And while I’m speaking truth to power…

…These are the 14 Questions from the DFL screening committee and my answers to them:

2017 Screening Committee Questions, City of Duluth DFL

In this questionnaire, we are asking the same questions of all candidates for a given office. When we
conduct the follow-up, in-person screening, questions can, of course, depend on a candidate’s initial
answers on this questionnaire.

SCHOOL BOARD (indicate office you are seeking): At-Large____X____ 2 nd _______ 3 rd________

1.Why are you seeking the DFL endorsement?

I wish to serve my fourth term on the Duluth School Board as a Democrat.

2. Have you been endorsed, or screened for endorsement for any other political parties, groups, or
organizations? If so, who?

I was endorsed by Republicans for the legislature in 1976, 1978 and ran against the endorsed Republican for the legislature in 2002. I parted company with the GOP when I began my blog www.lincolndemocrat.com in 2006.

3. Will you commit to using union materials and services for your campaign when possible? (Will
you support union represented members of staff in the Duluth public schools and work with
them to enhance our public education?)

I like union bugs. And yes, I will continue to work cooperatively with school district staff as I always have for the betterment of our schools.

4. What do you consider the top three priorities for the Duluth Schools right now? Please place in
order of priority and state your plan to work on them. Continue reading

I just can’t help myself

This was intended as a “confidential” email but I am quite content to let the general public see it:

To me from Chuck Frederick, Editorial Page Editor of the Duluth News Tribune:

Hey Harry. I was told you posted on your blog that you were against political parties endorsing in nonpartisan races like those for School Board. Yet you were begrudgingly planning to seek the DFL endorsement this Saturday. First, why do you feel that parties should stay out of nonpartisan races? And if you feel they should why are you pursuing the party nod this Saturday? I’d appreciate your comments. Please feel free to reply. I’d appreciate it. And don’t worry, not planning on being critical of you in an editorial if we choose to do one.

thanks,
Chuck

And my reply:

To: Chuck Frederick
Subject: RE: party endorsement comment

Hi Chuck,

At the DFL screening I told them I wasn’t a fan of partisan endorsements for a non-partisan race. That’s true enough.

But I can’t deny the practical side. This is a traditional tool of Democrats to recruit candidates who can then have a jumping off pad for higher office. The Republicans who sniff at this in Duluth can be sure that Republicans do the same thing in Republican areas. Look at the damned races for judges.

I said I begrudgingly did something but that was at our special school board meeting. That was about spending money on fixing up Rockridge or spending general fund money on bonds. About the DFL I am being pragmatic.

I have a couple overlapping motives. The first I tell you in confidence. I don’t want a couple of my DFL board adversaries to get the 60 percent votes for endorsement that will assure them tons of Party help in the late fall. 2nd, I would like an easy election for a change. I have never had any good endorsements other than the Trib’s in 1999 and 2013.

Finally, I have had it up to here with no nothings. I have never reviled democrats. I like the idea of wrapping a perfectly respectable party around myself at this time of foolish, ignorant, hyper-partisanship. I detest Trump and blame the GOP for his destructive success. I want the Democrats to bring the blue collar voters back for a healthier nation.

And there is something else I would rather do this summer than knock on doors. I want to begin writing a book about my Grandfather. He was a rock-ribbed, Kansas Republican who wasn’t paranoid about Democrats. An easy campaign will give me freedom to pursue this.

Harry

For the record I don’t think publishing this before Saturday will make it any easier for me to win the nomination but I don’t care. If I have to campaign like hell I’ll do it. We have some extremely myopic school board members and we need some fresh blood. I don’t think mine is past the sell by date.

Between a Rockridge and a hard place

That was my groaner at last night’s special meeting of the Duluth School Board. It was so inspired I used it twice and so bad that the second time I said it Nora Sandstad thought I owed the Board an apology.

We had three “facilities” issues on our plate last night A. approval of changes in our ten year building maintenance plan made necessary by putting two new projects on it (the Rockridge makeover and playground mulching) B. OK’ing a contract for the Stowe Playground renovation C. Approving a five year bond to pay for these projects. Somewhere in all of this was a new roof for Lakewood Elementary. Jana Hollingsworth explains it all in the DNT today.

