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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Apparently, I'm Not the Only One

In the continuing saga over opposing the BEX because of the interim plan vote, I have seen some new e-mails.
One interesting item to note is that BOTH the Eckstein PTA as well as the Seattle Council PTSA support both levies.  It would seem Eckstein's elected parent leadership is for the BEX.  And, if the Seattle Council PTSA had serious issues with either levy, you'd think they would have brought them up.

One PTA president (who will remain nameless) asked Ms. Sweet to cease and desist sending out the emails, calling them "unprofessional."

(Ms. Sweet had sent out an e-mail to the presidents of the Seattle PTAs (all that she could find - I know, it's tough trying to find them all and the Seattle Council PTSA won't help you).  But she did say something telling:

"Based on what we have learned, we imagine that other schools may be facing similar issues related to capacity and overcrowding.  Each and every one of our students deserve (sic) better."

Imagine?  No idea where else in the district this might be a problem?  You mean, you didn't read up on the issues around BEX?  It's helpful to do some real research and homework to speak with authority on these issues.

When that didn't happen, the same PTA President wrote a longer e-mail saying that the opposition in the spam e-mails "has NOTHING to do with the content of the levies"and there is "no concern about the projects proposed in the Capital levy or the need for them."  

Most to the point (and I agree) - "Nor would failing these levies change those short-term decisions."

Look, if anyone thinks that defeat of BEX means a re-vote on the interim plan, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Not going to happen.  Will the BEX plan be restructured (read: scaled back to cover even FEWER projects) if the levy fails?  Sure.  But the interim plan?  Nope.


The PTA President goes on to say that if leadership is the issue then take that up in November when yes, you can vote away to your heart's content for different leadership on the Board.  (But note to anyone who thinks that a different Board will change the superintendent.  Again, nope.)

Ms Sweet replied:


Perhaps this will clarify my position: 
  • My decision to vote no on Prop 2 specifically addresses my lack of confidence in the district cabinet to fiscally manage $700 million.
  • The district is in desperate need of a new cabinet.
  • Banda has been invisible.
  • The School Board has not acted in good faith.
  • If Prop 2 doesn't pass, operations would be to blame, and it would force a restructure.
  • A new levy vote would be introduced in June.
  • No on Prop 2 in February would set the timeline back on new buildings and the budget would be smaller, but there is already waste built-in (for example, green roof for new Pinehurst ESTEM building with private bussing to Magnuson to garden).
With the absence of Banda or acknowledgement of procedural dysfunction and accountability for children by SPS and the Board, I cannot in good faith vote to support Prop 2 while John Marshall remains empty and Jane Addams at partial capacity.

Simply put, we MUST do better for each and every child served by SPS.

"The district cabinet?"  Well, the fact is that we have had a lot of change and most of those people have been in their places just a year or so.  It's a little hard to judge in that short amount of time.  I can say from long experience,  I see some strong people in some positions and certainly a lot more openness and cohesiveness of purpose in this group.

But a "new cabinet" could only happen with the Superintendent.  And Ms. Sweet seems to have little faith in Banda after only seven months.  Again, not a lot of time to judge a person with such a huge job coming in after a major scandal.  

Not sure why the "Board has not acted in good faith."  Another e-mail references that the Board ignored community input.  They documented all the e-mails and the survey results.  And, the "steady state" proposal was #1 in the survey.  Confusing.

I absolutely do not understand the "operations would be to blame and be restructured."  No, there is no one that would cast the blame on Operations.  Why?

Because NO one would be able to say why the levy failed.  Go look at the comments at the Times and see the myriad of reasons people are angry at the district - perceived past mismanagement, Silas Potter, hatred of Seattle schools, hatred of the teachers' union, sale of MLK, Jr. building, charter schools, you name it but guess what?  Very, very few people saying "boy I'm voting against the BEX because of the interim plan?"  

The district would NOT believe a  "no" vote as against one thing (except maybe lack of confidence but again, in what?).

Again, good luck if you believe that failure of the levy would mean a restructuring.  (And man, if you want more chaos, well, sure throw out the Superintendent and all the top leadership.  Let's see how that turns out.  Oh wait, unless....you wanted to see the Mayor take over the district.  Hmmm.)

"Built-in waste?"  Apparently Ms. Sweet does NOT realize that there is not one single plan for any building that is set in stone or even solidly in place.  These early plans are very loose.  She also apparently managed to overlook waste in other BEX projects, cost overruns and late projects.   

