Election 2013 Results: Surprises for Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors & T/E School Board!

The 2013 Election Day results are in and there are some changes for the Board of Supervisors in Tredyffrin Township and the T/E School Board.  National politics and the Tea Party movement certainly appear to have influenced the outcome in some of our local races.

In a surprising upset, two Democratic at-large candidates Murph Wysocki and Mark Freed, beat incumbent Michelle Kichline (R) who currently serves as the chair of the Board of Supervisors and Trip Lukens (R), chair of the township’s Planning Commission.    In the middle District supervisor race, EJ Richter (R) beat Laurie Elliot (D).  Prior to this election, only 2 Democrats (Paul Drucker and Mark DiFeliciantonio) have ever served on Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors.  As of Election Day 2013, that number has now doubled.

For the T/E School Board, incumbent school board president Kevin Buraks (D) won his race against opponent Pete Connors (R).  However, incumbent Rich Brake (R) lost his seat on the school board to Democratic candidate Scott Dorsey.  Election results indicate that Republicans Virginia Lastner and Doug Carlson will join the school board from Easttown Township.

Thank you to all the candidates and congratulations to those who won!

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  1. Pattey, I think you have your facts wrong about why Michelle Kichline & Trip Lukens lost their elections. For Michelle it was her voting record of allowing increased development, which required zoning changes, of property that has the potential to increase the flooding along trout creek. This stance was directly in opposition to the community which vehemently opposed the development that Ms Kichline voted to allow. Nothing to to with the tea party. This is also why Laurie Elliott & Trip Lukens did not win their races as they also supported this increased development. If you vote against the community you were elected to represent, the community will vote you out.

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    Frustrated Resident Reply:

    I agree with Nancy. For the first time in my life, I voted for local democrats and it had nothing to do with the tea party or national-level politics. For the past two years, our neighborhood has been dealing with an issue not related to trout creek, that has been expensive for us financially, as well as consuming a lot of our time. The reaction from various people in the township we have tried to work with has ranged from indifference to rudeness. I can respect a politician who might see an issue from a different perspective than mine. But I cannot tolerate a politician who shows no interest in trying to understand the concerns of the citizens who elected him or her.

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    Debbie Watson Reply:

    Dear Frustrated, I’m sorry for all that you and your neighbors have gone through.Your home is supposed to be your haven. Hopefully now with a change on the board and maybe a new sense of enthusiasm your problem will be resolved.

    [Reply]

    Sunny Reply:

    I totally agree with Nancy. I live along Trout Creek. While I was not particularly excited about any of the candidates, I voted AGAINST Kichline, Lukens and elliot because of their support of the Trout Creek Overlay Ordinance.

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  2. Game change?

    Reasons why? I’m hard pressed to agree that the Trout Creek zoning had much of an impact. Compared to 2011 (wish I had the 2009 data to hand) the Rs did worse in all the precincts except W4 (Duffy property….). Perhaps marginally even more worse than last time in M3 and M4, but the 200 vote difference in W1 and W2 is more significant. EJ also voted for the zoning, and won, in the solid R Middle, even though Laurie did slightly better than the at-large Ds there.

    It looks more to me as though the Dems did a good job of getting out their vote – Wysocki garnered 400 more votes than in 2011. The Rs, though, were down 600 – 800 votes compared with the last election. The Tea Party candidates fared worse than the other Rs – a message there, I think.

    So what now? Diversity on the BOS – a good thing. Perhaps we’ll see a less autocratic Chair – but who will that be? Will JD stage a come back? Can the Ds influence the Price/Quantity trade-off for the police – half the township budget? (But there’s a contract until 2017). Perhaps the election result might get Kampf to move on the Transportation Bill and increase funding prospects for Paoli?

    And on the School Board, one voice that promises to stop the “buried in the Consent Agenda” syndrome – and I think one voice is actually all it takes for that. So, another good thing! But we’ll lose Rich Brake’s perspectives. The Easttown Rs will bring a financial background, but a steep learning curve.

    The political make-up of the Township is changing. The performance of our new representatives over the next two years could well determine if there will be a change of control in 2015.

