Empire editorial: Vote Brown, Poole, Thurston in Tuesday's election

Posted: Sunday, October 03, 2010

Eight members of the Juneau community expressed their willingness to sacrifice considerable time and energy to serve on either the Juneau School District School Board or the City Assembly. Their offer is appreciated and, regardless of Tuesday's results, all should be commended for their efforts to make our city better.

However, while all the candidates are good, some stick out to us as better and we offer them our endorsement.

In the only contested assembly race, District 2, we ask voters to choose Greg Brown. His platform contains a plank that would create a long-term vision for Juneau - looking 25 years into the future. Once in place, and supported by a consensus of citizens and leaders, Juneau would have a much clearer picture of the type of city it will be, and the type of place our children will lead.

Brown also offers proposals for solid waste management that certainly deserve consideration and study. If we can find a way to turn our garbage into green energy, it could both lower bills and augment Juneau's status as a leader in making realistic use of alternative energy sources.

In the school board race, ballot casters will choose two of three candidates to fill a pair of empty seats. We hope those choices will be Kim Poole and Barbara Thurston. Both Poole and Thurston offer JSD first hand experience tackling issues in our schools. In the Juneau Municipal Election Voters' Guide, produced by the Juneau Empire and the League of Women Voters, Poole listed starting the breakfast program at Gastineau Elementary and service on the Community Schools Advisory Committee in her candidate profile. She also holds a bachelor's degree in education. Thurston, meanwhile, has been a school district site council member and part of the Juneau Co-op Preschool board of directors.

These backgrounds should provide good preparation for Poole and Thurston for their seats on a school board that must set policies to address a declining graduation rate, especially among Native students, and ensure the 83 percent of parents who feel, at least somewhat, confident in the school district remain so.

Certainly, some will quibble with our endorsements. We appreciate that. We simply hope those who disagree will do so in a constructive manner in the marketplace of ideas and, more importantly, at the ballot box on Oct. 5.



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