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Election 2012: Minneapolis School Board, St. Paul Levy

October 17th, 2012 (09:45 pm)

Unless I've forgotten a race, or suddenly get a flurry of useful new information, this should be the last post and then I'm going to do a Grand Post of Links to put up on Facebook.

Minneapolis is having a school board race. The two candidates are Carla Bates (incumbent) and Doug Mann. I'm going to vote for Carla Bates. I explained my rationale here on my post about the primary so I'll just C&P:

Carla Bates is the incumbent. Despite being deeply unimpressed by the Minneapolis School Board overall, I have a strong pro-incumbent bias because almost no one wants to do this job more than once. They get paid $13,800/year; they generally work far more than 40 hours a week; and everyone hates them. Getting blamed for everything that goes wrong with the Minneapolis public school is pretty much the job, right there.

Anyway, the typical candidate comes on to the board bright-eyed and optimistic, is crushed into misery and despair within months (maybe weeks), and decides not to run again because really, being hated by 387,753 people for $13,800/year is a shitty gig. And the net result is a complete lack of institutional memory that makes a not-terribly-effective school board even less effective. So if someone wants to do it more than once? Unless I really, really hate them I'm probably going to vote for them.

I'm pretty sure Carla Bates has pissed me off, but I can't remember what she did so it can't have been all that bad. Therefore, she gets my vote.

In St. Paul, there's a school levy referendum. The "Vote Yes for St. Paul Kids!" signs are apparently worrying to the Vote No campaign, and I've seen quite a few yards with both a purple Vote Yes sign and an orange Vote No sign.

I am in favor of the levy. It is mostly a renewal of an existing levy; the proposed increase is very small. Funding schools well is IMO a win for everyone. So vote NO on both amendments, but (if you live in St. Paul) YES on the school funding levy.