Sun editorial: an unacceptable apathy
Last winter, a strong revolt against three members of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Board of Trustees originated in Tahoe City. It’s working, although it took longer than residents there hoped. One member resigned and another will not run again, meaning all those hours spent criticizing the board in public meetings and collecting hundreds of signatures delivered a new opportunity and#8212; to fill the seats with those they felt better represented the community’s needs.
But as of Thursday, only one community member has stepped up to fill the seat, and nobody from Tahoe City and#8212; including those who spearheaded the recall campaign and#8212; have added their names to the candidate list.
These actions are troubling for the recall community, because they were adamant about a lack of local control. Without presenting a candidate, not to mention three, their months of complaints now seem even more futile and solutionless. Complaining about someone who volunteers to serve the school district is their right, and is expected. Pushing for removal of 60 percent of the board without presenting a solution is not expected, and should not be tolerated by the district’s parents, teacher’s union and students as a whole.
In hindsight, we should have seen this coming. The district is still dealing with cuts and budget shortfalls, and without a state budget, the outlook for 2011 is bleak. The job of school district trustee was thankless even in the good times, and it is no wonder that no one would want to spend hours of their personal life trying to balance a district budget. Any trustee should expect to take all the blame for cuts aimed at solvency, despite the fact that most districts across the country have it much, much worse. (If nobody does by the end of Friday, the deadline will be extended until Aug. 11).
It is time to step up. If Tahoe City and the north shore’s communities fail to present candidates for the board, they risk losing all credibility for any chance at steering the district trustees in the future.
A wise person once said, and#8220;Most people are more comfortable with old problems than with new solutions.and#8221; In this case, we are combining ancient problems of and#8220;my way or the highwayand#8221; thinking and political apathy, both of which will harm our district much more than the three members of the school board who were forced out, who gave much of their lives to try and solve problems that now, nobody else will.