I went along with the Board majority on all of this pleasantly but grudgingly. The Board majority painted us into a corner by its refusal to consider selling our buildings to “competitors.” When other deals fell through we had no back-ups to sell the costly white elephants to. This undermined a primary element of the original Red Plan financing scheme that promised we could help finance the mega-plan by selling off our unneeded facilities for $29 million. That would have helped us retire some of the bonds which we are now being forced to repay annually from our General Fund to the tune of $3.4 million (34 teachers worth).

I couldn’t blame Art and Alanna for symbolic votes against some of our decisions but having been painted into a corner I saw little else we could do but walk away across the freshly painted surface. I have spent the last year objecting to being put in that corner but once there I was stuck an no symbolic vote was going to undo the damage.

The chief drivers of our decision making have softened up a bit. After the last election it was the Superintendent and Chair Harala and Clerk Rosie Loeffler-Kemp who were in the driver’s seat. Fighting our “competitors” off tooth and nail was the order of the day and in the first year they were allied with this year’s Chairman Dr. David Kirby and Nora Sandstad. There is obviously some history between some of these folks. During the 2013 election Annie posted wedding photo’s on Facebook which showed Rosie, Nora and another candidate for the Board that year, Renee Van Nett, together with the wedding party. Renee is now a leader in the DFL so I’ll probably see her at Saturday’s endorsing convention. She will also be a candidate for the City Council this year.

David has proven to be the best and fairest Chairman of the School Board of the four I’ve served with in this term and Nora has grown comfortable charting her own course. But Annie and Rosie have Continue reading

Art Johnston digs into East Central Denfeld enrollment numbers

They are alarming:

Notes:
1. When Denfeld students went to Central HS in 2010, the combined student enrollment dropped 355 students from the previous year. And East gained 172 students.

2. When Central and Denfeld students went back to Denfeld (after Central closed) in 2011, the combined student enrollment dropped another 216. And East gained another 100.

3. In the seven years from 2009 to 2016, Denfeld/Central has dropped 867 students or a 46% drop. And East has increased 177 students or a 14% gain.

4. It is clear from this data that the boundaries between Denfeld and East have not been enforced, and that many students from Denfeld or Central enrolled in East.

5. This data is similar in trend to Denfeld vs. East graduation numbers.

“I know nothing.”

A fellow board member just sent me a news flash about a meeting at East High School this afternoon to talk about traffic and parking with area residents. No one told me about it and I have a meeting scheduled downtown to talk about school facilities at the same time. I am running for reelection and I hate the thought that a lot of East neighbors will note my absence when their ongoing East traffic concerns are being discussed by the City at our school.

When folks ask me about various things going on in our schools my go-to response is: “I’m only a school board member. I don’t know anything.” Sgt. Schultz of Hogan’s Heroes had a more economical way to express this.

Memorial Day Vets, and Sports

I put up my flag through the Memorial Day weekend and read several stories about the sacrifices of veterans and folks on the home front and was content with that. My Dad, a navy veteran of World War only II, only took me to one Memorial Day march when I was about seven that I can remember. But about an hour before Duluth’s march in Western Duluth I got an urgent reminder that one of the march’s organizers had told some school board members that he expected to see them honoring Duluth’s vets at the next march. The midtrovert in me struggled with this. So did the part of me that finds politicians sharing the limelight with the real honorees self serving. I never served in the military. Not quite sure what I would do went to a parade that organizers had feared would have too few “units” to justify. That turned out not to be a problem.

Still, I couldn’t bring myself to walk the line and hand out school district business cards. I watched the parade like everybody else along Grand and Central Avenues and took a couple pictures.

A couple items today related to Memorial Day caught my attention. First was the story of Denver Sports Columnist and historian Terry Frei who was fired for tweeting about being upset when a Japanese sports car driver won the Indianapolis 500 on the day we honor American veterans. He didn’t like the symbolism. You see, Mr. Frei wrote a book about the 1942 Wisconsin Badgers Football Team whose players went off to War II.

Mr. Frei has apologized for his tweet. (I know someone else who could benefit from his example.) But apologies are hard. I also read of how Koreans are dissatisfied about how Japan has dealt with the legacy of the war. It has been over three generations since that war ended and Japanese apologies have been grudging at best although today’s Japanese are remote from those days.

In their own way the Japanese have been marked by the war’s aftermath. Their birth rate is so low they are becoming a decrepit elderly population which was a result of a ferocious devotion to work that has starved family life which stems from the post-war drive to rebuild a shattered nation.

