Never Too Soon to be Thinking about School Board Elections

Word is that there are considerations/planning being done for the School Board elections in fall 2013.  Those would be for the seats of DeBell, Smith-Blum and Patu.

It is my understanding that DeBell is unlikely to run for a third term and may be running for a seat in the state legislature.  As of now, he has made no public statement except to tell Publicola that he would have liked to run in his old legislative district (that his home was redistricted out of). 

Director Patu appears to be running again and is having an event to celebrate her family's work in public service. 

Her Legacy Luau event will be Thursday, June 28th at the Pravda Events Center, 1406 10th Avenue, Suite 200 at 7 p.m.  There is a $75 suggested donation.  RSVP at or 425-891-6705.


Anonymous said…
Didn't David Brewster at Crosscut say after the election he wanted to "put a scare" to KSB and Patu? Now he's scared his 'zine is going under.

what goes around comes around
Anonymous said…
Smith-Blum is in that election cycle too, isn't she? Any word on her?

And what is this about DeBell running for state legislature? Where would he run? This blog says he is now in the 43rd LD. No openings there. His old district the 36th is also full up isn't it?except for the open seat that he didn't file for this year.

Education Voter
Greg said…
I want DeBell out and will contribute to almost anyone running against him. Definitely would support challengers against DeBell if he does run again.

Not as sure about Patu, and I like Smith-Blum. I'd be inclined to support Smith-Blum's reelection and I guess I am neutral on Patu.

Anyone have strong opinions on DeBell, Patu, or Smith-Blum? Anyone know of good people who might run for any of the seats?
Anonymous said…
WT?... Strong opinions on DeBell?! Yeah, I would say I have "strong" opinions on DeBell!

Greg, don't mind me. I'm just up to HERE with him and his crew.

"Anyone but DeBell"
Kathy said…
The state auditor charged the board with failure to over-see district operations; Debell was part of the board.

The same audit showed MGJ did not have the ability to manage district finances, but DeBell extended MGJ's contract. Several months later the board fired MGJ (no surprise with the audit they had) and it cost the district one third of a million dollars in severance packages for MGJ and Kennedy.

DeBell continually seeks to give away board power.

I would not trust him with public dollars.

Additionally, he does not seem to have the ability to work with his colleagues. He prefers to bully them in the press using his media and pollitical connections. This is NOT the type of leader I want.

No on DeBell
Jan said…
I have been favorably impressed with Betty Patu. Initially she seemed quiet -- but I think there is a steep learning curve, and she was keeping her powder dry until she knew what she was aiming at. I think she is an independent thinker, and is not cowed by, or overly impressed by, the moneyed downtown crowd. If she runs again, I would be happy.
Unknown said…
I would definitely support Betty Patu. In my opinion she listens to what the community is saying and does her best to advocate for them, despite the bullying and intimidation by some of her fellow directors.

Yes on Patu!
Po3 said…
I am a huge Patu supporter and will contribute to her re-election. If KSB would cut her ties with those rich white guys she would have my support. DeBell isn't running so looking forward to change there, but concerned that those rich white guys push forward a contender for the seat.
I am a huge Betty Patu supporter. After all she is the ONLY board member who openly embraces students in the Southend and not just because they are in her district. We of the Rainier Beach high school community will do everything we can to keep her on the board.
If anyone is interested, I wrote a short piece on my blog ( about math in Seattle Schools ...cliff
Jan said…
Po3: I am not sure I agree with your position on Kay. When Mr. Bridges and our dear director DeBell (both white guys, one rich, one a wanna be) were busy haranguing her, she did a pretty good job of standing up to them, I thought. I also liked her position on the A4E attempt to raise its fees to the District. She IS a businesswoman herself -- so to some extent, she speaks their language, and moves in their world, but I actually think that is an asset, not a liability, as long as she does not get "co-opted by the movement," which I think she hasn't to date. I disagreed with her TfA vote, but have been really glad that she was on the board. I also think she supplies some "counterweight" to the impression (without her) that the only woman on the board who "understands business and finance" is Sherry Carr. I think Kay has been a vastly better director than Sherry. I am not saying that the impression is totally correct, mind you -- but Kay does have the ability to push her glasses down her nose, stare firmly over them, and remind staff pitching silly tripe that she has raised funds, kept books, knows how to read balance sheets, etc. I also think Kay is a director who will improve in her second term, as she rises in seniority and "owns" more of the decisions (as she sat on the board when they were made). Finally, other than he departure of DeBell, who was initially bad before the last board election, but then became positively toxic when the downtown folks lost their heads over Dr. E and the dreaded perceived perils of micromanagement, I would like to keep as many of the current board up for election as possible, as Mr. Banda is their guy. They picked him, and they have a real interest, I think, in helping him to succeed.
Anonymous said…
Jan - Yes, agree. Even OK with Carr. (Could be worse.) Only one that really still needs to go is HMM. Complete dead weight.

mirmac1 said…
Yes Jan, I agree.

Savvy Voter, totally disagree on Carr. She has been part of the problem.

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