They were sore winners last year, and they’re sore losers this year. I suppose I prefer the latter, but let’s examine facts vs. fantasy.
– 3,531 people voted in the Clarence school election Tuesday. This was the third-largest turnout in Clarence history. If you eliminate last year’s aberrant budget fiasco, it was the largest turnout in Clarence history.
– The school budget – largely unopposed – won by a whopping 77% margin. It was the highest margin since 1995.
– The three top vote-getters for school board each received approximately 2,500 votes. The demolition crew urged people to plunk – to vote only for – Mr. Worling. He received about 1,000 votes. Anyone who suggests that turnout was “low” or “sleepy” is delusional; the usual turnout is historically closer to Mr. Worling’s entire vote count.
As I described at some length here, the taxpayers – parents, students, and seniors – who came out to support our schools worked very hard on a shoestring budget to out-work the opposition. The demolition crew’s butthurt, however, is strong today.
How many bullshits? So many bullshits.
May 20th came and went – and most taxpayers didn’t even notice.
As I pointed out above, third-highest turnout in history. In 2012, the total turnout was 1,664. In 2011, it was 2,019. In 2010, 1,664. In 2009, 1,087. Average turnout in Clarence school elections peaked at 2,881 in 2005, but is historically around 1,500 in a typical year.
In 2014, turnout was more than double what we get in a typical year. Taxpayers noticed – they just happened to notice that the corporate-funded anti-school destruction crew doesn’t have the best interests of the schools, the citizens, or the town at heart.
And that buzzword – taxpayers. Am I not a taxpayer? Is there some suggestion here that the 2,500-or-so people who voted in favor of the schools are not as much taxpayers as the 1,000 school-destroyers? Who are these people who self-identify as only one thing – a taxpayer?
They use the monicker “taxpayer” to shield themselves from the fact that they seek nothing less than a wholesale destruction of the public school system in town. They pretend to be on the side of schools, but after they broke the schools last year, this particular woman didn’t bother to help fund restoration of programs. She’s on the side of her own self-interest; community be damned. Don’t buy the charade.
This year’s School Board election hinge on voter turnout. With a more reasonable budget on the ballot, anti-taxpayer groups flew under the radar. This year’s school board vote once again became a sleepy event populated by school insiders.
Interesting Freudian slip there – “school insiders”. I’m not a “school insider” unless, of course, I’m inside a school. I have kids in school, so technically that makes them “insiders”.
The author of this malignant screed is no longer an insider, but she was a few short years ago. You see, her kids went through the Clarence schools, free from any threats from any right wing hate mob looking to do palpable harm to their educations. But now that her kids are out of the system, it’s ripe for destruction. She got hers, now fuck everyone else. It’s the new American way.
Let me add this horrible anecdote from a correspondent:
You better believe they’re coming after the teachers. [Tuesday] night, Ginger Lahti (wife of board member Jason and sister of board member Roger Showalter) confronted my son, a junior, in the CHS parking lot. He was holding ASK signs and chanting “quality teachers and quality education for our students.”
She said to him, “You’re not doing this for the students; you’re doing this for your teachers so they can make more money. Your teachers brainwashed you.” Later, she pointed to Mr. Worling and said to [my son], “He’s not your enemy – the teachers’ union is your enemy.”
[My son] was really upset about it, because he loves his teachers and oh yeah – his father is a teacher! Ginger certainly chose the wrong kid to confront! And last year, [Jim] Murphy confronted [my son] during the voting day demonstrations. He also told [my son] he’d been “brainwashed” and that he’d “be better off being homeschooled.” These people have ZERO respect for teachers!! In fact, they have straight-up contempt. It’s disgusting.
Bullying schoolkids? Accusing them of being brainwashed, whilst simultaneously trying to brainwash them? Nice crowd of people, who can’t pick on someone their own size.
That Murphy guy. He’s a trip. One of our volunteers went to where the anti-school crowd was bribing seniors with pancakes to get them to help destroy the schools (it didn’t work – hardly anyone showed up.) She’s a young mother, and had her infant with her while volunteering. As she was leaving,
… it was to Jim Murphy shouting at me… “You need your baby to protect you”.. That came out of nowhere because everyone was very pleasant to us while we were there.
Just awful people. Protect her from what, precisely? That’s a straight-up threat. Murphy used to be on the town’s Democratic committee. Some Democrat – working to destroy public education, a tool of the town’s big developer, bullying kids, threatening mothers. Glad we’ve sanitized the committee of such despicable malcontents.
Anyhow, Tuesday’s “sleepy event” was (if you take away 2013) the largest turnout in history.
