Friday, March 31, 2006

Flag disputes in Howell

As the LOVE/Diversity issues in Howell Schools have become a major topic of discussion on this blog, I'm posting the latest story on this. Due to my standing with the Concerned Taxpayers' Group and our PAC, I'm once again refraining comment on most school issues until at least our PAC's endorsements are decided upon.

From the Argus

Flags at school draw differing views — Community members, educators contend diversity, values banners symbolize something other than clubs
By Christopher Nagy
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS

Some teachers at Howell High School are raising the same questions over the interpretation of the flag for the school's Traditional Values Club that community members have raised over the interpretation of the flag used by the school's Diversity Club.
Roughly 40 staff members at Howell High School met with Principal Margaret Hamill Thursday to air concerns over the recent decision to display the Traditional Values Club flag, which some see as a representation of the Christian faith.

The white flag sports a red, lower-case "t" set in a blue field in the upper left-hand corner of the flag. The teachers say the lower case "t" is really a cross. The flag is commonly identified as a Christian flag used in some churches.

"There are concerns about that Christian flag they might put up, and there are questions to whether it violates the separation of church and state," said teacher Doug Norton, president of the teachers' union.
Norton said teachers are also upset that they learned of the approval to display the flag of the Traditional Values Club through media reports.

Andrew Cureton, the student who started the TVC, could not be reached for comment, but Livingston Organization for Values in Education member Jason Woolford, who has helped the club get off the ground, said there's no question that the club's flag is a Christian flag.

"Absolutely. It's a cross there, no denying that," Woolford said. "What's cool about it is that it's a cross, but it also looks like a 't' for 'traditional values,' but these kids are not going to lie and say the flag is something other than it is. They know what the flag is. They're not trying to hide that it's a Christian flag."

(snip)

13 comments:

Kevins said...

Clearly, this violates the First Amendment ban on the government endorsing a state religion, but what else can we expect from a group as dishonest as the “love” group. The article you posted on March 23 from the DP& R about the PAC said this “…the group plans to interview all the candidates in the Howell school board race, then throw the organization's support behind the two candidates that best represent the ideas of the LOVE PAC. “ Actually that’s the part of the article Dan left out. But today I was reading the latest edition of the Livingston Parent Journal, and there was an ad urging people to vote in the school election, paid for by the “love” PAC. It tells peoples if they want information on the candidates use the e-mail address provided in the ad. But the address is Vicky Fyke’s e-mail address, a school board candidate. So my question, dan, is do you really expect people to believe that this PAC is going to endorse anyone other than Jim Pratt and Vicki Fyke?

Republican Michigander said...

Just as a point of clarification. Vicki Fyke's not running for school board. She's their PAC treasurer.

I don't know who they are going to endorse, although I have an idea who has the best chance of getting the endorsements based on who has been most active at their meetings.

Kevins said...

I stand corrected. You are correct, Dan. Vicky Fyke is not a candidate, but I’ll bet my house on who will get the “endorsement.”

Anonymous said...

Can you say Wendy Day? Jim Pratt and Wendy Day will get the endorsement. It is a pac set up to give money time and attention to Jim and Wendy. Since they are such single issue people can they really handle the work that comes with the position?
What will they caay on about now that they have their own flag? I sure hope the Howell public schools keep both flags and get back to the running of schools.

Wendy Day said...

Actually, I am not a single issue candidate.I have a diverse background that will bring fresh perspective to the Board. I think all the flags should be taken down and we should get back to the business of education. If you check out my website: www.wendyday06.com, you won't see anything on there about the flag issue. Please do your homework.

Anonymous said...

What I see from you and the group you belong to is simple discrimination. No matter how you dress it up and try to make it all pretty and acceptable it all boils down to discrimination. Period.

Republican Michigander said...

Welcome aboard Wendy.

As I've said to Jim Pratt, I welcome you and all candidates to share your views on here so the voters all have as much information as possible before making our decisions in May.

Kevins said...

Well Dan, something tells me the only Howell School Board candidates you’re going to find on this blog are Wendy Day, Jim Pratt and John Arthur. Just a hunch.

Anonymous said...

Kevin:

Jim Pratt here.

If I were you I wouldn’t “bet my house” that I would be the one “LOVE PAC” endorsement. You may end up losing the homestead. And I just spent a night with the REACH program volunteering to help those who are homeless in Livingston County who overnight in churches. Not a nice thing to be without a home. I wouldn’t suggest it.

I don’t know if I will get the “LOVE PAC” endorsement or not.

