Some explanation - C wrote me after last night's meeting and took me to task for asking mean questions. I wrote back and explained that I took on that role because none of our administrators  was offering any ideas about how to deal with the 4.8 million deficit. They all wanted us to spend money for their programs which we don't have. C then wrote me this.

Thanks for the explanation. I saw things differently. It's not what you say, it's how you say it. It's all a communications game, isn't it? The prize goes to whomever is best at getting his or her point across. And, some people listen to everything, some listen only to what they want to hear, some don't listen at all. 

The best idea from last night was an excess levy referendum, even though its impact isn't immediate. Yes, I'd pay more taxes to get what I want. If I - and all those speakers who don't want closings, larger classes, etc. - value education as we say we do, then we need to pay for it. I say max us out. We ponied up $6.6 million in '98 or '99 for athletic facilities; let's do it again. In hindsight, the big mistake in that stadium referendum was not including other capital needs with it, such as refurbishing music rooms in the middle and high schools. People don't seem to hesitate to support sports, so we should have taken advantage by
tacking on some stuff that probably couldn't have stood alone! Your mom offers good advice.
and this is what I wrote C back.

<< Your mom offers good advice. >>
Hi C,

As you know kids don't always follow their Mom's advice. ;) 
Which saying did you find in my web? "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar" or "It takes two people to have a fight" or was it some other old chestnut? I love both of those aphorisms and when possible try to live by them. 

The funniest thing about last night (and it was really a little galling) was Phil Storsteen. He used to be on the School Board and was one of our "fiscal conservatives." Now all of the sudden he wants us to raise taxes. I've got to find the email he sent me when I voted to raise the taxes to the max. In it he scolded me with the lines from that old rock tune, "liar liar pants on fire." 

Last night Phil didn't mention that Edison, whose Board he chairs, would get $80,000 if an excess levy passed. I don't begrudge Edison that part of the 1.2 million we could raise but his self interest wasn't evident to most people. He also left the impression, which fortunately was corrected by others, that we could have that money immediately. Fortunately, you understand that the money won't be available until 2002-03. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who don't understand that school boards, unlike county commissions and city councils, are not given that power (to raise taxes without going to the voters) under state statute.

Keep in touch.