I had arranged through a printer to send out 3,000 letters to Super Voters, those who have voted in the primaries since the dawn of time. I had never heard of such a thing, till a friend of mine, well versed in politics, told me that they would be the only people who come out at these off year elections. I had not even thought of who these people might be till I was informed by my friend.
I thought that these folks might be older and wiser in the world of elections. Turns out they are a mixture of the populace, with the majority being those with interest in local happenings. I began to get phone calls and emails asking me very direct questions about local school district happenings.
One big issue over the past few years has been the school district’s attempts to contract out ( privatize) school busing. They had succeeded in doing it this past year and had incurred the enmity of many union loyalists and local people who worked as bus drivers. It was a very bad scene for a long while and is still festering right under the surface.
I also had one email telling me that I was going to be watched from now on. I am not sure what that means, although there has been a strange car outside my house this past weekend. I did find out that it belonged to a neighbor’s friend who was visiting. I will not be paranoid.
Some of the emails and phonecalls have come from people with some very pointed questions about my background, which I had enumerated in my letter. I had mentioned that I had some experience in economic development and that spurred a couple of questions. There were specific questions about cost cutting. That’s a really tricky one because everyone has their oxen to be gored. I answered by saying that cutting begins by moving outward from classrooms and learning and cutting those things that are furthest away. I also said that revenues should be maximized.
Not sure how many people understand that a lack of revenue is often the reason why things get screwed up. If you find that there are hosts of people who are not paying their taxes, or that taxpayer lists are screwed up, you are not doing your job. Also there are grants to be written, both public and private and setting up an educational foundation to fund some of those things that people want, but are not willing to pay through taxation.
People were anxious to hear such things. Since my experiences are chock filled with money problems in public schools, I always have some ideas.
The most fun that I have had is riding around in my election region with signs on my car that say “HILLMAN FOR SCHOOL BOARD.” I have not started going door to door, but I have had people wave to me and smile. That’s what I like. I even had a restaurant owner ask me for some handouts so that he can give them to his customers. Not sure that I am going to win, but I sure am having fun.