"Back to School" nights for parents will soon be upon us. We have attended many of these "open house" events at our children's schools and consider them wonderful opportunities to get to know teachers and administrators and acquaint ourselves with instructional plans.That's correct, Jim Clem has not been seen at back to school nights. Or at Keep Leesburg Beautiful events. Or at Town Council Meetings. Or at Ida Lee. Or, really, much of anywhere around town. For a man representing Leesburg, he doesn't seem to get around Leesburg much.
The only downside to these events is the inevitable encounter with local politicians and office seekers on site only to glad-hand, ingratiate, and gather votes. We have always felt that this is an entirely inappropriate and selfish exploitation of public facilities and parents' time.
One local public official whom we have never seen abusing "Back to School" nights for such political pandering is Jim Clem, current Loudoun supervisor and former mayor of Leesburg. I know that he considers this kind of campaigning undignified and disrespectful of school children, parents and teachers.
Candidates, take note. Your self-promoting presence at our local school events is embarrassing. This year, pleased [sic] do not attend. ...
Brian and Shannon Smith
(Published in the Loudoun Times-Mirror)
It is interesting that people take such pleasure and interest in meeting teachers and school administrators, but not their local elected leaders and representatives. After all, it is the people who are often standing in front of these schools, or knocking on doors this time of year, who control the school budget, set policies for our police, and set the zoning which determines when and how we need new schools. The people running for office, standing in front of the schools, are geniuinely interested in talking to the citizens of Loudoun about the future of Loudoun. Ultimately, our local elected leaders have more influence over our day-to-day lives than anyone else we have the opportunity to vote for.
Parents possibly have the most to win and lose from the local elections on November 6th. Why not talk to a candidate if they present themselves for consideration? Isn't that what democracy is supposed to be about?