But again, when you only focus on one thing, it's easy to miss the rest.  

I find it very amusing what people perceive will happen in a levy failure today.  It might be good to go back and read up on that past history when levies did fail.  It's quite sobering.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sharon Peaslee is the issue, not Ms. Sweet. Ms. Sweet is a private citizen just as you and Charlie and we all are. She is not paid to lead - her job as a parent is to zealously advocate for her child. I agree she was silly to abuse the listservs and it is self-defeating probably (and annoying to a lot). However, Sharon Peaslee squeaked by a razor thin margin over Peter Maier in 2011 and what has she accomplished with this amendment? That she can sway 3 other board members to vote her way; perhaps too that she can create an appearance of a conflict of interest in using her own video company to promote the interests of some at the expense of others. But I have to say in her defense: she has guts. She has gone out on a limb. Time will tell if she can deliver the promise of her amendment, or if she will be another short termer on the Board.

- Skeptic NE Eckstein/Roosvelt Dad

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sharon Peaslee defeated Peter Maier. The margin actually doesn't matter; he would have taken the win if it had been him. It does not make her a lesser director.

"Sway other directors" is one way to put it; another might be "use data and persuasion." It happens every day in every elected group.

If you have any issue with Peaslee on ethics, the district has ways to address that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa,

You said "The margin actually doesn't matter..."

I am stunned to hear that from a thoughtful observer such as you, because I think margins always matter. They matter on the matter of overcrowding: some schools are *more* overcrowded than others. They matter on the allocation of retrofitting for earthquakes, as some schools are *more* decrepit than others. And they sure seemed to matter on I-1240, whose narrow passage has been carefully discussed on numerous threads and perhaps supports reasons for questioning the community's buy in. (What ever happened to the legal challenge by the way?)

Similarly, Peaslee's narrow margin of victory matters, as it shows that almost 50% of her district did not support her in 2011. I stand by the statement that this was not a smart political move for her on two counts: one: that she is not powerful leader in her district, such as Betty Patu is in hers; and two, that at the very least if she wanted to promote Jane Addams, she would have been prudent to use an arms-length production company. Even if she did not personally benefit from the production, it creates the appearance of a conflict of interest and gives a talking point to all of her challengers.

- Skeptic NE Eckstein/Roosevelt Dad

Patrick said...

I'm not sure how Peaslee's video promotes Jane Addams' interests over Eckstein's. Isn't it in the interest of bothJA and Eckstein if some families voluntarily place their middle-school students in JA?
If the District paid for a 3rd party to produce the video, wouldn't that have been needless money out of the District's pocket?

Louise said...

Patrick, thank you. I was just thinking the same thing. One of the things that came out of the vote was efforts would be made to recruit NE middle school students to the option schools. That is what this video is doing. Why is that a negative thing? And JAMS will be a middle school, just a year later that some folks want. Other people wanted it to stay. Why is one of these "wrong" and the other "right?" I am just shaking my head here. Ms. Sweet et. al. flabbergast me.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Dad, you know I meant the margin of the election. I was not speaking of anything else.

As for 1240, I'm not the one bringing the legal challenge but as far as I know, it's still out there from at least two sources. But you generally don't talk about those kinds of strategic moves in a general-purpose forum.

That Peter Maier, an incumbent who had the lion's share of money and backing, could not hang on to his seat says far more about him than Peaslee. She completely came out of nowhere and that speaks to the number of people who were unhappy with Maier.

All directors can put forward amendments and try to persuade directors to their side. She did. Was it politically wise? I'm not sure that's the point.

Peaslee is not up for reelection; Betty is. I'm sure Sharon will worry about that...in two years.

Melissa Westbrook said...

And let me just say on the "politically wise" point, it is NEVER wise to bad-mouth a vote - ask DeBell, Carr and Martin-Morris did - AFTER a vote. DeBell wrings his hands over unity and then this is how he acts? Not good.

mirmac1 said...

Skeptic,

No one on the board is "paid" to lead. They are volunteers too. Why don't you decry the lack of guts of the three long-time members of the board who sat and did nothing about the festering issue? Their righteous indignation is pathetic.

Ho Boy, sitting in the minority just sticks in their craw, to the point where they will stop at nothing to tip the scales back in their favor, including sabotaging a new superintendent and needed levy. Did you hear them fawn over the LEV at the last board meeting? They never saw an ed reform nugget they didn't like.

