“Our bathrooms aren’t smelly any more.”

Judy Seliga’s sunny opinion piece yesterday raised my eyebrows like a couple of woolly bear caterpillars.

“I am proud our district has significantly reduced administrative expenses. Per student, we are among the lowest in the state. That means we are truly attempting to do more with less while keeping scarce dollars in classrooms.”

Judy said that one child was thrilled that the bathrooms didn’t smell any more. It might not have occurred to her that if they smelled before being fixed up it may have had something to do with the Board’s previous decisions to cut back on custodial services.

The Red Plan has set no money aside for future maintenance of our new schools. But anyone who knows about buildings understands that even the new ones require constant maintenance.

It is ironic that while Judy lauded the improvements at Homecroft she lambasted because fixing up our schools rather than replacing them is what the alternative plan was designed to do. Some of the folks on fixed incomes would really prefer seeing our buildings fixed up rather than torn down and replaced with JCI manufactured air conditioners.

I’ll address the issue of the expense of the alternative plan and its gross misrepresentation by Judy’s administration when I publish my email to Chuck explaining this.

Other than the obliviousness of Judy’s financial analysis I found this comment particularly objectionable:

“There are times I’m not sure the opposition knows what it’s even fighting anymore. One opponent has spent far more money on billboards and a surety bond than he’ll ever pay in taxes for every project to its completion.”

Long ago I twice tried to talk Judy into running for the School Board but that was before I saw her take after the previous Superintendent without getting the approval of the City-wide PTSA after she was elected its leader.

The first time Judy declined to run because she wanted to earn a Cadillac from her sales organization and running for the Board would hinder this pursuit. Perhaps someone who invests so much of her time in the pursuit of material gain has lost sight of the intangibles of life.

Gordon Downs who has put up the billboards at his own expense is a retired construction worker. From the beginning he has been outraged by the intangible cost of the loss of his vote. He has never spent that much time worrying about whether the Red Plan is foolish or smart (although his familiarity with the construction industry makes him very suspicious of the handling of the Red Plan)

I too have been taken aback by Gordon’s sudden burst of spending. But having spent two years fighting the Red Plan for the same reason I can only honor Gordon.

As much as Gordon has spent it still pales compared to the sacrifices some families have made for our democratic rights. Most parents who have lost a child to war time service if they would give their life savings to have their son or daughter back. Like Gordon I’ve now plowed far more into this fight against the theft of my right to vote than I would or will end up paying for the Red Plan and JCI’s exorbitant profits. I’m actually ashamed at my reluctance to spend more when I consider the families of the fallen.

Judy would have you believe that Gordon is a foolish old goat who doesn’t know what he’s fighting for. Maybe that’s because she’s too easily impressed with shiny baubles when she should simply make sure we have enough disinfectant for our custodians.
In another irony her grievance was the cutting of school programs back then something she has become proficient at voting for now as a school board member.

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