The time has come, dear Readers. It’s “Go-Time”. The first important election to take back our community is next week, on Tuesday, May 17th, when we get to vote on School Board Trustees and Highway Commissioners.
I’m not writing to remind you to vote, I want you to make sure you each get 10 other people out to vote with you. And this is not just a suggestion. If you want to change the problems we’ve been griping about, you must be part of the solution!
We can’t sit around and say, “Government’s not using our money the right way”, if we’re not willing to take action and correct these things when we have a chance.
And that chance is now. You can’t leave this to someone else. Every single person who wants better taxpayer accountability has to get 10 people out to vote with them next Tuesday.
Here are some of the problems with the CdA School Board, and why we need two new, independent voices on that panel:
--Big Paycheck! This Board has approved Superintendent Hazel Bauman’s contract for $123,000 per year, base pay, plus benefits, plus an additional $12,000 per year to be used for meals and promotion, though Hazel does not have to account for how she uses this extra money. And she gets a District Credit Card too!
--More Big Paychecks! This Board approved the creation of two new “Associate Superintendent” positions, filled by people they are now paying $100,000 each, plus benefits. Do you remember a couple of years ago when Hazel became the new Superintendent and she vowed to save money by not having an assistant superintendent? Now she has two new, highly paid “Associates”.
--Still Top Heavy: In 2009 I wrote a column encouraging Hazel in her purported quest for fiscal savings, pointing out that the CdA School district was “top heavy” compared to Post Falls and Lakeland. Now I can report that nothing has changed. CdA’s district still spends almost twice as much on administration as Post Falls. And this just cheats the students and the classroom teachers out of the real use of those tax dollars.
--Just a Note: Does our school district realize that Spokane is laying off 125 teachers, and other districts are combining or closing schools? And we’re hiring more $100,000 administrators?!
--Is this a Scam?:Vern Newby was a School Board Trustee for many years. He retired from the board last June, rather than wait for this upcoming election. This is a typical strategy...retire early and “appoint” your hand-picked replacement so that person has a better chance of getting re-elected. He picked Stephanie Powers as his replacement and the Board voted to confirm her. I had a long talk with Stephanie a couple years ago when she was hired by LCDC as their PR person to find out why the taxpayers didn’t like them. She seems to be in tight with the power structure in the City, LCDC and the School District. A vote for Stephanie would be a vote for the current method of doing things. City Councilman Mike Kennedy’s boss’s wife, Judy Meyer, is campaigning hard for Stephanie. I will not vote for Stephanie. We need independent thinkers.
--Tom Hamilton is getting my vote!
He is a great businessman, with 20 years in the aviation industry. Tom is the General Manager of Empire Airlines. We are so fortunate, as a community, that Tom is willing to give his time and talents to serve on our School Board. He is smart, responsive, respectful and knowledgeable about the impact of taxes on both citizens and job creation. He loves education and has three children in our school system. Current local power players like Judy Meyer and Mike Kennedy are spreading false rumors that Tom is a religious zealot, in favor of book burning and rigid policies. Those things are absolutely not true. Tom does not believe religion of any sort belongs in the classroom. He thinks parents should have options in the literature choices for their kids, and he is dedicated to a full spectrum education choices at the local level. Tom is beholden to no one and will serve the community with his clear, common sense approach. Please tell your family & friends in Zone 2 to vote for Tom. For a Zone 2 map and more info go to: http://idahoc4be.org/Zone_2.html
--Terri Seymore gets my vote too!
Terri ran last time and came within a cupful of votes (39, I think) of winning. Now she’s more determined than ever. As the local Manager of Great Floors’ corporate office here in CdA, she also brings a strong background in business, budgets and personnel. Terri has two children in the school system and is dedicated to supporting students and teachers. Terri’s opponent is a City of CdA firefighter who was quickly endorsed by all the local public employee unions, even though he has no management experience and does not seem to be energetically campaigning. If this man were to win, he would be the second city employee on the school board... I don’t think that’s a good idea. (CdA Wastewater Manager Sid Fredrickson is already a trustee) Please get out and push for Terri’s independent voice and the great experience she will bring to the School Board, Zone 3.
For a Zone 3 map and more info go to: http://idahoc4be.org/Zone_3.html
--Here’s the tricky part: There are four CdA school district voting Zones. Two positions are up for election this time and ONLY people who live in Zone 2 or Zone 3 can vote for School Board. But don’t be sad, you might be able to vote for Highway Commissioners. Use the links I’ve provided above to find your Zone. Even if you don’t live in the voting zones, please call your friends and get them out to make a difference with their vote.
--Post Falls is in Trouble! Word is coming in fast and furious about crazy things going on in Post Falls. The two incumbent school district trustees must be very worried because they are apparently spreading seriously false information. I’m hearing that incumbents Dave Paul and Michelle Lippert (she teaches ethics at NIC) have their names on campaign flyers which brag that they are endorsed by ALL the Post Falls PTOs (Parent-Teacher Organizations). This is quite untrue, I’m told, and one of the PTO Presidents was shocked to see the claim. PTOs are not allowed to endorse any candidates! My suggestion for better ethics, honesty and transparency on the Post Falls School Board is to vote for the challengers:
--Highway Districts: There are some contentious battles going on in a couple of these district campaigns:
For Eastside Hwy District, I’d choose Chris Fillios because I know him to be smart and honest with good business background too.
For Lakes Hwy District, the team of Marv Lekstrum and Monty Montgomery has done a good job with budget cuts and fair contract systems. Apparently some other folks are trying to go back to the “good ole boys” way of doing things there, so I’d recommend re-electing Marv and Monty, and staying on the right track.
I’ll leave you with this thought: “Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.” --Teddy Roosevelt
Get out next Tuesday and vote for people who can think for themselves with no strings attached! --Mary