Monday, September 4, 2017

The Patron Saint of Redistricting

Today's late post brought to you by a monster migraine. The less said about that, the better.

I've got a bit of a HoCo Holler vibe going on over here. I've been observing, more than participating, in online discussions about school redistricting this summer. And one thing that has been consistent throughout is the calm, reasoned voice of Board Chair Cindy Vaillancourt.

Ms.Vaillancourt has made herself available online to answer all questions, explain, elaborate, correct misbegotten conspiracy theories--you name it. While she undoubtedly has her own personal opinions on how this is all playing out, she has worked diligently to maintain an even, neutral presence in the face of some serious unpleasantness.

I hope that our community realizes how much work this has been to field everyone's fears and woes for the last few months. I also hope they realize the level of respect, responsiveness, and transparency Ms. Vaillancourt is modeling. Can you imagine some of our previous board chairs in recent memory dedicating so much time and effort to interacting with the community?

I can't.

The community has every right to be involved in the redistricting process. I have seen Ms.Vailllancourt affirm this many times. I wish that they would choose to be involved without accusing anyone involved in the process of malice and malfeasance. Ms. Vaillancourt is only human. She has been, for many folks, the public face of redistricting in Howard County.

A few of her recent exchanges indicate just a hint of weariness or exasperation. You get the feeling that mom, driving the car while supervising shenanigans in the back seat, might just wish she could pull the car over and tell it like it is.

I don't think she will, though. She has worked too hard to get us to where we are now. If you don't know her backstory on the Howard County Board of Education, I've got about a hundred blog posts to bring you up to speed. (Not really, more like 10-20.)

We've got a ways to go yet on this redistricting thing. It's a bit early for me to declare Cindy Vaillancourt the Patron Saint of Redistricting. What I'm really trying to say is: could we please back off from trying to burn her at the stake?


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