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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Another Way to Listen to School Board Candidates

I was looking at the Editorial area at the PI's website and discovered they have the audio from their editorial board interviews with candidates in Districts 2 and 6 (I don't know if the other districts are upcoming). I haven't had time to listen to them but I just wanted to pass them along in case you don't get to any of the pre-primary forums.

Also, August 7th is Neighborhood Block party night. If any of you live in neighborhoods that participate, you might consider it a good time to talk with neighbors about the upcoming primary (many people might not realize it's happening). I find that many people welcome information on school board candidates because they either don't have kids in the district or don't keep up. (I'm like this on port commissioner and judges; I never quite know who to vote for beyond what's in the newspaper.)

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

King Co. Demos last night, July 24th, endorsed:

1. Peter Maier
2. Darlene Flynn, Lisa Stuebing
3. Harium Martin Morris
6. Maria Rameriez

Much spirited debate and the candidates also had an opportunity to speak as well.

Charlie Mas said...

The Democrats consider party loyalty as a factor in their endorsements. Those who do not regard loyalty to the Democratic party as a significant factor in choosing a School Board Director may want to bear that in mind.

Roy Smith said...

Notably, Sally Soriano does not identify herself as a Democrat.

Anonymous said...

What about Sherry Carr?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the dems value mental health, a quality I find lacking in a few canidates...

Anonymous said...

Na, they are endorsing Darlene Flynn and all six of her personalities...

Melissa Westbrook said...

I listened to the District 6 audio. It was very helpful. (Sometimes if you can only listen and not watch people, it forces you - well, me - to really listen to the words.) I'm getting a much better perspective on who I will vote for although I will say the 3 candidates interviewed (Dan D., Steve. S. and Maria R. are all bright people and we are lucky they stepped up).

Anonymous said...

Charlie -

It would seem self-evident that the Democratic party would think party loyalty to be important. Why wouldn't the democrats think that party loyalty is important?

Can you pls. advise if a) you have endorsed Sally Soriano and whether she is using your quote on her website with your approval or not and b) whether you and Mr. Maier have had an opportunity to meet and your feedback on that?

Charlie Mas said...

In response to anonymous at 8:58, I suggest that it is not obvious that Democrats would consider loyalty to a party as a criteria for endorsement in a non-partisan election. Also, while a number of people find themselves aligned with the Democratic party's political views and typically vote for Democrats, they might not be active party members and therefore fully aware of the value that active party members put on party loyalty. It was not obvious to me, and I don't imagine that I'm alone in that regard.

I have not endorsed any candidate in any of this year's school board races. I may do so sometime down the road; I may not.

The quote from me on Sally Soriano's campaign web site was taken from a blog entry. As such, it is in the public domain. She did not request, did not receive, and does not require my approval to use it. I have no feeling about her use of the quote one way or the other.

I have yet to have a conversation with Mr. Maier. I have spoken with only three or four of the candidates, and most of those conversations were pretty brief. I have had an extended conversation with only one. I'm open to it, but my schedule makes it difficult.

Charlie Mas said...

I've listened to the endorsement interview of the District 6 candidates. I think any of them would do extremely well on the Board. I can't say that I have either a favorite or a least favorite.

Each of them presented strengths and weaknesses.

Mr. Sundquist was eloquent, sincere, and thoughtful in his responses. I think that he is right in thinking that there are untapped philanthropic resources available to the District and I think they would be more accessible with Mr. Sundquist on the Board.

In a number of his answers, however, Mr. Sundquist appeared to want more of a hands-on role in the management of the District than would be appropriate for the Board. It is possible that I heard that because that is a concern of mine about him. I may be hyper-sensitive to any such indications. I would like to see more from Mr. Sundquist around communication with the public and the sort of institutional culture he would foster. He does not seem troubled by the top-down structure in place.

Mr. Dempsey spoke directly about addressing the dysfunction in the system, and he approached solutions from both a policy perspective, which is appropriate for the Board, and from a data-based orientation, which is also right. He is 100% correct.

I would, however, like to see Mr. Dempsey less reliant on being correct. I don't know how weird that sounds, but, if elected, he would be one of seven votes and could find himself in that frustrating position that the School District puts many of us in: you're right on the facts but you lose on the vote. With the school district, being right doesn't really help you that much. He shouldn't rely on his colleagues to do the right thing after his research has revealed the correct path to follow. If he's going to change their behavior, he better have more than just the facts on his side.

Ms Ramirez impressed me with her experience, her priorities, and her readiness to communicate and involve the community. She has struggled with the District culture and would work to reform it.

Ms Ramirez, like Mr. Sundquist, seemed to want to reach past the administration. While he wanted to reach past them to the principals and teachers, she seemed to want to reach past them to the communities. I'm also concerned that she has already chosen solutions that are not supported by the data.

All three of them sounded great and would make excellent Board members I'm sure. They agreed on almost everything, shared a number of the same priorities, and were all pleasant and friendly.

Finally, I'm sure that supporters of the various candidates will write in their defense. If you disagree with my perspective, please try to address yourself to the idea and the facts instead of just going after me personally. The ad hominem attacks are just so wearisome.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I agree with most of Charlie's assessment of the audio. I thought many of the same things as I listened.

I'll blog later about my choices as I am still listening and collecting information about candidates.

Anonymous said...

Charlie,

Did you notice that nobody "attacks" you when you share your opinion in a constructive way. I appreciate it, and I'm sure others do too. It is when your posts are inappropriate as was the one when you called Peter Meyer a liar and a few other choice words, that people reacted.

Sharing of opinions is always welcome.