And we’re “anti-taxpayer” now? I am a taxpayer. In fact, the author of the anti-school post paid $2,400 in school taxes last year. I paid $4,300. Is that taxpayer-y enough for you? I’m also a citizen of a society – a society that guarantees kids a quality education from K-12.
As a sign of just how brazen they were, taxpayers were openly disrespected at Meet the Candidates night when ALL THREE ANTI-TAXPAYER CANDIDATES FOR SCHOOL BOARD PLEDGED SUPPORT FOR EACH OTHER – AND FOR LAST YEAR’S FAILED 9.8% BUDGET INCREASE.
Maybe you felt disrespected, but taxpayers weren’t disrespected, and neither were you. (Actually, it was a wholly cordial event and no one disrespected anyone, except in someone’s Randian fever dreams.) At the Meet the Candidates forum, the ASK slate of candidates didn’t express “support for each other” at any time. That is a blatant lie. They did, however, indicate that they would have rather eaten the 9.8% increase and maintained programs, social workers, librarians, classes, clubs, teachers, and electives, rather than lost it all. (Here is a compendium on my 2013 series on the budget mess.)
It’s called getting a good return on a comparatively low investment. We have a cost-effective, fiscally responsible school district that maintains excellent results for minimum taxpayer exposure.
You can’t make this stuff up. And this inexplicably blatant anti-taxpayer action paid off as the three all coasted to victory amid slack voter turnout.
High voter turnout. And they coasted with historically high voter turnout. It’s just that we turned our people out and yours stayed home. Maybe they were fatigued by your hateful, false propaganda.
I was petrified Tuesday night as they called the results. I didn’t know they did it in ballot order, so when they said Worling’s name second, my heart dropped. Nothing was a sure bet, and I never once underestimated the financial wherewithal or bitter hatred that our opponents harbored for us and our cause. This wild rant merely confirms it.
Our cause wasn’t spendthrift communism, but the maintenance of excellent and cost-effective schools.
Clarence is the #3 district in WNY. It is also the third most cost-efficient district in WNY. It is fifth lowest in per pupil spending in WNY. You get the biggest bang for your school tax buck in Clarence.
Our voters, frankly, came out because they’ve had it with the demolition crew’s propaganda and lies.
The gambit should have served as a warning that the anti-taxpayer groups have concluded that the sleeping giant that awoke last May to strike down the 9.8% increase has returned to its slumber.
Instead, the move mobilized their base, and the three enjoyed the support of same 2500 votes that have traditionally been available for union-backed candidates in a Clarence School Board race.
“Anti-taxpayer” again. I don’t quite follow the logic in the two preceding paragraphs, but it is a lie to suggest that 2,500 people typically turn out to vote for a certain bloc of candidates; “union-backed” or not. (You’re starting to see, I gather, their real bone of contention – that teachers are remunerated for their labor.)
Historically – at least in the past decade, and when you omit 2013 – about 1,000 people show up to vote in favor of the budget and for the highest vote-getters for school board. When you lie to people, you’re insulting everyone’s intelligence. The data aren’t that difficult to obtain, and lies are easy to debunk.
It’s easy to understand why.
Last year’s failed budget brought record numbers to the polls, and the resulting tide went against the union types. This year, there was no such galvanizing issue. Taxpayers were too busy with everyday life to waste time when the budget wasn’t being contested.
No, you were just wasting our time by opposing a reasonable proposition to, y’know, keep our kids safe. Bus breakdowns don’t affect your family, but they affect thousands of others. It doesn’t matter – you got yours, right? You were wasting our time by pimping out some guy who can’t even be bothered to send his kids to the district. No one was energized by Worling and his half-assed non-answers to reasonable questions about a district with which he has no contact whatsoever.
How about I ask to become a member of the board of Central Christian Academy and tell them how to run their business, even though I don’t even know where it’s located?
Such a lackadaisical electorate was no match for 2,500 school insiders who show up reliably each year to protect their families’ meal tickets.
Meal tickets? What brand of insanity is this? There’s not one single person in my group who is connected to the school district in any way beyond sending kids to it. We’re fighting for our kids’ education – not some fantastical “meal ticket”. If you ever needed to know how much contempt this particular person has for the schools, the teachers, the students, and parents – there’s your answer.
It’s hard to blame them. This is the system we’ve chosen. It’s up to us to put up – or show up.
There’s always next year.
We see your contempt for the taxpayers who treasure our schools and our kids’ educations. We see your lies and how you’re trying to manipulate the facts. We know that you have nothing but malice for the kids and their teachers; for the parents, board, and administration – (even though you don’t bother to show up to board meetings.)
Honestly, I don’t think New York is right for you. If you’re looking for low taxes and really shitty social services, I’d recommend Mississippi or maybe Florida.