Sign the petition, please

My latest op-ed, title above, appeared in The Virginian-Pilot Wednesday. In it, I urge the voters in Norfolk to sign the petition to place on the ballot the question of whether Norfolk should have an elected school board.

I don’t believe it can be said too many times: the issue right now is to get the question on the ballot. Both supporters and opponents of elected school boards should be willing to sign the petition in order to place the question before the voters.

The public lacks the ability to force referendum on most issues in Virginia; normally, that is left up to the legislature. Of course, the legislature could make it easier on the voters to do so, since the petition signature requirements are tough. Guess it would be too much to ask the legislature to reduce this and other signature requirements – like the section on recall, which I brought up earlier.They are a wee bit busy on other matters.

If you believe that Norfolk voters should have the opportunity to decide this, then sign the petition. Then we can talk about whether an elected school board makes sense.


5 thoughts on “Sign the petition, please

  1. While I don’t think elected school boards in Virginia have been any sort of panacea, I agree that folks should have the opportunity to vote on it.

  2. There are no perfect solutions to any problems we face, especially in politics. We must try to do the best we can, and that begins with getting as many citizens as possible into the action–whatever the issue is. Right now the Norfolk School Board is a high-profile area of need: citizens are needed both to run for and votein school board elections.
    Those of us who complain or criticize must now do something: sign the petitions for getting an elected school board on the ballot, then persuade qualified people to run, and finally get out and vote.
    In a few places, such as New Hampshire, it is a tradition to GET OUT AND VOTE; almost everyone who is eligible does it. Those people in N. H are not smarter or richer or more motivated than we in Norfolk (or Tidewater) are — they just care and they GET OUT AND VOTE. We can do that.
    I am convinced that Norfolk’s elected officials generally believe that we citizens will run our mouths til the cows come home, but we will not GET OUT AND VOTE. Therefore we have a City Council that condones a member who flaunts the tax laws, year after year; also a system that pays a person who doesn’t do an honest day’s work for 10-12 years. This behavior borders on the criminal–certainly it’s irresponsible and malfeasance is not absent.
    Whose fault is it? Yours and mine. GET OUT AND VOTE.

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