Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Argus preview of School Board 07

From the Argus
School elections taking political bent
By Dan Meisler
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS

The days when school board elections were barely noticed may be in the past, as pressure from state budget cuts, political parties and community groups are raising the profile of the campaigns and injecting a partisan atmosphere


Miles Vieau said it best.
"It's always been political; it's just been kind of a quiet politics,"


For years there was an old boys/old girls club that controlled things. Elections were run by the schools. The election dates were set by the schools. We had 3-10% turnout most years, largely by MEA affiliates and their supporters. It was a great setup for them.

Some rumblings really started to occur around 03 and 04. Chuck Breiner was involved in a bidding war between Rochester and Howell and received a big raise. At the same time, the school asked for a Headlee override to raise taxes on businesses. Write in candidates for the school board nearly won, and the override lost. It did pass later on a September election.

One key was Chris Ward's bill to limit elections to four days in a year. One in February, May, August (primary), and November (general).

Then came the enhancement millage. Four of the five school districts based in this county supported a property tax increase due to the inability of the districts living within their means in this rough economy. The Concerned Taxpayers Group was born out of this. Despite being outspent 4-1, the enhancement millage failed 2-1, losing in every district. Turnout was about 25-30% - 3-7 times a normal turnout. The old boys club did not control the election.

At the same time, there was a controversey over the rainbow flag raised in Howell schools. That's been covered enough and I don't wish to rehash the controversey. However, I do believe that was a factor in the millage's defeat.

The County GOP took a stand for fiscal discipline and joined the Concerned Taxpayers Group in opposing the tax increase. This brave move was a shot at the old boys club.

After the enchancement millage's defeat, people thought it was important to stay active in the schools. That's why the Concerned Taxpayers Group formed a PAC to make sure our school board members are fiscally responsible. The LOVE Group also formed a PAC to address their concerned about the values issues in their schools. Both PAC's made endorsements, as well as the County GOP. The MEA affiliates made their endorsements as well (as usual). The turnout was 20%, much higher than the customary 3-10%.

That brings us to today. The Concerned Taxpayers Group will be back. I assume the LOVE group will be as well. The MEA will be back. I'm not sure what the GOP or Democrats will do. We'll wait and see there.

The best news about this is that the voters will be informed and that the old boys club can not control everything. While the old boys network will have their say, so will the rest of the voters in the districts. People will have a choice this election, and there won't be the blind voting and few choices which was common in the past.

8 comments:

Communications guru said...

An “old boy’s club” in a county where republicans control every single board and commission? Right. Do you have any idea how stupid and ridiculous that sounds?

"It's always been political; it's just been kind of a quiet politics.” That’s news to me. I followed school board elections pretty closely in Livingston County for the past six or seven years, and I only knew the party affiliation of one candidate. And it played no part in the election. That’s just a ridiculous statement for Miles Vieau to make.

And it would still be quite if a sympatric, sane and disgruntled republican had not sent me that disgusting e-mail your chair sent out.

“The County GOP took a stand for fiscal discipline?” Republican and fiscal responsibility do not being in the same sentence, at least not in the current national and state party.

Republican Michigander said...

If the "disgruntled" Republican sent that to a known liar and one of the biggest wingnuts on the left, then I highly doubt this individual was a republican in the first place, but a leftist mole who wants to set up a blog story.

The party should ignore this individual. If the person was really a disgrunted Republican, they could have contacted Allan or another committee member.

Communications guru said...

“A known liar?” You can’t mean me? Show me where I ever lied? I have lots of friends who are Republicans, and you obviously don’t know your own party. The Republican Party has taken such a hard right turn and it is so narrow there are lots of good, loyal Republicans who aren’t welcome in the party anymore. These are good people who were once part of a Republican party that stood for fairness and favored business, not worshiped it. That party is long gone to replace with narrow-mined people like you.

They are ignoring this individual and lots of others. That’s the problem.

But this is typical of you and your kind. When you can’t shake the message, you attack the messenger.

Republican Michigander said...

Yeah, you. You said that you were kicked off this blog for one. Same goes for your yellow journalism hitpiece on gun owners.

As far as ignoring that individual, by forwarding it you, that individual shows that he/she doesn't care about the party. I have friends and family who are democrats. That doesn't mean I send GOP emails to them to be posted on leftist blogs. Any disagreement I have with the party I take to the people themselves. Allan and I usually but don't always agree. When we have disagreements, we talk to each other, and don't engage in passive-agreessive BS.

The party's moved to the right? Bwahahahahahhaahaha. That's a good one, Kevin. The problem has been the leftist movement in the party by triangulation and coopting leftist ideas such as big spending, and big government.

Communications guru said...

You must be joking? You sound like a broken record. Yes, you did kick Kevins off of this blog, and I have never, ever written a hitpiece (sic) in my life. I said it about 100 times beginning seven years ago, and I will say it again; the column is accurate, correct and true. Now, I’ll concede the point of being kicked off, and it’s simply how you look at it. I was happy using that screen name without registering, and every comment I ever posted I used that screen name. You put a stop to that. Again, I will concede and say it’s a misunderstanding. But not the latter alleged lie. It never happened. If that column bothers you so much after seven years why not post it and tell me what’s wrong with it? Frankly, I only remember the topic of the piece.

Well, you may have “friends and family who are democrats.” I’m glad and very happy for you. But we have a much bigger tent, and there is less chance anyone from my party would be disgruntled. Secondly, I don’t have a “leftist blog, I have a liberal blog.

You go right ahead believing your narrow party has not shifted to the right.

Patrick Flynn said...

Kevin, if the GOP shifted to the right, you would have seen Republican victory last November.

Curley Sue said...

Boy is that the truth Mr. Flynn, but don't go expecting Kindergarden Kevin to believe you. He's just lost and wallowing. Even in Democratic victory, he lost. Come on, KK, just explain that one.

Communications guru said...

No, the Republic Party did shift to the right, and that's exactly why you lost the U.S. House and Senate and the Michigan House. How did I lose “Even in Democratic victory,” fyke? Do you mean Mike McGonegal? Get real. We are building the Democratic Party here in Livingston County, but at this point we are out numbered by the republic party. But you guys keep doing what you are doing. Now that your censorship campaign was defeated and exposed what are you going to do now with your time?