A modest December update

Better than a week ago I jotted down ten or twelve posts I wanted to write for my blog on a sheet of paper. Most of them were harmless but I’m torn between getting off to a good start with the new school board and getting things off my chest. This blog is my public diary and there is nothing I find more annoying than to go back to see that some detail of the past was not jotted down for posterity because I was on hiatus. That is particularly true of my first year fighting for a right to vote on the Red Plan and organizing Let Duluth Vote. I have only my current memories of those now distant events but I don’t have my thoughts of that moment. I’m often surprised to read what I wrote when I go back to old posts and I trust their accuracy more than my memory.

I will say that I’m delighted that the two new board members I’ve not had a chance to meet with have generously agreed to meet with me soon. We’ve even set a date. I will probably not write about that meeting or what we discuss – at least not in any depth – because I meant what I told Dr. Kirby when I saw him campaigning at Chester Bowl last October. I told him that I expected that we would be “boon companions” should he be elected. I can’t blame him if he was skeptical of that prediction but I meant it. Not blogging about what we talk about is my stab at building up some trust between us.

At my feet, as I type, is one of dozens of DNT clippings that I meant to blog about. Its the story from November 16th about shifting enrollments between area school districts. There are two new constants that the new school board must deal with. First, we’ve lost 15% of our enrollment (probably permanently) to other Districts since the Red Plan began to materialize. Second, we’ve dedicated roughly $10 million dollars which used to be available for the classroom from the local property tax levy to paying off building bonds. I have no objection to having the School Board shower Duluth with lots of positivity. But, I will not be a party to this positivity if we refuse to acknowledge the deep trench we dug for ourselves. If we are honest about that I will search for a good backhoe to fill the trench in.

I need to file my latest clippings in my ever growing clipping file which I’ve been keeping for twenty years. I’ll get that and some other organizational work done today although I also have grandparenting duty. My oldest grandson came down with a fever yesterday and I will be hosting him for the day. He’s sitting in my comfy new rocker in the office reading at the moment. This weekend I’ll be heading down to the Twin Cities to participate in the Minnesota School Board’s delegate assembly. We will be looking through a couple hundred possible resolutions that once whittled down will form our wish list for the State legislature. Art Johnston and I have a resolution which would alter the law that seemingly gives school boards the arbitrary power to undo elections in order to rid themselves of unpopular school board members. I don’t think we will get our resolution passed this time around but we’ll offer it up again next year.

Too bad we got so little snow yesterday. I actually have an idea for a snow sculpture. I think the children passing my home in their school buses will like it.

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