The Mourning After

I’m laughing at the title right now. It cheers me to no end finding a good pun.

I told Art after the filings that even if none of our champions won the new School Board couldn’t help but be a big improvement over the current board. That said I did regret Loren Martell’s loss personally. He’s such a good guy with a brave heart. It would have been poetic justice for him to prevail.

He’s doing OK. This morning he returned the call I gave him after the results were posted last night. While he wasn’t chipper he tossed in that old saw about being resilient. It was Loren’s third loss so I joked with him that I lost three school board elections in a row before I won on the fourth time. He assured me he was hanging up his boxing gloves after this fight. Well, he won’t run for the Board anyway.

I am elated that Alanna Oswald won comfortably. I’ve spent several hours looking over the precinct by precinct results. I may have done her some damage in my area of town. I gave her the maximum contribution to pay for lawnsigns and when I could give her no more I excercised my first amendment right to pay for my own flyer extolling her virtues. Actually I reprinted the News Tribune editorial which extolled Alanna’s virtues. However, to be kosher I hand wrote a disclaimer explaining that I paid for the flyer. The gushing of the Trib may have been canceled out by my neighbors recoiling at the thought I had a hand in Alanna’s campaign. Gosh, my nightmare school board Censured me for defending Art Johnston….oops, I mean for revealing the price we sold Central High School for twenty-four hours prematurely.

The new board members and I may have a little fence mending to do before we unite on January but so far I don’t think our transgressions against each other are too severe. The positivity stuff is a bit hard for me to take when there are so many alligators in the swamp. We need to be on the lookout for the drain.

Alanna’s results surprised me. She did well both in her western precincts and carried many of Rosie Loeffler-Kemp’s First District precincts. She did that with just a few lawnsigns.

My Buddy sent me Karl Schuettler’s take on the election results.

Here’s Karl’s big picture summary on the School Board race:

School Board Big Picture: It’s a potential changing of the guard in ISD 709, as three consistent votes in the monolithically pro-administration bloc retire and three fairly new faces in Duluth school debates make their way in. Unlike some of the current and outgoing members, they don’t have long records siding with one side of the dead horse Red Plan debates. With two solid pro-administration votes and two staunch critics among the remaining members, these three now have the power to play kingmaker. Whatever they decide, one hopes they will stay above past squabbles, ask tough questions, and dig into the district’s most pressing debates. Color me cautiously optimistic that some new blood will leave the old debates behind and provide a much-needed jolt of energy for the real issues at stake.

I want to make one thing perfectly clear. A lot of innocents out in voting land think that new board members feel beholden to other Board members so that they will be pawns after their election. I don’t expect that to happen on our Board although I am aware that it happens on occasion. I can’t speak for Dr. Kirby or Nora Sandstad but there is no way Alanna Oswald won’t make up her own mind. I wouldn’t have been interested in supporting her had this not been been the case. We’ve already had several spirited debates where we look at issues through different lenses. And besides, I told everyone at every door I knocked on that I wrote in Alanna’s year book back at Morgan Park – that she was a lot smarter than me. Thank goodness. Our Board could use an IQ boost.

I was up for most of the night driving through the fog tracking down lawnsigns to pack up till the next election. I’m a little bleary eyed. Fortunately, Claudia and I are heading up the North Shore with our grandsons for a couple days of unwinding.

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