I have had the opportunity to hear all of the candidates for the school board speak at least once during this campaign period. I have come to be extremely disappointed by the rhetoric that members of the slate have used during these forums. 

At this point, when I take the comments made in the Landmark by a current board member, with the statements made by the slate candidates at public meetings, I am starting to feel like I am being threatened: either vote for the slate, or expect more infighting and discord among the board. 

Since when does having a potentially different opinion mean that you will not be welcomed to the table for discussion? 

The voters get to decide in an election which candidates they want to represent them and then it is up to those elected to be responsible, respectful, adults and work together for the community whom they serve. 

While the current board may have their own opinions about with whom they would like to work for the next few years, it is not our job as voters to support the candidates that will make them happy. 

It is our job to support the candidates that we think will do the most zealous job of representing us in matters of education for this district. We should not have to consider who will get along the best together because a board member is an elected official and is charged with working with whomever the public sees best fit. 

As voters, we will decide who we want to represent us on the board and then it is the board’s responsibility to work with each other. It is our choice that must be respected around that table after April 7. 

As in life, we do not always get to choose everyone with whom we work, and we must always find a way to work with them to get the job done. I would hope that no matter who is elected, the board will begin to focus on matters of education and not on how to remove a colleague with whom they do not see eye to eye. 

Why is who will work best together even part of the conversation, unless there are people on the board that will refuse to even try? Why is the idea of a board comprised of differing, well-informed opinions a bad thing? Isn’t that how we get to well-thought out compromises? 

We have so many issues that have been delayed for far too long for the rhetoric of this election to be focused on who gets along the best. It is time for us to start focusing on the education issues that our district is facing and not on what our seated board members want.

Elizabeth Kos

Riverside