The first of several emails to the SB related to info on a Central Sale

Board members,

I have promised Annie to do my utmost to get the information that I find so compelling to you at least 24 hours in advance of our Board meeting. I will attempt to make this documentation available to readers of my blog as well and also bind them together in a document to be passed out to the public at our Monday Board meeting.

Before I begin this undertaking I want to give you a short prologue that may explain in part why I can be such a pain in the ass. It’s the sort of information I would share if our Board ever held a “retreat” for board members to get to know one another. It’s something previous Boards might have benefited from over the course of the last traumatic decade.

Why do I blog so addictively? In my first years on the Duluth School Board as our Administration drove the creation of a charter school I visited my little sister in the Twin Cities. She was a new teacher herself and told me that she had met a couple teachers from Duluth who were aware of me. She shocked me when she told me they both hated me. I tried to get my sister to acknowledge that she was exaggerating but she told me she wasn’t. From that point on I was determined to find some means of explaining myself on the Internet without being defined through the Newspaper or the Teacher’s Newsletter. Two years later I began doing that on a web page

After I left the Board I reluctantly was asked to comment on a huge building plan that inexplicably, to me, was imposed on Duluth without a public referendum. My leadership of Let Duluth Vote was a surprise to me. It was the most intense experience I have ever endured publicly and lasted several years. It coincided with the birth of my blog and an increasingly tight lipped school board. Now that I am back on the Board I feel an obligation to be as transparent as I felt the school board’s of the Red Plan Era should have been.

Finally, my fight for a referendum for the Red plan coincided with a war that blew my extended family apart. Some of you recall that my censure was postponed in 2014 because of my Mother’s death in December. My Mother had been in my care for six years after a killing legal fight with my sister. We had once been very close. One of her sons is my namesake. Yes, that’s right there’s another one of me running around Minnesota.

I have had little contact with my sister since a drawn out court room battle that I “won.” I have often wondered whether I would have had the emotional resources to settle my family’s conflict amicably if I had not been so preoccupied leading Let Duluth Vote. Two weeks ago there was a massive earthquake in Ecuador and at least one American was killed. My sister is living there now. I never called my namesake to ask if his Mother, my sister, was OK.

Life is not fair. Sometimes your only option is to be a pain in the ass. The only thing that salves my conscience is to be achingly honest. I understand that the vote I want on the sale of Central is not likely to change. I will be content to lose the vote again by the same margin but you must understand that I will only accept that decision after it has been fully aired before the people who elected us to office.


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