Upcoming Dover school board elections
If challengers in this race seriously want to win, they will make a big issue about the failure of the incumbents to repeal the previous board's intelligent-design policy in early December 2005, prior to release of the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision. This failure to repeal may have cost the school district $1 million in attorney fees that were paid to the plaintiffs. There was no excuse for not repealing the ID policy immediately, because the incumbents had campaigned on a promise to repeal it. The board could have scheduled a "special" meeting if the board did not want to repeal the ID policy at the Dec. 2005 regular meeting because a proposal to repeal was not on the agenda (Pennsylvania law does not require advance notice of items that are discussed and voted upon by public bodies). Even though Judge Jones had said that the preceding election in which previous board members were ousted would have no effect on his decision, including of course his decision to award attorney fees to the plaintiffs, an appeals court might have overruled him on the attorney fee award issue if the ID policy had been repealed prior to the decision. The hypocrites on the current board have blamed the previous board members for the attorney fee award while they themselves did nothing to try to avoid the award. Taxpayers' anger about the fee award can very easily be directed at the incumbents. Many taxpayers just want revenge and will not be interested in hearing some pompous "legal expert" spout off about the "voluntary cessation doctrine" or the "catalyst theory" or some other long-winded arcane legal argument as to why repealing the ID policy before release of the decision supposedly would not have done any good. The last elections were close, so the incumbents should be quite vulnerable.
BTW, some of the incumbents said at the Nov. 2005 board meeting -- before they took office -- that they did not want to repeal the ID policy because they wanted to see what Judge Jones had to say (cost no object). They had no similar curiosity about seeing what the appeals court -- and maybe the Supreme Court -- had to say. How little these board members got for the taxpayers' $1 million is now evident -- for example, the ID-as-science section of the Kitzmiller opinion was virtually entirely ghostwritten by the plaintiffs' attorneys.
One of the incumbents who is seeking re-election, Heather Geesey, is the only member now on the board who voted for the ID policy. She also was the only member of the board who voted against the decision to not appeal the Kitzmiller decision. At least she has been consistent from beginning to end and IMO is the only board member who deserves to be re-elected.
Some of this blog's previous posts concerning this issue are here, here, and here.