Red Clay Referendum VICTORY !

The referendum has passed! 6355-5484!

Thanks Mike for keeping us post! 

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22 responses to “Red Clay Referendum VICTORY !

  1. Publius e decere

    Congratulations to the Red Clay “referendum committee” which ran the pro-Referendum efforts. I certainly hope Red Clay appreciates the people who were instrumental in putting the ball over the goal line and in turn respects their overall views of why they supported Red Clay and promoted the Referendum. It was a win, not a mandate. The public is divided. But is was a win. We can speculate about what might have happened if the polling places were in a neutral location, or maybe located only in retirement communities, but whatever.

    Christina on the other hand got smacked down royally. No surprise. A ten-year recod of declining enrollments, and an extraordinary pattern of citizen choices for charters. Christina’s board should call a special meeting in that EMPTY building they have owned for a DECADE and have everyone decide if the district should have and could have done more to promote fiduciary reponsibility before asking for a 50% tax increase just to break even. Here is the short message fom the public: Cut your footprint and your costs — fast and furious. You dont have an offering whch the public wants. Admit it, right-size, and move forward from there.

    Publius

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    • It’s no secret that I’ve had a problem with holding referendums and school board elections on dates separate from general elections. These special elections/votes are prime for selective campaigning since both are a low numbers game.

      Both require public notification – and while most citizens are aware of the upcoming events, certain citizens are courted with urgency while others get the minimum information required by law. The system is designed this way. Energize and get out your “yes” vote, do the bare minimum for your “no” vote and hope they stay home. That is the winning formula.

      Imagine if seniors always supported a school district’s referendum while parents did not. What do you think would happen? Well… my guess is that we’d see polling places appear in retirement homes and disappear in schools. The system is designed to not only inform “yes” voters, it’s designed to make it easier for them to vote.

      And if seniors were the “yes” vote we’d suddenly see flyers/info stop being sent home in book bags. Meanwhile, seniors would be receiving phone calls and mailers. There would be wine and cheese parties, and other events, at senior (voting) centers, designed to make voting easier and enjoyable. Many seniors wouldn’t even have to leave their apartment building. And seniors wouldn’t have to find their way to schools they aren’t familiar with.

      None of what I’ve written means I didn’t support the referendums. I 100% support financing public education. My problem is with the system – and the way certain schools/neighborhoods benefit by voting yes, especially in school board elections. Perhaps we could start by saying that citizens must receive the same information – no special targeting of certain communities. GOTV measures would have to include everyone. Want to send a mailer or make phone calls? Well, you’ll have to do that for everyone. Want to host a pizza party, or other school event, on voting night? Then you must invite everyone.

      The next step, as far as school board elections go, is to allow only those living in the nominating area to vote on their school board representative. Why is it okay for the Hockessin community to vote for a school board member representing the city (and vice versa)? Why should school board candidates be able to campaign, and win, without ever rallying support (votes) in the nominating district they come from? What is the point of nominating districts if that community doesn’t get to have a say, or their say can be overruled by residents outside their community?

      Personally, I’m ready to move referendums and school board elections to the general. That, at least, would stop the selective campaigning and marketing and make school board candidates and school districts stop playing the “low turn-out/turn-out we want” game and court everyone.

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    • Why is it okay for the Hockessin community to vote for a school board member representing the city (and vice versa)? If this were not true, then incentive to be provincial by geography grows and interests of ALL children decreases. So, in truth, the city has 7 elected board members as does the suburbs.

      Why should school board candidates be able to campaign, and win, without ever rallying support (votes) in the nominating district they come from? The idea is that the candidate must be palatable and accountable to the whole district because the decisions that are made by a school board member will affect all areas of the district

      What is the point of nominating districts if that community doesn’t get to have a say, or their say can be overruled by residents outside their community? Ostensibly to provide balance in geography, but the district-wide election negates that I think. Interestingly, many district are all “at large” elections without nominating districts. Also, a way to guarantee a city resident.

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    • John says:

      “If this were not true, then incentive to be provincial by geography grows and interests of ALL children decreases. So, in truth, the city has 7 elected board members as does the suburbs.”

