(March 27, 2002) -- Community College Board Trustee Darwin Thorpe has angered LB's Government Gods. Now they want his head on a platter.
Trustee Thorpe's heresy was to support taxpayers, instead of officialdom. He opposed the March, 2002 machine style property tax increase ballot measure Prop E on the thoughtful ground that it lacked the kind of serious discussion beforehand that one would expect if LBCC meant to do more than fatten its budgets.
Trustee Thorpe deserves an award for his dissent. Homeowners can thank him, and protect their own interests as taxpayers, by making sure Mr. Thorpe remains on the Community College Board in the April 9 election.
Prop E showed everything that is wrong with LB area politics. The other Board incumbents rushed it onto the March 2002 primary ballot, a low voter turnout election in which special interests could vote en masse and pass the tax.
Slick Prop E mailings then promised voters new LBCC construction but never mentioned the word "tax" even though the measure will saddle home owners with higher property taxes for roughly thirty years.
Sure enough, only roughly 20% of registered voters voted in the March, 2002 election (a fact not mentioned in some other LB area news accounts which reported that roughly 2/3 of "those voting" supported the measure.)
That's not the way we want government to run. Trustee Thorpe deserves your vote for trying to stop it.
His opponent, former LB Councilman Jeff Kellogg, is a good man and under other circumstances we'd gladly endorse him. While on the Council, he stood up to city management when necessary, did the right thing on public safety when others didn't and would have made an excellent Mayor (Bill Pearl, now LBReport.com publisher, supported Kellogg for Mayor in 1994).
But Mr. Kellogg supported Prop E and we think what the Board did on Prop E was wrong and Thorpe was right.
By going where the truth leads, Trustee Thorpe has stepped on some big toes. If there are any "here's mud in your eye" ad homimen (personal) attacks on him in the coming days, remember that personal attacks (instead of criticizing one's vote or position on the merits) inevitably show the attacker is shooting blanks and has no grounds on the merits.
We urge a vote for Trustee Thorpe -- T for protecting taxpayers -- on April 9.