Friday, October 13, 2006

TKO at the Candidate Forum

The winner of both the county commissioner and the school board debates last night?

Jim Deal, who wasn't even in the room.

As chair of the county commission since December 2004, Mr. Deal has been masterful in bringing a majority with him in his drive to reform education in the county. Without him, we would not be on the brink of a whole new era.

Every candidate for county commissioner, except one, agreed that Mr. Deal's plan to put a new high school on a new location and sell the old wreck. Only Mr. Coffey, who signed the petition to block a new school with a referendum, could not agree, but he also couldn't come right out and say so. Rather, he wandered off into the high weeds, mumbling about building TWO new high schools. Make sense? Well, no. Mr. Coffey spouts off constantly about keeping the tax-rate low, but he had to say something about the high school, so he tried to confuse the issue and throw a political bone to the western end. You need a new school out there, too, he said, and we could probably build TWO schools for the price we're going to pay for ONE ... a demonstrably false claim.

Fellow Republican David Triplett followed Mr. Coffey. Mr. Triplett said, "The commissioners are to be commended for the work they've done on this, and I wish it had been done two or three years ago." Of course, two or three years ago, we were all living under the administration of Mr. Coffey's county commission, and we all know how THAT was going. If the Republicans were still in charge in this county, there would be no progress forward, and Mr. Triplett was generously acknowledging that.

The school board candidates were likewise in unanimous support of a new high school, except for Allen Trivette, who like Mr. Coffey, couldn't quite bring himself to come right out and say what everyone knows. Instead, he mentioned "waste" a couple of times, which evidently triggered a thought about Boone's waste-water treatment plant. Mr. Trivette professed great concern about children with allergies.

There are many good candidates on the ballot this year, and a couple who seem to have arrived straight from 1920.

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