You see, Wendy and John Arthur are both members of the Livingston County Republicans. Wendy is on the executive board, John is a longtime member. Most of the LOVE regulars can be found on the membership rolls of the Livingston County Republicans. That’s ok.

Although I have donated to and worked for the election of both Republicans and Democrats in the past, I am not a member of either party. Both parties have contributed wonderful ideas to build this country at different points in the past. And even today, I can see merit in some of the ideas of both parties. Both have a sincere desire to move the country in a way that benefits it’s citizens. They have fundamental differences in HOW we get there. And that is good. If you’ve visited my http://pratt4schoolboard.com website, you’d see that I have worked with leaders from both parties on issues that were important to the people I had a responsibility to be an advocate for.

And school board is a non-partisan race. It is fine and appropriate that anyone who has an interest and a concern about how are schools are run have both a voice to speak for their interests, and an ear that will listen. I hope that I have the opportunity to be the ear that is available to listen. The voters will decide on May 2nd. That is the wonderful thing about America – is that the voters get to make up their own minds and decide for themselves. I have no intention of making this a "republican vs. democrat" race. As a federal employee, if it WAS a partisan race, I could not run. That would violate the Hatch Act. So I can only be non-partisan.

I can contribute to parties *(full disclosure, I attended the 2006 Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, and bid at the "silent auction", and I attended the 2005 Democrat "Jackson-Jefferson Dinner, and bid at the silent auction. I won't disclose who had better food). And I have, in the past, contributed financially to Congressional and State Rep candidates of both parties at one time or another.

Now, let’s talk about the Press Argus paper. Today, they FINALLY got it right.
I applaud the paper’s editorial in the highest terms. The “Great Flag Debate” as they put it, is a debate about tolerance. And if even one student is afraid to go school, and to hold and share his or her beliefs, that is wrong. That is my motivation in trying to find a solution to that issue. But that is only one of many issues facing our schools.

This is the letter that got me to start going to the LOVE meetings last summer. It was in the Press Argus on June 24, 2005, and reads as follows:
===========

Afraid to speak out on 'diversity'

This is regarding all of the letters over the past few months
concerning the Diversity Club at Howell High School, and lately, the
controversy over the "Love Rock Four."

I am currently a student at Howell High School and I am afraid -
afraid to speak out. I am opposed to the display of the diversity
flag. Unfortunately, the students who are opposed to the flag cannot
find their voice. We are all afraid because many of the teachers and
other students have made it almost impossible for us to express our
opinions. When we do, we are belittled and humiliated.

I have been a member of the high school plays, including "Pippin." I
am not homophobic and many of my friends are gay. I have nothing
against the gay community and have never purposely offended or
insulted anyone because of who they are or the views they hold.

What I am opposed to are the actions of the Diversity Club? If they
are as interested in promoting diversity as they claim to be, why am I
afraid to share my opinion? Why don't they consider the fact that the
flag could offend me?

If the flag isn't a gay pride flag, why is that all they seem to be
fighting for? They say they respect everyone's opinion. Then why, when
the issue comes up again, as it did with the graffiti incident,
someone from the now labeled "anti-diversity" side cannot state their
opinion without being criticized by their peers and their teachers?

I am not ignorant. I am not uninformed, but I do now considered myself
to be a loner. This is how I ended my year - sad, frustrated, and with
very few friends. All due to this continuous controversy. So can we
please lay it to rest, and rather than a current event, make it a memory?

Mary Williams

Brighton
============================

Kevin, I am an adamant supporter of the first amendment. And I am wonderfully happy that today, FINALLY, the Press Argus “gets it”.

They wrote today “There is no trick to embracing diversity of thought when you pretty much agree with the point of view expressed. True tolerance is to accept --- or at least try to understand and live with—those beliefs and attitudes that seem foreign”.

I couldn’t agree more. Finally, they (Press Argus) get it.

The flag chosen by the “Diversity club” is a rainbow flag. To Doug Norton, it meant “everybody is welcome”. I believe that he meant that at the time. To those who saw the diversity flag as saying “everybody is welcome”, fine. I do not question their motives. But they didn’t recognize, or refused to admit, that this flag, as a powerful symbol, had another meaning. And to some students, that meaning was NOT an inclusive message at all.

