Tag Archives: politics

The case of the love struck school board

14 Feb

Cupid’s arrows struck early yesterday at the New Albany Floyd County School Board Meeting. That little naked cherub is good. The sharp projectiles incapacitated five of the seven board members and made them fall undyingly in love with our superintendent, Dr. Bruce Hibbard. In their adoration, the members voted to give Hibbard a $28,500 raise in his new contract as well as a one time $10,000 bonus. That brings Hibbard total salary to $170,500 effective immediately. Happy Valentine’s Day, indeed.

Not all of us are love struck. Our school corp currently is projecting a deficit of $2.8 million dollars for the 2012-13 school year. Many hard decisions have been made including a pay freeze for all support staff and other administrative positions, school closures, teacher layoffs and benefit reductions. Ends had to meet. And so tough choices were made.

Until now.

I’m not here to argue the effectiveness of Hibbard’s reign as head honcho. He’s done a good job and his accomplishments should be applauded. I like the guy.

However, the hypocrisy of a raise when so many others have sacrificed for the good of our school community is unreal. More cuts need to be made. And now his raise will be prioritized before our children’s other needs. Although $28,500 to some is small money, to our schools it could mean a full-time assistant principal, or several new aides, not to mention that the teachers’ contracts expire this summer. During the new negotiations, things will become a whole lot harder when teachers use this raise as justification for not wanting benefit cuts of their own. And I can’t say I’ll blame them.

My biggest question is how did common sense fail in this situation? All of us know that when you don’t have money in your wallet, you can’t afford certain things.

But the school board decided to take out a line of credit in our children’s names and support this salary increase. School board member Mark Boone and others have said in newspapers that they were afraid Hibbard would leave. In the News and Tribune article, Hibbard even hints that if he didn’t receive the raise, his departure was a distinct possibility. Last year alone, he applied to several open superintendent positions at schools throughout the country.

Seeing this tactic work so wonderfully for the school board, I decided to try it on my husband. I told him that I demanded a yearly increase of $25,000. Obviously our children have improved their reading and math skills under my tenure as their mother. Yes, they go to school six hours a day, but my leadership of getting them to that school daily is the deciding factor in their success.

I also told him that getting rid of me and hiring a new wife would be less cost effective then just giving me the raise. Half of his property is more than $25,000. He needed to act quick, too, because I had numerous other men already making offers as having me for their own. So do we have an agreement?

My back still aches from sleeping on the bumpy old leather couch.

Our school community is much like a marriage. You must give and take and share in the good times and the bad. You also must have trust, honesty and good communication. Somehow I think the school board and our community needs marriage counseling. The fundamentals are just not there.

As for Dr. Hibbard, I do hope he sends flowers on this Valentine’s Day to his love struck friends on the school board. Whaley, Anderson, Boone, Smith and Hines need wine, chocolates and roses, because the community will hold them accountable to this vote. And I’m pretty sure cupid doesn’t have enough arrows in his quiver to hit all those disgruntled voters.

Drowning in the pool of pre-presidents

18 Jan

Is anyone else completely baffled with the field of presidential candidates that Americans must choose from this year? I truly do not know which politician I’ll vote for in the Republican primary, let alone in the general. At present, I don’t have a donkey or an elephant in the fight. Why must I vote for the candidate rather than the party? Blind indoctrination and voting straight ticket certainly have their benefits, as does living under a despotic tyrant. Double drats that I can do neither.

Now I’ve thought about ways to pick my candidate, at least among the Republicans. My husband pooh-poohed the idea of pasting all of the contenders’ photos on a corkboard and tossing needle sharp darts at them blindfolded until I punctured one, preferably in the mouth. He feared that might attract unwanted attention from the Secret Service. Likewise on taking a blank ballot to the local gun range for a one shot voter’s volley with the old Glock. No worrying about hanging chads with that one.

Since deadly weapons are out of the question, I decided to pray to God for an answer. The Man Upstairs informed evangelist Pat Robertson who will prevail, but then instructed him not to release the info. Witnessing how the Almighty turned Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt just for wanting to catch a glimpse of the coolest firework show ever, I wouldn’t mess around with his instructions either. If it worked for Robertson, certainly it would work for me. So I knelt down before my inaugural portrait of Ronald Reagan and asked God which unheavenly host should receive my vote. Nothing. You could hear an angel wing beating in the wind. I guess J.C. knew I’d open my big mouth and repeat every word he told me. Due to my bitterness, I wouldn’t taste very good on the side of a margarita glass.

Ok. The days tick by and I still do not have a clear favorite. I liked Huntsman but he did the honorable thing and just bowed out of the race after receiving less votes than Alex P. Keaton would have amassed. I suppose now I’ll have to commit the most un-American act known to a voter. No, I’m not talking about blatant fraud or taking money from foreign entities for my vote. Well, not unless they pay over 6,316 Yuan. I’m talking about researching candidates. It’s simply not the American way.

