Incumbent Adam Haluska and newcomer Jami Wolf bested the field of six candidates for director of the Solon School Board.
Preliminary vote totals released by the county auditor show at least 1,174 voters cast a ballot, although the final numbers won’t be available for a few days.
Voter turnout was more than double the last school board election in 2017. With six candidates active, their campaigns boosted turnout by activating networks of friends and family who didn’t vote in 2017. That combined with the aftershock of this year’s contract negotiations with the teacher’s union increased the size of the electorate. That’s good for our governance.
It’s about time a woman was part of the school board again. Jami Wolf ran a solid campaign and had a unique personal story and message seeking inclusion of all families and their students in the school. Her hashtag #ForAllFamilies proved to be a winner.
If poorly executed contract negotiations with the teacher’s union drove a high number of candidates, the message from the electorate was that Adam Haluska’s explanations of board missteps were accepted and could be forgiven. That will likely hold true in 2021 for whichever of the three board members whose terms expire run for reelection. In the life of Solon schools, it was a bump in the road, one I believe will fade in memory by the time of the next school board election.
There was no shortage of qualified candidates. I hope Ortega, O’Neil, Stahle and Wear consider running again in 2021 when three board seats will be up. With this election in the books, our attention now turns to the 2020 general election less than a year away.
I congratulate the winners and hope board directors learned a lesson from their mishandling of contract negotiations.