Marianne Slade-Troutman, who has served on the Nevada County Board of Education for 34 years, and Jack Meeks, who has served on the board for 20 years, will get some needed competition on November 4.
The County School Board has become a shining example of “good old boy/girl”politics in our community, with undercurrents of tea-party politics, and it’s time for a shakeup.
The new challengers include Larry Meek, a retired educator who has served as principal of Nevada Union High School in the ’80s. He also has been president of the 49er Breakfast Rotary Club of Nevada City.
John Givens, of Nevada City, also is running for the County school board. He has been a member of the Friends of Nevada City Elementary School.
Michelle Sexton, of Penn Valley, also is running. Michelle has been a local educator in the County schools.
Slade-Troutman, incumbent Bob Alteri, Meek and Givens are running for Nevada County Board of Education, Trustee Area 1. Two slots are open. Meeks and Sexton are running for Trustee Area 2. One slot is open. (See screen grab below). Let’s hope voters don’t confuse the names Meek and Meeks.
Our schools are the latest target of the hard right, with the Common Core standards being used at a battering ram. The schools also have been subject to political antics, such as micromanaging the expense account of the Superintendent of Schools Holly Hermansen.
Examining “which condiments she used on her hamburger”
Hermansen won re-election, defeating Paul Haas, who was supported by the tea-party contingent in our community. Hermansen is a Democrat, but she won support from GOPers, including Nate Beason and Ed Scofield on the County Board of Supervisors.
“It would seem board members Slade-Troutmann and Meeks will not be content until the superintendent accounts for which condiments she used on her hamburger or until they learn the identities, backgrounds, and political affiliations of those with whom she may have had contact at education conferences,” as a resident wrote in a letter to The Union.
“The election’s over, but both board members seem unable to accept the results. Hint: your candidate lost. Deal with it and stop the petty behavior you seem so adept at exhibiting.” This week Hermansen voluntarily submitted her monthly expense account to the board.
As reported previously, a tea party-backed group called “Americans for Good Government” is seeking to fill nonpartisan posts in our community with like-minded candidates.
“Americans for Good Government” plans to fill 60 open seats on boards and commissions throughout the County with like-minded candidates to “build a strong farm team for elevation to local office, while affecting local policy and fiscal matters,” with support from the tea party, McClintock supporters and others.
The background is here.
This November is a good opportunity for the “silent majority” in our community to “Take Back Our Schools” (to borrow a tea-party term) from the political shenanigans that has been going on.
I am not active in politics, having only donated to one local campaign: Clerk-recorder Greg Diaz when he was challenged by a less qualified candidate, Barry Pruett, whose backers had politicized the race beyond belief.
Like Hermansen, Diaz was being targeted for being a Democrat (or “left-wing” in the words of Congressman Tom McClintock).
In our family we’d rather donate to the nonprofits than political campaigns — and do. But when our schools become subject to a similar vein of politics as the Clerk-Recorder’s race, I’d consider jumping back into the game with a contribution or endorsement. Parents are like that. And I’m batting 1-for-1.