Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Record Retention, Budgets and an Election Dilemma

Photo by Evan Brandt
Technology Director Michael Wagman presents the proposed
technology budget to the Pottsgrove School Board.
Tuesday night's Pottsgrove School Board meeting was a nice way to spend an evening if your areas of fascination are records retention policy and departmental budget reviews.

And when I expressed sympathy after the meeting to
superintendent Shellie Feola and Business Manager David Nester for their endurance of a 3-hour webinar on Gov. Wolf's budget and then another 3-hour board meeting mostly devoted to budget, Nester reminded me in 6 words why I admire him.

"This is what its all about," he said.

And he's right, when it comes to public education, the budget is where the rubber hits the road. My hat is off to both of them. One three-hour board meeting almost wiped me out.

But that's not what I want to talk to you about.

Previously when covering Pottsgrove School Board meetings, I have included in my conglomeration of Tweets, Twitter responses from the community and even from those sitting alongside me in the audience.

I've always considered it a nice way to get community concerns and response out there and into the conversation.

But its election season, and a team of candidates have, to their credit, created an account very honestly called "New School Board."

They not only re-Tweeted my Tweets, for which I am quite obviously grateful, but also responded to them and commented on them.

I confess I had not anticipated this.

I am torn about what to do. After all, this is all new ground for an old dog like me.

On the one hand, I think included those Tweets in the "Storify" down below is part of the public discussion during the electoral process and good for democracy.

On the other hand, the incumbents running and running and board meeting and don't have the same opportunity to participate.

Back to the first hand, incumbency has always been a HUGE advantage in elections and so perhaps they should taste a little of the disadvantage of the challenger for a change.

But on the second hand, this is the Pottsgrove School Board, not the U.S. Senate and its not like incumbents are enjoying huge campaign contributions from giant corporations (who might be people.)

Not sure what to do, in an abundance of caution I decided against including the Tweets from the team of challengers, for now.

But I would be curious to hear from the voting public, and from both the challengers and the incumbents, how this should be handled.

I will be honest, I won't guarantee I will follow your advice, but I would love to hear it.

Anyway, post a message on the bottom of the blog or on this post on The Mercury Facebook page and tell me what you think I should do.

In the meantime, here are the Tweets from the meeting.

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