Anonymous said...

The three school board members who are in the minority now all voted with MGJ to put schools in the seriously overcrowded place we are now. Saying "told you so" doesn't feel so good when I hear from my kid how crowded their school is. It's when these three aren't the minority that we know there's a serious issue.

Everyone is entitled to free speech. The person sending out emails over neighborhood list serves has that right, however inappropriate the venue. Melissa also has free speech to put whatever she wants on her own blog.

Those who agree with the email writer are free to start their own blog. I will look forward to reading it. Their ideas for "improvement" so far don't look so good.

NSea parent

Anonymous said...

Ms. Sweet's compatriot, Jeanne Bryant, in her follow up spam In support of Ms. Sweet, had no problem highlighting the PTA president's name and trying to bring her husband into the spat. Ms. Bryant's backhanded jab in bringing the PTA President's husband into the debate was nasty and below the belt. The tactics both of Ms. Sweet and Ms. Bryant are really backfiring. The spam emails from Ms. Sweet and Ms. Bryant are increasingly petty and tone deaf., especially the comments about south end families just not getting how hard it is in the north end. Cry me a river.
-- Supporting all of SPS

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - If you are going to label the emails by Sweet and Bryant as spam, then so were the response that I got from people who disagreed with their positions.

Why not be consistent and call all of the spam? I know for my inbox the all hit it the same way and take the same amount of time.

Or is it only spam when you don't like it?

The hypocrisy of people never ceases to amaze me.

Look, if we would all focus on what we agree with, instead of what we disagree with and stop with the naming calling we might be able to actually get what we all seem to what: the best and safest schools for every single child in Seattle that wants to go to a public school.

People on both sides of this issue just can't see the forest thru the trees.

Frustrated

Melissa Westbrook said...

Supporting, seriously, she named the person's husband? Nice. I don't get that at all.

No, spam is a mass mailing. A reply to the spammer is not.

Okay, we all agree safety is important for all SPS children and buidlings.

How do we get there?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mirmac,

You mentioned "they are all volunteers" - maybe that is part of our District's problem? I will decry the cowardice of the minority too - they probably need to go, too. But how can anyone feel proud of Peaslee for doing something this bone-headed to promote a District policy using her own production company? It seems fair that the entire Board should - after the vote - set aside their differences and then if they are going to make a video to promote the Board's policy, then they should all vet it, it should be paid for with the District's money, which is the only legitimate source of funds to use, not LEV and certainly not any Board member's own private company. She should have recused herself from that decision if that was the best company to use. If the rest of the Board just allowed her to do it then they are part and parcel enabling a very controversial decision to be implemented in an unseemly way. Not the way to build consensus or give parents confidence about sending their kids to Jane Addams for the next year. Perhaps the Board member *should* be paid to elevate their professionalism a bit and attract a better slate of candidates in the future instead of volunteers who seems to be dabblers, marking time, or easily captured by special interests?

- Skeptical NE Eckstein/Roosevelt Dad

Josh Hayes said...

SNEE/RD: You do realize that Director Peaslee's production company did this video free, for nothing, right? That she made not one thin dime on it, and in fact, spent company money to try to alleviate overcrowding at Eckstein by encouraging people to go to JA K-8?

It's just that you keep harping on that, and the claim that, as you say, she is "using her own video company to promote the interests of some at the expense of others." What others? What are you talking about? Maybe I'm just dim, but it makes no sense to me.

-jah

Melissa Westbrook said...

You don't accept using donated services of any kind? Well, that's going to end a LOT of help the district gets but do let the district know your feelings. (And I don't understand the reference to LEV.)

And thanks for that distain - I read it that way - in calling our current Board "dabblers, marking time or special interests".

Please let your legislator know that you want to pay School Board directors (that's where the money would come from) and, of course, what you would cut from the ed budget to support it.

I acknowledge we could use a wider pool of people but I do reject your categorization of most of them.

I think this is a lot of smoke over not much.

Anonymous said...

NE Dad:

This also doesn't make sense: "to promote a District policy using her own production company" What "district policy" is she promoting? Peaslee voted with the majority to hold off opening a new middle school for a year. That isn't a policy.

