The final recount in the District One School Board race has been tallied and incumbent Joie Cadle has retained her seat on the board by the staggering sum of barely more than 60 votes. Josh Katz was not elected which could be considered a heartbreaking loss, but it was not. Considering that he entered the race two months ago and stayed on message as well as inspiring legions of volunteers to work hard shows the value of a great message and a good ground game. Had he entered the race in May he would be the new elected member by a much wider margin because he won in every category except absentee ballots. Timing is everything. The big loser in the race is every parent, child and teacher in Orange County Public Schools as well as the taxpayers because the status quo is such that nothing will change (in the Board’s perspective) for at least two years.
Something has changed, however. The message is out there and it is resonating. Josh Katz ignited a flame which is not going out. Parents are up in arms about the Board’s cavalier attitude and performance, and teachers have finally found a way to fight back. Using Josh’s campaign strategy it is possible for the communities in districts 4,5,6 and 7 to throw out every incumbent and get the schools back into the business of educating our most precious assets, our children, who deserve much better than the way this board is treating them. If I were Ms. Cadle and Mr. Sublette I would not be sleeping comfortably at night with that Sword of Damocles hanging over me. The resentment of this board as a whole is real and it is palpable, not just in district one either. It is county wide and it is growing. I know from both canvassing and phone banking how real that resentment is, and how easy it is to strike a nerve in the person you’re talking to. Once that happens they won’t let go of you until they let it all out. That can take quite a while.