I know — elections are over and for many of us, we were ready. So — why in the world would I want to rehash any of it? Well — a lot happened throughout our south metro communities in the 2023 election cycle.
Let’s start in Englewood. I’ve stayed quiet about a community where a lot happened and there is a lot to unravel.
First, weeks before the actual regular election, the city had to spend more than $130,000 on a recall. A recall that failed. That is a lot of wasted money. Then, to have those same candidates who kept their seats in the recall win in the regular election anyway — maybe the recall group needs to think a little more about the community structure and stability.
To the recall group’s credit — they did get enough signatures to push the recall and that is their right. It just feels irresponsible and costly.
Then — we have the school board in Englewood. We are less than two weeks away from having Davon Williams, who ran unopposed, take the oath of office. He has a criminal history, he avoided talking to local media to talk about his past, and it appears he has no interest in being transparent with the community about his own issues.
This means he is going to be sitting on a school board and making major policy decisions for our children’s education. He has to do it legally and in front of the public. When he could not even do the decent thing and talk to the press before the election — I am not confident transparency is going to be a priority if he sits on the board.
To Davon Williams — you are going to become a constant distraction that the remaining board members and new superintendent do not deserve.
Our schools and the boards running them are important. You remaining on this board when you can’t even speak publicly is selfish and definitely will not be good for our Englewood students.
Until you get your legal issues and affairs in order — maybe serving in public office should be put on hold.
For the most part, the Littleton and Centennial elections turned out uneventful. Some competition on the school board, but all seems to be generally the same.
Cherry Creek Schools’ incumbents also got reelected. However, I have a message for them too — if making meetings available on video and livestream is not a priority, maybe you are not transparent enough to keep serving.
Not making these meetings electronically available to the public is an outdated way of running an elected board and making big decisions in our school districts. As a parent in your district — I won’t let this issue die and I hope the public becomes a lot more outspoken about it too.
Additionally, Cherry Creek schools are like many other schools throughout the Denver metro area — teachers are losing control because of an inability to discipline. Look at the reports from principals in Denver Public Schools — do we want to go down that road?
I know some teachers we’ve lost because of the discipline issues in our schools. As a parent in the district — I will keep watch of this issue as well.
Finally, we head farther south to Douglas County. I am not going to lie — I was surprised by the school board’s results. To have the slate led by incumbent Susan Meek win was interesting.
As I have said in this column space many times — I am never a fan of elected boards that are comprised of buddies who vote the same way every time. A yes-man board is not going to ensure that the best policies are in place.
Having Brad Geiger, Valerie Thompson and Susan Meek on this board will continue to create balanced discussions that are needed in every aspect of our government.
On a side note, when I worked with the League of Women Voters to host a forum this year — I was impressed with Valerie Thompson. Her knowledge, answers, and the way she carried herself had me thinking I’d love to have her in Cherry Creek.
Finally, the bond measures in Douglas County. I am glad to see the measure to pay teachers more passed. They deserve it.
Thelma Grimes is the south metro editor for Colorado Community Media.