No dissent

November 5, 2008

Most of posts today will be about the election yesterday, so if you’re burned out on politics, maybe you can watch Turner Classic Movies instead.

The outcome that surprised me the most was the one for three Fort Wayne Community Schools Board seats, although in retrospect it probably shouldn’t have. All three candidates closely identified with defeating the proposed $500 million bond issue lost, including Evert Mol, the leader of the anti-bond drive, and Jon Olinger, the only board member to vote against the bond issue. The three people who won, including longest-serving board member Steve Corona, think the school system is headed in the right direction.

The most obvious conclusion to jump to is that the voters weren’t paying attention and didn’t make the bond-issue connection. But it’s just as likely that they voted the way they did for a variety of reasons and that being against the bond issue wasn’t enough of a reason for them to vote for somebody. Besides, the voters already proved they can stop a misguided spending proposal, so what do they have to worry about if another one comes along?

But if there are some FWCS patrons who don’t think the system is headed in the right direction, they’d better start paying attention, because there will no longer be a single voice of dissent on the board. A couple of superintendents ago, the school board had such fractious divisions that every board meeting seemed on the verge of dissolving in a fist fight. Not healthy. But neither is a rubber-stamp board, which seems to be what we’re going to have.

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