I watched the Peaslee video so I could see what all of this hoopla was about. It was just kids saying they liked their school and people should come see it. I can't see any harm in that. I don't see any giant company making boatloads of money behind the scenes. She is also working towards a worthy goal: Addams has room and Eckstein doesn't, so more kids should go to Addams.

As someone who was at Lowell when it was moved to Lincoln at the last minute, I think more time is a benefit to all. It was a tremendous amount of work to get Lincoln up in time, and we weren't even starting from complete scratch.

-voted yes

mirmac1 said...

A donated service to make the best of bad situation in the NE (not of this board's making) is no different than Carr's Boeing company donating $20K in printing to the Alliance to print the NCTQ's analysis of the "nation-leading" 2009 CBA that got us "value-added" teacher evaluations based on the MAP. Freak out about that one. If the board members got a friend to help them make a video and post it on Youtube to promote Prop 1 and 2, will you freak out about that?

Now it appears the Alliance and their PPPE group of education hobbyists are fronting the money for the Pivot Group consultants to work on a new strategic plan. We saw how great the last one they purchased (at $800K) for MGJ did for us. How about freaking out about that?

Or how about the district agreeing to hand over your child's personally-identifiable data including disability, days attendance, transcripts, MSP and EOC scores, and college courses to a think tank up in Bothell? Is that not as bad as the actions of a board member to help inform parents of options in a constructive fashion?

No Josh, you aren't dim. You are quite astute, actually.

Anonymous said...


Hi Josh Hayes,

I do not think you are dim. I think you and I both know that an elected leader who uses his or her own private company to implement a public policy decision has the appearance of a conflict of interest. This is one reason why some groups of elected officials are sometimes required to put assets in blind trusts. It does not matter if Director made not a thin dime on the transaction. It would not matter even if lost money. It is unprofessional for her to start the implementation of this policy in this manner, and given how controversial it was, certainly not a gracious gesture. At the very least she should have recused herself from that decision as any Board member would do in a Board capacity for anything when serving on corporate board regarding a transaction that relates to using a service in which the Board member has a material financial interest. She is also likely gaining future reputational profit as well from this, for when she leaves the Board. She may use it for marketing purposes and it just feeds the cynicism about the revolving door between the public and private sector. It is just unprofessional and unfortunate that the decision is being implemented this way. As for the question about at whose expense this is occurring, I think you and I both know. The parents at Eckstein who did not want to have even more kids fed into the school for another year when there is a mismatch of capacity and utilization in other parts of the district. Look, I am not opposed to Peaslee on principle; I voted for her. But I am just disappointed that she is doing this and that the rest of the Board appears to be letting her. I regret calling them all dabblers or marking time. But I do think they are easily captured by special interests and that being paid would make it more difficult for that to occur. Where to cut from the budget to make that revenue neutral? Great question Melissa. I'm sure you and others who invest a lot of time in this district have good ideas on where other cuts can occur, or additional revenue can be collected. Has anyone ever done a nationwide study to compare paid and unpaid school boards and which seem more effective? As a major city, is Seattle in tune with what other large school districts in this regard, or not? What *are* the good performing school districts that we should model ourselves after, if any?

Skeptic NE Eckstein/Roosevelt Dad

Anonymous said...

I would like to weigh in on the mention from the follow up email that the levy would pay for "private bussing to Magnuson to garden"

As a Jane Addams K-8 parent who is deeply involved in BEX and interim planning, I can assure you, that private buses to Magnuson, being paid for by the levy has never been, nor ever will be part of BEX. Not only has the Jane Addams K-8 school never asked for this, we have no interest in this. It has not been offered, and it is my understanding that transportation can not be paid for with BEX money.

This is not the first time I have seen this completely ridiculous claim made in what feels like an effort to prejudice others against the Jane Addams community. I have also seen it made by a FACMAC member, who should know better.

This is why, I remain,

-tired of the bullying and fear mongering

PS - Sharon shot the video spontaneously, last Tuesday, Feb 5th, after the interim plan vote.

Anne Phillips said...

Hats off to Sharon Peaslee. Let's take stock:
1. She recognized that hastily opening a middle school that will serve a diverse student body is neither wise nor equitable.

2. She recognized that one good school is underenrolled and another is very overcrowded. What did she do then? Rolled up her sleeves to attract more parents and students to the underenrolled school. This benefits everyone involved and hurts no one.

3. She donated her own time, money and resources to do this. This is truly over and beyond for a volunteer director. It is the opposite of unethical.

