Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Political Agendas....Voting...Lets Go People!

On May 8th the voter polls will open to elect the next school board representative.  That said there are a couple of things that have me extremely concerned about the overall election, the candidates and what a run for school board has become in this district.  First off, historically votes for school board elections are dramatically low.  A statistic I find troubling to say the least.  As parents we hold everything our child does so dear and yet when it comes to electing officials who determine the crucial educational outcomes for our very own, we put the responsibility on others to be the voice and cast a vote.  But who are the people behind the voice who end up casting the most votes and for whom?  If you don’t already know the answer read on, clearly elections in this district, even for a school board, have become political warfare with republicans beating up the polls.

Take for example last year’s race.  A man by the name of Richard Forsten, a Middletown resident who has no children but is a republican and is the Parliamentarian and General Counsel for the Republican Party of Delaware, won the open seat on our district school board.  Why would someone who has no children be interested in a school board seat?  Simple, Forsten has an agenda and the word ‘school’ or ‘children’ is not on it.  This is a man who represents several land developers in our area rather than our children’s best interests.  He used a simple district election, ours, to gain leverage in his political status.  He plans to use that leverage to run for a seat in the newly created District 11.  How did he do it?  Giant signs on the side of the road, pockets lined with politician dollars from the Republican Party who supported and funded his campaign, yet no campaigning was carried out.  There were no meet and greets, no public forum addresses and still he won.  The supporters of candidates like Forsten are a woven knit bunch who backs their own in big numbers.  Unfortunately, the parents in our district didn’t back ‘their own’ [children] by getting out and voting last year.  If you aren’t already frustrated read on and if the rest of this article doesn’t get you out on May 8th, you simply don’t care.

Take this year's campaign, which has quickly become another year of political battle over democrats and republicans than it is over who is the right person for the job.  Did you know that one candidate; Andy Cherry also holds the republican chair for our district, the colonial GOP chair for the region?  While I am not encouraging a larger political explosion over a school board election you need to consider that Mr. Cherry is doing just that.  He is bullying his competition because he knows there is a strong, viable candidate who has a good shot at winning, her name is Charlisa Edelin.  Cherry is rallying his supporters with email blasts and direct mailings to the Middletown residents who are also members of the Republican Party.  He has chosen to spend his campaign funds on billboard sized signs directly outside his competitions home to foster a tactic of intimidation.  He is using our election in the same way Forsten did last year to gain leverage in his political trail.  Do we really want another ‘wannabe’ politician practicing their skills on our kids?

He can be stopped, we can prove that regardless of political standing or how much money you can afford to spend on giant signs, that we are a small, strong community willing to stand up and vote on behalf of our child’s best interest. 

Consider the opposition, Charlisa Edelin, whose campaign motivation is simple; as a parent with school aged children attending our district's public schools, she's not satisfied.  Rather than put the responsibility of creating a better learning environment for the district on those who are looking for their next position on the political trail, she has taken matters into her own hands by running in this election.  She is a strong competitor, well known and respected by many in this community.  Cherry knows it and he will spend every last campaign dollar on giant signs to try and bully her out of this race.  It’s too late to battle over Forsten, he’s already won, but there is time this year by voting Edelin for Education on May 8th.

Denise Pavona