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    Trisha Larkin Reply:

    Just a slight correction to Ray’s post in that the Duffy property is located in W3 (not W4) where Wysocki earned 141 votes, Freed earned 136 votes, Kichline had 131, and Lukens had 124.

    I’m also of the opinion that the residents of W3 (Daylesford/DNA) stood united AGAIN yesterday where it really counted – at the polls! It was a difficult loss when both the BOS and PC voted in favor of the C1 zoning change (Duffy’s re-development). Clearly when Ms. Kichline and Mr. Lukens looked for W3’s support – they lost votes across ALL party lines. It took a while, but I know MY vote finally counted. Thanks W3!

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    margaritiville Reply:

    I am curious to see Mr Dorsey’s contribution to the board going forward. Now that he is on the inside, will his kinder gentler touch mesh with the realities of governing? So called transparency issues>? I hope so. There is a lot of work to be done to chisel away at the petrified business as usual ways of the old board. Hiring FROM within the township if there are qualified persons? Will the arrogance of the administration be tempered? I will miss watching Michelle on TV.. Smart woman, pretty too. Maybe she will be missed. Funny that she would lose, with her resume and smarts and the vilified EJ continues on.. Who would have thunk.

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    Ray Clarke Reply:

    Thanks for the W3 correction. The border is right there on Glenn and I should have zoomed in more on the township map. Just as in M3 and M4, the Rs fared more poorly in W3 than they did in the other precincts, and W3 joins M3 and M4 as the precincts where Freed got double digit more votes than Duffy did last time – on lower turnout. The overall swing of 55 votes in W3 is fairly typical of all precincts, though.

    Al-in-all, evidence for the development history adding to the R woes, I think.

    I wonder how Wysocki and Freed would have played those situations differently? Have they told us?

    [Reply]

    margaritaville Reply:

    dont think I heard their positions… the devil is in the details… governing.. You are going to piss someone off no matter what.

    Trisha Larkin Reply:

    Ray:

    Since you asked – Murph was very helpful to the DNA during the C1 zoning change situation. He (along with many other community members that don’t live in W3) went out of their way to help us understand legal options, existing zoning laws and how to navigate working with the BOS and PC. Although we ultimately “lost”, we were always very thankful to those who were willing to take a phone call, send an email and attend the meetings to support the DNA and show opposition to the zoning change. Murph took the time to meet with DNA members on many occasions. He was pragmatic, vocal, and never too busy to take a call. You’d have to ask Murph directly, but I’m of the opinion that he’s pro-development when a project’s not riddled with unintended consequences (such as the proposed density on the Duffy property). He went on the record at the final BOS hearing and asked them to WAIT to change zoning until AFTER the Camiros/Econsult commercial zoning analysis was complete. Reasonable request? We thought so. Well, we know how it turned out.

    The bottom line is that Murph was there for W3/DNA. It’s reasonable to believe that many of the Daylesford residents crossed party lines to send a message to the existing elected officials that support works BOTH ways.

  3. I agree with the wise statement of Nancy-“If you vote against the community you were elected to represent, the community will vote you out.” In addition if you are a candidate that “does not listen” to community concerns , the community will not vote for you(which is the case with Trip Luken and Laurie Elliott concerning their position on the Richter Tract development.). Nothing to do with being a Democrat or Republican, its about listening to Community Concerns.

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  4. Agree with Nancy and Frustrated about Michele and Trip and I’m not too surprised.

    I’m surprised about Connors. I think the Dems slapped the tea party label on him and he either didn’t think it was a deal breaker (like me) or he couldn’t overcome it. Of course I don’t know for sure but I think he would have gotten involved and I think he would have represented citizens in a fair, honest, straightforward way.

    I think Buraks has kids in the district and he got the vote out.

    Congratulations to the winners!

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  5. What a breath of fresh air! I’ve lived in this township 15 years and have only seen my taxes rise amidst seemingly murky maneuverings on the Republican-run Board. I was so sad a few years ago when a wonderful candidate for BOS lost by about 10 votes to a longtime Republican supervisor who’d been given a big retirement party (at Township expense), then decided to run for his old seat again and allegedly used his position on the TT Library Board to leak information about Democrats’ library donation amounts. It was appalling. That and other incidents I observed on a Board controlled by one party for eons caused me to switch political parties. This is a great day for Tredyffrin!

