The answer is simple. Be really, really, really uncivil to them.
I’m astounded at my tenacity and that of Loren Martell and Art Johnston. Character assassination hasn’t worked on us. Stonewalling and hiding public data hasn’t worked. In Loren’s case he was handcuffed by police at the direction of the School Board chair when he lingered at a microphone too long after the Chairman of the Board had turned it off on him. Art Johnston has been accused of vile deeds and is just a nasty procedural vote away from having his election overturned. I’ve suffered a few slings and arrows myself. I think the operative phrase is: what doesn’t kill you makes you more ornery. That’s not a smart tactic for folks with such big targets on their backs.
What brings this to mind is the civic meeting I attended briefly yesterday which began with an appeal for civility and the latest review of the School Board by Mr. Martell in the Reader Weekly.
Loren, saves the best for last not that his beginning and middle suffer from the delay. Here’s one nub:
“At the start of the Red Plan, the public school district had 2,327,295 square feet of building space. Our wily leaders are currently sitting on 2,416,027 square feet–nearly 100,000 square feet more than they started with. The goal of the half billion dollar consolidation plan was to reduce total square footage by 500,000 sq. ft. Even after all the “excess” property is finally sold or given away, 500,000 square feet of space reduction will never happen. No adjustment to this reality has been made to savings claims.”
I’ve been spending the last week filing my untidy mess of documents. I’m so close to being finished. In my case its like girding my loins for the summer’s school board election battle. Only I’ve also got a legal battle to help fight to honor the votes of Duluth’s fourth School Board District. This will be a battle requiring quick access to nine years worth of bullshit on paper.
What I’ve done so far will make it easier for me to find all the huffing and puffing from Red Planners about how we had to get rid of hundreds of thousands of square feet of useless space requiring us to burn precious dollars to heat the space in the winter time. I might search those quotes out tomorrow but I’ll probably be too busy watching Superbowl ads.
At least our Red Plan fight has raised some public consciousness. Take this letter to the Trib yesterday:
So we’re supposed to build a new $34.7 million library to save $75,000 in wasted energy per year (“Consultants recommend replacing downtown library,” Jan. 27). That means that in only 462.6 years we will break even.