The Montgomery County Democratic Committee recently paid for and mailed voter guides in at least Whitemarsh and Plymouth Townships (we haven’t seen a Conshohocken version). On the front was a series of photos of candidates currently running for office (state representative up to governor and senator). On the back was a letter headlined “A Message from our Democratic Colonial School Board Leaders.”
The letter is here for you to read:
A former President of the Colonial School Board, Marc Orlow, responded to the mailer publicly through a post on the Colonial Roundtable Facebook Group. Orlow wrote:
Dear Mr Raimondo and Ms Finegold
I wanted to thank you both for the letter that was delivered to my home this past week entitled “Message From Our Democratic School Board Leaders” touting your accomplishments during this past year. I found it quite illuminating. I was particularly taken with the title of your message. I have lived in Whitemarsh for over 38 years. I do not ever recall School Board members, once elected, refer to themselves as “Democratic” or “Republican” leaders.” To date, those that have preceded you have simply identified themselves as a member of the School Board. However, given the level of politics that you have intertwined with the affairs of the School District, I am not surprised. More importantly, you failed to mention a critical point. While many members of the community, both Democrats and Republicans, who have had the privilege of serving on the Board deserve thanks for the role we have played, it has been the incredible teachers, administrators, and support personnel that are the primary reason that Colonial has become an exemplary District.
Your letter asked for “feedback,” so I thought I would list some of your other accomplishments that you did not mention, but are directly responsible for. Here are just a few:
* adopting an RCO Policy that violates the Pennsylvania Public Bidding Laws;
* firing the District’s long time highly respected solicitor and hiring a solicitor who was a large contributor to your political campaign;
* leading the District into getting sued over the RCO Policy;
* refusing to answer questions at the public meetings of the Board from Colonial residents (this is a first!);
* openly displaying a level of disrespect to residents that I have never before witnessed.
You also asked for suggestions in your letter. Here a few that come to mind:
* stop the “pay to play” politics;
* unless it is a privileged or confidential matter,
* answer all questions posed to you at public meetings;
* be open to a common sense solution that avoids costly litigation over the RCO policy in a manner that promotes safety while not excluding responsible contractors.
Marc M. Orlow
In regards to Raimondo and Finegold being referring to “Democratic Colonial School Board Leaders,” Orlow is referencing the fact that candidates for school boards have the opportunity to appear as both a Republican and Democrat on the ballot. The idea is that politics shouldn’t matter on the school board.
It is also interesting that the county party would dedicate so much space to two people not on the ballot on November 6th. The higher-ups must really be feeling the heat about the school board (and they doubled down on them).
Raimondo and Finegold will be on the ballot, if they choose to run again, in 2019. Overall five seats on the school board will be up for election next year.