To them, the flag tore that their core spiritual beliefs. These students said “Please, it doesn’t represent me, stop saying that it represents me”, and asked for tolerance. But that didn’t happen. Instead, they got steam rollered by a system of government, albeit at the hands of the school board and school administration that had wonderful motives, but terrible execution. I know you disagree, and that is fine. You are entitled to see things from your perspective. But when ideas and symbols detract from the learning environment, we have an obligation to openly discuss the issues that are interfering with education, and all have a right to bring these issues up before the board.

I sincerely believe that those making the decisions at the time didn’t not know the impact of their decisions on the people who attend the school. Maybe they were just plain ignorant of the symbolic use of the rainbow flag by the gay pride movement. I don’t know. At the beginning, the parents of these kids simply asked for another flag to be considered. Some said they would prefer an American flag, which represents our deep heritage and melting pot, with it’s fifty stars representing states all over this nation. That is a wonderful symbol of our diversity. Or a patchwork quilt, where the rainbow patch was one small part of a great mosaic quilt.

But the “Diversity Club”, and all the grown ups, insisted that the rainbow flag represented all the kids. It “had to” represent kids who held religious beliefs that sex before marriage is wrong, and that marriage is a covenant act, given by God for a man and a woman to join together. You may not agree with that definition of marriage. And that is ok for you to believe what you want to believe. I am an adamant supporter of the First Amendment. It’s your right to think what you wish.

Personally, I believe that marriage is more than a governmental recognition entitling one to benefits based on living together. I don’t try to press my beliefs on others, and I hope you wouldn’t either. I understand that others don’t hold my point of view. But that doesn’t mean I have to give up my convictions, or that I have to ask my child to give up the moral and ethical standards I am trying to teach, in order to have my child educated in Public Schools. Tolerance is allowing other points of view to be held without belittling them. Each adds to the conversation.

Same thing with the language in the Howell School’s diversity statement. It has language which many find offensive. The words in question are “recognize the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

Nice words? They were put in the document specifically in reaction to the 2003 Texas Sodomy U.S. Supreme Court case. That case struck down Texas’s law which made sodomy a crime in that state. Certainly a controversial opinion that came out 5-4. That is why they put those words in the Howell School System Diversity Policy. Certainly you can see that some people would have difficulty with having those words and that meaning in the Howell Diversity Policy. Especially since sodomy remains a crime under Michigan law, Supreme Court case not withstanding, although it is not enforced here often. In my opinion it is simply poor judgment to include that phrase in the School’s Diversity policy. I’m sure you disagree. Fine. We can agree to disagree.

But those words were not original to the Texas case. If those written the Diversity Policy did their homework, they would have recognized that those words were originally written in a very different U.S. Supreme Court Case. The 1992 “Planned Parenthood v. Casey” decision is where those words come from, in Justice Kennedy’s decision supporting abortion. They are current case law on Abortion. But a lightning rod for those that believe that Casey was decided incorrectly. And they do not belong, in my opinion, in the Howell Diversity Policy, because the words are, for those who believe abortion is wrong, a direct attack on their beliefs. One doesn’t have to agree or disagree to recognize the inherent nature of the conflict here.

For me, I’d at LEAST like the people doing the voting on policy to understand what it is they are writing, and why people may have differing opinions. For me, I’d at least like to have an informed debate, where all voices are heard, before making any decisions. And I would respect the beliefs of people on both sides, and try to negotiate a neutral approach that allows all sides of an issue to be aired, before deciding what is the right thing to do. And I would respect the beliefs even of those people I disagree with.

I know that didn’t happen in this case. The board said "it sounded good," voted without debate, and moved on. And lots of people saw their beliefs attacked. I would try my best not let that kind of thing happen without good, honest, open debate, and consideration of all opinions and beliefs, and the potential impact of having something like pro-abortion language from a major abortion case become the policy of the school district. We can do better to avoid the conflict, and respect differing opinions.

They did the same thing two weeks ago when they rammed through the “sexual orientation non-discrimination” language through at the board meeting without having what I believe was sufficient debate about the issue.

Why was I concerned?

I am not “homophobic”. I understand, however, that such a policy in a non-discrimination clause opens a pandora’s box of legal ramifications. Such action should only be taken after thorough legal review, and expensed out. You see, only the teachers contract in the school already has a reference to sexual orientation. The other contracts don’t. But all contracts include references to “family medical benefits” being available to all employees.

