Monday, January 24, 2011

Palmer Candidate Steps Forward to Run for EASD School Board

Posted by: Noël Jones

And so it begins--Easton residents are finally beginning to throw their hats into the ring for the 2011 election covering five Easton Area School Board seats that are up for grabs this year. Although I have spoken with a couple of residents that are potential candidates on the South Side and in the West Ward, the only candidate I know of that has actually been announced in the press is Robert Fehnel of Palmer, as per in Colin McEvoy's article in the Express-Times. Fehnel is experienced, as he was the Wilson Area School Board President for 20 years, but I have no information as of yet as to what Wilson residents thought of his presidency. If there are Wilson readers out there who can give us some insight, please do!

In the meantime, it is time for each of us to stop complaining and ask ourselves if we a) have what it takes to commit to running for school board and, b) if not, who we know in our community that we could approach about running. If we want anything to change about the decisions that have led our school district into financial crisis, we have to each do something about it. Otherwise, we will end up in the situation we were in the last time Pat Vulcano ran for re-election, and everyone was mad at him for supporting his daughter's law suit against the district and walking with the striking secretaries, only to find out that he was running unopposed for his district, so he waltzed right back onto the board without even campaiging. 

There is a lot more to being a responsible American in this democracy than voting. It takes attending meetings to keep an eye on what our elected officials are doing. It takes always being on the lookout for good candidates, and sometimes it takes thinking about running ourselves. Here are the seats that are up for re-election this year:

Region I: 3 Seats (Pat Fisher, Jodi Hess, Millie Mandarino) = Precincts: Easton 8W and Palmer—all 4 year terms (currently held by 3 Democrats )

Region 2: 1 Seat (Kerry Myers--not running for re-election) = Precincts: Easton 2, 4, 5, 9-12 (South Side, part of West Ward and Riegelsville) Myers is a Democrat

Region 3: 1 Seat (Kerri Leonard-Ellison) = Precincts: Easton 3, 6, 7, 8E (West Ward, Forks and Lower Mt. Bethel Township ( Leonard-Ellison is a Republican)

Petition Circulation Window: Feb. 15th to March 8thDeadline to hand in is March 8th.

Primary: May 17th

General Election: November 8th

I hope that a full field of potential candidates from various parties will come out for all of the positions so that we can have some real races, complete with candidates' forums and debates this year, so that voters will have real options on election day. But we can't just wait around hoping, we have to each do our part to spread the word and let potential candidates know that we will support them!

Anyone with scoop on Rober Fehnel and his long-term presidency for the Wilson Area School District, please post and let us know. All I know about Wilson's district is that when our district was proposing an 11.85% tax hike, Wilson was proposing just above 2%.


tunsie said...

I'm starting this.It is difficult to be part of a group that makes a uniform decision.because everyone doesnt believe in the same things.that final decision may not be something that U 100% agree with.The question is not that we R BIASED,but rather to what degree R we biased......I love U noel...stay warm with some JAZZ......Tunsie

noel jones said...

no uniform decisions here--there is nothing uniform about the readership of this blog--i know dems, republicans, socialists, libertarians, Tea Partiers, independents and narcissistic cynics that read this blog--all i do is put out the info as i find it and try to encourage readers of all parties (and no parties) to engage in our local democracy.

hopefully this year we'll see a small crop of fresh new candidates from all sides that are ready to step to the plate...and a community of voters who are ready to get behind them and support their campaigns. there is way more to bringing change than just voting--it takes a handful of good people who really care about what's happening and are ready to jump in and make it happen instead of just criticizing and doing nothing. and it takes the rest of us, regardless of our viewpoints, to get behind our candidates, attend the debates and make a majority decision on who our best leaders will be.

tunsie said...

legally U R presupposing a fact.....UR dis-illusioned because U R friends with EL WARNER....I dont want to burst your bubble,baby.BUT all politicians R not honest...Not every one is honest like her......U need to see some of the back door dealings to believe it.....El doesnt do that stuff.......I love love love noel....Tunsie

Anonymous said...

Bob Fehnel would be a huge benefit to the board. Experienced yes, intelligent yes, listens before making decisions yes and guess what ------he reads his contracts before taking a position. Imagine that????

tachitup said...

Noël -
Thanks for doing this. Not only are the school board selections important, but we are also going to elect mayor, city council, etc. Now is the time for Easton citizens to get involved in issues that concern them directly! Get involved!
Political party means little in matters so close to home. Get involved.

but please vote for less government and less taxes. And no boobie bracelets.

noel jones said...

tachitup--ha ha--does anyone know what ever happened with that case anyway? last i heard, the judge was about to make a decision and then...nothing more...

and yes, stand by for separate posts on other positions up for re-election...

noel jones said...

"getting involved" doesn't necessarily mean attending meetings or joining a committee (although those are great ways to get involved) which requires a serious time commitment--it can also mean getting to know your neighbors, chatting up residents in the local cafe and sussing out who might be a good potential candidate to encourage to run--that is something that everyone can do on his/her own time. finding good candidates for all offices in all areas in all parties (or no party at all) is the most important thing that we can do as citizens right now--a full field of candidates for each offices not only gives residents a real choice in representation and leadership, but also creates a situation ripe for forums and debates which give residents the opportunity to get to know where their candidates really stand, and a chance to consider many different perspectives on how to solve our community's problems.

if we have really good debates going on, you will see Democrats switching to Republicans and vice versa--people from both parties switching to Independents--some Independents switching to libertarianism and others deciding Socialism is the answer. the point being, that everyone would be making INFORMED choices about where they want to stand politically based on CONSIDERING philosophies of all sides, rather than belonging to one group or another out of a sense of family identity and fighting tooth and nail to defend that ideology without ever questioning their views.

the first step to ENGAGING is thinking independently and for one's self--rather than just carrying on a family tradition--asking questions, demanding answers, opening friendly discussions with people of differing points of view and allowing ourselves both the freedom to agree to disagree AND the freedom to change our minds whenever someone else's view makes more sense than the one we currently hold.

if we get a lot of candidates running, and some good debates going, we will have a really productive election, rather than a bunch of lever-pulling.

Anonymous said...

why would anyone want to run for political office? To do the job right you need to spend an inordinate amount of time and then subject yourself to the whackos who just want to take shots (hopefully verbal) at you without giving their name or taking the time to know the facts before making a judgement. And let's noy lump all of the political leaders in the same heap. There are some really good ones locally. I can think of at least a couple that we need to re-elect becaus ethey listen to the people, they don't raise taxes and they are doing a great job. There is no need for wholesale removal. And you are right - locally it has nothing to do with political party.

noel jones said...

Anon 4:51--you said:

"There is no need for wholesale removal."

Absolutely--each official running for re-election should be judge according to his/her voting record.

"Wholesale removal" would be as mindless as lever-pulling or not voting at all. What we need is for voters to prioritize time to read up on the candidates, watch the debates and make and informed choice in each race.