EDITORIAL: School board needs a change

In the wake of two failed bond votes, it’s obviously time for a change on the Oak Harbor School Board. And it’s not hard to find where that change should occur.

One seat up for election is presently held by Kathleen Jones, a spirited, hard working defender of public education and the local school district. After four years on the board and many years volunteering with the schools, she knows the entire district from top to bottom and works diligently to effect needed changes despite the frustration that entails. Jones has earned re-election on her own merit, but remember that her opponent is perennial candidate Brien Lillquist. Lillquist was inadvertently elected Park and Recreation commissioner through an uncontested race and has since helped to make a fine mess of that board. Don’t let him do the same thing to the school board.

With the Jones/Lillquist contest a “no brainer,” change will have to come in the other contested position. Nothing critical can personally be said about incumbent Vicki Harring. She works hard and knows the issues. But let’s face it, the bond election results show the school district isn’t reaching a sizeable portion of the community that feels alienated. There’s an air of public cynicism about the school board that must be alleviated before the next election attempt.

Roy Seth, Harring’s opponent, shows promise in being able to reach out to those who feel distanced from the school district. Although a political novice, he’s been a well known figure in Oak Harbor for decades as a Navy and airline pilot and as a person actively involved in the civic and business communities. He says the school district needs better community relations, and he’s correct. Once he’s elected, he can get right to work on improving those relations.

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