School Board Candidates to Face Off in Forum

Hudson School District Board of Education candidates Bruce Hanson, Jamie Johnson, Matthew G. Kari, Jeanette Kunz and Jim Schrock will participate in a candidates forum Thursday night.

The five candidates for two Hudson School District Board of Education seats will participate in a forum Thursday night put on by school parents groups. The event will take place at the Willow River Elementary School auditorium from 7-8:30 p.m.

Candidate Information

One of the five candidates will be eliminated in a primary on Feb. 19. The remaining four will face off in a general election on April 2.

Hudson Patch is planning a candidate forum between the primary and the general election.


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mary yacoub January 31, 2013 at 01:56 PM
Kunz for School Board!!'
Concerned Citizen #1 January 31, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Seems to me whomever the St. Croix Republican Party chooses to endorse (ala Sandy Gehrke) for this non partisan position has the inside track on winning it. Just an opinion
mary yacoub January 31, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Endorsements don't win elections. Votes do. I don't see any statement made by the Republican party here. Pretty big assumption.
Concerned Citizen #1 January 31, 2013 at 04:43 PM
I went into the St. Croix republican party HQ the past election during which Mrs. Gehrke was campaigning for the board. I saw with my own eyes displays in that office urging people to vote for Mrs. Gehrke. Literature that endorsed her as the candidate for the school board. Now they repub party probably didn't pay for it, I assume, but it was being handed out there so its reasonable to assume they were in favor of it. She was "the" pick. Seems like an endorsement to me, may not be a public statement and/or official or spewed across the radio/tv, but everyone that goes in there sees it and to some extent it affects the decision making process. You could argue that most people's minds were probably made up prior to seeing it, but the case can be made that with a school board election a lot more is unknown about the candidates as often times they are not lifetime politicians or even politicians at all like yourself. But you are right Mary, endorsements don't win elections, votes do, Endorsements just sway votes, that's why they are endorsements. They're intended to show support and approval of a candidate and sway a potential voter in the direction of the candidate in which the approval is for. Just a thought.
mary yacoub January 31, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Well I am sure there is some lobbying going on every where. Jeanette is my friend outside of party or politics. And I am not.sure if you are referring to me as a life time politician. I would strongly disagree. I am a mother a wife a social worker and a small business owner. Also I am a concerned citizen. Jeanette has a high schooler and a second grader in our school. Most the people on the current school board do not have kids or grandkids in the hudson schools. My pick for jeanette is not political. It is because she gets it. She sees ad deals with the currents schools daily through her children. She is filled with ideas to improve our schools. And as a mother of 3 I appreciate the fact that she actually had children in our schools. That is why I will vote for Jeanette Kunz for school board. Maybe you should schedule a meeting with her and decide for yourself what you think. I think you would be impressed.
Concerned Citizen #1 January 31, 2013 at 05:07 PM
"...she gets it." What exactly does she (Jeannette) get? not referring to your specifically as a lifetime politician, my apologies if that statement offended you in any way. It was not my intention. I can't attend the forum tonight and I bummed about that...
mary yacoub January 31, 2013 at 06:01 PM
No problem. I won't speak for a candidate. It is too bad you can't be there. I assume channel 15 will have replays. Watch it there. I think you will see in jeanette what I all ready know about her.
Micheal Foley January 31, 2013 at 06:40 PM
When The River Channel makes it available on YouTube, we'll pos it on Patch!
Tanya K February 01, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Jeanette has my VOTE, I know her personally as well and she's got it together!!!
JMK February 02, 2013 at 12:36 AM
Thank you, Tanya and Mary, for your votes of confidence. I will admit I am not a seasoned professional speaker, which was obvious in a few moments of stage fright last night. I promise to keep myself firmly grounded in focusing on the students' best interest, and the ramifications for parents, teachers, and taxpayers alike.
Tanya K February 02, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Jeanette, I did watch the youtube video and feel that you did GREAT, your personality and interests were definately shining! Great Job and keep the confidence lady!
