Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mike Friedman for a Tough Job

I have been in shock for a week after the Plano ISD Board of Trustees voted to saddle the district with a White Elephant. It has been a bad week in Plano. A young lady who worked at the Gleneagles Country Club was kidnapped and murdered. It has been a terrible week.

And it is a terrible thought to realize that our Board of Trustees excels in spending money, not in educating our children. If you double-click on the embedded image, you can see it full size. You will see that Plano spends more per student than our neighbors, who have better test results. You will also see we pay more to our superintendent than the other districts.

I have come to realize that the Old Guard on the school board must excel in what they value: spending money. This is why they felt compelled to buy an office building that has sat empty for years, even though they have no real plans for the building. They do not have a firm plan for the Academy, but they buy a building anyway. The administration had the audacity during the board meeting to suggest this building is essentially free: the bond money was "left over" money from a previous bond issue, and the operational expenses will rain down from rich donors.

Carrolyn Moebius and Marilyn Hinton were a disappoinment. When they were elected I thought they would make a difference, but they joined the Old Guard in rubber stamping the administration's spending plan. Marilyn Hinton explained that she placed her trust in the administration, which is what a rubber stamp does. Their failure on the board makes it imperative we make the right choice for Place 4.

In the race for Place 4 we need a good counter-weight to Missy Bender. Ms Bender took the lead in defending the board's commitment to buy a building before the new board members could be seated. Ms Bender presented herself as a new leader for the board on Tuesday, April 19, but I believe she is out of touch with the educational needs of our children.

Mike Friedman serves on numerous boards and is board president of the Legacy Senior Communities. Mike's wife is a former school teacher, so he is close to the heart beat of our schools. When the campaigns started I had planned to vote for Steve Day and to endorse him. I believe Steve can function well as a board member, but not as President of the Board of Trustees.

I can see Mike Friedman as President of the Plano Board of Trustees, and I believe the Plano ISD needs his leadership on the board. I have spent time talking to both Mike and Steve. I know Paul Kaminsky from the last election. As much as I like Steve Day, I believe that Mike Friedman is a better choice in this election. Next year might be worse than this year because we have a White Elephant in addition to revenue problems. We are not doing anyone a favor by putting him on the board. I believe Mike Friedman is the right man for the tough job ahead.

Please vote for Michael Friedman, Place 4, for the Plano ISD Board of Trustees.

Robert Canright

PS: Here is a definition for White Elephant, "A possession that is useless or troublesome, especially one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of."

Sunday, April 10, 2011

David Stolle for PISD Board

After the League of Women Voters forum on April 9, 2011, I decided to endorse David Stolle for the Plano ISD Board of Trustees, Place 5.

David's opponent said he was going to defer to the administration because they are professionals. David's opponent explained that he would not want the PISD administration to tell him how to run his law practice, so he is not going to tell the PISD administration how to conduct their business. This is exactly what is wrong with the Old Guard on the board of trustees.

By constantly rubber stamping the administration's decisions, the Old Guard has allowed the quality of Plano schools to slip. See the accompanying chart of last year's TAKS results. Plano has significantly more struggling schools than our neighbors: Allen, Richardson, and Frisco. Plano has significantly fewer Exemplary schools than our neighbors. Frisco and Allen are Exemplary districts while Plano is only a Recognized district.

The quality of Plano schools has slipped because the Old Guard forgot who they served. The Old Guard, by deferring to the administration, serves the administration instead of the community of Plano. The lack of oversight by the board has led to a continuing slip in the quality of our children's education.

The board of trustees does not have to tell the administration how to do their jobs, but the board must say no to the administration when a mistake is being made.

Please vote in the Plano ISD election. Early voting is May 2 - 10. Election Day is Saturday May 14. Please vote for David Stolle for Place 5.

Robert Canright

PS: Double click on the chart and you will see a larger version.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Plano League of Women Voters Candidate Forum

The League of Women Voters of Plano/Collin County will host a public candidate forum to provide information to voters for the coming May 14 Local Election.

The candidate forum will be Saturday, April 9, 10:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., at Schimelpfenig Library, 5024 Custer Road, Plano, TX 75023. There will be two sessions, as follows:

* Session 1, 10:30-11:30, for Plano City Council candidates
* Meet & Greet, 11:30-12:00, for all candidates in both sessions
* Session 2, 12:00-12:45, for Plano ISD Trustee candidates

Robert Canright