Last School Board Election we had a surprise. A new candidate named Dr. Lori Cooper entered the race with zero connections and only her credentials to back her up. A small group supported this qualified newcomer as she faced familiar faces to the district. With limited resources, she walked the streets, spoke to the people and diligently listened to their concerns about the failures of the current system.
As a result, Dr. Cooper ended the election night receiving the highest number of votes with the exception of one town. An outspoken, concerned citizen, without a known name or prior campaign experience rose above what many perceived to be a prearranged table of greed. What is this if not a rebuke of the old guard and its old failing ways?
Our neighborhood is starving for a change in our outdated form of local government. We have a system in place for generations, specific families and connections dug in like ticks that show little regard for the voting populace. they rule this miniaturized empire like a mad king unchallenged and unchecked. They bestow the jobs to the loyal and seek retribution to those who speak out. What do they have to show for these ongoing transgressions? A cycle of poor test scores, millions of dollars in lawsuits, dissatisfied staffing, and failed promises to working taxpayers.
We have an opportunity now with the general election on the horizon. We can continue to look for qualified, upcoming candidates like Dr. Cooper, who are disassociated with the corrupt system. We can seek out candidates hungry for a change. Or, we can continue our downward spiral like we have done so election year after election year. The definition of crazy is continuously doing the same thing but expecting a different result. We expect fair and honest work but we fall prey to the same trappings. We settle, again and again for individuals with ulterior motives. We settle for undeserving elected officials who after being honored with our votes, spit in our faces with ulterior motives. We even settle for candidates who do not even bother to show up at school board meetings.
Being elected is a privilege, and it carries responsibility to serve the community, not the other way around. It is a responsibility to serve votes young and old, and most importantly pave the way for our future. If you do not understand this, then you have no business being associated with the education system.
We, the voting body have an obligation as well to the next generation. If we do not break this standing wheel of corruption, nepotism and mediocrity, we will have to face our children and tell them we put their fate in the hands of the unqualified and set them up for failure. We will have to explain to them why we allowed individuals who cared little for the future, only their pocket books, run the education system. We will have to explain to them that we yet again enabled long standing players of this tired corrupt game to continue their dance into moral decay.
We do not have to repeat history. Along with Dr. Cooper, we have another new qualified candidate name John Lombardo attempting to break this wheel. He is a law student who has been ever present at board meetings. He did not wait until he announced his candidacy to start attending. His background and drive is for education, a notion that appears that to be revolutionary, but should be the first primary concern for anyone involved in the education system.
Among these new candidates, we have Joe Kelly also in contention who wishes to fight this system. With three like minded individuals such as these, the start for change is possible in this district. We, the taxpayers and our children should not settle for anything less. Our very future and our children’s future of this fine district hang in the balance.