Micheal Foley February 02, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Video of the forum, along with a viewing guide, is available at http://patch.com/A-17v5.
Vested Interest February 02, 2013 at 08:58 PM
I too, watched the video - the candidate's views brought many items out into the light. There was a key phrase repeated over and over which has me a bit concerned - especially when used by certain candidates. That phrase was their goal with being "fiscally responsible." I heard candidate's Hanson and Johnson first acknowledge how Hudson was at the bottom of the cost per student scale of all school districts in the state and then made a point how they would see to it that the district be fiscally responsible. Since they lamented about needing to pay people more to remain competitive, I can only concluded that their definition of fiscally responsible can only mean they need to raise taxes so we can be like the rest of the out-of-control school districts around us.
Concerned Citizen #1 February 04, 2013 at 04:32 PM
"fiscally responsible" is an overused term that is quickly losing it luster. All the candidates used it almost solely because they think that's is what everyone wants to hear. Clearly for several, that is the only thing they seem to hear. I came away with several members being more concerned about the taxpayers more so than the kids. For me, its about the kids and giving them the best resources going forward and that may cost more than some people are comfortable with. Others seems to be clearly anti-school board (at least the current school board and its members), which is fine, but again that is not a reason to vote for that person. I came away with a clearer picture of all the candidates, so for that I am grateful. I can now say I have a good idea of who I will vote for. Appreciate the patch posting the video and good luck to all the candidates.
Vested Interest February 05, 2013 at 02:34 AM
What I believe the candidates missed was the opportunity to clearly define themselves. Most responses, especially from Mr. Schrock, were too vague and teflon coated. Think back to the positions taken by candidates last spring. Ms. Gehrke was very clear on where she stood regarding the dog track purchase and why. Even though the referendum passed, she still got the most votes. Why? I believe it was due to her expressing her beliefs specifically and in detail. Everybody knew exactly where she stood and also knew she would challenge the rest of the board to quit being puppets to this administration. I believe the majority of voters will want this same type of candidate again. This superintendent, with the aid of the Rotary Club, has hand-picked Johnson and Hanson to replace Kiasersatt and German, who will only continue the status quo of cronyism. To have any hope of breaking this mess of one-sided discussions will require someone / anyone other than those two to be elected to the board. I don't want to knock Jamie, but he's damaged goods. Even though he has done as I've suggested at the beginning to be specific, he disappointed and stunned me with his lack of state and municipal law knowledge on zoning concerning the dog track issue - and he's a lawyer. His "forget-all-that-law-stuff, we need a school" stance, in my view, showed he doesn't have any concern for the law, and likely won't of our pocketbooks either. If you don't know your limits, you won't get my vote.
Truthometer February 10, 2013 at 09:17 PM
I watched the forum . I was hoping to find at least one candidate who would be willing to question the administration as Gehrke has done. I carefully watched Johnson and Hanson. Mary (the superintendent) recruited both of them to run for the board. One sentence from Johnson told me exactly where he stands. When another candidate made a statement about the administration's policy on open enrollment, Johnson immediately came to the defense of the administration. He did it so quickly and emphatically that it was clear what positions he will take if elected. I also closely watched Hanson. He talks a lot about his qualifications. But he was recruited by the superintendent. His campaign materials say "Vote Yes." Where have we heard that before? You're right, the "Vote Yes" campaign to support the dog track purchase. Funny that Hanson would claim to be independent and then use the same "Vote Yes" slogan used by the "Vote Yes for the Dog Track" group. Seems Hanson is tied to the Vote Yes group. Has anyone ever heard of candidates having fund raisers to support their Hudson school board candidacy? No? Apparently someone sent out a fund raising letter in support of Johnson. Hanson is holding his own $6 per plate fund raising events. Symbolic, isn't it? Some candidates already have their hand out. Kari was ill prepared for the forum, Schrock wasn't specific. I am voting for Kunz and only Kunz. I ask you to do the same.
