What a difference four years makes!
The last election cycle was filled with debates, forums, letters in the papers and pretty intense press coverage. Clarke County was democracy in action! But not this time. This year we barely have enough “candidates “to field a School Board or a Board of Supervisors. Only two seats are being contested in the whole County! There are no debates and only one forum presently scheduled and letters to the editor have not been plentiful or passionate.
Nowhere in the county is this more evident than in the White Post Voting District. Here we have only one person who has declared himself for our slot on the School Board – Chip Schutte. Now Mr. Schutte is a pleasant sort of fellow and a pretty fair musician but we have seen him as a School Board member before. You might recall that he was an integral part of the previous board that we threw out en masse. He voted repeatedly to spend three and a half MILLION dollars on a site we did not own (and still don’t) and a school design that was over budget from its conception; he supported the outlandish “acceleration” program in math that left huge numbers of our children without enough math basics to pass an SOL; and he threw up major roadblocks to the creation of a working relationship with the BOS. Pretty serious stuff that would normally doom any candidate for the office – and the list could go on!
So what can we do at this late date? We can decide not to vote for the School Board position; but all he needs is his own vote to win, so that does little. A serious under vote might influence some people but I think in this case it would have little impact. A “write in” candidate coming to the fore is only way to avoid apathy and Mr. Schutte wasting our seat for the next four years. Any qualified candidate who came out now would still have a month to get their message out. Since Mr. Schutte has yet to offer a message, they would be starting even.
Is there not someone who is willing to serve the community in this most important role?