There were two predictable letters complaining that I was an eastern elitist for using the word gangrene to describe the Red Plan’s dire results in western Duluth Schools. You can read them here and here.
More prickly criticism came from two of the Red Plan’s staunchest advocates Board Chairs in turn Tom Hustad and Ann Wasson. I am not surprised that they take my constant criticism of the Red Plan and Johnson Controls and their beloved Superintendent Keith Dixon personally. They were elected to save a hockey coach who treated his bench warmers like a bucket of spit. The results of their tenure on the School Board have led to the gangrene which I’m taking heat for describing.
I’ll post the entire letter here as per usual. I like to put the most egregious criticisms of my work and words in this blog. There is one trivial attack on my “honesty” in the letter. It says I falsely claimed to serve on the School Board until eight years ago. I was wrong! I was defeated by Tom Hustad in the Fall of 2003 and stepped down in January of 2004. If you do the math you will see that I’ve been off the Board for 9 years and 10 months. I made a similar mistake when the Tribune mistakenly said that Ann Wasson had served for 14 years on the School Board. I wrote in my blog that she had only served 8 years. It was ten. She was first elected to serve a half term of two years.
As for the other items mentioned I’ve addressed them all in this blog or elsewhere many times. You can find my explanations by inserting the offending terms in the search function.
I’ll mention a couple of things about both of my critics to blunt their analysis.
Ann Wasson was the Board Chair who failed to sign or read the Review and Comment sent to the State Dept. of Education for a quarter billion dollar Building Project. That was typical of her blind career of being a School Board rubber stamp to duplicitous School Administrations.
Tom Hustad was the Board Chair when the first critics of the Red Plan’s denial of a referendum began speaking out at School Board meetings. An email from a friend recently reminded me how he conducted himself on one occasion during criticism of the Board’s anti-democratic actions:
Yup, I did a little digging and found a great article
Hustad is the one that told Brenda to “shut up and sit down” And that pretty much sums up the approach the board has had to anyone who disagrees with them. And they are in charge of nurturing critical thinkers!!
One last anecdote. Last December while I was out in my front yard tending to the candles I placed around my snow angel Mr. and Mrs. Hustad pulled over by the curb and rolled down their window. Tom graciously thanked me for expressing the sentiments of so many other people to the tragedy at Sandy Hook.
Here’s Tom and Ann’s letter to the Duluth News Tribune:
We’re disappointed the newspaper endorsed Harry Welty.
He said he wouldn’t run a “sour-grapes campaign,” but his Oct. 24 “Candidate’s View” column was negative. Honesty isn’t his best policy, despite his lawn signs. As one example, he didn’t serve on the School Board eight years ago, as he claimed.
Welty has cost the district hundreds of thousands of dollars on meaningless lawsuits. He was quoted saying he enjoys creating chaos even when information is wrong. How can we trust him if he manipulates expert information and isn’t truthful?
He blogged about hitting fellow School Board candidate Nancy Nilsen “upside the head with a brick.” Bully? Absolutely. We need to rid our city of bullies, not give them support.
He blogged about being “canned” from teaching three times. Frightening. So he’s not a retired teacher, as he claimed.
He was School Board chairman for four months and stepped down because he couldn’t build consensus, was ineffective and couldn’t take the heat. Clearly, he still doesn’t understand education funding.
He seems to be violent in nature, blogging about “blood on the floor” and using voodoo dolls. Don’t take it lightly. Welty is unreliable.
Nancy Nilsen is honest, intelligent and respectful — and deserves your vote.
Wasson represents District 1 on the Duluth School Board and is not seeking re-election.
Hustad was a Duluth School Board member from 2004 to 2008 and was chairman of the board from 2005 to 2007.