Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why YOU Should Run for School Board

Over at Ogden on Politics, the header statement is this quote from Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia :
“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”

Now that might be quite a bit of hyperbole for School Board, but consider it for just one moment.

"The inaction of those who could have acted..." That's YOU, my friend.

The existing situation at the Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township is roundly criticized in our community. We have the perfect opportunity to put a new majority in place on the Board - to right the wrongs, make the necessary changes, and put our District on a fiscally secure path whose end goal is the best education for Decatur's youth.

Rumor has it that we have two candidates out gathering the necessary signatures - one in district 1 and one in district 3 (see "How to File to Run for School Board" for a map of the districts). That leaves one more seat - a person from either of those districts - to fill. That's YOU.

Let me pause just a moment here, to thank all of the folks who have expressed an interest in running, only to find that they are not qualified this time around because they live in district 2. We must have had 10 people make serious inquiry. That bodes well for the school board race in 2012 and for the ultimate chance to make long lasting improvements in our School District.

Back to YOU and why YOU should run.

The current school board is violating state law by not reviewing bids in public.

It is violating state law by not voting on and signing contracts entered into by the District.

It has violated state law by not requiring appraisals on property it intended to purchase and by overpaying for property.

It has overlooked the practice of nepotism in hiring of Administrators, mechanics, and others in the district and even participated in the practice itself.

It overlooks intolerable working conditions for the District's custodial staff.

It has signed off on the obscenely bloated salary of Don Stinson and other Administrators.

It refuses to discuss in open meetings, issues raised by the public.

It sat by while Superintendent Don Stinson and Assistant Superintendent Jeff Baer dug our district into a $8.4 million hole. Add to this the 3% cut ordered by Governor Daniels, and we have to come up with $9.8 million. Our entire yearly budget only runs about $75 million - so that's a huge hole this irresponsible Administration and rubber stamping Board have dug.

They are content to close the ECC, move Kindergarten to Lynwood, and thereby increase class size throughout grades 1-6.

They are content to keep the Southwest Pavilion (former Concentra Building), and let the Administration move into its palatial offices.

They turned over authority for budget cuts to Stinson and Baer - washing their hands of any real accountability to the community.

They allowed the Central Office to suffer no real cuts in Administrator positions while pushing $3 million in undefined cuts onto the Teachers Union.

And nothing they have done has improved the education of Decatur's children. NOTHING.

All YOU have to do is want to correct one of those things and our School District will be better off with YOU on the Board.

With a new majority, the first step should be for the Board to hire a lawyer obligated to them, not the Superintendent, and get back to acting in compliance with state law. That lawyer should be present at all meetings of the Board, ready to give advice when asked and to review legal matters such as contracts on behalf of the Board.

The new majority can reset priorities and use its authority to keep Lynwood open.

The new majority can insist that the Board will have an open door policy to confront the fact that we have employees afraid to speak out, parents who have legitimate complaints, and a public who needs to be heard on these matters.

That's just the start.

A new majority only takes YOU to take action. The deadline to submit the forms with signatures is noon Friday. We will all help you gather those signatures. We'll take the forms downtown if YOU can't get off work to do it yourself. YOU must be a registered voter in either school board district 1 or district 3. YOU only need to want to improve our School District on behalf of our community for YOU to be the person we need on the School Board.

My email address is

"The inaction of those who could have acted..." That's YOU, my friend.


Anonymous said...

Pat - why don't you run?

Anonymous said...


Please run for the children of this district. You are knowedgeable, caring, and honest. Thank you for all of your help.

Anonymous said...

I agree, have you considered running Pat?

Had Enough Indy? said...

to all - I truly appreciate your trust in me. But it is always preferable to find new blood for an organization. Let's keep looking for new people to move Decatur forward.

Anonymous said...

How often does the school board meet?

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 6:46 - the Board has a regular meeting once a month - and they call a special session or work session or executive session as needed. The special session is one at which they can vote on an issue. The work session is when they are gathering information - as around budget time - but I do not believe they can vote. And and executive session is one where a closed door issue (limited by state law) like the conduct of a specific employee is being discussed. They cannot take any votes in executive sessions.

Long story short it probably averages to about 2 nights a month, no matter the assortment of meeting types -- with more meetings in some months and fewer in other months.

Anonymous said...

Does everyone in the Township get to vote on the Districts or only people in that District?

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 7:10 - as long as you are registered to vote in Decatur, you can vote for any school board member from any district. The rules for who can run are where it all gets confusing. So, those registered voters in school board district 2 cannot RUN for the board this time around, but they can VOTE for their preferred candidates. And SHOULD VOTE for their preferred candidates to send a message.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone talked to Mr. Bazemore about running again?

Anonymous said...

Well COllins and Hensen got their names in for re-election today. Now when will someone else step up and run? Those of us stuck in District 2 are counting on you to please make some changes!

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 7:53 -- well then, we have ourselves a race. Two petitions will be submitted tomorrow for district #3.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say, nice work to everyone that came together and helped get 2 fresh names ready to submit! I can not wait till election day :)

Anonymous said...

Alright! Now all we need is someone for district 1. That is a very important spot to fill. Who is ready to take on the challenge?

Anonymous said...

Yeah and don't forget that District 1 is the lady that was rude to the teacher that was speaking at the Board Meeting. This spot needs a respectful person to fill it.

Cynical Grad of 1980 said...

The residents of Decatur township certainly appear to be a passive lot. A few folks are seemingly getting away with a lot of dubious behavior. Since when has this particular school system ever been free from an incestuous circle? One could reasonably surmise the school system simply as a vehicle for a few well placed impudent parasites to unabashedly pilfer....Rather (no pun intended) a vehicle for the compulsory education of the township's kids.

The last sentence in your post certainly rings true. It can only happen if allowed, to happen.