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    margaritiville Reply:

    Your taxes have risen less than say, Lower merion. Dare I say now that you have your fresh air, lets see how these newbies GOVERN.. You know, if the repubs had to raise taxes as they have, sparingly some may argue, then i am curious how the party of tax and spend will run the government. Watch your wallet. and hope for the best.

    There was enthusiasm galore in 2008 for the new president. ANd yes, mostly thanks to the republican misfit party he won again ( THIS concerns me). So now there is enthusiasm. patronage, shenanigans, et al… will you be watching now>? Hope so. I will

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  6. EJ Richter voted AGAINST rezoning for the Richter tract (no relationship). I was there at the township building, part of the very large crowd of neighbors from the surrounding area who sat nonplussed as their local elected government foisted the dense Wayne Glen development on them.

    It’s not a coincidence that EJ is the only Tredyffrin Republican candidate that won last night.

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  7. In talking to various neighbors, I think the results of yesterday’s election are an indicator that the mean & nasty last-minute election fliers that the TTGOP was sending out were a sign of their election desperation and in-the-gutter tactics. Voters didn’t appreciate those types of election materials of coming from within our community, and not even from a P.O. Box or a business address, but from another residents home. Whose T/E children were those models–the “bullying” teenagers, the crying little girl–on their fliers calling Buraks a bully? For a party that bills itself as traditional, polite, committed to American & family ideals, could they not see that their own mud-slinging fliers came across as the real bullying? Well, the rest of the voters could. Well done, TTDems: you all ran classy, intelligent, and respectful campaigns that centered on the issues and showcased your dedication to the electorate of our community. I look forward to seeing the good works you will do in representing us.

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    Sick of scare tactics Reply:

    TTDEMS “ran a classy, intelligent and respectful campaign”??? Really?? I for one was disgusted by their robo calls, campaign literature and their tea party signs. Sick of the nasty campagns.

    You say the Democrats ran a campaign centered on the issues, I guess Kevin Buraks stumbles along the way don’t count. With a little luck maybe Scott Dorsey can reform his fellow Democrat school board member.

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    Centered Reply:

    I don’t answer the phone when I see it’s a robo-call, and at this this household didn’t get very many. For the most part, I thought both parties’ campaign literature was positive and respectful, except for the ensemble based on “bullying” directed only at Buraks and trying to raise a last-minute fuss over things that the Rs never took issue with before. That was beneath the dignity of our township and an insult to our intelligence. As for the Tea Party signs–that badge they once wore with honor is now a bad word for Republicans? That’s not a gutter-tactic or name-calling. Those R’s identified themselves with the Tea Party. Just like the Republicans have now distanced themselves from association with their traditional party color of red in favor of yellow and blue signs? I’ve voted for and written campaign contribution checks to both Tea Party Republican candidates and to Democrats in the past. I keep an open mind about the candidates and how their actions reflect their values and predict their responsiveness to their electorate.

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    Shining Light Reply:

    More than half of all R’s say the tea party is separate from the GOP so for you to say it’s a badge they once wore with honor is a gross exaggeration. As a matter of fact, I know few R’s who associate themselves with the tea party group in this area.

    As I have stated, Rich Brake’s decisions on the board did not ever indicate an alliance with the tea party group. As a matter of fact, I witnessed evidence of just the opposite on several occasions.

    As for Pete Connors, his message of employee morale, fiscal responsibility, transparency never once contained a hint of tea party talk or alliance.

    Neither candidate mentioned a tea party affiliation during this campaign so IMO, it was a gutter tactic and beneath the dignity of this township for D’s to post tea party signs throughout out roads, tying R’s to this group. It was a designed scare tactic and for you to deny that is disingenuous.

    I don’t think the D’s would have appreciated signs staked out throughout the township implying an association with a group they didn’t publicly associate themselves with. And the same tactic could have been used.

