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 question.
        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 9-0.
        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.

Pati Rolf
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 dismay.

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.