here:

This is NOT a piece by a WSB reporter (the term used in your item). That is not a criticism of the writer - just a clarification.

The WSB Forum, where this appeared, is a user-to-user section with a wide variety of contributions, from a wide variety of contributors, from feisty political arguments to "can anyone recommend a dry cleaner?" to meaty informational posts like DP's work (you should see his "Somewhere in West Seattle" series!).

Unlike what appears in our news section - those would be the stories that originally appear on the home page and do not have "forum" in their URL - items in the forum are not ever assigned, edited, or paid for.

AGAIN, that is not to diminish those contributions in any way. Just a point of accuracy regarding how they are described. Meantime, thanks for noticing - I will admit that I haven't even had a chance to read it myself yet!

Charlie Mas said...

Wow! This David Preston guy is acting like a jerk.

He wrote back to the Board Directors who didn't respond to his email within a week by saying that he is "entitled" to a response from them.

This, more than anything else, is evidence that he has had no prior contact with the school district.

Bird said...
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Bird said...

He's not the only one acting like a jerk, Charlie.

He's clearly a newbie when it comes to looking critically at SPS, so I'm sympathetic to his overly optimistic expectations on responsiveness.

Cut him some slack. He seems sincere in his interest in getting to the bottom of things, but is rather short on background knowledge and experience. This is no crime.

We should be gently guiding him instead of insulting him. Given enough time, he could become an informed and thoughtful observer, if not a critic of the district.

Jan said...

Bird: I assumed when I read Charlie's post that it was an attempt at sarcastic humor (and that the sarcasm was aimed at the District, not David).

The fact is -- David IS entitled to a response from Board members (even if they can't meet his time request, how hard is it to let him know that, or refer him to someone who maybe can follow up more quickly.) That some of our Board members feel no need to reply to or follow up on good faith inquiries from District parents/taxpayers is very weak. (Some do, of course, which just shows up the bad ones even more).

I suppose there might also have been a dig in there, of sorts, at someone who was pretty critical of people on THIS blog for unfairly criticizing the Board and/or the District. But it was a pretty gentle one, in my opinion, and arguably made a reasonable point, given that the first criticisms were logged by David -- not Charlie.

Bird said...

Jan, you should read Charlie's post on the West Seattle blog thread.

Usually I like Charlie's posts, but this was way over the top, not a gentle dig.

I honestly don't see the point of it. I know sometimes people just like to vent, but really this isn't helping anyone at all.

Charlie Mas said...

For the record, I'm not a nice man.

There are a few things that I really don't tolerate very well, and one of them is someone new entering a situation without any knowledge of it trying to dictate how things should be. So this guy really hit my buttons - first with his ill-informed view of the opposition to the levy, then with his un-informed prejudice about the blog, and finally with his absurd sense of entitlement.

So, yeah, I razzed him about it. Yes, I was rough with his delicate sense of self-importance.

I'm not going to deny it nor am I feeling like apologizing for it right now. Later I probably will, but not now.

Jan said...

Bird -- I confess. I didn't read Charlie's post at the other site (and based on your characterization of it and Charlie's confession -- I don't think I will bother). But it sounds like I was reacting without having had a full understanding of what Charlie had said. My apologies.