School board should remain nonpartisan
I was delighted to read in Monday's CTFP that most members of the local school board were opposed to the idea that allows elections to be held on a partisan basis. Not only would partisan voting deflect emphasis of helping children, it would reduce the number of people voting, cost taxpayers more money with primary and general elections, and create divisions which have no benefit to the children the school board was elected to serve.
One only has to look at the divisiveness in our national political scene to know that partisanship is not always a benefit to those our elected officials were elected to serve. Let's keep the education of our children the focus of the school board, not let some partisan bickering take away from the number-one objective.
Downtown library is not book friendly
I recently visited the downtown Chattanooga library. In this large, four-story and basement building, there were about 20 customers. There had to be at least that many employees. Of the 20 folks visiting, at least half were using laptops and not checking out books. On the same day, I visited McKay's Bookstore, and there were more than 60 cars in the parking lot. The store looked like a beehive with people there to buy books — why would they not go to the library to get free books?
One reason is there is no free parking downtown. But the big reason to not go downtown is that they do not have books that people like to read. In this giant building they have three rows of fiction. In the East Ridge library that would fit in the foyer downtown, they have more fiction. For example, downtown they have eight titles by best-selling author John Sanford while East Ridge must have two or three times that many.
This move away from making the library a place to get books began several years ago. I saw a staff member announce they now have 14 musical instruments that can be checked out. What kind of library is that?
No 'R' and 'D' on school board
The state legislature and the governor just made the school board elections even less effective for our students. Instead of knowing the educational philosophy of each candidate, many voters will add R or D to how many signs they see on the side of the road. There are two very simple solutions to this poor legislation.
1. The local [party] officials have the option to not make these elections partisan. These elections should not be more complicated and expensive.
2. If the local officials adopt primaries for school board elections, every candidate should register as an independent.
The bottom line here is what is best for our students. School board members could be extreme, moderate or conservative, regardless of R or D. Keep school boards nonpartisan.