The School Board didn’t ask the question of how we define “a family” for purposes of medical benefits. It’s not defined in current policy or in any contract. So the minute that “sexual orientation” clause is added to the school’s non-discrimination policy, it become a legal basis for anyone wanting to include “domestic partner benefits” to apply. There is no current standard for what qualifies as a "family". Refusal to pay benefits now would mean the potential of a lawsuit. Not a good start. Again, the intentions by the board were worthy of discussion. And that is what should have happened, in my opinion. Discussion, a review, and then, after all sides had an opporuntiy to be heard, a well reasoned vote. Such a change merited review, perhaps legal counsel, and a fiscal estiamte of the potential impact to put a few words into that policy. It is unfortunate that that didn't happen.

But the results were not well thought out. One board member asked if anything might happen with medical insurance, and was told, incorrently, that the district’s insurance carrier doesn’t offer domestic partner benefits, so there is no financial impact. Unfortunately, that was incorrect information. MESSA, the insurance carrier for the teacher union, DOES offer “domestic partner benefits” to multiple other educational clients.

And there currently is a major legal case awaiting trail with a public entity being sued after they were told by the Attorney General that paying such benefits was prevented by the Michigan Marriage Amendment. That could mean big problems if a similar suit is initiated here. Anyone following Attorney General Cox's legal actions in Lansing would have known that. Its common knowledge to political junkies. But the board didn’t stop to check facts, they simply rammed through what they thought was an idea consistent with previous Diversity Policy. We must take the time to think through not only what happens next, but what happens three or four steps down the process. Current School contracts do not require showing proof of marriage in order to be considered a “family”. That should probably have been done at the same time as language on sexual orientation, so that the Union contracts would be negotiated with all possible ramifications considered. "Family" will probalby have to be defined now, and that will mean perhaps five different definitions negotiated into five different contracts.

Now all that aside, I’m not a “single issue candidate”. In fact, I really hadn’t planned on the “moral issues” being a major factor in my run for school board last year, or this year.

Instead, I focused on the issues regarding finance, and what I saw at the time as a crisis in the making. I’ve got experience on the finance committee of an organization that runs about a 4 million dollar budget. I’ve got experience developing pay systems for employees, and I was hoping then, as I hope now, to be able to bring ideas in the world of finance and labor law negotiations to the table. School Board is the direct link to the citizens of the district. They are the ones I believe need to be held accountable if the school’s budget is out of whack. And I believe that the last five years of state aid increases (miniscule) have left the school system in a place where they HAVE to do some major restructuring if they are going to survive. Our economy is not looking good into 2007, or even into 2008. As far as the eye can see were are going to have issues under the current structure. Now is the time for some bold discussions with the school employees about how we are going to survive.

Since I am NOT a proponent of “contracting out”, there is little savings in that area left anyway. Custondians are down by 1/3rd already. Even if they wanted to contract out custodians, you are talking miniscule savings. Custodians and Bus Drivers have already taken big hits over the last five years. It doesn’t make business sense to do that.

What DOES make business sense is to work the teachers and administrators to restructure for the future.

No one knows what the voters are going to do next November (K-16 coalition petition), so the school board has an obligation NOW to work with teachers and administrators to craft financial restructuring a plan that both the Board and the employees can buy into. That’s where I think I have something to offer the board.

I’m not a "curriculum guy." Others on the board now have that experience and background.

I’m an “idea guy”, a “money guy”, and a “personnel guy” who works to solve problems in creative ways. I’ve worked before on personnel-compensation and benefits (PC&B) structures that employee unions can embrace. It’s never easy, but it can be done. The key is to keep an open mind, and get everyone to understand and agree on overall parameters, and then put ideas inside those parameters that meet both sides needs.

And I'm a "polictial guy," who loves to deal with legislative language, and dealing with those who write the legislation. I have work in Washington with Congressmen from both parties, and I have worked in Lansing to try to get legislators, of both parties, to listen to issues I brought to them. I went to Lansing last year and spoke with Joe Hune, Chris Ward and Valde Garcia, and talked about the issues facing school funding.

State funding, retirement costs, and health insurance are killing us. The squeeze is on. But there are ways to craft systems that enable both sides to become winners. Right now they are about to offer buyouts of in the range of $30,000 at Howell for senior teachers. They hope to get 30 or 40 teachers to agree to it. If they get 30 @ $30,000 that is almost a million dollars they are going to pay employees to stop working. The benefit for the school doesn’t accrue into the next year, when they are replaced with lower paid employees, and even then it is several years before that money is made up. We just did that in 2004, and it cost almost a million then. So because we have the financial structure we have, we are wasting $2 million dollars to people who are our best and most senior employees. There has to be a better way.

Two million dollars is what some say it is going to take to open Parker High. Yet we are letting 2 million walk out the door to get our most experienced employees to leave. That’s not in the best interest of the employees, or the taxpayers.

