Another letter in the DNT today from one school board member endorsed Nancy Nilsen, an architect of the Red Plan, and Annie Harala. I would have thought the endorsements might have been an act of solidarity with women candidates but for the absence of a similar endorsement for Rosie Loeffler-Kemp.
I mentioned in the previous post that the spouse of an AFSCME member was a candidate for the School Board. I also mentioned that I strongly supported one of AFSCME’s endorsed candidates. That candidate is Rosie Loeffler-Kemp.
I can not deny Rosie’s deep and long standing involvement in our Schools. I know of no one with more such experience. Furthermore, her involvement has been acknowledged by her peers throughout the state when they elected her for three years to be the President of the State Parent Teacher’s Organization.
I find it curious that she was not included in the letter writer’s endorsement. I have my theory about that as I’ve known both the letter writer and Rosie for a very long time. I fully hope to get along with Rosie and the letter writer should I be elected to the School Board so, to that end, this is not the best forum for me to speculate about the omission. I’ll simply add my two cents in endorsing Rosie.
First, Rosie’s credentials are long and impeccable. My primary concern has to do with her husband Ken’s role as a rep for AFSCME. She will not want to disappoint the workers of AFSCME in union negotiations but I believe Rosie’s love for the Duluth Schools will put her in a different class than most newbie school board members. She has seen for twenty years the penny pinching of the Duluth Schools and has suffered along with our schools. I think she will approach union negotiations with the fair-minded and practical understanding that giving too much away will only hurt everyone. And Rosie knows that there is very little to give away as the District approaches Red Plan SOD or default due to its massive borrowing to finance the Red Plan.
All the other candidates who write about how important it is to reduce class size and bring trust back to the district are speaking in the vacuum of ignorance. They are right, of course. These are the very problems that need fixing but fixing these problems will be tough and (if the operational levy referendums fail) wrenching. I want someone the employees will trust at my side finding solutions. Rosie will be that person should we both be elected.
One of my old allies in Let Duluth Vote, Marcia Stromgren is also a candidate for the First District school board seat. I find it hard to disagree with what Marcia wrote today in the Duluth News Tribune especially the part about how it is idiocy to continue doing what has not worked before.
I’ve already commented on the AFSCME affiliation Rosie’s other rival, Joe Matthes. I find it very odd that two AFSCME union reps, one a husband the other a minion of the Union, should be pitted against each other in the upcoming election. Still, I have no reservations about endorsing Rosie. She would be a great asset to the School Board just so long as she is not saddled with too many other union-employed and endorsed school board members.