      I’m calling BS on this. You know, as well as I, that school board candidates must cater to the suburban populace, most times at the expense of the city (or at least not mentioning city issues), in order to win. A city candidate must woo suburban voters while a suburban candidate doesn’t have to (and rarely does) step foot in the city.

      The city does not have 7 board members looking out for its interests. It has city reps that most likely got elected without the majority of city votes and with assurances to the suburban community that they wouldn’t do anything to further increase their exposure to city children. These candidates also have to pass the charter and choice litmus test – and if people like that, fine, but let’s not pretend it doesn’t exist. A city candidate (or any candidate) who isn’t 100% pro-choice/charter, or dares to mention diversity or high poverty schools will find the suburban community organizing against them… and they will lose – even if those in their nominating district support them.

      “The idea is that the candidate must be palatable and accountable to the whole district because the decisions that are made by a school board member will affect all areas of the district”

      Maybe that’s the idea, but it’s not true. The candidate must be “palatable and accountable” to the suburban community. With the city split into 4 districts its voice (and its vote) is diluted. School boards and districts are well aware of this numbers game. Remember RCCD’s last capital referendum ploy? The one in which they threatened to bus suburbanites back into the city if it didn’t pass? Yeah, that was really looking out for, and representing, all children.

      You are free to like the present system, but please stop pretending that this system is designed to represent everyone’s interests. It’s not.

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    • I didn’t day it was working, just hire it’s designed to work, I agree with pretty much all you say here. The city gets to vote for all seven but to your point that does not necessarily translate into efficacious representation

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    • I didn’t say it was working, just how it’s designed to work, I agree with pretty much all you say here. The city gets to vote for all seven, but to your point that does not necessarily translate into efficacious representation

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  2. Again one of the more moronic hyperbolic comments
    “Steve Haman, head basketball coach at Christiana High School said departments within his school are running on a “shoestring” budget and are in need of new materials.

    “A school is just like a business, if you want to run it at a certain level then you need to be able to have certain resources available to accomplish whatever your goal is,” he said. ”

    Well Steve I’m pretty sure that SCHOOLS aren’t in the business of basketball. Time for sports to be reduced so more books/technology/interventionist/etc can be had.

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  3. lastDEconservative

    Unfortunate, but not unexpected. Was there really any reason to think the beneficiaries wouldn’t/couldn’t influence the outcome, just as with any election these days. Fitting to see the announcement here above the face of a union apparatchik.

    Propaganda works. Get used to it.

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    • Publius e decere

      Of course having the polling stations located in the schools is a huge bias in favor of those who work in and manage those schools. More than a modest amount of indirect electioneering goes on by pubic-paid employees who were not hired to electioneer, activities which would be completely frustrated by moving the polss to a “neutral” location.

      Maybe we should try setting up polling stations ONLY at the exit lines at all grocery stores. A better cross section of the taxpaing public, and a more appropriate venue to ask for money from the public. I realize this might be a structural bias against those who don’t eat, but holding the polls in the school buildings is structurally biased against a far larger swath of the tax paying public who might otherwise vote if the polls were convenient. In fact, why not run the polls at these more public locations for TWO days. This would ensure that more people have a pragmatic chance to vote and express their support — or not — for higher taxes.

      Poll-convenience works for those who work in or for the school buildings today — lets make it work for the rest (the majority) of the public too since everyone is paying the freight.

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    • “I realize this might be a structural bias against those who don’t eat” You are killing me Publius!

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    • lastDEconservative

      How about the bias against those who work? Polls open at 10? What? If by chance you bumped against a notice the day before, and wished to vote on your way in, too bad. On the way home? Late already? Kids have to get to piano lessons? Milk jug’s empty? Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.

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    • If holding the polls in schools is inherently structurally biased in favor of the school districts, then you’d think that Christina would have done better.

      It’s actually the Department of Elections that selects the polling places, not the districts, and there are specific legal requirement for how much space they have to have, how access can be controlled.

      The General Assembly passed legislation requiring the schools to close on Election Days (primaries, general, and school board) from (I think) 2016 onward. So that should end the practice of scheduling school activities during election hours because the buildings are required to be closed except for voting.

      In reality, Red Clay is pretty much the only district that has successful electioneering down. Look at the records of Christina, Colonial, Appo, etc and you will find both organized opposition and no organized support.