A conflict of interest is simply when an official can personally benefit from a vote meant to be for the common good. This isn't like that at all, and it indeed promotes the common good.



Melissa Westbrook said...

Last time, Dad, it is NOT a policy. It's a plan and there is a difference. She had NO financial interest. And again, I'll be willing to bet any ethics investigation will go nowhere.

I find it interesting that I'm supposed to be the only one out there doing all this research on every subject. If anyone wants to know what is going on out there with school boards, do feel free to do that research. I can tell you from past experience, it takes time and effort.

I do not believe that paid Board members would be any less prone towards special interests than unpaid ones. Why do you believe that so?

Anonymous said...

@Eckstein/Roosevelt Dad. Are you kidding me? Definition of Conflict of Interest: "A situation in which a public official's decisions are influenced by the official's personal interests." There is absolutely nothing in this story that even vaguely meets that criteria. And how are Eckstein families harmed by the making of this video? The purpose was to HELP Eckstein families. You and miss Sweet and others are clearly bitter about not getting what you wanted the second you wanted it on this vote. Sorry my friend. The board took a look around and realized that there are other students in this district besides the kids who live within a mile's radius of Eckstein. The world doesn't revolve around you, much as you think it does. There were 150 kids who were going to get a really raw deal if that school opened in September. I know you don't give a flying hoot about them or anyone else, but thankfully four board members and many district staff members did. Director Peaslee advocated for the kids in her district. Beginning and end of story. I really suggest that if you are seriously concerned about overcrowding at Eckstein that you form a committee to come up with some creative solutions for dealing with it, rather than spending all of your time griping that you didn't get your way.

-Perturbed

Watching said...

Mirimac,

Would love to hear more about the Alliance's stragegic plan for the district. Sounds like they are over-stepping their boundaries.

suep. said...

I agree with Perturbed. Any effort to attract more students to Jane Addams will likely alleviate crowding at Eckstein and Hamilton. How is anyone at Eckstein harmed by that? The irrational objection by an irate few to a video by a board director to help encourage enrollment at an under-enrolled school that everyone has said they want to see filled is simply bizarre.

And why is their vitriol directed at one person when a majority of four board members voted for the interim plan? Also, if Director Peaslee was able to rally the votes of three of her colleagues, then that is a testament to her leadership skills.

This is not about Director Peaslee; this is about sour grapes.

A few weeks ago there was another amendment, introduced by Director Carr, that matched the demands of these vocal anti-levy folks (which essentially amounted to: "JAMS now!") that would have trod on the wishes and options of other families in the district. How was that amendment more noble or fair? It wasn't.

On an earlier thread, an insightful person summed up the interim vote compromise in a way that seems to capture it pretty accurately:

Anonymous said...

Let's have a little reality check here about this vote.

Looking for Real Action says "A LOT of people have looked at this problem, and in the end, the SSD staff proposal, the FACMAC proposal and the majority-decision from PTA leaders was to open JAMS next year."
This is not entirely true. SSD staff had recommended waiting until 2014 as recently as a week before the vote. They got leaned on by someone (Director DeBell perhaps?) to change their recommendation. I don't have direct knowledge of what exactly FACMAC recommended, but my understanding was that it was basically "open JAMS sooner than later". And mind you, FACMAC is disproportionately weighted with folks from the VR/Bryant/Ravenna areas, so their recommendation is therefore biased and must be taken with a grain of salt. As for the "PTA Summit" that took place, the resulting letter, signed by most of the PTA Presidents actually was a proposal around supporting the opening of JAMS in 2014. Here is the pertinent line from the letter:
"As part of the current STCM plan, we request that SPS take action now, with a board vote, to ensure that a new comprehensive Jane Addams Middle School (JAMS) can be opened successfully and thoughtfully in 2014-2015 in the Jane Addams Building."


(cont'd)

suep. said...

