May 16, 2011

The Waste of School Board Elections

There is an old political saying that goes something like "when in doubt, let the voters decide." After all, in a free democracy, we are best suited to pick the governance we want. Yet, I really dislike school board elections. They're held in the middle of May when after a long winter, people are focused on other things. Turnout is abysmal. The candidates who run generally have represent some special interest group and accountability is zilch.

I noticed in Starpoint, there are three people running for three seats. Now that's voter choice. And these folks are there for the next five years I believe...way too long for a term.

And worse, there is no accountability for the actions school board members take. Take Bob Arbeiter running again for the N.T. school board after voters bounced him a few years ago. Here's a quote from Bob in the Tonawanda News:

“It seems like all the cuts are to sports and the aides and cleaners. I really think they could do more at the administration level,” he said. “I think there are lots of things that can be done without going after the kids all the time.”

Really, Bob? You gave administrators the best retirement packages in New York State. Heck, a deputy superintendent gets $170,000 a YEAR IN TAXPAYER DOLLARS thanks for your leadership. If it wasn't for your total incompetence, maybe N.T. could fund a few more things for the kids. It's your fault.

There are many more Bob Arbeiters out there and I'm not sure what the answer is. The choices always seem to be higher taxes or cutting programs because most people running for school board lack the ability or desire to look at new ways of doing things, like sharing services across district lines.

I don't have the answer but the whole thing seems like a big waste of time. I'll still go vote though...after all, another old saying is that you can't bitch if you don't vote.

1 comment:

Apple Pie Bunker said...

Actually Hobbes, I think the School Board election results in Niagara Falls speak volumes about November's mayoral race.
The real waste would be to ignore the writing on the wall!