Mike Patrick’s Nov. 16 editorial presents an interesting call for appointment of a trustee to replace outgoing trustee Jim Purtee — one with “views distinctly different from those now on the board.” Please consider:
This is not the same old (and sometimes illegal) resign/appoint situation the old liberal board was famous for, where one long-serving trustee would resign before serving out his/her last term, appointing a successor who “thinks like I do” (paraphrasing former trustee and board chair Edie Brooks). Rather, Mr. Purtee is resigning due to serious health issues which will prevent him from fulfilling his duties as a trustee.
Trustee Purtee — and his unique perspective — will be missed. He is a staunch proponent of quality education and a savvy businessman who has been committed to having a fiscally lean school district. Mr. Purtee’s proposal for school uniforms was both provocative of good public discourse and an example of his outside-the-box approach. Mr. Purtee was also open-minded on the issues and able to clearly express the reasons for his decisions, including both his withdrawal of the proposal for uniforms, and his decision to terminate IB/PYP. Mr. Purtee’s unique approach on the board will be missed.
At the heart of Mr. Patrick’s editorial lies his disagreement with the board’s decision to terminate IB/PYP. Make no mistake, this will be THE issue in the upcoming campaigns for next May’s election of three trustees, as the old liberal education crew seeks to regain board control and reinstate IB/PYP. Mr. Patrick subtly labels IB/PYP “progressive but controversial,” when a more apt description is “Progressive (capital “P”) AND controversial.”
Our community has been blessed to have many highly qualified individuals apply over the years for trustee appointments. The problem has been that for as long as anyone can remember, and ending only with Jim Purtee’s court-mandated appointment last April, our liberal school board has re-stocked itself with like-minded individuals.
It is ironic that some are now decrying a “lack of diversity” (lack of liberals on the board) when the three trustee seats currently held by appointment were filled as a result of old board members who couldn’t stomach the diversity of having two duly-elected conservatives on “their” board.
Mr. Patrick, you’ve requested that the new appointee have views “distinctly different” from those now on the board. Can you be more specific? If it’s liberal big-spenders you want, just say so.
Finally, I would point out that by asking the board to appoint someone with views antithetical to their own views, you are asking for something the old board NEVER did and you never before requested. Why the double standard?