Four Candidates for St. Michael-Albertville School Board

Four candidates applied as candidates for the St. Michael-Albertville School Board.

There are three seats open on the school board this November and four candidates on the ballot.

All three incumbents all are running for re-election, that includes Jeanne Holland, Drew Scherber and Carol Steffens. St. Michael resident Jim Shovelain is also running.

The deadline for candidacy was Tuesday, Aug. 14.

Lynne August 18, 2012 at 11:53 PM
I think candidates should be viewed on their own merits, not those of their associations.
Paul Shovelain August 19, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Jim Shovelain is a great canidate as he has been activily involved in the community for over 30 years.
Rick August 19, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Lynne, their associations are their merits. And I'm not to sure if you've been to a school board meeting or not, but I have. Holland has zero interest in listening to remarks made that are not in her interest, and she exudes an arrogance that is rarely seen by politicians. and make no mistake, school board members ARE politicians.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) August 20, 2012 at 03:02 PM
I'm going to ask people to try to make claims based on fact in this thread, so I'd like some evidence if you're going to make accusations about another candidate. If you choose to endorse (like Fr. Paul), that's fine. But this isn't a field of national candidates we're talking about here. It's members of our community. So I'd like some evidence with some of these claims.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) August 20, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Rick's second comment is allowed because that's his opinion of an official in a public meeting.
Al Anderson August 20, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Paul I concur with your thoughts. Based on the referendum last year and the closed process by which members of the "Invest in Excellence" committee were chosen - I cannot vote for any of the current board members. School property taxes continue to go up much faster than the rate of inflation. Education reform is sorely needed. Accordingly, I will only be voting for one member of the four that filed -- and that is Jim Shovelain. I highly recommend other STMA voters do the same --- write in 3 others names on the ballot if you wish.
Meghan Gutzwiller August 20, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Al, I wanted to clear something up about the Invest in Excellence committee. I attended the group's first meeting and wrote an article on St. Michael Patch letting community members know about what the group is doing and how to join the committee. The committee was open to anyone. The district contacted those who had led the parent committee during the 2004 referendum to see if they would be interested in volunteering again but they did not select committee members through a closed process.
Al Anderson August 20, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Meghan -- I will respectfully disagree. I for one, never knew the Patch existed until last September - and I'd venture to say that a decent to large percentage of the population either still doesn't know or doesn't consistenty view the Patch. Secondly, the Patch should not be the primary vehicle to use to "invite" people to join anything. Three, the district did not include this on the STMA website. Four, the district contacting those who led the parent commttee during the 2004 referendum to again be part of the "Investment in Excellence" committee is like asking a bunch of foxes if they'd like to raid the henhouse again. Pretty nearly a closed process, right?
Genuinely Curious August 21, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Al...I have a question. The purpose of the committee, which was not funded nor organized directly by the district (as I recall, and I am also quite sure that this would violate state law) was to support the successful passage of the levy - a goal that obviously was shared by the board/district. So to my question, knowing that this was essentially a community group of parents/district supporters, not an official mouthpiece/branch of the district, why would Invest in Excellence want to include members that directly contradict their goal? The "process" is immaterial here and has nothing to do with the board, who again as far as I know, did not fund or organize the committee. Feel free to disagree with the board's decisions, but to want them out for something they didn't have a part of? Further, the board did not make the levy pass - that was the community that, thankfully, voted for the levy to pass.
Meghan Gutzwiller August 21, 2012 at 03:14 AM
I do know the group was actively recruiting volunteers by talking to people at school open houses, football games and other events. Genuinely Curious is right that it was not funded or organized by the district, it was parent and community volunteers who joined because they supported the referendum efforts and wanted to help it pass.
Rick August 21, 2012 at 04:30 AM
GC, good lord... "the board did not make the levy pass." So you're saying the community dreamed this up? The school boards mission is to provide an education with funding received. I sat in a meeting the night before the vote. They had a lobbyist (gee, who payed for him?) come and put up some flowery numbers on the white board. One of his points was for a district of our size, in comaprison with Hopkins, Edina and a few others, our funding from the state was second to last. Has this current board done ANYTHING to rectify the gap? I will keep my opinion that this levy passing, at the behest of Superintendant Behle AND the school board, was a disgrace over mismanagement by this school board. First and foremost, no gvmt entity should take one red cent in "temporary funding" from the state or federal gvmt. What happens when that funding ceases? You have threatened teacher cuts unless the levy passes. Same thing threatening bus pickups, old computers. This board and it's lobbyist knew EXACTLY what buttons to push to get this passed.
Rick August 21, 2012 at 04:30 AM
Mike, my first comment disappeared. Why?
Al Anderson August 21, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Let's see -- the board/district actively recruits volunteers (Democrats) who were not a proper cross section of the community and this doesn't violate state law? Pretty flimsy logic. The board hires Sandy Ziegler (ugh) as a consultant using 40k in taxpayer money as the bridge to help Behle and the board get this passed and that's not violating state law? Additionally, the "Investment in excellence" committee falsely states to the STMA taxpaying community that the committee represents a true cross section of the community? I never stated that the board PAID for the signs and organizing efforts - only that the process by which the committee members were invited was a mostly closed process (which both of you have now implicitly stated). A lot of people knew that the "Investment in Excellence" committee as an independent review committee was a farce -- not intended to objectively review whether additional funding was needed (note that reform wasn't part of the committees' agenda) but to organize and put out sufficient half- truth propaganda to convince enough STMA parents with kids that their kids would lose out if the referendum didn't pass. I'm sure this committee was put together to take pressure off the superintendent and the board to make it look like they weren't the driving force behind the community message (even though the school district did what it could to put out the usual half-truths in the mailings sent prior to the referendum election.).
Al Anderson August 21, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Each of the board members deserves to be harshly booted out for "the ends justifies the means" approach that they took to get that referendum passed. If the board had sought a true cross section of the community instead of asking for the right membership to get the referendum passed -- I wouldnt be complaining as I did then and am now. It did not -- and I consider the school boards’ actions to be highly unethical.
Rick August 21, 2012 at 06:37 AM
Excellent comment Al. Right on mark.


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