Letter to the Editor

I’m writing to ask that voters don’t let a union sabotage the Centralia School Board for their petty revenge.

Jami Lund is probably in the top five percent of qualified school directors in the state. He literally has a graduate degree in public policy, which equips him for making decisions about public affairs. But even better, he has served as an education policy analyst in the legislature specifically regarding education policy. This means he knows how the funding system works and what opportunities for excellence are possible.

His commitment to the community is also impeccable. He worked for years on the startup of the area’s free medical clinic, Health & Hope. He has been an active volunteer for the school district, county government, Rotary, and Boy Scouts.

Finally, Jami has demonstrated an active role on the school leadership team. His unwillingness to lazily coast along is probably why one interest group, the teachers’ union, is committed to replacing him with someone with less experience. The union that led teachers on strike to get a budget-breaking 24 percent raise has targeted him and they are spending more than $72,000 to unseat him.

What did he do? He warned us that a 24 percent raise to settle an illegal strike was a mistake that would hurt students. He said spending an average of $75,000 on teacher salary to when the state only provided $65,000 would break the district financially. It turns out Jami’s comprehension of the issues was much-needed and ignored. Now the district faces a deficit of about $2.7 million. Now the district will increase class sizes and cut staff and programs as Jami predicted.

The union who orchestrated the strike cannot allow a voice to challenge their domination of the school budget and policies, so they are spending tens of thousands of dollars to unseat a volunteer school board member who told the truth. Please don’t let all decisions of the future Centralia School Board be made by puppets of the teachers union. The board is much better served by a diversity of voices, especially one as caring and qualified as Jami Lund.

The school board already has two “moms” on it, so I think there is room for a thoughtful, qualified grandpa too. 

Please return Jami Lund to the Centralia School Board.

 

Dan Swecker

Rochester

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(3) comments

randdaley

Mr. Swecker,

I appreciate your interest in the Centralia schools, even though you live in Rochester. Also, you cite fiscal shortfalls facing the school district but the fact remains the school district's current financial situation occurred on Jami Lund's watch, and so it's time for election consequences. I know you at least used to represent District 20 but no more, you were voted out. Not sure what you hope to gain by trotting out classic anti-union tropes unless that is some kind of partisan political whistle. Let me remind you this is a non-partisan race.

randdaley

I have to respectfully disagree with your perspective. We cannot have too many moms involved in leadership roles as typically moms work cooperatively. We should always welcome the involvement of our moms in community leadership. Mr. Lund had his chance and as you point out he was not able to convince others of his perspective. I have much higher hope with Mandi McDougall, who is not just a mom, but a successful businessperson and a pillar of this community.

YourNeighbor

We that Jami has the support of those who are unimpressed by “moms” who serve their communities on their school board. Actually, the moms have much, much more invested in the success of their kids’,schools. I’ll go with the moms.

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