This was not the only sports related news story that caught my attention. NPR’s Sport’s commentator Frank Deford died just a week or two after retiring. I loved his commentaries even though I pay little attention to sports. DeFord was lauded in this remembrance and I particularly liked a portion of a speech he once gave talking about his most difficult challenge – facing people he had written unflattering things about. He described the time he was asked to leave a basketball court because Wilt Chamberlain, a man with some blemishes, told the staff he didn’t want to see Deford. I regularly face folks who might not like my reporting on the board. In fact, its because I have some observations to make about current school board members recruiting replacement candidates for themselves and others that I particularly appreciated Deford’s comments.

Blessed is Donald Trump

From Andrew Sullivan on our Presidents visit to Rome:

He loves the exercise of domination, where Christianity practices subservience. He thrills to the use of force, while Jesus preached nonviolence, even in the face of overwhelming coercion. He is tribal, where Jesus was resolutely universal. He is a serial fantasist, whereas Jesus came to reveal the Truth. He is proud, where Jesus was humble. He lives off the attention of the crowd, whereas Jesus fled the throngs that followed him. He is unimaginably wealthy, while Jesus preached the virtue of extreme poverty. He despises the weak, whom Jesus always sided with. He lies to gain an advantage, while Jesus told the truth and was executed for it. He loathes the “other,” when Jesus’ radical embrace of the outsider lay at the heart of his teaching. He campaigns on fear, which Jesus repeatedly told us to abandon. He clings to his privileged bubble, while Jesus walked the streets, with nothing to his name. His only true loyalty is to his family, while Jesus abandoned his. He believes in torture, while Jesus endured it silently. He sees women as objects of possession and abuse, while Jesus — at odds with his time and place — saw women as fully equal, indeed as the first witnesses to the Resurrection. He is in love with power, while Jesus — possessed of greater power, his followers believe, than any other human being — chose to surrender all of it. If Trump were to issue his own set of beatitudes, they would have to be something like this:

Blessed are the winners: for theirs is the kingdom of Earth.

Blessed are the healthy: for they will pay lower premiums.

Blessed are the rich: for they will inherit what’s left of the earth, tax-free.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for oil and coal: for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciless: for they are so, so strong.

Blessed are the liars: for they will get away with it.

Blessed are the war-makers: for they will be called very, very smart.

Blessed are those who support you regardless: for theirs is the Electoral College.

Blessed are you when others revile you and investigate you and utter all kinds of fake news about you. Rejoice and be glad, for the failing press is dying.

Misc on Memorial Day

Family and Memorial Day activities pulled me away from the blog again but on Sunday my mind was on overdrive thinking about starting a week-long series on the Fourth District campaign that is shaping up. That’s the far western Duluth District. It was on my mind in my post about condescension.

This is in response to someone I’d rather not name who reportedly predicted that this year’s school board race was going to get ugly. Hell, it couldn’t come close to getting as ugly as the entire first two years I spent back on the school Board. The two remaining board members who brought about two censures and tried to get rid of a fellow board member based on vile and unsupported accusations have been recruiting candidates. Let’s hope the campaign is spirited and centered around the serious subjects of equity and raising the money we need to hire more teachers.

As for me, I’m for burying hatchets. On that note I was invited by my old friend, Mary Cameron, to attend her Friday retirement reception at UMD. She remained on the Board that Keith Dixon took over after my retirement in 2004 and our subsequent disagreement over the Red Plan threatened to break our ten-year long friendship. We have kissed and made up but I’m chagrined to report I just discovered I missed that reception. I have never been good at coordinating my calendars. I had a paper calendar covered with papers that reminded me of the date but did not have it in my cell phone calendar that I have only begun using.

I may have taken a break from politics this weekend but but that’s not true of everyone. As I tended a patch of stonecrop on 21st Avenue I greeted City Councilor Joel Sipress who was walking past my house. We chatted a bit and he told me he was calling on delegates for next week’s DFL convention lining up support for an endorsement for his District seat. I have not done this to any degree myself yet. I certainly won’t be going door to door because I am running across the whole city and the 700 or so delegates are far beyond my ability to call on in a week’s time. I will begin contacting them tomorrow by phone.

