Monday, September 2, 2013

Thoughts on Jim Tate and Chris Lynch

Having posted Saturday about school board candidate Tuyet Dorau, I wanted to chime in here on two other good candidates, Jim Tate and Chris Lynch.

I like Jim Tate. He seems like a forthright guy with a reasonable take on the issues facing the district. He’s right that the board could benefit at this moment from someone with a knowledge of the construction trades, and he displays some of the same watchdog tendencies that Phil Hemingway does in his determination to hold the district’s contractors accountable for the quality of their work. I like his ideas about expanding the district’s use of geothermal energy and looking into the possibilities of solar. He says that there are ways to give City High an addition without closing Hoover and that the district can keep Hoover open, though he has been less adamant on the issue than some. The main thing preventing me from voting for him is just that there are so many good candidates running and only three open spots. Also, I do believe in voting strategically (though I don’t enjoy it), and Tate’s last-place finish two years ago makes me a little reluctant to spend one of my votes on him.

When I first read some of Chris Lynch’s campaign literature and written statements, I thought they were non-committal and didn’t say very much. When I spoke to him in person, though, I came away with a much better impression. What came across as caginess in writing I now think is just a genuine absence of ego. He seems more focused on the quality of the board’s decision-making process, and on ensuring that whatever the board does has public buy-in, than on imposing his own ideas on everyone. I find that approach to governance very appealing; though I have no shortage of opinions on school policy, I’d happily settle for schools that truly reflected this community’s values and preferences. Many of my own strongest objections to the Hoover closure have to do with the board’s disregard for the public input that it repeatedly sought; a board that cared about process and public buy-in would never have voted to close Hoover. (Lynch has made it clear that he supports keeping Hoover open.)

If anything, Tate and Lynch might be too affable and agreeable; I wonder how effectively they would push back against the administration or against board groupthink when the occasion demands it (which is often). But I like them both, and I won’t be upset if either one wins.

UPDATE: Chris Lynch sent this note in response to this post, and agreed that I could post it here:

Chris:
Thanks for the very nice blog.

I would point out one thing: I am the one candidate uniquely skilled to hold administration accountable. With 21 years as a leader at P&G, I sure do understand expectations and accountability. Expectations and accountability will go up day one with myself on the board.

Chris Lynch
.

5 comments:

iclocal said...

I voted today for Barron, Lynch and Hemmingway. Barron seems very diplomatic and fair, I liked that Lynch got the RPS started, and Hemmingway is a great watchdog for the district. I hope the rest you will be able to make it to the polls and vote!

Chris said...

Iclocal -- I can understand those choices. The nice thing about school board campaigns is that you don't have to wait very long to see the results. Remind me not to get involved on a presidential campaign . . .

JulieVanDyke said...

So much for the lack of ego...Chris Lynch is a puppet on a stick.

James Tate said...

Chris,

Thanks for the equal coverage. I disagree that my coming in last place two years ago should have any influence on this election. The fact that I am one of only two candidates that were not elected, and still stayed involved speaks volumes to my commitment to our students and community.

You mentioned that my understanding of the issues is better than it was two years ago. I have literally spent hundreds of hours going over all of the information I have been able to find over the last two years.

As you look at the history of the board, there has not been a working non professional member of the board. This is a voice that has been effectively silenced over the years.

Chris said...

Thanks, Jim. I wish there were more than three seats open. We definitely have more than three worthy candidates, and lots of possible good outcomes, including a win by you.