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News Section: Opinion



Letter to the Editor: Robert Moates is the Educator's Choice for School Board

Published Friday, October 12, 2012 12:02 am

Dear Editor,

 

After 19 years working in the Manatee Schools District, I and other educators have sat ringside while the politics and choices of noneducators have lowered our effectiveness, depleted our trust, and decimated our salaries. To say that hope is a foreign concept would be an exercise in severe understatement. Now we face the events of this year: a budget in crisis, a superintendent resignation, and the possibility of state intervention and possibly even receivership.

How can we trust that the Board, the same Board that oversaw these painful years, will work for the students of Manatee County and the educators entrusted with their care? Simply put, we can't. It is not a matter of "us" versus "them." It is experience. The family dog that has been kicked one time too many fears its master, and we fear the dropping of the other shoe. Too many times our hopes have been dashed, too many times we have been expected to do more with less, too many times we have been told our own best interests when the reality was anything but. There is no trust left.

Now we look to the last remaining seat on the School Board, and we have two candidates, both with positive credentials to their benefit, and I believe both will honestly work for what they believe to be the best interests of the children of Manatee County. However, only one of these individuals will do so with knowledge of the most important front line, the classroom. While Mr. Miner's advocacy and willingness to stand in Board meetings to cry foul is not only appreciated but necessary, we do not need a watchdog right now. We need a communicator. We need someone who can look at a parent, a teacher, a child, an administrator, a superintendent, a bus driver, a maintenance specialist, or any other of the necessary components that make up our district, and we need this person to listen, to truly listen and bring these thoughts back to the Board.

 

We need someone who will look at a child's progress as a long term goal and not a political cycle talking point. We need someone who not only knows the legal responsibilities of the Board but believes in the ethical necessity to provide the best public education possible. Of the two candidates, I and other educators believe that only one has the character and fortitude to not only discover the problems, but to create the solutions. That man is Robert Moates. His sacrifice to leave the classroom, to take a pay cut in the thousands of dollars to serve all families in Manatee, shows exactly what kind of public servant he will be – one who is accountable to the people and himself. The Manatee County School Board needs Rob Moates. I encourage all of you to Vote Moates on election day.

Mr. Jason M. Troop, M.Ed., NBCT

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I agree with Mr. Troop's comments in his letter. We need someone with classroom experience and the primary interest of students to put the emphasis where it belongs. Mr. Moates responses in public forums have been impressive, and I do not believe that he will be a voice for developers but rather a true advocate for public education and students.
Posted by Vicki Waters on October 14, 2012
 

While Rob Moates would be a wonderful Board member in a different time and place, the circumstances of the past few months have dictated we have a candidate who has the expertise and business background to understand and prevent the misdeeds of recent times. We need someone who will not be tainted by special interest groups, unless of course, it is the kids. Certain past and current Board members that are from the teaching community have presided over various parts of our current mess. Its time we have Members with good fiscal ability. Dave Miner has the talent and firsthand knowledge of this school district to guide it in a no nonsense way. He has the fiscal and legal knowledge to protect the interests of the Children, Teachers, and Voters.
Posted by Michael Becks on October 14, 2012
 

Before you vote for Moates, be sure to check out where he is getting his campaign money. Just go on the Supervisor of Elections website and you will see that he recently received $10,100 in campaign donations and $10,000 is a combination of checks all from the same address. This is perfectly legal, but you need to understand what is happening.

This money is coming from Schroeder Manatee Ranch and SMR corporations. The reason that they need to have a candidate on the school board is that because of concurrency laws, they cannot expand development until they have schools in the area So once again, the developers are running our schools.

Other candidates that took monies from this group are Bob Gause, Harry Kinnan, and Barbara Harvey - and you know what type of leadership that promoted. We now have 7,000 empty student stations and triple debt from building too many schools to satisfy developers.
Posted by Linda Schaich on October 13, 2012
 

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