It is a principle of The News-Times editorial policy that once we have recommended a candidate for public office and that candidate is elected, we recommend their re-election if they have done the job they promised.
Saying "that's the way we've always done it" is a bad way to set editorial guidelines, let alone education policy. But it perhaps explains that while we recommend the re-election of School Board trustee Mildred "Mickie" Blackburn in District 2, we do so with little enthusiasm.
A stronger challenge would have been welcomed, but Blackburn's opponent simply is not a viable alternative. A fired bus driver currently grinding a legal ax against the system, the challenger for Blackburn's seat has little experience and few ideas.
In contrast, Blackburn is a good, solid trustee. She is reliable and dependable, and spends more time actually visiting schools - including those outside her district - than any other board member. As a retired teacher, she occasionally has been the board's best advocate for educators.
The disappointment is that Blackburn speaks up so seldom, and with such little force, that she is justifiably regarded as a rubber stamp for the administration.
That's not always bad; Columbia County's school system has a very good administration. But it takes a hard surface to keep a knife sharp. Mickie Blackburn should draw upon her considerable experience as an educator and board member to hone that edge, and we hope she will.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.