Friday, April 11, 2008

The Maven and the School Board

Well, my beloved reader Gray was not deterred by the fact that I am not as sexy as Matt Damon. So let’s get back to talking about me and the Richmond School Board. First a few myths:

1- Since the Superintendent of Schools is paid over $150 thousand per year, School Board members must be compensated at least as well.

2- Since the mayor (of course without his knowledge) and other city officials receive car allowances and other perks in addition to their salaries, board members must also get these freebies.

3- Because of their dedication and the tireless work they put in, School Board members are well respected by their fellow citizens.

Now that we’ve gotten those out of the way—

Let’s say I am particularly masochistic and decide that I do want to be on the school board. Let’s also assume that I have a neighbor who likewise loves pain and decides to run for the same seat. I have been told that it will cost over $10 thousand to run a winning campaign (for mailings to voters, ugly road signs, bumper stickers and the like). Gray, you might not realize this, but being a maven is not a paid position. To me, $10 thousand is a decent bit of change. Do you imagine that I will be able to keep my few friends if I start hitting them up for campaign contributions? Gray, spending $10 thousand to get elected to a position that only pays about $1 thousand per month seems like a poor investment.

And what happens if I win? Think of what I am giving up. Now when I meet someone and they ask what I do, I can tell them I’m the James River Maven. You should see the amazement in their eyes (or is it pain?). If I get elected, I’ll have to tell people that I am a member of the Richmond School Board. Do you honestly think that going from a maven to a school board member is a step up? Do you think it will be easy revealing my secret identity?

So why should I do it?

Maven, what about the children?

Yes, what about the children? Somebody needs to speak for the children. Even the trees have the Lorax to speak for them. But who speaks for the children of Richmond? Don’t we owe them a world-class education?

Gray, I assume that my wife will vote for me. And, although it’s not considered good manners, I will vote for myself. I don’t know whether I can count on your vote because I don’t know if you live in my district. So, I would start out an election campaign with two guaranteed votes and no money. Sounds like good odds to me. Maybe, I’ll just get me some petitions to circulate.

2 comments:

RVA Foodie said...

I've helped friends run for school board in the past, but they were bested by more opportunistic candidates. The winning campaign is too often an over-reach for a modicum of power and status in a desperately needy city. The equation doesn't add up and in the end, George W. Bush is right,"Is our children learning?"

Gray said...

I know where you can have one thousand standard size postcards in color with printed images made for around two hundred dollars.

I'm in the east end.