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Parents, please shut up. You’re ruining our democracy!

Last night, the audience at the County Commission meeting gasped when Commissioner Todd Kaestner decided to use his position to attack Williamson Strong parents. Who knew Todd Kaestner is right in line with Susan Curlee? He has decided that a Facebook page for parents to learn about their school board and become engaged is a real problem. (Hey Commissioner Kaestner, you know we’ve seen the exact same talking points before. Y’all should mix them up a little if you’re going to share notes.)


Click to watch the video of Kaestner’s remarks

“We all know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of a well-organized, well-executed campaign. And this one came to you complements of a small, vocal, liberal group called Williamson Strong.” “To not follow their [Danner’s and Lawrence’s] nominations strips all representation away from 15,000 people in the 4th District.” “I’ve heard a claim that I take extreme offense at that is that one board member can destroy or devastate our schools. I think that is ridiculous. They cannot.” “Lastly I want to say if you look at Douglas County, Colorado, a similar organization named Strong Schools Coalition created a lot of mayhem in this same email bombardment fashion when conservatives began to be elected to the school board. This mayhem was intentional; it was divisive, and it created an awful lot of ill will that is lasting in Douglas County, and I am very sad to see the same playbook play executed here by what seems to be a similar organization that seems to treat parents as pawns.”

Two Other Things

Props to Commissioner Matt Milligan, who respectfully but clearly disagreed with Kaestner. Watch Commissioner Milligan’s statement here.

“I don’t think this process was made controversial by a group called Williamson Strong. I think this was made controversial through the school board itself and through us watching the school board go through a painstakingly, at times, clumsy process of approving a man’s contract who’s worked very hard for our county.” “This was always going to be a controversial, contentious vote. It was. And I don’t make a boogeyman out of a group called Williamson Strong. I read every email I got. They didn’t, maybe half the emails came with the little insignia, and not all of those agreed on what they were saying. I think it’s an insult to the collective intellect of this group to say that we can be swayed by form emails. I think more highly of each one of you than that.”

Well said, Major Milligan.

Most County Commissioners (who know how to efficiently zip through a meeting, by the way) just ignored Kaestner’s attack and moved on to vote. That works, too.

We appreciate that so many of you got engaged. Commissioners received hundreds of emails for and against different candidates.

Be informed. Be engaged. Get involved. Commissioner Todd Kaestner thinks that’s the problem, but we think it’s the way our democracy works best.


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