a letter to the editor published 9-5-1993 indicating my
early support for closing Central High School
About Sept. 14 Duluth primary
Candidate Holliday led Central closing
Next year, when my son enters fifth grade, he'll attend a secondary school because an angry mob led by the Rev. .James Holliday (now a Duluth School Board candidate) spent several furious
hours beating up the board. My videotape of the meeting ends as the sullen crowd erupts in cursing and shouting.
The board defied the mob and voted to close Central High School. A week later, an intimidated board reversed itself. That was hailed as a victory for democracy rather than an act of cowardice.
Candidate Holliday's lawn signs say he's "For the Kids." When I see them, I think about his role in the mob and think about how my kids are paying the price for his kids' success. A more accurate slogan might be: "For my kids."
I'm an optimist. The foolish decision to keep an unneeded high school open forced the closing of five vital elementary schools but creates an opportunity. That's why
I'm running. I want my children's sacrifice to benefit every child. I hope Holliday thinks about his slogan. If he's elected, he too may face a mob and, if so, I hope he has the spine to recall what this campaign is all about. It's "For the kids."
2101 E. Fourth St.
I was elected two years later and served almost two
years with Rev. Holliday before he left Duluth for a parish in Prince Edward
Island. Although we continued to disagree about the necessity of closing Central
High we grew friendly. I visited his church shortly before he left town
and bid him a fond farewell in front of his congregation and friends.
James Holliday always told me that he viewed his role
as calming down angry citizens which may in fact have been the case. If so,
several Board members who had to endure the crowd "mob" blamed
Holliday fairly or unfairly for the hostility they endured.