What a difference a few weeks make.
Not long ago we posted a wee snippet wondering if anyone would be silly enough to want to serve on the Toledo School Board. At the time, it looked like a mass exodus was underway. Current Board members Larry Sykes, Lisa Sobecki, and Bob Vasquez were all rumored to be seeking a seat on Toledo City Council. Fellow member Brenda Hill was not seeking re-election, leaving a wide open race without incumbents.
Hoo boy, did that put the powers-dat-is into a tizzy. The only declared candidate was an unknown named Tina Henold, who has shown her staunch dedication to public education by home schooling her children. And has a broad knowledge of the Toledo community gleaned from having resided here on a continuous basis for three entire years. And is backed by the Toledo Tea Party, which we didn’t even know existed. And has said that ancient mythology should be taught as science. And has advanced such nuanced initiatives for district transformation as putting kids first and working with parents and teachers. Really intricate policy stuff. And, well, you get the picture. Newbie nutjob a shoo-in for the Board due to lack of interest?
Nope. As of now only Sykes has filed to run for Council. Sobecki is staying put on the Board and Hill isn’t running, but Vasquez is now circulating petitions for re-election. That leaves two seats open, which still kicks the door wide open for the Tea Party crackpot, right?
That thought threw such a fright into Sobecki that she went scrambling for a viable alternative candidate. She came up with long-time member of Parent Congress for TPS, Chris Varwig, who actually sent her child to Toledo Public Schools and has been a long term participant in creating a meaningful dialogue among parents, teachers and TPS administration. Which gives her a bit more credibility in a run for the Board, one might think—although we suspect no one outside the TPS hallowed halls has heard of her.
The lack of candidates didn’t go unnoticed by others, of course. The seemingly easy road to elected office attracted the likes of perennial losers Aji Green and Polly Taylor-Gerken, wife of LC County Commish Pete. Green has run for the Board before, losing in oh nine, and also lost his run for a District 1 Council seat two years ago. Hate to be the bearer of such news, ol’ buddy, but three strikes and you’re out.
Gerken lost her try for Council in oh nine, and also lost back in the nineties. She recently retired from TPS, having served the District for thirty years. Given that history, mebbe a seat on the Board is more her speed, mebbe not. See our news directed to Green, above.
Then there’s candidate Perry LeFevre, favorite of labor types since he is the President of the Sylvania teachers’ union. That’s right: Sylvania. He’s very involved there, we hear.
Also circulating petitions to run is Republican Arthur Henry IV, a self-described member of the Urban Coalition. That’s the group of nuthatches that rose to ascendancy back in oh five, during the schism in the LC Dems, and elected Darlene Fisher to the Board. Fisher is now nothing more than the answer to the political trivia question,“who was the last incumbent in Toledo who lost a bid for re-election?”
Last, but possibly least, is something called Maynard Porter, about which we know little except that he attended TPS, although we don’t know when. If you’re keeping score at home, notice the shift. A few weeks ago no one but a goofball tea bagger was officially in the race. Since then we’ve added an incumbent, a parent, a couple of two-time losers, a union head, a nuthatch and some guy to be named later.
Quick! You just read this entire column. How many of ‘em can you name?
Filing deadline to run for the Board is fast approaching. Happy election season, y’all!