Plan B revives

Eric sent me a kind post suggesting a reason for my loss. My reply offers a counter reason and an explanation of where I think Let Duluth Vote will go from here.

Eric Says:

November 7th, 2007 at 7:59 am e

Harry, As you know from my previous post that I opposed your election. I do however think you might have won if you had not made comments earlier that your goal was to confuse the voters. I think that really turned off voters.
Now that being said, I was one of the few (at least that I am aware of) that supported your belief that we needed to close one high school. So as much as I hoped you did not win, I do think you have good ideas and good intentions. To that end I hope you will continue to offer ideas and suggestions for bettering the Duluth school district.
Sometimes it is not that the message is bad or wrong it is how it is delivered.
Best of luck and please continue to help us do what’s best. I firmly believe that opposing opinions, while not always good, they always cause us to relook at our direction.

harrywelty Says:

November 7th, 2007 at 9:14 am e

Thanks Eric,

I agree that the issue of confusion did not help me but it was the News Tribune sowing the confusion not me. The headline writer, who I presume was Robin Washington, took the issue of confusion out of context and the headline made it sound as though we were attempting to confuse the public. That was not fair or accurate. The reporter, Sarah Horner, had the story right. We wanted to offer a plan B petition because it would have, and still could, force a referendum of a more manageable size. The two approved building plans, the Red Plan approved by the state, and the Plan B plan approved by Duluth’s voters in a referendum, would have forced the School Board to reconsider its options had a new majority taken control.

(We learned from our visit to the State that no petition would be necessary if both Gary and I won. The new majority could have changed the terms of the Red Plan at will)

The new majority will not take control but it is still possible to circulate a Plan B petition. It might be worthwhile to do this if the public has second thoughts about proceeding with the Red Plan. Gary Glass beat Bevan Schraw almost two to one throughout the entire school district. His election was as close to a referendum as there could be. The public has great misgivings about the Red Plan.

One more thing will happen this year which might make a difference. The Red Plan’s costs are already figured into next year’s tax estimates that will be sent out this November prior to December’s Truth in Taxation hearings. They will show a 56% increase in our School District’s taxes from this year to next year. If no one goes to the School Board meeting to protest that will auger well for the Red Plan. If there is serious protest a new school board might be advised to ratchet back the Red Plan and a plan B might be just the ticket.

I suspect I would have done almost as well as Gary in my District had the News Tribune not panned me in its endorsements and had not Ralph Doty smeared me so viciously three days before the election. I’m afraid we didn’t get the idea across that both Gary and I had to win to stop the Red Plan. With my credibility in tatters the “breath of fresh air” that the Trib said Judy offered was enough to blow me off course.

She’ll have a heck of a time in 2009 making 5 million in annual budget cuts if, as I’ve predicted, the public refuses to pass an operational levy in November of 2008.

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