A Breath Of Fresh Air In Region One

For those of you who are following our local regional school district, but are frustrated by the lack of available voices in the media, you’re in luck.

Former Region One chairman John Mauer has revived his blog, Stoneforge Chronicles, and has — at least for the time being — decided to focus his energies on observing and writing about the goings-on at his old stomping grounds.

This is very welcome news on several levels. First, I had the pleasure of meeting John a few weeks ago and it’s obvious that he’s a very smart guy who has much to add to the dialogue. Unlike the dimwitted loudmouth Marshall Miles, whose ugly Region One Report blog is an affront to the dignity of anyone unfortunate enough to encounter it, John possesses a keen analytical ability honed from years as an IBMer and as a consultant in statistical modeling.

Second, it’s important to have other voices available, not only to counter Miles, but to provide a fresh perspective on matters of critical importance to taxpayers, parents and students in the Northwest Corner.

Look at some of his recent posts: a sober look at the upcoming budget process; a trenchant analysis of the controversy surrounding Falls Village representative Gale Toensing’s questionable grievance against the Region One Board of Education’s own attorney; and a straightforward piece on the recent decision to form a labor union for four central office administrators.

Lest anyone think John is a cheerleader for the current board, take a look at his critical post on declining enrollment in the region and the lack of corresponding drops in spending.

I am so glad John has taken up this cause. I would love to do it myself, but I have a day job and too many other paying gigs to keep tabs on Region One. In addition, I’m not uniquely qualified to be a watchdog of the board in the way John is. He’s got lots of smarts, a sense of history and the benefit of having served Region One for several years.

I would urge anyone interested in the future of our school district to take a look at Stoneforge Chronicles. Bookmark it, throw it into your Google Reader or type the name of the blog into a search engine and go for it.

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