To the editor:
As a government teacher in Canby and as an elected Canby City Councilor, I urge all voters to study the issues and then vote. This school board election is important. There are four seats up for grabs with distinctly different candidates opposing each other in each race, so this election will have a much bigger impact on our schools and children than usual.
Don't judge your candidates by which (ones) have the most signs. Instead, please read your voter's pamphlet, examine the reasons why people are running for school board, and do your best to educate yourself before casting your ballot. Most importantly, please cast your ballot.
You should also pay some attention to who is paying for these campaigns. It is posted on the Oregon Secretary of State website. There is a significant difference in how some of these candidates are raising funds.
For example, the Canby teachers are supporting four candidates: Mike Zagyva, Angi Dilkes, Sara Magenheimer and Olga Jimenez. If you are pro-teacher, vote for them; if you are anti-teacher, don't.
Sherry Smith, meanwhile, has taken $1,000 from the far-right gun lobby, Oregon Firearms Federation. (The OFF gave $5,000 to Smith's husband for his "Canby Development PAC," and then he gave 20% of it to his wife's campaign). If you think guns belong in schools, you should vote for her and her allies. Shelley Vissers, who is board member Tom Scott's sister, has also contributed money to Sherry Smith's campaign.
The other thing to look at is why they are running for office. For example, the incumbents (Zagyva, Scott, Magenheimer and Dilkes) have been heavily criticized by their opponents (except for Jimenez) for refusing to listen to an unscheduled presentation by Alsea School District Superintendent Marc Thielman on how his schools handle COVID-19 restrictions.
Why wouldn't those board members want to hear from Thielman? Is something wrong with him? (Answer: yes).
There are lots of reasons to vote for any and all of the eight candidates. Please do your research, Canby, and most importantly, vote.
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