Joel is a bit of a model for me. Until recently he was affiliated with the Green Party as I was once affiliated with the GOP. If the Democrats are to rise like a Phoenix they had better prepare to be welcoming – “Big tent” style. Bernie Sanders had that idea when he recently went to Omaha, Nebraska, to campaign for a Democratic Mayoral candidate. He was roundly criticized for this by a faction of women in the party who were angry that the Democratic mayoral candidate was pro-life. That’s no way to win back the White House or Congress or the State legislatures and Governorships that have come under Republican control.

And a sad note:

The Superintendent just texted all the School Board members about an accident involving our students. There is no respite for a school superintendent.

How the proposed Education funding law will affect negotiations.

As the school year grinds to its end a story appeared in the DNT about the Education budget that will have a significant impact on teacher negotiations. The following paragraph sounds optimistic:

Each of the two years, schools will get a 2 percent increase in the per-pupil funding formula that pays for general operations. There is also $50 million for a new preschool program called “School Readiness Plus,” which prioritizes low-income students, as well as $20 million more for early-learning scholarships.

But a few short paragraphs beyond it come calls from the teachers union for Governor Dayton to veto the bill. There is a Republican inspired language allowing Districts more freedom in hiring teachers without the professional degrees and giving District Administrators more power to keep on and/or release teachers without bending to their seniority.

I’ve not read the actual language so its hard for me to gauge just how serious a threat to tenure and seniority this law would be.

LeBeau has seen better days

This is LeBeau. Claudia and I acquired him at the Biltmore Mansion gift shop ages ago. He has had an active life in our garden ever since. He took an active part in one wedding although he would be even more embarassed by those photos being the grouch that he is.

Sadly, our winters have taken a toll on him. This is how he looked the other day as we began our spring gardening.

null

At least I got a good night’s sleep after seven hours of yardwork, planting and weeding. Poor old LeBeau is living his last nightmare.

Condescension in politics

I’ve mentioned to others that Hillary Clinton’s “deporables” comment was a catastrophic mistake.

The great irony of the Trump election is that blue collar workers who once voted in a mighty Democratic bloc now vote for the Republicans who are trying to tamp down Social Security, National Health Insurance and a dozen other protections that make the Koch Brothers think America is becoming socialist.

I was a Republican and a socialism supporter for years when my Mr. Russ, my high school social studies teacher told me in 1968 that America has a mixed economy – a little socialism and little free enterprise.

Back to the “deplorables.”

Here’s an important NY Times think piece that explains what Democrats must do, and do fast, before the Republicans use their former voters to cement in the Koch ideal.

And here in Duluth I’ve seen plenty of condescension from Red Plan supporters who ignored the uneven financial burden it placed on poorer voters who shouldered an unfair share of our shiny new schools. Many local elitists can’t wait to get rid of Art Johnston who keeps reminding them of the bone-headed financial planning that went into the plan which has hollowed out the teachers we need to teach our children.

Many of them stood on the sidelines cheering as he was called a racist, a bully, with a conflict of interest. All lies by my reckoning and made by folks some of whom were everything that they accused Art of being.

I don’t particularly want to conflate national politics with local politics but if the shoe fits…………..

Eye Roll Emoji

This was too good to pass up even though I have three previous posts sitting here with no text or explanation. I am very busy at my keyboard at the moment but don’t have time to work on them….yet.

But, I just got some texts about the School District and after reading them I asked if there was such a thing as an eye roll emoji.

It turns out there is.

It should save me a lot of time in the future.

The Kushy life

A New York Times editorial about a slum lord and his tenant and those awful “community organizers” like Barack Obama. A sample:

Community organizers could have helped Kushner tenants like Kamiia Warren of suburban Baltimore, who was sued for moving out of her apartment without giving two month’s notice despite having done so. Mr. Kushner’s company won an almost $5,000 judgment anyway, and garnished her wages as a home health worker, and her bank account.

Six times is more than enough times to put the hackneyed phrase…

“chopped liver” in the title of one of my posts. So I just put it <--- here instead.

I was not the only absentee school board member at the Teacher’s and Staff retirement party. Annie and Rosie were also missing. It was announced that they had previous engagements and would be unable to attend. Art had been there earlier but also had to leave before the proceedings began. Chair Kirby and the Superintendent mentioned the reason for Annie and Rosie’s absence but did not introduce Alanna, who was present, to the audience.

I thought I’d make sure Alanna got a mention.

“I’m good.”

Romance was thick in the Welty household yesterday. I had to call Alanna and Art and let them know that I would miss the 709 Teacher’s and staff retirement party. This was because it was the third wedding anniversary of our daughter. I found myself unexpectedly taking care of our grandsons.