    You don’t answer the phone when you see it’s a robo call, so that makes it O.K.?

    Neal Colligan Reply:

    Your reference to “last-minute fuss” may be in reference to a letter I wrote to The Suburban regarding the delinquent tax collection contract Mr. Buraks firm has had with the District since 3/11. I researched and wrote that….me…not a party but a person. I requested data from the District which I received at the end of August; I wrote a piece for the paper and submitted it 2.5 weeks later in mid-September. Plenty of time to discuss the topic if the Board/Community chose to do so… It was ignored by the editors on MLMN…their choice. Odd since it would have been the 8th article or letter I’ve submitted in the last two years, all of which were published. I thought it an important issue and still do…we can talk about that in a minute. In October, I re-wrote the piece shortening it considerably. It still sat for 2 more weeks before it was put on-line (and not in print) at the end of October. The piece captured the attention of the readers and inspired nearly 30 responses including personal attacks on the writer (including Tea Party accusations)….it seemed to be of interest to the community. That’s the territory when you put yourself out there or Blog under your own name…. Gutter tactic…you decide? I was also criticized for not bringing it up in SB meetings…why? They (the Board) knew they had the contract, it was the citizens that needed the information.

    Is it important…again, you decide? A person elected to represent the taxpayers contracting with the organization he serves. Payment for the contracted services derived from the taxpayer in an amount we do not know. I thought it was important. Have our township governments decided to use third party collection firms? They have the exact same delinquent tax rates. Is there another side to this….sure. It is what it is…election is over…it can be a topic of discussion or not. Attack if you wish.

    Ray, you did an excellent summery above…thanks.

    I’m also delighted to see Scott Dorsey take a place at the table. We’ve become friends over the last months (OMG…yes…a Democrat). I believe he is sincere and honest man with a wonderful moral compass…I hope he finds this work rewarding. I’ve offered him whatever help/data/research/contribution I’m able to provide. He can decide if that’s of value. The some offer extends to each member of the School Board. Over the last 3 years I’ve developed a relationship with most of them. Kevin and I have not developed any rapport…maybe that will change too.

    Sorry to be too “I” focused…you should probably skip to the next comment. It occurs to me that an engaged citizenry is the final check-and-balance on government. You folks, by contributing here and staying involved with the issues ARE engaged. You should be applauded. Elections and part of our world for days on maybe seasons…governing is part of our world every day. Election Day is over…governing is always with us. These local officials all have the good on the community in their hearts. We contrast their ideas and approaches in election season and it seems we’re worlds apart. Not true, these local volunteers need the input of our community to help them in considering difficult decisions. Here’s hoping you all stay engaged. Sometimes it’s not so easy. Pattye can tell you all about that….

    margaritaville Reply:

    Neal, thank you for all the work you do on behalf of the citizenry.

    I am concerned deeply about Buraks. First, the contract. Second that he and you don’t have any relationship. Why does that concern me? Maybe because he considers you some sort of threat… is he hiding something? You are smart and inquisitive… you may be the enemy. Of course I could be wrong, but the contract really bothers me. WHERE are the voices of outrage, similiar to what Warren kampf would have heard? Where are the progressive members of our community, now being a good time to join with others to find out about this? WIll it take a special prosecutor? The left wing media here in our own backyard seems disinterested? WHY? protecting one of their own? The thing about most progressives is they WILL NOT THROW THEIR OWN UNDER THE BUS, no matter how much they should. This is disgusting. Maybe I will make a fuss.. Thanks neal

    Shining Light Reply:

    Agree with ville, Neal, thanks for all the work you have done on behalf of the citizenry.

    Here’s hoping YOU will stay involved. The residents need you. :)

    [Reply]

    Neal Colligan Reply:

    Wow, thanks you two. I don’t think anyone is ‘hiding” anything (clearly he did not want to discuss this contract and they can choose their agenda items) but some on that Board probably do consider me “the enemy”…that’s what other members tell me. I can take some blame for that…I’m pretty vocal and carry strong opinions into those meetings.

