June 15, 2013, Joint Run-off Election
Richardson ISD Place 4 Board of Trustees:
Lanet Greenhaw - 76% (3,463)
Rachel Chumney - 24% (1,100)
You just had a close escape, RISD. Now, listen up. After the jump.
Apparently, a bunch of parents think you, the RISD board of trustees, administrators and teachers, have dropped the ball on educating children with learning disabilities. They were upset enough to want to dump an experienced, knowledgeable, competent trustee like Lanet Greenhaw and replace her with someone with no district-wide experience and only basic knowledge of anything in the RISD other than that one issue, the education of children with learning disabilities.
Forget about the landslide run-off results and remember the plurality Rachel Chumney achieved in the general election, just shy of the 50% plus one vote needed to avoid a run-off. It never should have been that close. If there's something to take away from this election, it's the issue that motivated Chumney and why she almost pulled it off.
So, listen up, RISD. Get on the ball. Listen to Rachel Chumney and the other parents who have complaints. They are good people. If they have antagonized you during this election, it's because they really, really care about their children, just like you do. Don't let hard feelings, if any were created by things that were said, persist beyond election day. Draw the Chumney supporters into focus groups and committees that shape the programs RISD offers. If tough trade-offs are inevitable (and they always are), find more ways, better ways, to involve the parents in making those trade-offs. Improve communication with all parents, including those who may not be happy but never think of complaining publicly. Don't ever again drop the ball so badly on any single issue that a candidate running *against* the RISD can come so close to victory.
Congratulations to Lanet Greenhaw. Your past service to the RISD is appreciated. Your continued service is desired and needed. I know you worked hard to get the word out in the run-off election. It paid off. Now, rest up. But not too long. You've a big job ahead of you... as always. I'm confident you'll continue to do an outstanding job.
Confidential to Rachel Chumney: When I first blogged about this race, way back in early March, I said "these candidates [Bonnie Abadee and Rachel Chumney] have to be considered extreme long shots. The election campaign might have a surprise in store, but I'm not popping any corn." You challenged me on that prediction.
You were right. I was wrong. Your candidacy did provide a surprise. It provided food for thought. It highlighted a serious issue in the RISD. Your candidacy provided a boost to efforts to improve RISD's performance in this area. I owe you a bag of popcorn.