Letters to the Editor for Oct. 25, 2013

A vote for Bill Harvey

To the Editor:

Nov. 5, voters in Dayton, Champlin and northwest Coon Rapids will have the opportunity to vote for Bill Harvey to continue on the Anoka Hennepin District 11 School Board.

Mr. Harvey was appointed to the board earlier this year, chosen from a field of 10 applicants (full disclosure – I was one). Five were selected for interviews (full disclosure – I was not). A small handful of people observed the interviews (full disclosure – I was one).

Bill Harvey was clearly a top tier candidate and was chosen from a field that included several excellent candidates.

The board evaluated each applicant carefully and in the best spirit of public service and due diligence, selected this extraordinary man to serve our school district.

The board’s primary goal was to find the person best able to serve the interests of the district and the students. It was not providing a springboard to higher office. It was not catering to any special group with a narrow agenda.

It was not swayed by a fancy advertising campaign, nor were sound bites or teams of campaign workers a factor in its decision. The board simply wanted the best person for the job.

And it found him.

Bill has an extraordinary record of achievement in his professional life and an equally impressive record of involvement in our schools prior to seeking appointment, spanning many years and many kids.

The school board spent ample time and had ample information available, in making its decision, more time and information than all but the most involved voters will commit to considering this race.

Were you to weigh all the facts, I am certain you would arrive at the same conclusion the school board did. Bill Harvey was the right choice then, and he is the right choice this November.

Please vote for Bill Harvey this November.

Jeffrey W Baumann, Coon Rapids

 Increases in levy

To the Editor:

Once again it’s time to vote for school board members for ISD 15.

Looking over the past few years, we see that four members of the board have backed every move the superintendent has made.

Thus we have had increases in our non-voter approved levy, the latest adding 3 percent to our present amount.

Ms. Kelly, chairperson, said “it’s free money” at a meeting.  I don’t know about her, but it’s my money and your money as taxpayers.

They don’t even intend to use it wisely. The latest project is to build a warehouse because they “lost” a couple boxes of books a while back. What???

This ‘“free money” will bring the per student total from taxpayers to over $10,000 in 2015. That’s a lot of our tax money!

Fiscal responsibility is a non-starter at ISD 15. We need new board members who will listen to the community members and act accordingly.

The only way we will get community and teacher involvement in the running of this district is to elect Jahnke, Van Denburgh, Vinger and Schwarz.

These neighbors want district management to be responsive to us. It’s not “for the kids” to build a new warehouse, or to hire outside contractors to provide services that some of our teachers can provide or to change programs in midstream.

Maureen Ness, St. Francis

 Elect Fields to board

To the Editor:

Nov. 5 is the day we will vote for who will fill Michael Sullivan’s vacated seat on the A-H School Board for District 4. This is an important position and we need William Fields elected as our new A-H School Board member.

William Fields is from Andover and is a married father of four. He would bring to the board a rich military background experience in the U.S. Air Force and a passion for excellence in education.

He is a person of integrity whose main objective would be to have each student perform at top level and attain their maximum potential for success.

William Fields believes that parents are the primary educators of their children and that the main focus of education should be on core academics and preparing students for a competitive world environment.

If you want our public schools in Anoka-Hennepin to teach students self-discipline and selflessness with a real thirst for knowledge, be sure to vote on Nov. 5 for William Fields.

Sincerely,

Laurie Thompson, Andover

 Guarding the purse

To the Editor:

Who’s guarding your purse? Beware. The legislators in Minnesota have given the school boards of Minnesota a special dispensation on the crime of purse-picking.

The school boards were the lucky recipient of a new statute that will allow them to pick your purse, or pocket, of $300 per pupil per year without  even so much as a “please” or “thank you.”

They can now vote their district an additional levy of up to $300 per student every year just by raising their hand at the school board meeting; no public vote, no public hearing, no justification.

My local school board from ISD 15 did just that last month. When asked why they needed the money and what they planned on spending it on their response was that  they didn’t need the money, but they’d figure out somewhere to spend it after they got it.

Unfortunately, there were only two dissenting votes. One of those board members who voted against stealing more of our money is running this fall, Marsha Vandenburgh.

Two new candidates with the same attitude about protecting our money are Malcolm Vinger and Scott Schwarz.

In ISD 11 District 4 William Fields is the right candidate.

These people do not believe in stealing more of our money to salve the public education machine. They actually believe in schooling for what it should be, a sound, basic education leading to a more enriched life for the children.

As we all know, the amount of money spent by a school board has no relationship to the quality of the education. So why do school boards keep asking for more money and getting worse results?

These candidates will spend their time expecting and getting results, not getting more educated in purse-picking.

Voter for better education, not higher taxes.

Dan Denno, Councilmember, City of Oak Grove

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