Paine Reliever February 11, 2013 at 06:32 AM
So vested interest, your point is that Mr. Johnson who has a law degree and has been successfully practicing law for years "doesn't have any concern for the law"??? What municipal And state laws was Mr. Johnson in favor of breaking? He was in favor of the rezoning of city property from commercial to public to allow the construction to finally address our space needs. No law would have been broken. It was simply a rezoning question and the the city voted it down not based on any law. Time to move on.
Vested Interest February 11, 2013 at 03:18 PM
PR - please show where I said Mr. Johnson was "in favor of breaking the law". If you re-read what I said was "he disappointed and stunned me with his lack of state and municipal law knowledge on zoning concerning the dog track issue". Even you, PR, will find it hard to defend Jamie's actions with lobbying both the school board to press forward on the dog track and the city council to grant the rezoning. He may not have been trying to break the law, but he certainly was wanting many guiding documents which were based on law to be set aside or modified to fit putting a school at the dog track site. He was willing to look the other way on many planning principles and also didn't care what the financial impact was to all the other entities that depended on the revenue of that property. From what I've heard said by him, his biggest concern is to make sure the school district gets a new sports complex which makes me feel that education is his second concern.
Paine Reliever February 11, 2013 at 04:36 PM
V.I. "Guiding documents based on law"!? That's a good one. If you are referring to the comprehensive plan that the city fretted about changing, they change the city plan once a year on average. And they will change it again because I bet the dog track will never develop under its commercial zoning. By the way, Johnson was not alone. 58% of the voters wanted the rezoning and no laws would have been broken to do it. So yes, I can defend his actions. Now as far as your latest mindless charges, you claim his biggest concern is building a sports complex. Please back that statement up. You can't. Yes there were sports fields on some conceptual drawing about potential uses of property in the future. I don't believe Mr. Johnson gave input on the requirements of the maps. You claim Johnson is hand picked by the superintendent. I missed that endorsement. Can you let me know where I missed that in the paper or district website? Charges of cronyism? Jamie Johnson's community involvement began long before his recent actions to try to address our space issues. Hudson would be a much better place if we all cared and volunteered about Hudson half as much as Mr. Johnson. I think your biggest fear is that our community will actually and finally address our space needs and none of your failed assumptions and accusations will stop it.
Concerned Citizen #1 February 11, 2013 at 05:56 PM
...and Kunz is handpicked by the St. Croix Republican party and Hudson city council... that statement has as much truth as the one made previously in this forum, "This superintendent, with the aid of the Rotary Club, has hand-picked Johnson and Hanson to replace Kiasersatt and German" This message brought to you by "fiscal responsibility"
Truthometer February 12, 2013 at 05:53 AM
If you want to know whether or not Johnson and Hanson were asked to run for the school board by Mary The Superintendent, just ask them. They should tell you the truth.
Vested Interest February 12, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Now Dratsum - please don't try to lull us down that rat hole. Even you know better than that. How appropriate is it for a public official to lobby for their direct boss? I guess it's okay if you don't know the meaning of cronyism.
Truthometer February 18, 2013 at 05:55 PM
CG, Do you really believe it's okay for Mary to recruit people who are eventually going to be voting on her salary, contract, performance, programs she initiates, programs she dislikes, and I could go on and on. That's like me having a voice in who my company hires as my boss. Oh, yes, yes, hire that person, he'll agree with me and he'll like me and he'll give me what I want. He'll be a sheeple for me. I would encourage anyone questioning whether or not Mary really recruited Johnson and Hanson, just call them and ask them. They are both listed in the phone. They will tell you that yes, they were both asked by Mary to run for the board and become her boss. How Cozy Is That? Both are probably very nice people. But a vote for either of them is a vote for Mary's status quo.
Truthometer February 18, 2013 at 05:56 PM
That's phone book, for those who would jump all over me for missing a word.


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