Election Rebuilding

The results are in from yesterday’s election, many races went the way I had hoped, many did not, so let’s rundown the two main area races for my take on them.

Round Lake Area Schools – Board of Education

First off I want to thank everyone who supported Dan, Tonesha and me in the election.  Thank you for returning me to the board I’m very grateful to have your support and will continue working hard to make a difference in CUSD 116.

Obviously this race was closest to me since I was in it.  Despite all the congratulations I have gotten I was very disappointed in the results.  First, to see Tonesha Baker lose, hurt me very much.  Tonesha was the first Master Board Member ever in Round Lake.  Tonesha went out and aggressively got the training when it wasn’t easily being provided and before anyone else.  Most of all Tonesha was always up front and honest with me, never afraid to tell me how she really felt and never told me one thing and did another.  She’s an honest and thoughtful person and an excellent board member, she will be missed.

Secondly, Dan Hartlieb finished a few votes behind me and I was disappointed we couldn’t get the needed votes to take at least two spots.  Dan is someone who’s lived here all his life and is deeply invested in the schools.  I think he would have been an excellent board member.

Tonesha and Dan have both told me they plan to stay involved with the schools and I hope they do so.

If anything the mistakes in this campaign were mine.  First, for not putting the required time into them.  I was too busy with work, board, family, etc to sacrifice the weekends and evenings to be hitting the campaign trail. Our opponents didn’t and were working right through to the final hour, they worked harder.  Second, after a review of the outcomes in many of the races and the techniques used it’s clear running a positive campaign focused on the facts and your accomplishments doesn’t always work.  I thought people would clearly see who was more qualified, who was more invested in the district, who knew what our issues were and who knew what our boardroom looked like more than three months ago.  I was wrong, I won’t make that mistake again.

The campaign is over now and we’ll have a new board member and thus a slightly different board.  The new board will need to rebuild itself, continue to improve and prove that we are ready to take on the reins of leadership ourselves.  We have objectives to meet if the School Finance Authority is going to leave at the end of next school year as anticipated.  We’re going to jump right into working on those objectives right away.

Village of Round Lake

Yesterday the voters sent a clear message they wanted a new direction in leadership for the village, you can’t slice a 2 to 1 victory across the board any other way.  Congratulations to Jim, Joyce, Don, Sonia and Susan for a hard fought victory, you guys deserved it.

I was highly invested in this campaign going months back in fact going back to immediately after the November election.  First I was surveying the field hoping that someone would emerge to challenge Bill Gentes.  When that person was Dan MacGillis I began working with him and Don Newby on their slate.

Contrary to the accusations the two slates decided for their own benefit and for the best chance to defeat Gentes the slates needed to merge.  So then I started working with Jim Dietz and the folks with what became RL United For Change.  I was the webmaster for their site, attended most of their functions and did my best to support this slate because we were in desperate need of change in Round Lake.

I am very pleased that not only did United For Change win, they won in overwhelming fashion signaling a clear message from the Village that things needed to change.  However, that is not to say there weren’t some good and well qualified folks on the opposing slate.  To that I would say each of them made a decision to run with Gentes and thus tied their collective fates to him – that was a mistake.  As I said though there are good folks there and while their decision kept my votes from them I am hopeful we can all move on from this election and work together.

Rebuilding Together

Thus we get to my final topic and that would be moving on from elections together.  Unfortunately local politics is particularly nasty because it’s neighbor versus neighbor in many cases.  The candidates in all the races made their case, some races were won, some were lost.  Now it’s time for us to move on together as the folks have voted.

To that end I am putting this election behind me and will affirm my position to work with anyone who will work with me.  Anyone who is up front and honest with me is someone I can support and work with.  I don’t have to agree with you all the time, there will be times we won’t (and I am certain to let you know about it) but it is rarely if ever personal from me.  I try not to make decisions from a personal viewpoint but at the end of the day I’m only human like anyone else and might be prone to emotion sometimes.   At the end of the day though I would hope that people, whether they agree with me or not, would know that I’m honest and a straight shooter.  I hope we all can work together for our community to make it better for everyone here.