Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's Election Day, Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Today is Tuesday, March 12, 2013. It's Election Day in the Oyster River Cooperative School District.

I'm a busy voter; tell me what to do. Vote today at your regular polling place for Thomas Newkirk and Kenneth Rotner for school board. Vote YES on all the YES/NO school district questions. Lee voters, please vote for Scott Bugbee for selectman.

Well, I have a little time to read. Familiarize yourself with the ballot by reading ORCSDcleanslate's Voting Guide for the 2013 Oyster River Cooperative School District Election.  Read about the candidates forum.

Why should I believe you when you tell me who to vote for? You should vote for who you think is best. I'm telling you who I think is best and why.

This school board race isn't like last year's. Last year was a real good versus evil fight. Rather than continue the era of condoned hate speech and serial Right-to-Know violations, the community sensibly chose overwhelmingly not to reelect Jim Kach and Henry Brackett. Mr. Brackett is running for Lee Selectman, which is why I want you Lee residents to vote for Scott Bugbee.

This year, Carl Piedmont (website) is the newcomer who went to his first school board meeting six days ago, compared to world-renowned scholar and current board member Tom Newkirk (unofficial website) and long time Durham doctor, parent, and school board devotee Kenny Rotner (website, endorsements). When Mr. Piedmont did answer at the candidates forum, it was usually to agree with Tom and Kenny. Mr. Piedmont never really attempted to make a case that he brought to the table something so great that it made up for his lack of familiarity and expertise that the other candidates so clearly carry. Having "skin in the game" isn't enough. And I have to say, it makes me a bit uneasy to refer to children as "skin" and their education as a game.

Other possible reasons to vote for Mr. Piedmont include a vague hope he might be more supportive of football than an MD (neither candidate has publicly expressed a view to my knowledge) and that Bob Barth, who isn't running for anything, wrote a letter to the editor to which Mr. Piedmont took offense. I'm sticking with the very well known quantities Tom Newkirk and Kenny Rotner.

What about the YES/NO Warrant Articles?  I'm voting YES on all of them.  Article 3 approves the office and custodial workers contract.  Article 4 is $40,000 for the sustainability committee.  Article 5 authorizes a reserve fund of up to $770,000.  Article 6 appropriates the $38.8 million for schools from the taxpayer.  My Voter Guide has more.

A note on the Lee Selectman race. Obviously don't vote for the lawbreaking Henry Brackett. Until yesterday afternoon, I had stated it was easy to choose Scott Bugbee over Carol Dennis due to Ms. Dennis's conflict of interest because her husband Allan Dennis is Lee Code Enforcement Officer and Lee Planning / Zoning Director. The upcoming year would have been especially thorny, as the selectman have engaged a consultant to examine the efficiency and manpower needs of the Planning and Zoning office. Allan Dennis announced his resignation yesterday (the day before election day) thus ending Ms. Dennis's conflict of interest issue. Nonetheless, I found Scott Bugbee's record superior to Ms. Dennis's, and I thought that Ms. Dennis would have displayed better judgement had she disclosed her conflict at the outset, rather than resolve it with this disruptive, last minute resignation.

What's next? The results of the election should be announced after 9pm tonight.  Check FORE -- they're diligent and they'll post immediately.   I'll post them here when I get home. After that, I take a long vacation from blogging.  And hopefully I don't have to mention tweets and lawsuits again, but I'm not making any promises.

Are there any other websites for information? As much as I'd like to service all your Oyster River School Board needs, there are many others. Stephanie and Lorna over at FORE know more than pretty much anyone what's going on in the district. I've been having lots of fun with Oy'C'mon (OysterRiverCommunity.blogspot.com) this cycle.  You can also check out our endorsed candidates' sites: Tom Newkirk, Kenny Rotner, and Scott Bugbee.  The Sustainability Committee's site is the Green Oyster. Mike McClurken's site is www.orcsdnumbers.org.  There's not too much excitement about the election at the district's site orcsd.org.

Anything else?  Happy Election Day. Go vote. Bring some friends.

Dean Rubine, Lee

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