    Didn’t start this way, I was just a citizen asking questions. Being trained in accounting, I can read through certain carefully worded, topic-specific answers to financial inquiries. All my analysis I do independently and I’ve shared it with the community in the local paper. I also share it with this Board as I’ve written them numerous times. Sometimes it’s an inconvenient truth…so we butt heads. But after two plus years of speaking out against max. tax increases, working with the para’s and aides to develop an insurance alternative so they could keep their in-house jobs and trying to get more transparency in contract negotiations….what has been accomplished? Little if anything. It’s hard to go up against their resources…large business office, a bunch of attorneys and their ability to create/control the agenda. Tempting to focus on something else, pay my couple hundred dollars a year in tax increases and hope the District does well.

    Monday night is a Finance Committee meeting. The audit will be delivered (it was completed early last month). It will show another large surplus. The exact amount will be difficult to decipher…Fund Balance transfers and expense classifications and some separate operations need to be combined. They will post/give a surplus number BUT this is the kind of analysis Ray and I take our own calculators to in the back of the room. Sometimes, there’s more to the financial story that what we’re told. Maybe there’s a better way to tell that story than speaking up at meetings and getting shouted down or ignored?..Ahh…Enough whining…have a great weekend all!

    Shining Light Reply:

    “………what has been accomplished? Little if anything.”

    Oh, not true. Alot has been accomplished because of you and Ray. I see the effects of your influence all over the place.

    You should run. Where do you live? I know what to do now. Just one thing……….Are you in the tea party? LOL It’s fine if you are. Let’s get that out and make it part of the campaign. What do you say? It’ll be fun.

    Neal Colligan Reply:

    Haha….we’re still doing the post-mortem on this election??? Never been to a Tea Party….

    Shining Light Reply:

    No postmortem. This is just the beginning. You may have just as much or more influence not being on the board. Look at Pattye.

    Shining Light Reply:

    Centered, I respectfully disagree. The first time I noticed the not true, not relevant Tea Party signs plastered all over the roads, I knew who was “election desperate” and conducting “in-the-gutter” tactics and it wasn’t the R’s. Well. it worked. Congratulations!

    All it proved was that your scare tactics worked this time.

    [Reply]

    margaritaville Reply:

    This is what makes Chris Christie popular. If the right wing side of the Republican party is smart they will not look to win every battle in their primaries, and look to a Republican who can win the general election.. And support him by getting out the vote.. Small steps… patience…

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    Shining Light Reply:

    The key is to know who your opponent is and adjust your strategy to those factors. If Connors, (or Brake) were living in Easttown, they would have been in no problem. Connors was up against an incumbent president with 3 kids in the school district, with representation in 2 schools. That’s a lot of “vote for my dad” for months on end. I underestimated that but it seems so clear now. Connors has no affiliation in the schools.

    I know Lastner in Easttown doesn’t either but she wasn’t up against an incumbent president with 3 kids in the schools.

    Lesson learned.

    Shining Light Reply:

    And I’m satisfied that Scott Dorsey will be serving on the board. Congratulations Scott!!!!! And let’s be honest. I know we’re not supposed to talk about kids, but you don’t think his kids helped him? That was big!

    Joanne Reply:

    I believe that the more honest information the voters have about their candidates the better. Letting voters know that Richard Brake is a member of the tea party was more than fair and very relevant to the issues at hand. The tea party is a political movement with the goals of smaller government and less taxes. Public schools are a government program run by tax dollars. Many communities around the country have seen the effects of having tea party members on their school board.There is a concerted national effort to get their members elected on school boards. Rich Brake is both a member of the Valley Forge Patriots and Chester Country tea party and was a contributor to their national magazine. He also often spoke publicly on the constitution and with that, his interpretation was in line with the tea party as he himself stated on their website.It is up to the voters to decide if it is a positive or a negative to be a school board member and share views with the tea party. I personally have a few neighbors who saw it as a positive and it probably got them out to vote for him. But don’t cry that it is not fair to tell the voters of his political ties when he is running for office! This is not a moment in college where he may have leaned one way or another. This is current political affiliations that he has. The fact that he decided not to publicly tell voters of his tea party ties can be interpreted however you want.

