School Board races were never non-partisan. Local races often feature platitudes like “There’s no Republican or Democrat way to pick up the trash”, which is simply invalid.
A Republican administration would likely contract out trash collection, whereas a Democrat administration is more likely to employ unionized workers. There are underlying value systems, free market solutions or central controls; make your own decision or do what the experts tell you.
Pennsylvania allows cross-filing in School Board races, and these are the races you hear little about. State Representative Mike Jones (R) said it best: In Harrisburg, you need hundreds to agree to raise taxes, but in a school board, 5 people can raise your taxes, every year if they want to.
At the April 13th SYC Board meeting, our board was presented a choice. Either raise taxes by 2.46% or no tax increase, and make up a possible future shortfall with allocated, but unused funds. This choice existed because the 3 Conservative board members (Samantha Hall, Marylee Hall, and Mike Wolford) pressed the district to find another way to address a projected shortfall without raising taxes.
Our District has run significant surpluses for the last several years. Two and a half million in the last year alone resulting from unfilled staff vacancies. Board President Robert Shefter was adamant about raising taxes, and only reversed course when the vote showed otherwise unanimous support for not raising Taxes.
Voters in local elections have the worst of both worlds. They are being asked to choose between people who, in their hearts, are closely aligned with either Republican or Democrat ideology, and would govern accordingly.
At least if a candidate features an R or a D next to their name, voters have a clue about their overall value systems, even without a platform, which ideally is not a generic “talking point” platform, but based on learned, organic knowledge of that specific region. Like ours.
If a candidate is unwilling to put their “ideological predisposition” on their yard signs or campaign material, is that transparency? If a candidate is on both R & D ballots, which party’s values do they more closely align with?
Yes, it is currently legal to do this in Pennsylvania, and we know Governor Shapiro has a bill on his desk to sign that would eliminate this practice.
If you won’t take a stand on which party you most align with, you are not giving voters a clear picture of who you are or how you would govern.
Vote for honest people who tell you who they are.