      Want reform? Good luck. You live in a State wherein the Elections Department does collect required fines for non-reporting of campaign finances, and where “campaign reform” didn’t even meet the anemic standards that the original commission suggested. Not for nothing are we usually listed at the 5th most corrupt state in the nation.

      So I guess my thing is this: don’t blame the people who won by playing by the rules (written and unwritten) that the rest of the politicians set to favor themselves.

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  4. This is interesting… Not one of RCCD’s public high schools supported the referendum. I’m not sure what to make of that.

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    • Pandora, that’s a difficult analysis, because just like school board elections. you may vote at ANY polling location available in district. So the voters at those polls are not necessarily, at all, the parents and taxpayers of those schools’ feeder patterns.

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    • Just spoke to a RC resident with H/S children but does not live as close to the H/S as to other voting locations. He AND his wife both voted at the H/S and noted the disparity in support between Elem./ Middle school vs. H/S. If he’s an indicator, H/S parents voted at H/S their kids attended and are NOT as supportive.

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    • I voted at my kids’ high school, but my husband and in-laws voted at our local elementary school (which is closer home).

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    • In the case of McKean HS it is almost always more negative on referenda because–like HB DuPont Middle (which also lost)–it is geographically the more convenient polling place for the older populations that live in or around the long string of assisted living facilities between Hockessin and Wilmington. That one’s really no surprise.

      The AI High community has become progressively more divided over the past few years for a variety of reasons, but to be honest the referendum loss there (only by about 50 votes out of roughly 400 cast) is more a comment on the fact that Paul Parets retired a few years ago. As band director his Band Boosters used to be capable of turning out somewhere in the neighborhood of 350+ yes votes by their lonesome. With that base gone now (his successor can’t command that sort of loyalty), the vote is more naturally fractured.

      At Dickinson the vote doesn’t so much represent the families the of the parents attending the school (because so many of the kids are bussed in from the city), so school night events don’t draw a hugely supportive audience.

      And don’t forget that–and this is interesting–the referendum won at Cab/CSW, which may say something else entirely, although I’m not sure what.

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  5. I am sure many Red Clay taxpayers will be surprised when the see the substantial increase in their tax bill next year. Pandora is correct; the way Red Clay is run is extremely undemocratic. Given the illogical way school districts are set up in New Castle Co. (a pie), the general population has no real way of understanding or following school board politics. The referendum was not really covered by the News Journal or any other source of widely disseminated local information. If you then hold a vote on a random day IN THE SCHOOLS and only publicize the election (flyers, signs, pep rallies, robo calls) among faculty and parents, you’re far more likely to get the outcome you want.

    I’m sure Red Clay feels the ends justify the means. But the means are wrong and need to change. Elections should be held on election day and New Castle Co. should have normally-configured school districts that ordinary citizens can understand and follow.

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  6. I support Pandora comments, I have asked several local senators and house representatives if they wanted to follow the rules they established for referendums and school board members. They all said NO, how could they represent such a large number or find the time to communicate with them.

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  7. lastDEconservative

    Kwacko was just on WDEL with his fellow socialist (or wor c e) Foul Masghetti and sorted it all out for boobus Delawareanus. Whew! Up until that scintillating discussion, I had thought the mess had to do with the elected, all of them, each of them.

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    • Publius e decere

      I cant find the Kowalko thing. Maybe it was not worth publishing by WDEL. No surprise.

      I did find the Mike Matthews interview from January 16. Mildly political, but he made abundant good points about how we-the-people can do better. Al M was a spaghetti mess of provacations, but by and large Matthews defly cnverted Al’s PT Barnum into a structured comment on our state of affairs. Overall, Matthews navigated the interview well and made his points clearly. I think everyone sould listen to it if they plan to be in the “conversation”. You don’t have to agree, but you do have to listen.

      No, I’m not going soft. This is about finding the right answers without positioning.to the extreme. I trust that Matthews does and will extend the same listening to others in the conversation.

      Publius

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  8. The other thing that no one has mentioned is they voted to give money to a super who we know is trying to get out of here. ergo the next guy who comes in will inherit something he may not want. it would have probably been better to vote no till you have someone with a few years ahead of him to make the decision

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