The last few months have been rather crazy, which is reflected in the last of posting here (not that I am all that prolific a blogger these days…), so I figured I should fill in the gaps a bit for posterity. Last November/December, I had a few people here in town that I know suggest (push?) that I run for the Board of Education here in Marshall. There are 3 slots up, with two of those elected members running again, leaving an open seat (in the end, 5 people, including two incumbents, filed for those 3 slots). The people who suggested I run probably have more confidence in my abilities than I do, which is very kind of them, so I was a bit hesitant to make this jump. First, getting involved in public service like this opens me, and my family, up to folks on social media (specifically Facebook) to criticize and complain about everything you do, which I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of. At the same time, running for the Board would give me an opportunity to influence the educational opportunities my kids, and others, will have here in town. I do have some level of expertise in this area, so if I can be of help, I’m happy to do so!
The other big deal was that I already knew I had 2 faculty positions to fill this Spring, and within a week of filing to run for the Board, there was a third I had to fill, so I knew my schedule this Spring would be pretty challenging (narrator: “it was”). It certainly wasn’t a “good time” to make this kind of move.
To add to things, I was approached to also help out with the formation of a political committee that would seek to raise funds and support a tax levy in our school district, one that is essential to the educational prospects of Marshall. To keep it brief, it’s a $0.99 tax levy that would still keep Marshall below 64% of other districts in the State of Missouri, which is the bare minimum to keep the district competitive, in my personal view. Still, without it, the currently enforced levy will expire in 2025, creating a $2 million per year shortfall that will mean substantial cuts to programs and personnel. As I was running for School Board, certain parties in town offered that I could tie my name to the levy, hopefully promoting both issues at the same time.
Ultimately, I volunteered to act as Secretary of the group, mostly because a). I still type upwards of 90 wpm, and b). I’m organized and can keep an email list to make sure people show up to events. Because I’m on the executive team of the group, that meant meetings. Many meetings. All the meetings, sometimes on Sunday mornings, sometimes Monday nights, sometimes random other days during the week. But yeah, it’s been quite a ride so far, and after April 4th, hopefully my schedule opens up a bit. No matter what, the levy committee won’t need to meet anymore (because the levy will hopefully pass and I won’t have to worry about it any longer), and also, I’ll either be on or off the School Board, so I won’t have that uncertainty to continue thinking about and dealing with.
This past Saturday, as pictured above, we canvassed a few streets here in town, along with other members of the committee, to deliver brochures and get the word out on the levy. We’re sure there’s opposition, but we’ve got about 900 signs up around town, so hopefully that bodes well for the prospect of this levy passing. Unfortunately, Marshall hasn’t passed a levy or bond in nearly 50 years, so while I’m hopeful, I also have history in the back of my mind…
Mostly, I only type this to set a record in case I’m scrolling through this portion of 2023 sometime in the future, wondering what happened to my mental health back then. Fingers crossed I can maintain my sanity for a few more days!