While most people's attention was distracted by the mayoral election in Richardson, there was another election taking place: for Place 4 on the Richardson ISD Board of Trustees. On April 16, the League of Women Voters of Richardson and the Richardson ISD Council of PTAs co-sponsored a forum for Lanet Greenhaw (incumbent), Rachel Chumney and Bonnie Abadee.
I was one of about 75 people in the audience of that forum. My judgment at the time? You can read the whole thing or just this summary: "If this were a prize fight, it would have been called by the third round."
Well, of course, it wasn't a prize fight. The election was held weeks after the forum, with a different audience. In the election itself, 11,659 people voted, about 11,584 more than attended that forum to, you know, actually listen to the candidates address the issues face to face. All those additional voters gave Rachel Chumney a plurality of the vote, not enough to win, but enough to force a runoff on June 15 with incumbent Lanet Greenhaw.
After the jump, did I miss something? Or did the voters who skipped the forum miss something?
As we've seen recently, it's easy to take a spoken sentence or two out of context and embarrass a candidate. So, maybe the charitable explanation is that I was being uncharitable in my own reaction to the earlier forum. Maybe I took embarrassing statements out of context and unfairly made them appear to be representative of the candidate's overall performance. Maybe I missed something.
Luckily, in the case of this RISD election, you don't have to rely on selected quotes or my memory or other secondhand reports. The full video is available to you. Watch it and judge for yourself if I am being uncharitable. This election is worth an hour of your time. Pop some corn, sit back, and see what I mean.
Then tell me what I missed. Is Chumney not as patently unqualified for trustee as I concluded the night of the forum? Are extensive knowledge and experience, which Greenhaw has, highly overrated for trustee? Really? Should RISD voters toss all that aside? For what? Because Chumney wants to start at the top? Because she says it's her time? Why? What has she done? Maybe someone can make a case for Chumney that she herself failed to make. I suspect she knows it, too, as she has declined to participate in another forum before the runoff election.
If you can't spare an hour to make an informed decision, at least read the candidate questionnaires compiled by The Dallas Morning News and the League of Women Voters of Richardson.