West Seattle Candidates’ Forum, report #1: School Board faceoff

County, city, port, and School Board candidates were all part of last night’s community-organized West Seattle Candidates’ Forum at South Seattle Community College‘s Brockey Center. One of two races for which all August 16th candidates participated, the School Board Position 6 faceoff, provided the most sparks, and news. For one, incumbent board member Steve Sundquist revealed that he believes two West Seattle schools will be reopened; public discussion to this point had focused on one (likely Fairmount Park, as reported here last month). The discussion also touched on some recent district controversies including the plan for some Seattle Public Schools to get trainees from the Teach for America” program. We recorded the entire forum, in segments, and the clip above is the entire school-board discussion with (from left on stage) Sundquist, Marty McLaren, moderator Mike Hickey, Joy Anderson, and Nick Esparza. (Upcoming reports will include the other forum segments – city, county, and port.)

6 Replies to "West Seattle Candidates' Forum, report #1: School Board faceoff"

  • DP July 29, 2011 (12:53 pm)

    Local politicians of all stripes would do themselves and the community a big favor by hanging around on the WS Blog and answering our questions here directly. We spend a lot of time discussing our issues here, and it would make more sense for elected officials to come to us and listen to what we’re saying, rather than expecting us to come to them and rehash all our issues in a single meeting.
    If I were an elected Seattle official, I would be scanning and posting on local blogs regularly. At the very least, assign a staffer to it.
    I’m not criticizing the candidates forums in any way; I think they’re a great thing. But local pols would get even more bang for the buck by visiting the WS Blog on a regular basis.
    –David Preston

  • Michael Taylor-Judd July 29, 2011 (2:51 pm)

    Well, I can’t speak for other City Council candidates… but I’m on WS Blog and a number of local blogs on a pretty regular basis as a reader AND commenter (usually under a pseudonym).

    I’m happy to answer any questions any time.

  • WSB July 29, 2011 (3:00 pm)

    They do. Elected officials, elected officials’ staffs, other government staffers. They just don’t comment often, which is unfortunate, but I believe their policies are lagging the reality of the times – perhaps they are held up by concerns such as, if Elected Official X comments on a news site, for example, how is that tracked so it can be FOIA’ed, like e-mail? (Also lagging reality are the policies for publishing legal notices, and other ways in which government/media have intersected in the past.)
    We keep agitating, though – and I think it’ll get there – they’ll go where the people are. The fact is that while you may be lucky to get a couple hundred people max to a community meeting, and that’s if it’s something really big with widespread effects (like the first downtown hearing on the Metro $20 – here, you can reach more than 30,000 regular readers, and tens of thousands more who casually visit over the course of each month.
    That said, I would *not* campaign for the end of the community meeting. Much is accomplished in face-to-face conversation between even the smallest of the groups of engaged community leaders we cover regularly. And sometimes, getting a government rep or two (or more) out in front of a bunch of witnesses is the only way to get something on the wide public record regarding a project, an issue, a concern. – TR

  • Charlie Mas July 29, 2011 (7:28 pm)

    Joy Anderson was terrific!!!

    Steve Sundquist either said words without meaning or told lies.

  • wsparent July 30, 2011 (8:43 pm)

    Marty seems quite sharp as well. I agree regarding Sundquist. He talks a good line, but his actions, accomplishments, and deeds never match up to his words!

  • Charlie Mas July 31, 2011 (9:23 am)

    Did Steve Sundquist use the approval of the PESB as part of his rationale for supporting TFA? The PESB approved TFA just this month, but Mr. Sundquist supported the use of TFA corps members in our schools long before that.

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