(cont'd)
At the beginning of this process, the goal was basically to figure out the path to 2017 when both JAMS and WPMS were to be open. At least one possible plan was to wait until 2017 to begin the roll-ups or geographical splits of both. Certainly this would have been the "ideal" for JAK8, as it would leave them alone in their building until the Pinehurst building was ready for them in 2017. Then, the district began to get an earful, and rightfully so, from parents about the overcrowding at Eckstein and that it wasn't sustainable until 2017 and that the timeline needed to be moved up. The fact that JAMS will now open in 2014 means that Eckstein parents WON that battle. Relief is coming in 2014. Yes, JAK-8 advocated mightily for their school, also rightfully so. They have a good program going and don't want to see it killed. 2014 opening of JAMS in co-location with JAK-8 certainly wasn't the K-8's first choice. In the end, rather than overreacting to the Eckstein problem and creating a different problem, the end result is a very reasonable compromise. And I didn't hear any of the four board members who voted to wait say anything about doing it to appease the K-8. They did it because there were serious doubts and concerns about the quality of education that was going to be offered to the 150 kids from JR, Sac, and Oly Hills, as well as the fact that those families were unfairly blindsided with the proposal of a 2013 JAMS at a very late date. This vote looked to deal with the Eckstein and Hamilton problems, but also protect the kids from the three elementary schools from being placed in some social experiment. So everyone from Bryant/VR, or wherever, please take a deep breath and realize that you DID win something. Your voices WERE heard. The new middle schools will be here significantly before 2017, even though it is a more complicated process with co-location and all. This was not a big victory for JAK-8, and they certainly aren't the power base in all of this. Maybe nobody got exactly what they wanted. But it was a pretty good shot at trying to look out for everyone.

-Keeping them honest

2/3/13, 7:28 PM

Melissa Westbrook said...

Watching, I'll have write about the Alliance has been up to. Suffice it to say, they roll on.

One thing they won't be doing is their continuing (and improper) influence over the Board retreats. That is going to end. Otherwise, if Board retreats are for sale, then ANYONE/ANY entity gets the same opportunities as the Alliance. They have no special rights on this score.

Also, on the Peaslee video, as someone who wroted in that industry (long ago), that is NOT a video anyone would put on their professional reel.

Anonymous said...

Melissa

Your answer to my comment misses the point. You stated:

"No, spam is a mass mailing. A reply to the spammer is not."

First, being on the list and getting the emails, I can tell you that the response being discussed by the first PTA president that generated a response from another PTA president was a "reply all." Thus when the first response hit my mailbox and every other mailbox on the original list it was just as much spam as the first piece of spam using your definition of spam.

Thus, my comment was correct: it was all spam. Both sides are guilty of it and should be equally called out for it. Otherwise we lose integrity.

Second, you might want to read the response from Jean (the third piece of spam). Based on the comments, I took the time to do that. In my opinion, it was clear that the writers know each other and are friendly and the use of the husband's name was in the context of that relation. I suspect, the rest of their conversation (as continued conversation was implied) moved to private email or direct communication at that point. But, go ahead and reach your own conclusions. Just saying, it might not be as bad as you make it sound.

Still hoping people start to see the forest thru the trees by tying to come together and press for details from the District on how we will make all of the schools safe. How the mitigation funds will be spent and what can be done if the recruiting efforts fail? Will they extend the timeline for enrollment at JAK8? Details people, lets demand the details.

Frustrated

mirmac1 said...

The sequence of events has become increasingly clear:

This Eckstein group fully expected to get their way via the usual, nontransparent, hobnobbing, influence-peddling that is DeBell's raison d' etre;

The con nearly happened thanks to Carr's sense of sisterhood;

Staff rolled over as per usual when the (ex) President turns on the histrionics; but

The sensible majority on the board said no, don't rush and screw things up like so many times before. Let's do a comprehensive middle school right.

Hence the sh*t storm.

Eric B said...

SNEE/RD: Are you saying that elected officials shouldn't donate to any charitable causes? You seem to be complaining that Peaslee will get reputational benefits from making this video. It's just a bizarre argument on so many levels.

Donating time, money, or expertise to causes is what public officials do. Perhaps some of it is ego or looking out for future business opportunities, but I can't believe that is the main objective. Other than some basic sense of altruism, why would Peter Maier be actively involved in the levy election?

The idea that people leverage School Board service into a lucrative future career is also disconnected from reality. I can't think of a more thankless elected position, or one that is more likely to have your reputation dragged through the mud. People don't get elected to the School Board as a steppingstone to their future career. That would be a gigantic waste of time and money. They do it because they want to make a change in the District.

Melissa Westbrook said...

People don't get elected to the School Board as a steppingstone to their future career.

And there is clear and compelling evidence this is true whether people try to continue on in politics or continue their own work. I've never seen anyone really "benefit" from having served on the Board.

No matter how you feel about any Board member, it is true public service.