So what have I learned in my studies?

Newt has lied to his wives more times than I’ve fibbed about my weight. (No really, I weigh 110 pounds.)

Paul’s supporters scare me in their dedication as much as Ron’s foreign policy positions frighten me for its insanity. (Isolationism worked great during the post WW I years. Just ask Germany.)

Romney looks like a Ken doll. Likewise, it seems his plastic life also mimics that of Ken as well. (Just one bad word and my vote will belong to you, Mitt. FYI, flip-flopper isn’t considered a swear to me.)

Perry reminds me so much of George W. Bush. (And there lies the problem.)

Santorum I did not research. Every time I pulled up his name on Google I was sent to a sight that spoke of things I’ve only heard of through whispers… and perhaps beheld for a dollar in Bangkok. I gave up on finding out anything more for fear my husband would view the previous history on this computer.

All kidding aside, I am informed on the political positions and social ideology of each of these guys. Yet none of the candidates, including President Obama, have wet my whistle. Which presidential hopeful can get the skyrocketing debt under control while producing jobs and a more educated workforce? Who is willing to address major issues like the growing insolvency of Medicare and Social Security without abandoning the most vulnerable members of our society? Which contender will reach out across party lines and work with one another towards a better tomorrow with integrity and respect to all? And who will ultimately give my sons and daughter and the rest of our nation’s children the best chance of success and upward mobility throughout their lives? I truly do not know these answers.

So I beseech you, good readers, to give me rationale and suggestions on which candidate you are voting for in the upcoming elections? Otherwise, I’ll be forced to cast a protest vote. Although I do think Snookie would make a fine President, don’t you?

Stuck In The Middle With You

13 Sep

Like Benedict Arnold and other turncoats before me, I am facing a dastardly decision. Which side should I choose? Somehow my ideology no longer melds completely with either of our two major political parties. When listening to Conservative talk shows, a person with my centrist views sometimes is considered a RINO (Republican In Name Only). While posting on a Democratic friend’s Facebook page, I was called a DINO (Democrat IN Name Only). So henceforth, I’ve decided not to choose either side and become an official Independent or an I-KNOW. Why an I-KNOW? Because I know anyone can be an Independent without subscribing to rigid platforms or litmus tests. Plus, no one ever makes fun of us on late night talk shows.

Independents have been given a bad rap. I blame the bad politicians who have chosen to call themselves Independent. Instead of participating in a primary they will most likely lose, elected officials like Charlie Crist and Joe Lieberman claim the Independent moniker out of convenience. I, too, once proudly belonged to a political party. I’ve always felt more than welcome at our local partisan meetings and events, despite my rogue status. Both parties really do try to make you feel at home. Plus, I still volunteer to help major party candidates on their campaigns. Have you seen the number of Independents running in an election? Who else can I vote for?

But since I’ve become an I-KNOW, when I defend a position from the middle contrary to the accepted party dogma, I’m no longer called a horned mammal with hooves or a cold-blooded lizard. Now, I’m just called an idiot. Wait, I might have been called that before…

Being an Independent does have its drawbacks. First, we don’t even have a mascot. My partisan friend suggested the movement adopt an ostrich for our symbol, and the waffle as the mandated food. I countered that the other parties would then have change their emblems to a crow, since their main candidates always seem to be eating it. But, then again, at least they have candidates.

In addition to not having super cool characters, Independents also don’t receive primetime coverage of their convention, if they have a convention at all. In fact, I can’t really find too much information about the candidate selection process. I’ve never encountered an Independent primary ballot. For all I know, Ross Perot climbed high up on a chair in the middle of his living room and just nominated himself for his 1992 presidential campaign.

Likewise, I must find out if Independents have a designated leader or a national committee. Jesse Ventura and all his conspiratorial theories would be a fine chairman. Plus, he would dominate in a winner-take-all Battle Royale against those RNC and DNC folks. Perhaps if those classified as Independent would stop being so secluded, then a true political movement could form. But I guess then this undefined party would have to change its name to Conformists and we’re back to square one.

One thing I do know for sure is that Independents will have a major role in the next presidential election.  According to an August 2011 Rasmussen poll, 34.8 percent of Americans consider themselves Democrats, 33.1 percent of the population claim to be Republican while 32.1 percent of Uncle Sam’s descendants have no affiliation with either party. Last time I checked, to win a presidential election you need a majority of the votes. (Ok. Ok. Except for four elections where the Electoral College trumped the popular vote including the infamous 2000 Bush-Gore debacle.)

After solidifying their bases and winning their primaries, both the Democrat and Republican candidates will be looking to make up 20 percentage points. And guess where they’ll be pandering. Don’t worry. The I-KNOWs and their ostrich will continue to fulfill their role in this two party system. We’re not called swing voters for nothing.

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