In 1962, I was a precinct chairman for four Montgomery County, Md., Board of Education members who were running for re-election.
At the urging of the school board, the all-Democratic county council had approved a sizeable property tax increase to support the public schools, which were overflowing because of population growth. The tax bills reflecting this increase arrived in the mail one month before the election.
As I stood outside the polling place handing out literature for my candidates, the reaction was hostile. Literature was thrown on the ground, and a few were thrown in my face. But on their way out, some voters were wondering aloud whether they had done the right thing
A new conservative majority was elected to the board having no understanding of the school system. They tried for two years to hack away at the school budget. The voters also threw out the entire Democratic county council and then were aghast when the new real estate- and developer-backed council tried to rezone major parts of the county for higher density and commercial uses.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Island Packet
Two years later, we re-elected the three remaining progressive school board members by a huge majority, and in two more years we elected four more progressive members and a new all-Democratic council.
The moral of this story? Never vote when mad because it always turns out badly.
Tom Israel Hilton Head Island