The School Board is made up of people who are a team. Seven different sets of life experiences and backgrounds. Each brings a unique experience and talent to the job. You have some that excel at curriculum. Some who excel at other things. Each adds value. I would hope that I can contribute something as well.

I have something that I think I can add to the board, and I’d like to try. That is why I am running for school board. I'm the guy that last year said I didn't think the "enhancement millage" was a good idea. All the other candidates did. I'm the guy who stood up a the November school board meeting and asked the board NOT to move the non-homested collection of taxes forward from December 06 to July 06 without serious discussion, and asked that the Chamber of Commernce be informed. I'm a member of the Chamber, and nobody told them until the day before the Board meeting. No one from the Chamber was present when the tax-shift was voted on.

My life experiences are not the same as Wendy Day, nor John Arthur. I’m not a paying member of “the Livingston County Republicans”. I kind of have the feeling Day and Arthur may be the ones who get the nod from LOVE. I would not harbor any ill feelings towards the LOVE group if they chose to recommend a different candidate than me. That is their right. I've talked to all candidates in the race, and I consider each of them has something that they could contribute. Whther or not I get any endorsement from any group, even the LOVE PAC nod, I don't know.

And if that is the case, I’ll live with it, try to do my best, and try to move on and talk to more people.

I have done what I could to listen to the LOVE position, and tried to make a difference for students like Mary Williams’s letter from last summer. I want her, just like I want all kids, to feel welcome and a valuable part of Howell Schools too. I don’t want ANY student to feel they have to give up their core beliefs and religious convictions in order to get an education in Howell Public Schools.

I have done what I could to meet with employee groups at the school, and hear what they had to say. I meet with the teachers union next week, and dont' know if I will get their endorsement. I met with the concerned taxpayers, and asked for them to consider my candidacy. I met with the Press Argus, and with the Community News. I met with teamsters local 321, and I met with MEA's custodians at the school. I met with parents, and with students, and with the School Administration. All have concerns and interests they have.

And I want our School Board to have the best mix of talent it can get for the future, whoever that may be. If I don’t win this time, that’s ok. I came in second last year in a seven way-race. Pretty darn good for a first-time candidate. My message of “common sense” resonated with a lot of voters. If they chose someone else, that’s fine. What is more important to me is that people simply get out and vote.

Please don’t “bet your homestead” that I will get the LOVE PAC nod. I’d hate to see you loose your home, and then you’d have to put up with me serving you dinner at the “Reach” Homeless Shelter. I do cook a pretty good pot-roast, however.

Sincerely,

James H. Pratt
http://pratt4schoolboard.com

Anonymous said...

Well Kevin- another day, and another twist in the story.

Just when I thought things were going to settle down, and the “Traditional Values” kids would be able to hang their flag, there is more news. I just heard on WHMI that the Traditional Values Club teacher-advisor isn’t there anymore.

It seems now the faculty adviser to the Traditional Values Club has quit. And that leaves the Traditional Values kids without an advisor, and now jeopardizes their right to hang the flag that they want to hang.

I sincerely hope this too will pass, and the kids can move forward. Will another faculty advisor step up to the plate? I certainly hope so.

As I said before, I don’t know if I will get the “LOVE PAC” endorsement or not. I certainly hope that I do, and I would welcome that endorsement. I have worked hard for the last year to contribute ideas to the Livingston County Organization for Values in Education. I have been a member of LOVE and been to LOVE meetings since they began. I believe that they are on the right track.

But as Vicki has said before, on this blog and elsewhere, the LOVE PAC is going to look at all the candidate, and make their decision after inviting all to appear. As I am a candidate, I am not on the LOVE PAC committee, and have no input into who is selected. LOVE is not unique in that aspect. I would venture to say that any other PAC would like a neutral selection committee in operation to interview and make a recommendation. The same offer, that of being able to talk to all the candidates before any group offers an endorsement, is being given by other groups in and around Howell. I think that is great too.

As we move closer to the election, I hope all candidates will be welcomed here in this forum, and any other forum to discuss and post ideas. That’s great. There is nothing like healthy discussion to bring issues to the forefront.

Jim Pratt

Kevins said...

Mr. Pratt, I’ll still take that bet, two-out-of-three are still very good odds. I can guarantee this, either you, Day or Arthur will get one of the two endorsements. Can you tell me with a straight face that one of those three will not get the endorsement? To suggest otherwise is disingenuous, and it’s also disingenuous to honestly say that Fyke will interview all six candidness equally.

