Dear Political Diary,
I have a confession to make. This diary is just a little contrived. It is, after all, intended for the general public. I want it to be interesting but I don't want it to be a cheap exercise in exhibitionism. It appears to be chronological but its contents can be changed long after the apparent entry date. Embezzlers do that kind of thing too. Furthermore, people who are aware that I write this have requested that I keep their comments to myself and not publish them. This certainly puts the unknowing at a significant disadvantage. It also means that people could start withholding information from me and that I will miss the candor I crave to get the best feedback and analysis.
So that's my confession for today. I can only plead that my intentions are good. I simply want to make this the most illuminating analysis of a politician's life that I can. On the other hand, who can forget what the road to hell is paved with?
I'm really writing this entry for the fifth on the sixth. Yesterday's entry (meaning the 4th) describing my essay for Twin Ports People was similarly written the day after the events took place. The actual final draft of my essay for TPP was completed today (meaning yesterday, the 5th, not today's "today" the 6th) And if that's not confusing enough I may come back someday in the future and tinker with all of these entries. Such is my sleight-of-hand. Only the computer record keeping system will notice. Such is my
I forgot to mention that I called Duluth's recently reelected city councilor Greg Gilbert a few days ago. The City Council has been besieged by Denfeld residents lately. Denfeld High School students are driving more and more cars to school and crowding out residents when they park their vehicles. Why the residents haven't come to the school board with their complaints I have no idea but I much prefer someone else getting the guff.
The parking problem, however, has been on my mind for a long time. If we close a high school it would exacerbate our parking problems. Whichever two schools remain open will have to accommodate new students and their cars. This is one of the arguments for keeping Central a high school rather than East.
I called Greg and suggested that he look at the land on the lower side of Grand Ave to see if we could acquire it for student parking. The state used the old KFC building for years as a automobile licensing center but has since abandoned it. It is only two blocks away from Denfeld and kitty corner to the Hardees that Denfeld students patronize every afternoon. A hundred cars parked across Grand would significantly improve life for Denfeld's residents.
I also told Greg that City Planner Mike Conlon had accosted me at the Economic Summit to ask me what I thought about allowing school district property along Arrowhead Road to be used for residential housing. He hadn't raised the subject with the Superintendent yet. I told Mike that the District would certainly welcome an increase to our student population which new families would bring. I suggested to Greg that some kind of a land swap might be in order.
I've been thinking about my Twin Ports People column too. TPP has, as near as I can tell, a rather modest readership. My wife didn't even know what it was when I mentioned it to her recently. I'm proud of that column and want it to have a wider readership. Its twice the length of a News Tribune column and I'd hate to shorten it that severely. Besides that there is a point of honor. Its editor, Howie Hanson, asked me to write it. I can't shop it around to other local tabloids in good conscience.
I'm afraid my fellow school board members will never read it if I leave it to chance for them to discover it. I will therefore make sure that it is sent out in this week's packet. Some board members will resent my lobbying to close a high school. Some of them will particularly resent my assessment that the voters were sending us a message to do just this. Still, if I'm right that we won't be able to pass an excess levy until we've closed a high school, its worth considering.
I also need to respond to the column that Pat Roy had published in today's News Trib (meaning the 5th). She is a perennial teacher's union basher and fan of charter schools. My biggest complaint about her piece is that she echoes Brad Bennett's absurd claim that Duluth has too many teachers. This has got to be addressed before the public swallows it hook line and sinker and spits it back at us.
In tomorrow's diary I'll address tomorrow's editorial about the state budget. I know what its about because I've already read it in tomorrow's paper. (Remember, I'm really writing today's entry (the 5th) on the following day (the sixth)).