It was worth the wait.

I enjoyed twitting the Duluth News Tribune about their late coverage of Loren Martell’s entrance into the race. That said I have to say they got it right. It was worth the wait.

Loren Martell got his due. I like Loren very much and no one has carried such a heavy burden with so much punishment for his service as Mr. Martell. His has truly been the embodiment of that old adage: “no good deed goes unpunished.”

Furthermore, Loren showed his true colors. He was generous in thanking the school administration for helping him rectify their mistake that gave him an uneasy 24 hours of wondering whether he’d be allowed to become a candidate or not.

Here’s the honest and fair minded truth that the Tribune reported:

This November will mark Martell’s third attempt to be elected to the Duluth School Board. He unsuccessfully ran for an At Large seat in 2013, and in 2011 he lost a 2nd District race to Judy Seliga-Punyko.

Martell said his primary concern as a candidate is the competitiveness of the Duluth school district.

“I think it’s time for an honest assessment of the challenges facing ISD 709,” he said.

The school district needs to find a way to stop students leaving the district for other area educational offerings, especially in light of the news that a new Duluth Edison charter high school is expected to open in 2017, he said.

“We have a major competitor set to open the doors of a new high school within two years here. I’m very concerned about the fact that we have been unable to stem the loss of enrollment from ISD 709 and at this moment, I don’t believe we’re positioned well to handle the competition that’s coming into the marketplace,” he said.

The loss of students is translating into a loss of funding for the district, he said, explaining, “It’s hurting our ability to channel enough money into the real educational needs of the classroom.”

To compete with area schools, the district needs to raise its standards and address inequities between its high schools, he said. If elected, he would also like to consider the long-range facilities plan’s financial effect on the school district. The school board needs to tighten up its finances and consider its expenses in order to prioritize money for the educational needs of students, he said.

Two items I would like to note:

1. It took me four campaigns to get elected to the school board. This is only Loren’s third campaign. and…

2. The story about his filing as I witnessed it is just plain entertaining. I spent three hours until 1PM last night writing it up. I don’t know if I will post it after all that work. It will take just as long or longer to edit it. I don’t know if I have it in me……but I want the public, or at least my readers, to have a real world grasp of what I witness as a school board member. I kind of owe it to them to keep plugging away at the story.

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