Disappointing the voters

This KBJR story told about the successes for the levies in Duluth. You can read it or watch the minute and a half of it here.

I got a brief mention:

Duluth School Board–elect Harry Welty, who supports the levies, says it’s now up to the board to fulfill its duty of successful and cost–effective implementation of taxpayer dollars in the long–range facilities plan, especially after the breach of district trust the multi–million dollar Red Plan created for some residents.

“We on the school board have a huge responsibility not to disappoint them,” said Welty Wednesday morning. “They expect that money to be used to bring class sizes down.”

I can not stress enough how important it will be not to “disappoint” the voters. I have the uncomfortable feeling that there are too many people out there who have the attitude, “oh, well, we got the money. We’ll spend it the way we see fit.” If that attitude prevails I can assure you that there will be hell to pay and it won’t just be from me. New money should be spent on reducing class size first, second and third.

This is a particularly important issue for me because I know the infinitesimally small 2% margin of victory of the second levy question was my doing. If a hundred votes had swung the other way the District would have lost almost two million dollars. I spoke to 600 people at the 2,000 doors I knocked on. Every communication of mine in the Duluth Tribune, Budgeteer etc mentioned my desperation to get the class sizes down by passing the levies. I dug an additional $500 out of my pocket to put two ads in the Trib saying passing the levies was the most important thing this election. My flyer, which is also on the first page of my campaign website, makes it clear how important the levy questions were. It would me a mistake to underestimate the credibility I had with angry voters as the only Anti-Red Plan candidate supporting the levies. Had I opposed them as vigorously as I supported them I could easily have turned a few hundred votes if not a few thousand against it.

Since the second levy owes it passage to my enthusiastic support I’ll be very upset if I see it frittered away on paying teachers more rather than hiring more teachers.

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