Boy, what an election year this has been! I wasn't even talking about the national level, but the local races. I will be glad when it's over, but not as much as the candidates want the nightmare to end.
I enjoyed Al Gilmore's insight of the political players and it got me to thinking about it too. Those of us that try to follow the community politics could see this one brewing from a far. Each of what I will call the "Big Boys," are all wanting to play in the Hesperia political sand box.
The Voglers have their views and visions of the community and want to keep control of the city council, the Kirks' and the Teachers' Union (HTA) have their power wrapped up for at least two more years, but would like to secure it with a couple of more school board votes. The building industry is always looking to have better deals for their developments and last, but not least, the candidates that are not trying to take control, but are kind of community independents.
I think Al did a very good job talking about the power players, but I would like to speak about what I call the independents. Many of the candidates could do a good job, but we must look out and not give any of the "Big Boys" any more controlling votes. I for one, do not what anymore of this in our community either.
In the city council race I do like Mike Leonard, but I believe he has been caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. I feel that the Vogler three needs to be broken up at any cost and this would bring me to Paul Bosacki, which would also be another Vogler vote. Paul's views, rants and raves are too radical for our community.
Russ Blewett is a good man, but has ties with the building industry and Mark Kirk has just too many ties everywhere. The only other candidate that I have had the opportunity to understand is Rochelle Garner. She is open minded, but young.
Now for the school board race and boy is this a mess, but equally important.
I think I can sum up this one quickly. The current school board, that was endorsed and supported by the Teachers' Union, has had a lot of controversy over the last couple of years. From building contract scandals, eliminating the six grade only schools, paying off employees, making the students walk further to school in the dark, school board recall, teacher raises, and elimination many great school district programs.
This race is between the Teachers' Union / Kirks', wanting to increase their control and the community members wanting to oversight the current board actions.
On the Teachers' Union / Kirks' side is Anthony Riley, Chris Bentley and presumably Chris Lindsay. These three are just more votes for the Teachers' Union. Anthony Riley is very good friends with the Kirks, Chris Lindsay does bring business ideas to the board and Chris Bentley is a sit-at-home dad, but views are way too radical for the school district.
On the community side is Eric Swanson, Frank Rich, and Bruce Henson. Eric Swanson was previously on the school board from 2001 to 2006 and was very instrumental in the new schools that are either being built or have been completed today. Frank Rich worked for the school district in few years ago, but is very young. Bruce Henson has a lot of ideas, but is very stiff.
One thing I would like to see is our local elected boards and council, not being controlled by groups with three or more votes. This is being talked about all over town and I believe this kind of control is wreaking our community.
I will be voting for Russ Blewett and Rochelle Garner. This would give our city council a wider variety of talents to make good decisions for our community and break up the Vogler power control.
On the school board, we will be stuck with the Teachers' Unions power for two more years before we can truly correct this power problem. In the past we have always had a school board with a broad array of talents, but today we need to take the first steps to get back to what we had before.
I will be voting for Eric Swanson and Frank Rich. Eric brings a wide range of school board experience that is unmatched in this election. It was a tough pick between Bruce Henson and Frank Rich. Both bring talents this school district could use, but Frank has past experience of some of the internal workings of the district. Eric and Frank are excellent choices to build on what is great in our school district and bring board member oversight to a one sided school board.