The same night we got a call from our son’s significant other. She told us that the two of them were engaged. After Claudia handed the phone to me I told my soon-to-be daughter-in-law that my cheeks were cramping up because of smiling.

Our future DIL was worried about letting us know before she posted the happy news on Facebook lest we find out second hand. Our son, you see, is the master of nonchalance. When his intended asked if she should call his Mother and tell her his response was “Why would you do that?”

After hearing the news and our our son’s studied indifference Claudia texted him with the question: “Do you have anything to tell us?”

His reply: “I’m cool.”

We’ve raised another Calvin Coolidge.

I’m not surprised. In 2017 his old classmate, Annie Harala, told me her second grader’s recollection of a story that our family dusts off regularly. Coincidentally, I saw Annie and Robb’s old second grade teacher, Mrs. Lemon, at the grocery story the other day and mentioned the incident to her. Mrs. Lemon brought a bucket of lamb eyeballs to class for the children to dissect. Robb took one look at the contents and passed out. As Annie remembered it, all the kids raised their hand to tell Mrs. Lemon that Robb was on out cold on the floor.

“Oh I was trying to remember which student that was,” Mrs. Lemon replied.

I suspect that when Robb woke up, he acted as though he had intended to pass out. He is a cat person and cats are always cool.

Replying to yesterday’s…

post on the first negotiation session.

Here’s the email I got and by the way I doubt that XXXXX would mind my using his/her name. I’m just being overly delicate:

From: XXXXX
To: “Harry Welty”
Cc:
Sent: 24-May-2017 19:02:05 +0000
Subject: “Confidential” public meetings?

Hi Harry,

Nothing said in a public meeting is “confidential.” You can repeat it, report it, spread it around the world as you please. I really wish somebody would come up to me at some meeting and warn me not to report on something. That would be great.

By the way–you should get a digital recorder. They’re not that expensive. Mine cost $80 two years ago and it works great. You can store 44 hours of recording on it, which you can easily transfer to your computer hard drive. That way if people get on your case about things you can find a nice juicy quote from them on the recorder and put it out for all to see. Just a thought.

XXXXX

And my reply to XXXXX:

Thanks XXXXX,

My blog has several audiences:

1. the public, 2. the teachers, 3. my fellow board members and 4. my conscience…

… as well as several conflicting personal goals:

1. Getting the finances to overcome the chains the Red Plan put on the District, 2. Having amicable contract talks, 3. restoring public trust, 4. transparency and last and least, 5. getting reelected to keep working on all of the above for the next four years.

My sense is that this was a public meeting that does not require a public announcement perhaps only because of precedence. I doubt that our negotiation’s meetings have been announced in the past. I only found about the meeting myself the night before so I didn’t have time to research its statutory requirements. I only knew that by showing up I could cause consternation and might end up being abused for exercising my right and responsibility as an elected member of the Duluth School Board. I know that sounds crazy but I’ve witnessed two years of crazy while back on the school board. All the warnings I got when I did show up only reinforced my sense that many folks were prepared to tar and feather me for what turned out to be a pretty benign meeting.

The only meeting to date that I have bothered to record was the kangaroo court the previous Board called to rake Art Johnston over the coals with the shyster lawyer the District paid $40 grand to sully Art’s reputation. I had a friend video record that one. Its too painful to watch in part because I ended up looking like a fool among the kangaroos, many of which have since escaped the zoo.

Since that time Art, Alanna and I have succeeded in persuading the School Board to put committee meetings on you-tube which was long overdue. My paper and computer files are already too gigantic for me to add a lot more digital info so I don’t plan to start recording more…..but I do take notes as a way to help me recall what took place.

After a night wrestling with the fear that simply telling the public that the negotiations had begun my instinct for transparency overcame the fear so I blogged about it. We will see what happens and, by the way, I do keep some confidences to myself to avoid betraying frightened sources just as a good journalist would. That’s a small price to pay to get access to the truth. Deep Throat remained anonymous for 45 years.

And your first sentence is absolutely correct: “Nothing said in a public meeting is ‘confidential.’ You can repeat it, report it, spread it around the world as you please.”

Ditto my blog.

Harry

—————————————–

40 years ago today

From the DNT “Bygones” for May 25, 1977

A grim picture of budget year 1977-78 was presented to the Duluth School Board yesterday. School administrators told the committee of the whole the district will have about $350,000 less to work with next school year than was originally anticipated.

