5 to 4 Votes
Critics of the Mary Mary Mars letter had to dig deep
to find something to contradict. Pati Rolf was one such excavator. She told Tim Grover
that she was up till 4AM one morning looking at two years worth of Board minutes to find
all the votes the School Board had cast that were NOT 5 to 4 votes.
Letter's numbers misleading (10-19-99)
Why would Bob Heimbach, chairman of the
Mary Mary Mars for School Board Committee send a letter which contains false information
and which seeks to discredit hard working, service minded citizens of Duluth?
Why? I think we know the answer to that
Why would citizens of the same
community attach their names to such a letter?
I will not attempt to respond to all
the recent personal attacks and false information. I will, however, take issue with
Heimbach's statement that since the 1997 election "almost every important decision
has been decided on a 5-4 vote." According to school board minutes, here are some of
the major votes since January '98: Teachers' Contract '97-'99 approved 9-0; business
director's contract approved 6-3; superintendent's contract approved 6-3; change in
insurance policies approved 7-0; change in deed restriction for Washburn APPROVED 5-4;
budget for fiscal year '99 approved 6-2; Public Schools Stadium referendum approved 9-0;
K-5 grade configuration choice approved 7-2; and middle school pilot project
Although we have not always agreed as board
members, the votes listed above clearly show that many important decisions have NOT been
decided on a 5-4 vote.
Duluth School Board Member
Although I am impressed with Pati's diligence I
think she's fooling herself to deny what everyone else saw. Even those of us on the Board
who were unhappy about the division knew it existed. So did the Superintendent. One
humorous but pathetic example of this took place when, after a board meeting, both camps
adjourned to the Green Mill. When the superintendent joined us he found the two camps
meeting in different areas of the restaurant. He went to one group then the next unsure
what to do. Then, rather than joining one group and not the other, he left in
As for Pati's anger that someone would seek to
"discredit hard working, service minded citizens of Duluth," I couldn't help but
notice that she didn't send in a letter to defend Mary Cameron or me when some of her
allies beat the heck out of us.