Mr. Pratt you used a lot of words to say very little. To me, the whole argument can be boiled down to two simple points, despite a lot of words thrown around to muddy up the issue. Your group and the student group embraces discrimination, and I, and many people in this county, are intolerant of intolerance. I make no apologies for that stand.

As for the letter from the student in your post, it seems to me that other people are also intolerant of intolerance, and I applaud that. If it were not for people who feel the same way, there would still be segregation and Jim Crow laws in the south. Doesn’t this passage of the letter sounded very familiar to you, “I am not homophobic and many of my friends are gay. I have nothing against the gay community.” All you need to do is substitute black for gay, and it sounds a lot like 1963 in the south.

You are correct; I do disagree with your definition of marriage. I believe strongly in love, marriage and family. I also agree with you when you say you “…believe that marriage is more than a governmental recognition entitling one to benefits based on living together.” The government has no right to tell me, you or my neighbors who they can or cannot marry. The government also has no business in my, or anyone else’s, personal life, nor do they have any business in my, or anyone else’s, bedroom.

I must disagree with you when you say you are not a “single issue candidate.” I have not missed a single school board election since 1998, but I do not recall you ever running before. Why run now?

Now, I have no idea why the teacher decided not to sponsor the “TVC.” I can only hope she saw that what she was sponsoring was discrimination. If I am not mistaken, there is a Bible study group at HHS. I seem to remember reading about it when the school held the “see you at the pole” event where students prayed at the flagpole. Maybe the “TVC” students could join that group? To me, that seems like a very good alternative to a club that embraces discrimination.

Anonymous said...

Kevin:


You said " I have not missed a single school board election since 1998, but I do not recall you ever running before. Why run now?"

I have run before. Last year I came in second out of seven candidates, with double the vote count as the number three finisher. See

http://co.livingston.mi.us/countyClerk/electionResults/howellSOVC.jpg

I didn't win last year, that is true. In that case there was not an open seat- the incumbant, Jean Clum, ran for re-election. And she beat me fair and square. But for a first time candidate last time around I think I did ok. One of the main issues last time around was the "enhancement millage", In which I said I did not think was the right approach, and publically said at the time that I was opposed to. I will tell you that if an enhancment millage was really needed, and if everything else that could have taken place with finances HAS been done, I would have been open to at least letting people vote on it.

But in 2005, the school district was saying they were broke, and called it a "survival millage". I did not feel then that everything that could have been done on the spending side had been done at that time. The millage did not pass. And today, the school is still surviving. Although many more painful cuts have been made since then, and continue to be made, I still don't think that a 3-mill "enhancement millage" for operations is best answer at this time.


I can honestly say I don't know who will get the LOVE PAC nod. Whether it is me, Day, Arthur, Webster, or Westmoreland, the five declared candidates who will be on the ballot, I don't know. It could be the write-in candidate Denny McGuire. He lives across the street from me, is a really nice guy, has a masters in public adminstration, and would do well on the board, I'm sure. However, he is a write-in candidate, his name will not be on the ballot, and that makes his candidacy an uphill struggle from the beginning.


I don't know when "LOVE PAC" is going to interviews, or if all the candidates have accepted interviews. I just don't know.

I do know that I have heard Vicki say that they will open the interviews to every candidate. I do know, from reading in the Ann Arbor News, that Webster said she supported traditional values. She might have a shot at the LOVE endorsement. And I know McGuire is a great family man, father, and supporter of the school system. I don't know either Webster or Wetmoreland personally. As far as I know, any of the above may get the LOVE PAC nod.

I've been to most, but not all, of the school board meetings over the last two years. I think I've done what I can to be prepared to serve on the board for a number of reasons. Like I said before, the board is a seven-member team to set policy, and to be responsible to the voters of the district for how the school is run. You and I probably disagree on lots of issues, but we probably agree on lots of other ones as well. You are welcome to vote for whoever you wish to vote for. I could ask no more than to put my ideas out there for consideration, and ask for your vote. If you decide on someone else, that is fine.

In the arena of ideas, it is the vote that makes a difference. That is what makes America great.

Thanks

Jim Pratt

Anonymous said...

Sorry- that link to the Howell School Board election results from last year
didn't make it through very well. Let me try that again:

http://co.livingston.mi.us/countyClerk/
electionResults/howellSOVC.jpg

Maybe I can hot-link it. I will give it a try:
Howell School Board election results, May 2005

Does that work?