Classy Lady

Dear Political Diary

I called up Dick Pearson and asked if he had a little free time to tell me about his service as Superintendent of the Duluth Schools. He told me to drop by his place at 9AM which gave me an hour to type up the resume he'd requested. I titled it:  "an eccentric's resume." Its not one I'd take to the bank or to a job interview.

I'd wanted to interview Dick about the Board since I'd been elected six years earlier. He started out as an elementary teacher and had been the superintendent from 1972 to 86. He gave me a good picture of the politics of his era which left him with a union friendly and woman's rights oriented Board.

He seconded stories I'd heard earlier about the relocation of Central to its current location and pointedly mentioned the 1965 bond referendum approved by the voters to raise $80,000 to tear down old Central. The community thought better of the plan a few years later and the CAB was saved.

Dick was intrigued with the anecdotes I'd included in my resume. He mentioned that he had been a junior at UMD when Brown vs. Board of Ed had been handed down. It was a quick two hour meeting and I was grateful to Dick for his hospitality and for sharing his experiences.

I got back together with my Grant School reading partner, Tony, after the long holiday break. He told me he had enjoyed my hand made card with the elf called "undertaker." I asked him if he'd said "Merry Christmas" to his teacher. He flashed a big winning grin and said he had.

There was a message from Garry Krause on my answering machine telling me that he wouldn't mind being the Clerk of the Board. Since Mary Cameron had also expressed an interest in Clerk this posed a bit of a problem for me. He also told me that he knew for certain that Mike Akervik was going to be a candidate for Chair.

Garry had surmised at the Business Committee on Monday that Mike would be a candidate. Laura Condon had kept winking at him during the meeting. Mike had since admitted to Gary that this was in fact the case. Some of the Board members were organizing to prevent Bob Mars from becoming chair. Mike seemed like a natural choice. He had been huffing and puffing about administrative cuts recently but he'd avoided saying things that would offend other Board members. 

Eileen's last Education Committee took place at 4:00 this afternoon. It was another brief meeting lasting no more than 45 minutes. After the meeting Julio teased ma about the quarter I owed him for our bet the night before. I tossed him his winnings and told him it was the first bet I'd lost in thirty years that I hadn't welshed on paying. The only other bet I could recall had been with Dan Fields when I was in college. I bet him a hundred bucks that he'd be married before me. I welshed on that bet too.

Mary Cameron showed up towards the end of the meeting. She had been asked to give an on air interview at the beginning of the 5 and at 6PM news. Mary shook hands with Eileen and wished her well. She also told Eileen that she was sure she would be back on the Board to which Eileen replied, "Oh, will I?"

After Mary was finished with her first interview I suggested that we get a bite to eat at my home while I changed into a suit for the formal swearing at 6:30. I asked Mary whether she would mind nominating Garry for Clerk if I was elected Chair. I told her I didn't think I would get elected and told her that if I lost I planned to nominate her for Clerk instead. She was comfortable with this proposal. 

Claudia and talked to Mary while I suited up for the big game. Garry called as I was slipping on my belt. He told me that he would be content to be the treasurer and I said we'd nominate him. I asked him to vote for me for Chair and Mary for Clerk. We were both in a rush and ended the call after a minute.

Almost immediately Garry called again while I was pulling on my socks. He apologized but said that he'd just realized that if I was pitted against Mike he'd have to vote for Mike or risk being ostracized by his union. On the other hand if Bob Mars was nominated I'd get his vote. I told Garry not to sweat it and to do what he had to. There has been some furious backstabbing in the union ranks lately and I had no interest in seeing Garry punished. Garry and I agreed on too much to risk losing him. If my chances for becoming Chair had been dim before this doused the flame completely.

Mary never did get that bite to eat I'd offered her and I rushed her back for her 6PM interview bringing her up to speed on Garry's call. 

Mike won the chairmanship on a seven to two vote. Ouch. Dorothy Neumann was elected Vice Chair unanimously being the only nominatee. Bob Mars was nominated for the ceremonial post of Treasurer by Pati and I nominated Garry. Garry won 5 to 4.  Bob voted for Garry! Finally, I nominated Mary Cameron for Clerk of the Board. The Clerk position is the only serious office besides the Chair since the two of them set the agenda along with the Superintendent.

Laura Condon was also nominated for Clerk. We were poised for a squeaker of an election which I calculated Mary would win. Mary surprised us all. She declined the nomination leaving Laura with the office by default. Laura looked dumfounded and offered Mary a flustered thank you.

After the meeting Mary asked me if I minded her declining the nomination. I told her that it was a very classy thing to have done. It was a real peace offering. 

I invited Mary to join Claudia and me for dinner but she declined saying she had dirty dishes waiting for her at home. We said goodbye and took Claudia up to Bulldog's Pizza. Our Mayor, Gary Doty, and his family were dining on the other side of the booth where we were seated.

When Gary got up to leave he saw us and leaned over the partition to ask if Bob Mars had been elected Chair. I told him about Akervik accession. Gary looked surprised and said that Julio had predicted that Bob would be our next Chair. 

"Nope," I replied. "Bob was a bad boy and didn't support the excess levy."

"Ah," said the Mayor.

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