It’s interesting how reading a person’s answers to questions, where forethought can be put into the finished product, varies so greatly to their answers when they are on the spot and have no real time to think about what they are going to say.
Some observations from tonight’s All Candidates Forum for School Board Trustees at the Abby Arts Centre:
* The overriding theme of the night was communication and transparency. Over and over, the idea came up in questions from the moderator (via pre-decided questions submitted by the public), and the audience present in the auditorium. When something is brought up in many ways and from different sources, it’s a problem, folks!!!
* The board chair runs the ship like a business. Period. Except that school districts are so much more complex than just balancing budgets. For one thing, you are dealing with PEOPLE, first and foremost, and most of the stakeholders in the game are CHILDREN, not commodities. Sure, finances are important, but if people don’t LIKE working and learning here, it’s going to be a miserable place, and it has been since job action began back in April.
* The incumbents are hell bent on the fact that their raise was well deserved, and not ill-timed. They insist that it was not their decision, almost as if the choice to either vote FOR or AGAINST the raise was not their own. Did someone else raise their hands for them?
* Some people are long winded, but don’t say much at all. Others come ill-prepared and don’t say enough. Either way, it clears up voting choices.
* The audience knew the issues, and they were ready to hold incumbents responsible. They were also looking for new and better ways of doing things from the other candidates; one hopes the new board will be able to produce.