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Letter to the Editor: What is School Board Candidate's Idea of Leadership?


Frank Brunner, school board candidate District 4, has a motto: “It’s time for experienced leadership.” Let’s explore just how effective his leadership was both now and during his past time on the School Board.

Leadership can be defined by integrity.

Brunner is homesteaded and voted in District 2, but has decided to run in District 1. You may ask how he can do that? Well, first throw all integrity out the window and be willing to swear that you will live apart from your family for the four-year term.

What kind of a person would leave his family to secure a political post?

Leadership can be defined by the company you keep.

Brunner and his compatriots hired McGonegal and Drake, the toxic architects that caused all of the financial problems in this district. Brunner served on a board with Harry Kinnan, Larry Simmons and Walter Miller. Those same board members, with Brunner, are the people who cut the academic day and started the academic plummet for our district ranking. These are the people who are endorsing him.

Leadership can be defined by service to country.

He attended West Point but did not complete his 5 year service obligation. He not only failed in his commitment to the military but to the taxpayers who footed the bill for his education. Why won’t he release his discharge papers?

Leadership can be defined by commitment.

Brunner was on the school board from 1996 to 2006 when he again did not complete his term of office. He quit two years short to pursue a higher paying position on the Board of County Commissioners. He failed to get elected. What better proof that the school district is not his priority?

When his Manatee County Commission campaign failed, he then applied and was given a job back in the school district for a position as Career Advisor. McGonegal approved his appointment to this position even though he had nothing in his resume that indicated that he was suited for this position.

Leadership can be defined by honesty.

His campaign brochure states that 75% of our schools were rated A’s or B’s by the state, no D’s or F’s. That sounds good until you see that when he left his term of office that the number of A and B schools had dropped to 56% with one D and one F. Foiled by his own statistics.

Leadership is not:

Having a criminal traffic arrest for driving while your license is suspended, preceded by eight traffic citations. The students are expected to follow rules and the board approves policies that define those rules and the punishment for breaking them. How can they do that if they routinely break them?

Leadership is not:

Advocating for corporal punishment in our classroom, a position that was published in the Herald Tribune when Brunner himself was investigated for child abuse over an incident with his stepson.

During his term of office:

Administrative costs more than doubled.

Even though the sales tax initiative stated that it would be a pay-as-you-go, Brunner approved borrowing $140 million against the revenue.

Debt was increased by 75%.

Not only is Brunner a poor choice, he is no choice.

Please be smart voters; do not let the old guard back into the school district and the largest budget in Manatee County. They have a proven record of being poor stewards of your money and students education.

Let his opponent Karen Carpenter continue the recovery.

Linda Schaich


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