Impressed with the new board

Published 7:54 pm Friday, January 22, 2010

Honestly, I’m impressed. Rarely do you see politicians immediately follow the policy promises of their campaign. But that’s exactly what the new school board members did at the first meeting on Thursday. I think I might have even muttered a “Wow” while sitting in the meeting, complete with an eyebrow raising and all.

I know it is not fair for me to completely ostracize the former board as a whole, especially seeing as Udo Ufomadu is the only person carrying over from the former board, but I think the several meetings I attended, and covering the election for the newspaper, allow me to offer a well-rounded comparison of the boards.

And, like I said, I’m impressed. They may still be getting into the rhythm of the formalities of meetings, but that doesn’t mean they are unfamiliar with the purpose of the positions.

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As each member was given a few minutes to speak to the public, several people became so passionate about the real reason for serving on the school board, the children, which small tears formed or fell from their eyes. Maybe my memory is foggy on this issue, but I don’t remember the former board, as a collective unit, having that much passion. I remember stern faces and passage of the agenda so quickly I just barely followed which point they were passing. Sure, some members cared deeply for the children, ones who would fit well with the sentiments of the current board, but the politics of the job seemed to overshadow everything else. Maybe once out from under the spotlights of the meetings the members had more compassion, but with my short time covering the school board before the members left, I only felt that a couple members fit this mold.

Now let’s see if this board’s trend continues. Maybe it was a fluke. Maybe everyone was on best behaviors for the more than 100 people in attendance. Maybe holding a hand on a bible before the meeting to swear-in makes people more apt to follow the golden rule, but give it some time until people revert to their old ways. Or, maybe, I should stop being skeptical and come to terms with the fact that an honest politician is not an oxymoron.