Monday, April 13, 2009
When is playing fair the right thing to do?
When is fair, fair? We have heard our kids say it. “Little Johnnie isn’t playing fair.” Our answers are always, “Now play fair.” It is the way we teach our kids and the way we want them to grow up as adults. Nevertheless, why shouldn’t the same life principle apply to us big kids?
Help me with this one. The former state senator Kim Plache finished third in the Racine mayoral race behind John Dickert and Bob Turner, leaving her out of the May 5 special election to elect the city’s new mayor.
However, Plache also finished third Tuesday in the race for the Racine Unified School Board. That was good enough to earn her a three-year term on the board along with incumbents Don Nielson and Gretchen Warner.
Plache said Tuesday; she would accept the School Board seat. “I’m honored to have been chosen, and I will serve,” she said. It is something of a change of heart for Plache, who had declared her candidacy for School Board in January, only to switch her focus in February to the mayor’s race after Gary Becker was arrested and resigned.
Plache said when she launched her mayoral campaign; she tried to take her name off the School Board ballot, but could not. “If I didn’t have to die to get my name off the ballot, I’d take it off,” Plache said on February 18. “I’m completely focused on running for mayor.” Now that the votes have shaken out, Plache said she would accept her elected seat on the School Board. She replaces former School Board President Tony Baumgardt, who did not run for re-election. Stephanie Hayden, Director of Communications for Unified, said Plache is entitled to the seat. Once she put her name on the ballot, Hayden said, it became the voters’ choice. “If she wants the seat, it’s hers,” Hayden said.
Yes, it is true, it is her seat if she wants it and it is apparent that she wants any seat that is available to further her personal political ambition. After highjacking the school board seat, what can we expect when another seat becomes available? For example, if State Representative Robert Turner wins the Mayor’s position, will she jump off the school board and run for the state position. Moreover, what will she do in a year and a half, when the mayor’s race is back in the picture again?
Plache received 7,747 votes for the School Board and outpaced fourth-place finisher Stella Young by about 700 votes.
In a video posted on the Insider News website (RacineInsider.blogspot.com), Stella Young also questioned the fairness of the process. Young said that Plache never appeared on any forum and did not campaign for the position. “I don’t know how fair it was to the entire community,” she said. “Nothing that happened in this entire thing was fair,” Young asserted.
When asked Young, what the remedy is, she quickly said and we agree. “It’s my seat; I won it fair and square. I worked for it, so the remedy would be that I get that seat, not Kim Plache.”