Friday, August 02, 2013

School Board Scorecard

School board filing ended yesterday and you'll need a scorecard to keep track. Nine candidates have filed for the three Iowa City school district seats on the September 10 ballot. Unlike 2011, when there was a separate race for one two year term, it's all one contest, top three win. One seat is open as incumbent Sarah Swisher is not running.

School board is a non-partisan office. Yet the most common question I get about school, and city, candidates is: "which ones are the good Democrats?"

"Good" is subjective, but affiliation is purely objective. We're in a polarized era so the label has some meaning. There's Republicans who I'd trust in local office who I'd never support for, say, the legislature. I've once or twice voted for a registered Republican for school board, though if I remember right it was more a matter of voting AGAINST someone else.

In any case, in the interest of Objective Journalism and giving my readers of all parties what they want, I offer some indisputable facts about the nine candidates, continuing a tradition. I also offered links to sites if I can find them. (Phil, Gregg: Will add on request.)

Interestingly, no one from North Liberty filed. As for who wants to close what school? As a Miller-Orchard resident and former - FORMER - Roosevelt parent, I have a certain detachment from that question.

Sara Barron
Age: 36
Residence: Southeast side
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Electoral History: First run.

Karla Cook
Age: 67
Residence: Far east side
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Electoral History: Incumbent, elected to two year short term in 2011.

Tuyet Dorau
Age: 35
Residence: north Coralville
Party Affiliation: No Party. Sometimes claims to be a Democrat but changed to No Party in 2008.
Electoral History: Incumbent, elected in 2009.

Gregg Geerdes
Age: 53
Residence: Manville Heights
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Electoral History: First run.

Phil Hemingway
Age: 54
Residence: East side
Party Affiliation: Republican; only one in race.
Electoral History: Fifth place of eight candidates in the 2011 four year term race. Just 89 votes behind Patti Fields for the fourth and final seat.

Brian Kirschling
Age: 41
Residence: Newport Township just north of city limits
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Electoral History: First run.

Jason Lewis
Age: 42
Residence: Twain neighborhood
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Electoral History: First run.

Chris Lynch
Age: 45
Residence: north Coralville
Party Affiliation: No Party
Electoral History: First run.

Jim Tate
Age: 40
Residence: East side.
Party Affiliation: Democrat.
Electoral History: Last of eight candidates in 2011 race.


Tannerthoughts said...

Thanks for this post. It's really helpful.

I don't always agree with my neighbor, Phil Hemingway, but I respect him very much for caring about the issues, keeping up to date on what's going on, and attending almost all of the school board meetings for years. I give high marks for that kind of passion for our education.

Sara Barron said...

John, I really appreciate your coverage of the school board election. I know that people can't help but judge candidates in part on where they live.

Still, I want to be very clear that I care very much about ALL children's opportunities for great success--their zip code doesn't affect that one bit.

I hope that our district can move toward an even greater understanding that when one child succeeds, we all can celebrate. When one child struggles, we all can join together to clear a path to success.

Congratulations to all of the candidates and their supporters! We have a great opportunity to elect a board that will continue to move us forward toward our shared goals.

Jason T. Lewis said...

Thanks, John.

And just for the record, I have a few more months at 41 years of age. Not that it matters much anymore. :-)

Julie Eisele said...

I think party affiliations mean very little in this election, as they should. However, I find it confusing that Tuyet Dorau is not registered with any party, yet her campaign website states that she served as the Iowa Democratic Party Platform Chair and on the Johnson County Platform Committee. Can you do that without being a registered member of the party?

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

Dorau was active on platform committee in 2008. She dropped out and changed to No Party, so I'm told, because her ideas didn't get all the way through to the state and national platforms. We've had two whole platforms, 2010 and 2012, since she was involved. To get on the county platform committee, you get elected at the caucus. And you can't participate in the caucus without being a registered Democrat. So the most charitable way to describe her claim is "outdated."

Mary said...


Thank you for posting a list of the school board candidates. My husband Gregg Geerdes, a candidate, is in Canada at Lake of the Woods with some of our children where he does not have access to the internet so I am writing to provide you with a link to his blog:

We live in Parkview Terrace, near the river, which is down the hill from Manville Heights.

It's good to see so many people interested in education. Again, thank you for posting a list of candidates.