Update (16-April) to CEEDS dialog concerning the survey deadline
I sent Martin McConahay, apparently the coordinator of CEEDS, the following message:
“Hello Martin. I have responded to the CEEDs survey request on my website (see below link). Please let me know if there are any specific topics I can add to the Q&A section. Thanks!”
He responded with the following:
“Submission format is specified in survey instructions until specified deadline. There are 41 questions awaiting your response. You still time to choose transparency, instead of or in addition to misrepresentation and strawman and ad hominen fallacies.”
Well... I do choose transparency. So, let’s first understand the remaining bits of his statement.
Misrepresentation: “an intentionally … false representation made verbally, by conduct, or sometimes by nondisclosure or concealment and often for the purpose of deceiving, defrauding, or causing another to rely on it detrimentally”
Strawman: “a weak or imaginary opposition (such as an argument or adversary) set up only to be easily confuted” or “a person set up to serve as a cover for a usually questionable transaction”
Ad hominin fallacies: Rough Latin translation is “faulty attack to the person.”
So, I’m not going to spend much time with this. Because I’m completely transparent, my response to CEEDS was and is completely public. I absolutely did not conceal, deceive, defraud (honestly, I’m not even sure what information I could use to behave like this). Nor did I create an imaginary opposition when directly quoting text from CEEDS posts. Lastly, I did not intend to attack anyone – I simply am choosing to answer questions on my public website.
I know some people enjoy creating shock, division, and offensive dialog – just a few minutes browsing any internet comments will illustrate this. Honestly, I hope this is not Martin's intention. Frankly, and perhaps naively, I’m curious to know what drives such a response from Martin. I hope at some point he will sit down with me and help me understand.
Our campaign is based on kindness, thoughtfulness and promoting The Arts and Technology. My intention is not to trash-talk any person or group, rather I’m insuring we address concerns about transparency in a constructive forum.
Response regarding the Citizens for Excellent Education in Dripping Springs (CEEDS).
Yesterday (10-April) I received an email sent to all 2021 DSISD School Board Candidates requesting us to participate in a survey. The CEEDS group intends to evaluate and publish a report of our values and positions. I’ve responded to the surveys of several organizations already and published the Q&A on my website. But the wording of the CEEDS email was quite different. As an example:
“Those announcements will first be publicly announced…to our nearly 2,000 subscriber email list.…be aware that should you choose to not respond to our survey…we will assign you a ‘Fail’ rating for Transparency and an ‘Incomplete’ rating for Accountability and Fiscal Responsibility.”
I spent some time researching CEEDS by reading their Web and Facebook pages. The CEEDS page seems to be a collection of crafted rants exuding negativity with little helpful background on issues. As a newcomer to the topics mentioned by CEEDS, I need much more background if I am to help resolve these substantial grievances. However, I can’t make sense out of the CEEDS content.
For example, there is a 1068-word post criticizing the delay in the recent Attendance Zone Committee report – even though it was delayed because new important information was just received. The entire CEEDS post has many statements presented with a lot of outrage - including direct attacks on Shannon O’Connor - but the overall message is unclear. Does the CEEDS author believe new demographic information should have been ignored in the Attendance Zone report?
In one of the subsequent comments, the author says: “If you are curious about where the current senior Admin and School Board's priorities lie, just look at their actions!” As the new guy, I’m curious about this. Does the author believe the current board’s priorities are not about creating a healthy learning environment for our children? This would obviously be of critical concern – but I do not get this impression in my recent meetings with the current board members.
Lastly, another unrelated CEEDS post reads:
“Due to icy roads and winter weather conditions…DSISD students, parents, and teachers continue to await DSISD decision-makers' announcement on the status of tomorrow's school day, apparently due to those DSISD officials' indecisiveness, dithering, and delay!”
This post really jumps out to me as a low blow. The entire region was crippled; many people had no electricity, water, or connectivity. Sure, there are many questions about infrastructure resiliency we should address, but attacking the DSISD seems deliberately negative and unreasonable.
In conclusion, I have been forthcoming and transparent about my background, experience, and priorities on my website. My site is open to all, and I have never asked for donations or been related in any way with ads or action committees. My strategy is to work positively with the community – as opposed to creating divisiveness through negativity.
Therefore, I will not submit responses to a forum that seems to drive a negative and targeted agenda. If any voter would like for me to address any specific topic not already covered in my Q&A section, please let me know and I’ll add it. Thanks!