And ever shall it be.

1977 was my third year in Duluth and I’ve been reading the desperate headlines about the School Board’s finances every other year or more from that time to the present. Its no different this year. The challenge is always to make-do to the best of the District’s ability and remember that we have one top priority – our children.

I have argued since the advent of the Red Plan that the tilting of our the finances so radically to buildings has made the people end our our schools more perilous. I stick by that statement and no amount of happy talk will improve the situation. However, hard work, creativity and a big dollop of honesty to reinforce public trust can improve things given time.

…………………………WeltyforSchoolBoard.com

2,590 May readers to disappoint

As of ten seconds ago 2,590 people have visited my blog so far in May. Its not as impressive a number as it my seem.

I check my blog’s stats daily and they have changed glacially over the last ten years since Lincolndemocrat’s birth. But they have changed. In all of my first full year of blogging (2007) I had 9,937 “unique visitors.” So far in the first half of 2017 I’ve had 19,794 such visitors. At year’s end I should have a four fold increase in unique visitors over my first year.

But that statistic is very misleading. Most of my “visitors” just take a quick 30 second peek in to look before flitting off to more interesting websites. My hard core readers (all of them anonymous to me) are the ones who read for an hour-long stretch or more. For years those readers have numbered 100 each month. So far in May there have been 110 hour-plus readers. I call them my “eight loyal readers.”

100 hour-plus readers, multiplied by the last 48 months would represent 4,800 “unique visitors” over 4 years. But it stands to reason many of these folk only visited once and a smaller percentage, maybe 30%, come back semi-regularly. Still, that would be 1,600 return visitors.

The point I want to make is this: I have a lot of people looking over my shoulders. In ten years I’ve heard the occasional whisper that my blog is not fair but I’ve only had a very few public attacks on the contents of my blog. When I took the School District and the Goliath Johnson Controls to court the lawyers printed out a hundred pages of my blog to submit to the court to demonstrate my unworthiness. I presume the deep pocketed legal firms defending the half billion building plan set three or four newbie attorneys to pour through my commentary for anything that would discredit me. The court wasn’t impressed so Johnston Controls’ PR man handed the printouts to a local “liberal” Rush Limbaugh who took a couple passages out of hundreds to his readers that I once said I didn’t use the “B word” and that I had the audacity to mention that our judge was an elected official.

A more serious complaint was about an unnamed friend who told me that one Red Plan school board supporter said such foolish things that they ought to be “bricked” (have some sense knocked into their head). It was suggested that this was a threat. I think I heeded that criticism and withdrew the quote but I’ve been unable to locate the offending post. It’s one of the few instances in which I made a serious change to a post.

In the last year I can’t count the number of times someone has told me either, “that’s not bloggable,” or “Don’t blog that.” Every so often someone will request that I remove something that could be traced back to them or told me that they will simply have to stop being forthcoming with me. That includes Claudia Welty, my wife. She told me years ago that I was not to blog about her and as my “eight loyal readers” can attest -I keep mentioning her.

This is a long prologue for a tiny tidbit. Despite two warnings yesterday not to blog about the teachers negotiation I’m going to mention it here. After many old posts complaining about my ill treatment three years ago during contract negotiations I sat through the first meeting of this year’s negotiations. No blood was spilled.

I had informed the Board by email that I was inviting myself to attend. No objections were sent back to me. Once there an administrator told that if I said so much as a single word at the meeting the teachers would all walk out instantly. I considered this hyperbole to drive home home the sensitivity of the meeting. Nevertheless, I abided by the injunction and said nothing although I did take copious notes. (Not good notes, just copious notes) Six hours later one of our administrators told me that the teacher negotiators told him to pass on to me that they didn’t want to see any mention of the negotiations in my blog.

Well, I’ve just mentioned it. Big deal! It was a public meeting.

I’ll risk thinner ice. After watching our top three administrators negotiate, including the Superintendent, I told them I was very satisfied with the process I’d witnessed. (read into that what you’d like) I added that unlike my previous experience, of being frozen out, this experience had put to rest the paranoia which accompanies being denied access. Let me add that I was elected to be a part of this critical process and that I have no desire to betray any confidentiality while the talks continue. I’ll also add that it is critical that the school board be represented at the negotiations and that state statute makes the Board responsible for them.

This is all very shocking, I know.