Letter to the Editor: ‘Political operatives’ running for school board

How ironic that Region C U-CF School Board candidates [Beverley] Brookes, [Kathy] Do, and [Gregg] Lindner are running on a platform that proclaims "Education Not Politics." Brookes, Do, and Lindner have all been highly active in partisan politics for many decades and each has served as an elected official. I applaud their involvement in political action, but that campaign slogan is very inappropriate when each of them is an experienced political operative and each of their opponents is highly inexperienced in politics.

Brooks, Do, and Lindner are putting their political expertise to good use in running a masterful campaign. Brookes has stressed her concerns as a caring grandmother of district students while choosing not to reveal that she is also the mother of a district teacher. Region C voters will have to decide if they want to elect a school board director who may not be able to vote on matters related to the teachers' union due to her conflict of interest.

On the other side, candidates [Carolyn] Daniels, [John] Murphy, and [Lorraine] Ramunno are all political newcomers. Their primary interest is nothing other than ensuring that we continue to deliver an outstanding education to our students at a reasonable cost to our taxpayers. I hope that the voters in Region C will go beyond the slogans and make an informed decision on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Jeff Hellrung
Region A school board director
East Marlborough Township

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One Response to “Letter to the Editor: ‘Political operatives’ running for school board”

  1. Katherine Dillon says:

    Political Operative? Mr. Hellrung, you are the political operative playing partisan politics. You are an incumbent school board member who is actively endorsing a Republican slate of candidates. While that certainly is your right, I suspect that your letter to the editor is trying to indicate that Mrs. Brookes and her team of Mr. Linder and Mrs. Do are trying to hide the fact that Mrs. Brookes is the mother of a UCFSD school teacher. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    I am new to this community. I have met all three, and, ironically, Mrs. Brookes’ daughter. Not one of them has ever hid the fact that Mrs. Brookes’ daughter is a teacher. Mrs. Brookes repeatedly has said she would not engage in contract negotiations and would recuse herself from any vote that would directly affect her daughter. For you to suggest otherwise and to intimate a conflict of interest is underhanded. You fail to mention that School Board President Vic DuPuis was elected while his child was a district teacher. Did that create a conflict of interest for him? Only he knows for sure and only you can decide for yourself based on his voting record.

    In fact, every school board director inherently has a conflict of interest, including you, that in some way can influence objectivity: where they live, do they have children in the District or not, do they own a business, what is their income. Every school board member is a taxpayer, each of differing incomes. While they may say that they will vote for a budget that is in the best interest of all, I suspect that their ability to pay may affect their vote. You live in East Marlborough Township. If the school district (hypothetically) wanted to purchase a plot of land to build a new baseball field with a refreshment stand in that area, would you not consider how that would impact you or your neighbors who now use that field for a dog run? Of course you would, as would Mr. Murphy, who is a coach for URA. If the URA could use that baseball field, that may affect his vote. Please don’t tell me you don’t deal in hypotheticals. The District’s Homework Committee may be making recommendations to the Board for approval. Any parent who is a school director certainly will consider carefully any recommendation that will affect his or her child personally, whether a recommendation would give the child more or less homework. Does Mr. Linder, Mrs. Do, Mrs. Daniels, or Mrs. Ramunno want to be the parent who tells their child, “Sure, honey, i voted for your homework to double.?” Doubtful.

    To be sure, Mr. Hellrung: Mr. Lindner, Mrs. Do and Mrs. Brookes are running as a bipartisan group. Whether they are Democrat or Republica does not matter to me. They are attempting to practice politics at its purist level: with bipartisanship. Mrs. Ramunno, Mr. Murphy, and Mrs. Daniels are running as Republicans. Regardless of Mrs. Daniels prior service on the Board, I am less inclined to vote for her because of her affiliation with a specific political party.

    If anyone is playing politics, it is you Mr. Hellrung. Your endorsement of Mrs. Daniels, Mr. Murphy, and Mrs. Ramunno demonstrates a conflict of interest for you. A sitting school board director publically endorsing candidates in an open forum? If I were so inclined to vote for you, I would question your ethics and your objectivity as well. I would infer that you want school directors who would vote as the Republican Party would dictate and who would follow your lead.

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