2015 Election Fallout for Gilbert Public Schools

Now that the 2015 all-mail override and bond election is over and done, Westie can predict the future. No crystal ball needed, because what’s past is prologue and anyone can see the seeds of discord have been firmly implanted in the Town of Gilbert among its residents and taxpayers. Local media has all the information about exactly how the election was won, lost, maneuvered, manipulated, etc. Let’s focus on the aftermath.

The community is more divided now than ever. That Great Divide was pretty big in 2012 and 2013 when overrides were defeated. The divide rivaled the Grand Canyon in 2014 when the board voted 3-2 NOT to go to voters for an override. Christina 3-2 Kishimoto was at the helm for that vote.

We’ve already discussed how the Superintendent’s leadership has contributed to the dysfunction of the Governing Board and its disconnect with a large swath of the Gilbert community. Now we have the 2015 divide and it is uglier than before, especially since the statewide school funding lawsuit has been settled. No matter: the usual suspects are still complaining that schools STILL don’t have enough money, but that’s a subject for another day. You know Westie will have plenty to post on that subject.

Here’s a symptom of how the arrogance Christina 3-2 Kishimoto has transmogrified a member of the GPS Governing Board. Silly Jilly Humpherys, in her perpetual campaign for a board seat Facebook page, has taken to calling anyone who doesn’t agree with her “these people.” Silly Jilly is adamant about *educating* people until they see things her way and agree to cough up more money for GPS to squander:

Jill Humpherys: As with anyone, these people have freedom of speech. There is no way to report misinformation. We can speak out for what is right for kids by educating family and friends, volunteering to walk neighborhoods and to man phone banks. A resounding win at the polls for students, families, teachers and staff, and the community is the only way to let these people know that we care about students and education.

What’s wrong with using “these people” in reference to someone who doesn’t agree with you? These people” is a stereotypical insult in civilized circles within US culture, right there with references to “you people.” No one in civilized discourse would use those phrases innocently — their usage is intentional and determined to insult, disparage and isolate the person thus targeted. It’s racist. It’s evil. It’s wrong. The real question is whether or not Silly Jilly knows this contextual framework, or is she parroting someone else’s words, as she has been known to do. Sometimes Silly Jilly reads long diatribes that she can’t memorize, but that’s a topic for another day.

Labeling “these people” and “you people” and flogging  nagging   berating  them is a symptom of community discord and disarray, something that has become Christina 3-2 Kishimoto’s legacy for Gilbert Public Schools. Her constant references to the business community would make a reasonable person assume that businesses and local Chambers of Commerce are her new BFFs  her staunch allies in advocating for more, more and more funding for education.  That’s not quite true, as with many things Christina 3-2 Kishimoto wants the public to believe:

So, you’d think when Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas calls for the state to immediately put $400 million in state budget surplus money toward hiring more teachers and boosting teacher pay, there would be plenty of backing from business types.

Guess again. Top business groups aren’t getting behind Douglas’ call for a special session of the Arizona Legislature to put surplus cash in the classrooms. Some business groups also want to wait to see what happens with a lawsuit brought by K-12 school contending they’ve been shorted inflation payments by the Legislature. That lawsuit could cost $331 million or as much as $1.3 billion if courts side with school contentions.

Bottom line: there still will be contentious arguments about funding schools in Arizona. In the Town of Gilbert, though, animosity has reached a peak not seen before. Silly Jilly Humpherys and her pals hurled the epithet “LIES” whenever they didn’t like something someone said or posted on a political sign. When an opposing viewpoint sign was posted, one of Silly Jilly’s acolytes posted, “Come remove your lying filth from my neighborhood.” How neighborly. How typical of how GPS denizens have come to behave. This person is a teacher, whose eagerly anticipated raise, if it materializes, won’t offset tax increases with or without the override and bond.

“Lies, lies, lies” lead people to spurn any attempt to bridge differences. You would think folks would be saying, “But it’s for the children,” as they crowed while demanding more tax money for GPS. But those folks don’t want to come together. Some things never change:

Homer Simpson’s words of wisdomBS: “It takes two to lie: one to lie and one to listen.”
Mark Twain’s famous comment: “A lie can travel around the world and back again while the truth is lacing up its boots.”

There were companion charges, such as, “The opposition is putting misleading information and downright lies out there about the impact of this election on taxes.”

Back to Homer Simpson: “Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that.”
Mark Twain again: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”

At the end of the day, Mark Twain wins with this observation: “In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.”

Teach your children well.  Peace out.
<Wish we had been on the Queen Mary 2 this year with Crosby, Stills and Nash. Sigh.>

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