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Letters to the Editor for Nov. 18

Partisan endorsements were fair game in school board election

In her Nov. 11 letter Kay Myhrman-Toso claimed that "Partisan endorsements tainted the school board election." I disagree with that premise and here is why.

What Myhrman-Toso is saying is exactly the problem - our education system isn't helping people to understand our two party system, but encourages cynicism and despair by demonizing party politics, especially the Republicans.

Elsewhere in the Woodbury Bulletin, the endorsement of school board candidates by the teachers union was reported. Is she suggesting that the teachers union is unspoiled while a political party is always tainted? As if the teachers union has no self interest? Nobody wants to see the ultimate result of the "cronyism" she fears - which would be corruption.

Saying school boards are nonpartisan is only a pretense because the teachers union is very partisan. Claiming it was "tainted by politics" only covers the fact that everyone has a political view whether you say it or not.

You can pretend to be unspoiled by politics all the while hiding your political slant. This is a favorite tact of liberals who say they want non-partisan elections for school board, all the while denying (or considering as mainstream) the hyper-partisan members of their side such as: unions, teachers, and environmentalists.

The school board needs to truly look out for students and taxpayers instead of using taxpayer money to advance a liberal agenda.

Linda Stanton


CLARIFICATION: The above letter to the editor opens with the line "In her November 11 letter Kay Myhrman-Toso claimed that 'Partisan endorsements tainted school board election.'" The statement incorrectly attributed the subject line of the Nov. 11 letter to Myhrman-Toso. The subject line for the letter was, in fact, written by Woodbury Bulletin staff and is not an actual quote belonging to Myhrman-Toso.

Community should be disturbed by low Election Day turnout

Nov. 3 was School District 833's school board election. There were 10 candidates for four open positions.

It has been a long time since I've been parent of a school age child, so public education is off my active day-to-day list. But I always vote, and a week before the election I wrote a friend who I know is active in school affairs, and asked if she had any recommendations. I didn't hear back. So I went about learning what I could about the candidates, picked four, and voted. The next day I found that half of my candidates won. Fair enough. I had showed up.

But it seemed like we had a very small voter turnout, and I started to nose around.

Succinctly, our school district has about 55,000 registered voters. The school district website says "The population of the district is approximately 100,000 people including the 16,650 students who attend district schools."

On election day, about 6% - one of sixteen - of those registered voters actually cast a ballot. The rest of us apparently didn't care who made policy for the nearly 17,000 children in this district's schools.

The candidate with the largest vote got 1614 votes. By my calculation that means about 3% - one of thirty-three registered voters - elected the most popular candidate.

As I looked further into this matter, I came to discover that there was a concerted effort by one group to pull off what I would call a "bullet ballot" for three candidates they supported. They leveraged the small turnout into a win for two of their people. Even so, their candidates got very few votes, so even they were not that successful (unless one counts "winning" as the ultimate success).

Our vote this year was uncomplicated. The only issue was electing four school board members. It was a quick in and out for any voter, including the very significant percentage of eligible voters who have children of their own in these public schools.

But the vast, overwhelming majority of people did not care enough to vote, and, as disturbing, to apparently not even care enough who is making the policy governing their children's education. The clear winner in this election was disengagement.

We should be ashamed.

But we probably won't be....

Dick Bernard


Woodbury High School should have pit band for musicals

Congratulations to the cast, crew, and pit band of East Ridge High School's production of "Seussical The Musical," who gave a fabulous performance to a large crowd on Saturday night.

How wonderful to have students involved in every area of production including scenery, lighting, sound, and especially live music.

As students at Woodbury High School, my classmates and I volunteered to form a pit band for the musical productions but were told that "CD's don't make mistakes," and the entire possibility was promptly rejected.

As a teacher, I feel this musical was exactly what a high school production should be: kids having fun, experiencing the theater, and sharing their talents with the entire community. WHS should take a page out of ERHS's book by allowing students to form a pit band for future musical productions.

Christa Edlund

2005 Woodbury High School graduate

'Yes' vote on House health care bill is bad for small businesses

Late night on Saturday, Nov. 7 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brought her trillion dollar health care "reform" bill to a vote in the U.S. House-and it passed by a mere two votes. One of the "yes" votes for this harmful legislation was cast by our own Rep. Keith Ellison. As a small business owner I couldn't be more disappointed with his vote.

Instead of listening to small businesses like me who are asking for reforms that lower costs, the House passed a bill that will actually make things worse- and more expensive. That "yes" was a yes to billions in new taxes, a yes to government-run health care, a yes to new regulations on small businesses. And that was a "yes" that will impose new costs that could wipe out State name jobs, and only further raise unemployment levels, which is already at its highest level in 26 years.

We should call Congressman Ellison and tell him that he should have said no to Washington and yes to small business. Punishing small employers with mandates, taxes and a new government-run program paid for on the backs of small businesses, will not fix our broken health care system.

With health care legislation coming up in the Senate, we must remain vocal to ensure our leaders know that devastating new mandates and higher health care costs is not reform small businesses will support now or at the ballot box next election.

I plan on calling senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken every day about this matter until this legislation is defeated. I hope you will join me.

Anita Cracauer

Inver Grove Heights