    [Reply]

    margaritaville Reply:

    yea.. republicans are derelict in digging dirt on affiliations of liberals… hard to fathom.. kids? that is bunk.. so the one with the most kids wins?

    margaritaville Reply:

    i am curious as to Buraks affiliations.. someone mentioned them here a while ago. Need to research

    Shining Light Reply:

    Point taken. thanks.

    Dylan Reply:

    No, the Dems didn’t run any classier a campaign than the Republicans. Alabama gov George Wallace once said, “There’s not dime’s worth of difference between a Democrat and a Republican” and this election showed that.

    I agree with others, Kichline and Lukens lost for the same reason Drucker lost so long ago, they voted against the interests of their constituents.

    Hopefully, Freed and Wysocki will listen to someone besides developers going forward.

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  8. I would be interested in hearing any theories that could explain the rather stark differences in turn-out among the precincts in Tredyffrin for yesterday’s election:

    E-1 (20.3%)
    E-2 (35.3%)
    E-3 (38.6%)
    E-4 (33.9%)
    E-5 (37.1%)
    M-1 (33.2%)
    M-2 (29.6%)
    M-3 (41.0%)
    M-4 (36.9%)
    M-5 (39.7%)
    M-6 (44.6%)
    M-7 (24.2%)
    W-1 (27.0%)
    W-2 (28.3%)
    W-3 (31.6%)
    W-4 (41.3%)
    W-5 (28.6%)

    [Reply]

    Ray Clarke Reply:

    W4, M1, M3, M4, M5, M6 and M7 comprise District 2 where the BOS seat was at stake and which were at the center of the Duffy and Richter issues. Those are at the high end of the turn-out range.

    [Reply]

    Long-time committeeperson Reply:

    Regarding the “stark” differences in turn out, Ray may be correct that residents living in areas with controversial development projects and unaddressed stormwater problems may have been more motivated to vote on Tuesday, but:

    E1, M-7, W5 and W1 have always had lower turnout. I think there are several reasons: Each precinct has higher resident turnover, more renters who are less inclined to vote in local elections.

    Also, total voter numbers tend to be less inaccurate because of resident turnover not reflected in Voter Services’ numbers. They are slow to purge. And turnout percentages are based on voter turnout/ total voters.

    Also, it is more difficult for committeepeople to contact voters who don’t have land lines and to knock or leave literature with voters who don’t have outside doors (e.g. apartments in Paoli, Wayne, Berwyn and Devon.)

    In precincts where most voters are homeowners and many are long-time residents with strong connections to the community the voter turn out is higher.

    The difference is most notable in local election years.

    [Reply]

    Steve Shapiro Reply:

    I appreciate this very thoughtful response. Thanks.

    [Reply]

  9. Here’s hoping that the employee morale issues, increased transparency and improved public communication will be a guidepost for the school board. I look to Scott Dorsey for helping move this agenda forward when he joins the board.

    [Reply]

  10. I think the latter 2 of Pattye’s wishes (increased transparency and improved public communication) can easily be addressed. I’m uncertain how far any board can go in addressing employee morale when employee compensation is being “right-sized”. In prior decades pubic service employees had salaries that were inferior to those in the private sector, but premium healthcare, defined benefit retirement plans and job security made up the difference. Over the years, public salaries reached parity with private sector salaries, but school boards failed to adjust either salary or healthcare costs and pension costs downward so total compensation was equal. That’s happening now at TE and I’m unsure what anyone can do to buoy employees morale.

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  11. It was a very interesting experience for me. The opportunity to walk the township and talk to residents was a pleasure. My error was in not doing more of it. I did not let enough people get to know the real me and did not think that someone throwing a TEA Party label at me was worth comment. There is no official TEA Party. I am a Republican. I do not belong to any TEA Party group but do share many of their goals. I think government should be local. Sending most of our money to Washington places it where lobbyists can influence spending and the average citizen can’t. It is special interest groups that are at the root of most governmental dysfunction. Look at the keystone Exam as a perfect case in point. teachers don’t want it, administrators don’t want it, parents don’t want it, students don’t want it and taxpayers don’t want it. So why do we have it…..special interest groups in Washington forced it on the state as a requirement of receiving Stimulus Funds. I believe the constitution is the roadmap to a free society. The Constitution was developed to restrain the federal government so the state and local governments would have the most power over residents. You can clearly influence your local officials and that is what the founders wanted. Government that was responsive to the people.
    Freedom is measured by the number of choices you get to make instead of the government making them for you. Think about it…light bulbs, toilets are all dictated by the government. Is this really their proper role?

