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Does school board really want more voter turnout?

Letter to the Editor
Sunday, February 24, 2019

Editor,

  In response to the article entitled “ District to stick with May elections,” I would like to propose one possible theory as to why this proposal failed. As is currently the case with May elections, the endorsement of the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) is extremely important for candidates. The reason is that the candidate to whom the endorsement is given generally receives the overwhelming number of votes from teachers. The teachers and school employees vote in far higher numbers than than the general public and tend to vote for the candidate(s) who pander to their wishes, i.e. raises, reductions in class sizes, etc., etc. While it is true, as Ms. Villalpando said, “that the people who turn out to vote in May are interested in the school district,” this does not necessarily mean that they are primarily interested in the education of the district’s children.

We also know that the Greater San Marcos Partnership (GSMP), business people, and bankers are keenly interested in school board elections, also, not necessarily with the students in mind. As I have stated in a previous letter, it is my opinion that the school district is spending far too much money on things which have no direct effect on education and I believe this shows in the district’s sub par performance on state mandated tests. As to “partisan politics,” candidates would not have a “D” or an “R” by their names so who would know what party they were members of if any party at all?

In the school board election in which I ran in 2016, both candidates were registered as having voted in the same party primary, at least that was the information I had. I would submit to the reader that the incumbent who has a proven record of pandering to school employee’s wishes, when the election is held in May, has a distinct advantage over a challenger who runs on the platform of more responsible spending and lower taxes. I would have run in the District 5 trustee election if it had been in November instead of May. If I had run, it would have been necessary to call a special election for District 5 in May at the cost of thousands of dollars to the district. Without a reasonable prospect of winning, on account of low voter turnout, it would have been irresponsible of me to have done so. Had the election been held in November, I would not have hesitated to “put my hat in the ring” no matter what my chances might have been, because an election would have been held anyway.

I believe that some of the current incumbents do not want greater participation in elections, especially from those pesky taxpayers,

Thank you,

Dan Lyon