When it comes to elections, I'm something of a wildcard. Whenever I run for office, I find myself fighting my own nature, which is to hide behind a keyboard and write my thoughts. Public speaking will never be my forte, and going out to lobby for votes is always a stressful chore. In the past, I've found that I just can't be shameless, and that has cost me in the arena of "popularity contests" that we call elections.
Yet, despite myself, I find it impossible to abandon the call of duty.
Daring to venture once more into the fray, I've decided to run for the Robbinston School Board. The school board isn't always a "big" deal in my little town. It's basically a volunteer position you have to get elected to. Yet, while it isn't a position most people seek, it is very important for those of us who care about our children's future. We need to make sure our kids get the best education possible without bankrupting the taxpayers in the process. That is understandably a tenuous proposition, with restrictive funding guidelines and limited capital in these hard economic times.
Robbinston Grade School is one of the best schools out there, public or private. We have a good learning environment, with teachers who are caring and attentive to the students' needs. I want to keep it that way, but I can't do that from the sidelines. Therefore, I must step up, and hope the townspeople will give me their trust.
Last year, we had the big "closure" spectacle, where the current board threatened to shut the school down and tuition our kids to neighboring schools. The plan to shut it down would have actually cost $5,000 more than keeping our school open, but the threat was still made. One board member used it as political posturing, to wake up the voters to the reality of an unavoidable tax increase, but another member seemed genuinely interested in shutting the school down. He thought our kids would get a better education in a bigger, consolidated setting, and he's the one who's up for re-election this year.
I can't make any big, grandiose promises. I'm not going to cut everyone's taxes in half, nor am I going to magically double funding for the school. What I will do is fight to my last breath to keep the school open, and do everything possible to minimize the impact on property tax rates. It's the least any school board member should do.
This isn't my first race, and it won't be my last. I may hate the idea of another election, but there are times that a man must make a stand, and yet again here I am. The only question is, who will stand with me?