Do Over Fallout 2 – Muddying the Waters

There were another four letters to the Editor in today’s Trib. Two were pro-sale, one was anti-sale (It was from one of my old allies and I’ll comment on it in a later post) and the third was simply put very peculiar. This is it:

From Duluth on Apr 12, 2016 at 11:00 p.m.

The real reason the Duluth Public Schools Academy Board wanted to buy the Central High School site was so we could officially request an improvement to the traffic signal configuration at Pecan Avenue and Central Entrance (“Central High property offer rejected,” April 1).

Stephen Sydow


The writer is a member of the Duluth Public Schools Academy Board.

First I read the text and stared hard at the paper. Then I noticed that it was from a member of the DPSA Board. I reflexively picked up my cell phone and called Tischer Creek Building Company to ask what the heck this letter was about. It being 6:45AM Claudia hollered at me. “What are you doing? It isn’t even seven yet!” I hung up after two rings.

Paul Goosens saw that I had called and after I apologized for my call he told me it was a mystery to him as well. “Maybe it was meant as a joke,” he offered.

That might be” I replied, “but it sure muddies the water.”

Upon further reflection I think it is a troubling preview of something my email to the Board suggested; that “Ten years from now all that the Edison families are likely to remember is that ISD 709 has taken every opportunity to cast stones at them unfairly over their thirty year existence. “

Its obvious that Mr. Sydow has given up on the possibility of a sale or he wouldn’t have weighed in. I would describe his email as being ironic. I think he’s heaping ridicule on the silly motives ignorantly being attributed to the DPSA’s generous offer to buy the Central site. His email certainly doesn’t make my job of winning a vote over to my pro-sale side any easier. In that respect his one liner muddies the conversation.

What is ominous about his letter is what I anticipate to be the fallout of our refusal to sell. Edison families are beginning to turn a cold shoulder on ISD 709 because of the years of abuse they have endured from our hostility. When the time comes for us to ask their voters to pass a referendum all many of them will remember is that we flipped them the bird. Passing operational levies is tough enough. I worked my butt and spent a thousand dollars mailing a letter to my old Let Duluth Vote contributors in 2013. I begged them to vote for an operational levy. Now the District is sticking its fingers into two sets of eyes, those of Charter families and those of the Red Plan opponents.

Perhaps I should be glad of Mr. Sydow’s show of irritation. Its a good look into a future if ISD 709 keeps the feud going.

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