This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bloomfield Hills School Board Election Which Has Hardly Begun is Half Over.

Exactly 42 days ago on Tuesday August 14th the School Board election began.  That was exactly six weeks ago. Election Day  is Tuesday November 6th which oddly enough is exactly six weeks or 42 days from Today.

Einstein said time is relative and  who are we to argue ?  If you can agree with the date on the top of this page being the current date, the time sequences  below is described are  accurate. If  your conception of  the correct date is later than the date listed above then the situation is even more critical and perhaps desperate than described.


 In elections dates are important. That's because time is important. Elections last for certain finite peroids of time and time runs out. In many respects time is more important than money or volunteers. You can make do with a lack of funds and work around a lack of helpers. Time however  is absolute. Especially in a low budget campaign where even "free" methods of voter contact like shoe leather, shanks mare, and unlimited local calls telephone plans, require time. The time to say hello, the time to walk to a door and ring the bell, and time to dial the number correctly. When month's become weeks and then days panic sets in .


The Candidates started with 12 weeks or slightly more than three months to make their case to the voters. Do you know of any who have done so  ? Did you receive a flyer in the mail box  or something stuck under a windshield wiper blade from any of the school board six ?

We thought not and the candidates themselves have been adept at thinking of reasons why not. In August it was sweltering and conventional  wisdom said wait until Labor Day. Then there was the long Labor Day weekend. and after that the whole business about the "2" election.  School Board members Joan  Berndt, and Rob Herner were  running against each other in  the same election.Something had to be done and One Bloomfield United was the one to do it. Since it's inception OBU has been a strong supporter of the School Board and the Bond Issue passage . OBU members believe they played a major roll in the latter and thus helped re-unite a divided community.


After Labor Day candidate Berndt (pronounced Bear Ant)  e-mailed OBU  and suggested  that OBU  host a candidate  forum  and  pick a candidate to endorse and perhaps support. OBU later sent Berndt and Herner  correspondence requesting a meeting. The tone suggested  that they were not looking for someone to support but someone to drop out. In a  cordial hour long meeting  OBU could find no one willing to fall n their sword. Both candidates did however take the opportunity to suggest that  OBU hold a candidate'as forum to determine a candidate to support.

Eventually OBU decided it would support neither provided both stayed in the race.Now the decision may be changing. It is unclear whether that decision was billed as a final decision or a temporary one. Both viewpoints have their supports. The following piece published on the OBU web site whose web address is noted below seems to indicate a possible endorsement may be coming. OBU Brandon Kaufman is  a friend of many in then Press for his articles in the Patch, his Public Comments at Board meetings , and his accessibly. He  did not deny the possibility of an endorsement. when we got his permission to copy the below piece here. He did say however that the dynamic of OBU was that of the group meaning one should not attach to much to what one individual said. Or that an individual opinion could not be construed to represent all of OBU.


Not  be critical  but if  an endorsement is that is the group's decision, which some have said will be announced next week, that is a month lost to candidates  Berndt and Herner. Divide the number of contacts and calls that could have been made by three you get the picture of what was lost. Even in the other school election some candidates seemed on hold waiting to see how the stars would align.

Is OBU is that important or it a just a facade ? At this time last year 20/20 was very important and their leader Jenny Greenwell who seeks the seat same seat as school board members  Berndt and  Herner, organized a widely publicized  petition drive to recall the entire school board. It failed without recalling any members.
What is curious now a year later  why OBU makes Berndt and Herner the political  football. Aren't all three on the same team?Isn't the Jenny the enemy ?

An endorsement is a late in the game,is a gamble that either Berndt or Herner is the better candidate to defeat Greenwell.

It can also be seen as the classic military mistake  of dividing your forces before the battle.

OBU seems to think that Berdt and Herner will split their vote which  means that it wasn't very strong to begin with. Last May approximately 7500 people voted. Roughly 5000 for the bond issue and  2500 against. Some of OBU  believe that portends a three candidate  split. That analysis doesn't consider that is a Presidential election year and the vote total will be much higher.It is very possible that with the right support Herner and Berndt could amass voters at better at margin significantly greater than 2 to 1 . Thats because two people will be touting the school board and covering  a large area quicker than one candidate. Sure on election day the voter must decide whether Berndt or Herner will better serve the mission but the tandem should easily out poll Jenny at margins greater than 2 to 1.

Three of the six candidates  running for the board represent in various degrees  "change" That should  tell somebody something.The three are Howard Baron,  Jenny Greenwell  and W.F. Moigis .Earlier  Greenwell  was elected to complete a school Board term before losing in a re-election.


Berndt, a 2011  appointee l has been active in School District related activities for  30 plus years So has Greenwell.. Berdt ran for the board and lost in 1976. Both Berndt and Greenwell  were teachers.Berndt is conservative but pragmatic and open minded.

Ingrid Day and Herner as officers of the old board  are doctrinaire. Day the  current Board President was first elected in 2007. Herner as secretary  was appointed in 2010 and this is his first board election.

Voters would be wise to attend the League of Women Voters Forum on Tuesday October 2nd at the Doyle Center.

Then  it is believed that perhaps within daysOne Bloomfield United will make an endorsement or decline to do so. It is expected that when the decision is made an explanation of how the decision was made will be provided.

 It is anticipated that neither Berndt or Herner will drop out.

For some the stars will now be in line but woe to he or she who waited for the evening astronomy lesson , instead of making hay when the sun shines. And a reminder to all that November means darkness at 5pm.

Last but not least since it is now 7:32 pm on September 25th,  and the 2012 November 6th Election School Board Election is now more than  half over.


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