Monday, February 02, 2009

Oh Crap, We Have To Go Vote Again For The Damn School Board

In a quick perusal of various informational entities around Albuquerque this evening, the public school news centers on a powdery substance found in a Taft MS administrator's mail. Lots of talk about powdery irritants, 9-1-1 calls, the National Guard being summoned, a lockdown and so on and so on.

Burque Babble will refrain from finding any humor in this situation whatsoever. It isn't funny and the very, very large reaction to the incident only points out how serious and terribly unfunny it all is. Any attempts at humor regarding this very serious situation would be most unbecoming, regardless of how very tempting it might be to do so.

See, I succeeded in refraining. Let me stop typing for a second in order to give myself a hearty pat on the back. Good boy, Scot!

Meanwhile, on the equivalent of page B-97 (Public Notices of RFP for City Purchases of Backhoes), is the other public school story for the day, namely:

Oh Crap, We Have to Vote Again For the Damn School Board

The actual prose in these stories varies slightly, but the above headline world work with all of them. The thread goes like this: School board elections always have lousy turnout, we just had a big whoop-de-doo election, everybody is totally sick of the democratic process at this point, why should we even bother looking at the damn polling sites, I would rather do laundry at that really dodgy looking laundromat on Central than vote in this stupid election, please God help us from voting in this stupid election.

And then there's the repeated call to mesh school board elections with other, real elections, although, as I understand it, the voters already voted to do this last Election, and what are we waiting for? Evidently something about what to do with the gap between the current Board member expiration in March if we moved to combined elections in October.

My suggestion is that we simply go without an APS School Board for seven months. Then when October rolled around maybe we could decide things were going rather smoothly without having a School Board, and we'd just conveniently forget to ever have a School Board election again.

I kid, of course. But I'm not kidding when I bring up the serious topic of gambling, namely who wants to bet on my over/under line for turnout percentage in the 2009 APS School Board Election. Seasoned turnout wagerers will remember that 6% of eligible voters came out in 2007, roughly in line with the pathetic record of turnout in these contests.

Given the probability of "voter fatigue" tweaking the average lower this time around, I'm gonna set the line at:

4.75% of eligible voters in APS Districts 3, 5, 6 and 7

In other words, I'm predicting that approximately nine people will vote in tomorrow's School Board Election. Again, I'm kidding. I tried to find the number of eligible voters and came up empty. Certainly the number will be far more than nine, probably much closer to twenty-nine.

My excuse for not voting is that my District (#1) doesn't have an election this time around. Whoo-hoo! Guilt-free democratic non-participation!

Nevertheless, as part of my ceaseless striving to better inform the dear readers of Burque Babble, I can proudly tell you that I did research the ABQ Journal candidate questionnaires for this election. And I can report it was perhaps the most enervating reading experience I've yet had in my 47 years. It reminded me of that great line from To Kill A Mockingbird in which Harper Lee's Scout describes talking to a very boring person thusly:
"Talking to Francis gave me the sensation of settling slowly to the bottom of the ocean."
Such was this Journal questionnaire. Strangely uninteresting questions followed by similarly banal, unsubstantive answers. On top of that, no lurid admissions of lewd behavior or anything. Not even a DWI in the bunch. And certainly nothing even remotely as fear-driven news riveting as powdery substances in envelopes. No help to the turnout cause there, I'm afraid.

Oh well, have a Happy Pseudo-Election Day everyone. All 4.75% of us.


Anonymous said...

Since you won't, I will: The envelope contained a crushed up valentine heart that said "Be my haz mat scene".

And you buried your lead, or didn't watch Ch.4. Your school leads the middle schools for parents trying to transfer their kids into. Sandia leads among high schools.

Cheers, Mi3ke

jscotkey said...

Damn Mike: I didn't see Channel 4 (just looked online) and I can't tell if you're joking. Okay, looked again, and still can't tell.

So now I have to watch Channel 4. You guys are sneaky that way.

You're joking, right? A valentine heart?

As for the "lead", thanks for the info. It must be those letters we wrote to the editors at the Journal.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, bad newsroom humor. I think the truth is closer to someone wanting to get out of school for the day and the person just opened the envelope at eh end of the day in a bldg not used by students. To quote Homer: "D'oh!"

As for the "lead", you'd think the top two schools would be in the same cluster, but they are not, Jefferson and Sandia. Go figure.

Keep up the good work!

Cheers, Mi3ke

Anonymous said...

You know don't you, that if you had discussed even one substantive issue in the school board election, you could have doubled the turn out.

jscotkey said...


Trouble is, I'm not so sure there is a substantive issue in the school board election. "Substance" and "school board" may be mutually exclusive terms. I know some/many feel otherwise, but I just don't care about the school board. And I say that as someone whose check supposedly comes, in a manner of speaking, from the school board.