When I heard that the School Board had chosen Tom Kasper to be its new chairman I can’t say that I was surprised. There is no one more likeable than Tom and he has steered a very perilous course not to offend anyone. That was true before he ran for the Board when he was the well loved garden guy on public television. He was loath to become quarrelsome when he ran for office during the height of Red Plan criticism and won votes from both Red Plan pros and cons.
He quit his job with the City under mysterious circumstances a while back and that is the first thing the story on his ascension to Board Chair reminded its readers. It will no doubt dog him from now on like a nattering chihuahua. The Trib has editorialized about his public embarrassment a couple of times. They seem miffed that they don’t know, or can’t report, its cause.
I suspect this only serves to make the other Board members, especially the Red Plan supporters, more supportive of Tom. He’s still a very nice fellow and he hasn’t done anything to cross them. That he is on the edge of pariahood, with the Trib’s Editors and the Mayor’s staff, is probably only a plus as far as they are concerned. It takes some of focus off of them.
I’m not sure this solidarity is entirely earned. Where it comes to the Red Plan the Trib and Mayor Ness have hardly acted as school board critics. The latter has, and continues to be, a Red Plan booster. They haven’t quite jumped on the new Superintendent’s bandwagon of dismissing Red Plan complaints as spilled milk but they are moving in that direction. As for Tom. He has yet to take a position on the Red Plan. It is a fact of life now and doing so now would be a little like taking a position on the Emancipation Proclamation.
Now how about taking a position on that white privilege bill board campaign?