I Don’t Debate in the Comments Section

Because I make it a point not to get into debates in comments sections, here are a few responses to statements made there on some of the Facebook advertisement posts. These are my positions and people are welcome to accept or reject them. I'm not going to argue them further.

1 - As a member of the RSU 24 Board of Directors, every single one of my votes is a matter of public record. People who assert "I vote very far left every time" must either consider approving hiring teachers, accepting donations, even accepting meeting minutes to be "far left" issues, OR the only handful of times those people could be bothered to tune in to the process of governing the education system, they happened to disagree with the position the board as a whole took, and my part in it. This is not exaggeration - I have seen ten years of school board meeting attendance and can count on my fingers how many times these individuals have shown up.

2 - On the issues of cancellation of fall sports and masking during the pandemic (the two topics being seen as my voting "far left"), the individuals espousing my alleged far-leftness fail to acknowledge that mine was the first vote that changed to allow winter sports after the cancelled fall season, and the last vote to change in the third meeting on masking where we ultimately decided to require masks in school, after I had voted twice to leave them optional. I supported our superintendent when he and his team of professionals felt it was time to lift the requirement.

3 - For me, the decision to mask or not mask was done from the dual mindsets of, a) another measure to aid in preventing the spread of COVID, and b) keeping the most kids in the educational setting that benefits them the greatest - inside the school building. We would not have been able to keep schools open with the rate of infections we were experiencing at the beginning of the school year, had we not required masks at that time.

4 - The decisions above are attributed to my voting based on fear or what benefits me. While I disagree with the choice of the word "fear" and instead suggest "caution", I would rather be accused of being fearful, than callous with the lives of our students and our communities. As far as voting based on my own self-interest, I challenge anyone to explain what benefit I get out of my position on the school board and the votes I cast, beyond the roughly $1000.00 in total stipends over the course of a year, and the entertainment value that accompanies attending all of those meetings. As for the Legislature? There are easier ways to earn $15,000 or less per year.

5 - The claim that I voted against the wishes of my community? Forget for a second that in Maine the statutory responsibility of school board members is to do what is in the best interest of the school district and its students, my term for school board ended in March 2022. This was the first year the position was contested since being elected in 2012, and I won 103 to 67. If the majority of my community felt I had so poorly executed the responsibilities of my office, this was their opportunity to demonstrate that.

6 - I have made no decisions on a caucus yet and come election day, I will vote for the candidates who I feel will do the most to protect and improve the lives of the people of the State of Maine.