    I hoped to bring my experience working on the culture of my company to help restore the morale of the employees of the district. I leave that now in the hands of those School Board members who at least recognize the problem.

    I spoke with Kevin Buraks yesterday to congratulate him and wish him luck. He is a good person ……we just have different skills.

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Pete, I appreciated your willingness and openness to discuss the issues on Community Matters and hope that you will continue to contribute! As the owner of a successful manufacturing company, you understand the importance of employee satisfaction and morale in the workplace. You recognized the importance of respect and the need for improved communication. Thank you for running and for your gracious words in defeat.

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  12. The public v private sector salary analysis is bunk

    Just compare our teacher salaries and compensation to the salaries and compensation of teachers in the districts that surround us.

    Be intellectually honest.

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  13. Neal, you (and Ray) are making a huge difference. I attend some of the meetings, but to be honest, when it gets to all the budget stuff (so many pages!) I’m lost. I come home and then wait for you and Ray to break it down into language that we ordinary citizens can understand. So thanks for attending all those meetings. The only reason that some of the board may consider you the “enemy” is that you question them and we all know that they don’t like to be questioned! I always look forward to your view of how the meetings went.
    And Margaritaville, I respectfully disagree with your comment “The thing about most progressives is they WILL NOT THROW THEIR OWN UNDER THE BUS…” I just think most people didn’t know anything Buraks law firm and the contract. I knew he was a lawyer but didn’t know who he worked for-I’ll be most people never realized there was a connection . I’ll be surprised if this is not the “hot topic” in the coming months. I really feel that Pete Connors would have made a huge difference to the board, Tea Party or not. I like his core values.Maybe he’ll try again next time. People will have a longer time to get to know him before the next election. Have a great weekend everyone!

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  14. Debbie, the info on Buraks is out. it seems to have been stifled as neal has indicated. On the National level, I believe my statement to be true. Lets see what happens locally. It was hard to watch a meeting chaired by Buraks. He is smarter than he looks, for sure, but he looked like a deer in headlights many times.. I hope he doesnt become an entrenched incumbent. I am curious to see as you are, how this plays out. I dont care how many kids he has in district. Frankly is this becoming a requisite>?

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  15. not a requisite no, but when you’re going up against an incumbent with 3 kids in the district, it wouldn’t hurt. Gives you every day access to the very people who care most about the schools-parents who can be easily persuaded to vote.

    He says he’s a soccer coach and he’s probably in the schools quite often for this or that function. How many opportunities did Pete have to go in the schools and talk to parents. Probably not many.

    The parent of 4 kids in UCF just won a seat against a director who has been serving 3 months since being appointed in mid summer to fill a spot someone vacated. The woman who won could not fit it in her schedule to participate in a LW voters debate despite being given 6 to 8 different times to choose from. She won by a landslide. And it matters that she’s on the curriculum committee and the administrators committee and the principals committee.

    If you have kids in the schools and you’re not particularly involved, then it doesn’t matter unless you’re going up against someone who does and is.

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  16. the problem I have with the tea party brand, so to speak is that they can be scorched earth.. Have we not learned, or have we indeed learned that scorched earth does not work? Look at the national level and say, O care. It is a dismal failure and even if they fix the website, it will still be an albatross around those Democratic Senators who are up for election as evidenced by their distancing themselves from it in its current incarnation.
    I am not certain, but perhaps this new board, who will be charged with replacing Waters, will start from a decent place, or any place instead of dealing with scorched earth philosophy, from some.. If history is a predictor of future behavior, it will be interesting to see how the board moves forward with new blood…

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