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School Board Candidates - Where They Stand

Ten members of our community have volunteered to make themselves subject to public persecution and are now candidates to be elected to one of the four Lawrence Public Schools' Board of Education seats that are open this year. In order for you to make an informed choice, it is important to know where the candidates stand. Specifically, if standing in their own home, where is that house located?

For what it is worth, or not, here is a map that shows where the current class of BOE candidates live, reside, sit, sleep, and stand. DIST (that's me in the third person) intended for the displayed image to be linked to an interactive map. Unfortunately, the award winning LJWorld.com does not allow iframes (whatever that is!). Therefore, the first image is just an image and shows where each candidate lives. The image may be clicked and a new window will take you to the original interactive map from which it was lifted (the iframe that should have been embedded).

The following image combines the above candidate map with the District Boundary Map.

So why bother with this? Each candidate will bring with him or herself some personal interests. Those interests may reflect the values of schools with which they are more closely associated. Although there is no known conflicts of interest - that is, no personal financial gains - there will be interests brought by the candidates. It would be wise for every voter to determine what their vision of the district is and vote accordingly.

According to the The Office of the County Clerk - Voting and Elections Division, advance voting began March 16th and ends at noon April 4th. The general election is April 5th. Therefore, echoing the famous quote, "Vote early and vote often."

Just for fun... What famous person did say, "Vote early and vote often?"

Richard M. Nixon

Richard J. Daley

Al Capone



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School Board President Rich Minder - Recuse ME!

Recuse: to remove (oneself) from participation to avoid a conflict of interest (Merriam-Webster)

Rich Minder, current USD497 Board of Education President, is also one of the original six investors in Delaware Street Commons, a Co-Housing Community. It was reported by the Lawrence Journal-World that Minder was delinquent on his property tax payments (taxes which support the school district) in the September 2, 2010 article, "Taxes owed at Delaware Commons".

It appears that taxes are still in arrears according to Douglas County, Kansas online services. A separate special tax, a loan repayment to the City of Lawrence, by Delaware Commons also appears to be delinquent. Minder has a direct stake in providing for the well-being of Delaware Commons.

Minder has also expressed displeasure of those who choose to live in a rural environment. In a 2003 email to the school board, board member-elect Rich Minder wrote, "We would not choose to live an environmentally, economically and culturally unsustainable lifestyle such as those typically found in the environs of such places as the ironically named Langston Hughes elementary." An email written by board member Minder in March 2010 reveals his expectation requiring "a major shift in lifestyle away from the automobile and will be linked to the afforementioned [sic] urban advantages, resulting in higher density, walkable built environment." He goes on to say, "that those who have chosen a rural non-farm lifestyle that requires a great deal of transporation [sic] expense would recognize the special responsibility they have to supporting collective efforts at building more sustainable patterns of settlement." Minder has an agenda which precludes rural Douglas County residents. An agenda that benefits the embodiment of his beliefs - Delaware Commons.

Yes, others, most assuredly all, have an interest - personal or ideological - in the preservation or demise of a particular school. Board of Education member Vanessa Sanburn would, presumably, have a personal interest in the retention of Woodlawn Elementary School. Board Member Bob Byers might have a personal interest in keeping Wakarusa Valley Elementary open since he is the Board liaison to the school. Mary Loveland, spouse of Dr. Charles Loveland, Pediatrician, may prefer to see Cordley Elementary close since it is not ADA compliant and requires several million dollars in repair. Of course, Board members will vote on issues based upon personal interests, ideology, and beliefs.

However, only one Board member appears to be able to benefit from the harm of others in the community.

Rich Minder, for the sake of propriety, appearance, and good ethical judgment should recuse himself from discussions and votes pertaining to school closings.



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