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Archive for the ‘election’ Category

Taylor’s Platform Reported in Salado Village Voice


The Salado Village Voice gives each of the candidates in the three local elections…Village Alderman (restricted to only those within the official Village limits and not including me), School District (a much wider district) and Library Board (mirroring the school district board map.) In other words, you have to care about the school board and/or library board to even show up. Anyway, I digress. The point of this posting is to share with you the comments I wrote in response to the questions posed by the Village Voice. I was limited to 100 words and it was one of the toughest writing assignments I’ve ever tackled, primarily because I think that these are the wrong questions to ask.

None of these questions give the candidates an opportunity to share their values or decision-making strategies. These questions do not tell us why someone is qualified to be on the board. (Unless you think that one who checks out lots of books MUST know how to run a library.)

None of these questions challenge potential board members to articulate a vision for the future and a strategy for addressing the growing challenges that rural libraries face and the amazing opportunities technology can bring (under the trusted mantle of the library) to our remote regions.

None of these questions ask us to describe our strategy for keeping our citizens apprised of the encroachment of land-grabbing towns and how to effectively embrace the growing population of rural dwellers/city workers.

None of these questions talk about funding strategies, sustainability, innovative programming, future growth, economic development, growing tourism, sense of place, civic initiatives, etc.

None of these questions provided a means for me to paint the grand and glorious landscapes that I believe can be the picture of our library. None of these questions asked me to share the 14 points so eloquently stated by the Project for Public Spaces that I shared in an earlier blog.

No, these questions did not do any of the things I hoped they would…things that could provide our voters with good decision-making information about how to best exercise their democracy. But at least I learned (I think) how to take the wrong question and turn it into the right question with limited verbage.

Does that make me the worst kind of politician or is that a positive thing to do?

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Forum Introduces Candidates

On April 12, the Salado Chamber of Commerce provided an opportunity for the candidates for Village Aldermen, Salado Independent School District and Salado Library Board to make short statements and take comments from the public. Here’s the report of my speech by the Salado Village Voice with minor clarifications and additional information in parenthesis and italics:

Taylor Willingham
Taylor Willingham said that she is running for the Library board because she wanted to do something that would have a long and lasting impression in her own community.

“I have the skill, talent and expertise to put me in the position to contribute to the causes of the library,” she said.

She is a member of the Texas State Library (I was a consultant to the Texas State Library and am a member of the American Library Association), has worked on public television programming for Bill Moyers and is (was) the treasurer of the National Literacy Coalition. (I was also an ALA presidential appointee and founding member of the American Library Association’s Committee on Literacy and a mayoral appointee to the Fremont Library Advisory Commission.)

Willingham serves on the Salado Education Foundation board and is active in literacy programs around the state and nation.

The library, she says, is vital to a community. It is a place people can go to “feel connected to others.”

“At the library, you can see a single mother go on-line to pursue a degree while her child does homework next to her or reads in the children’s section,” she said, adding that the library gives opportunities for people to expand their knowledge and expertise.

Willingham is a professor of library sciences. “I spend a lot of time thinking of the library of the future and how it will continue to be an important part of the community,” she said.

Willingham said that because she believes that “An informed citizenry is the most important prerequisite for a democracy to function,” she will, if elected, “have a passion that I will bring to the position.”

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Two Amusing Stories About My Bid For Fame

How’s that for a title? I’m not really bidding for fame, but if I were, then these stories that take me down a notch would be even funnier.

First, I was invited to participate in the Salado Public Library’s Local Author night. I’d never pitched myself as an author even though I’ve written numerous articles (See my vitae) and five book chapters which, as I said in another blog post:

If the chapters had ANYTHING in common, I could put them together and have a whole book to myself, but I’ve never had the attention span required to publish a full book.

The other reason I would not have pitched myself as an author is that I’m not really sure who would be interested in reading what I’ve written! But my dad threw my hat into the ring so there I was for an evening of cheese and punch with eighteen other local authors. (There is SOME talent in this town!) Mom introduced me to a woman named Nell who remembered reading all about me in the newspaper recently when they announced my civic entrepreneurship fellowship. Oh, she just couldn’t say enough about how smart I am. “Yes,” she said, “You must be smart because I don’t understand a thing you do or say!”

DOWN A NOTCH!

Earlier tonight my mother called to tell me that someone who heard me speak at the candidate’s forum last week not only commended my speech, but also said that everyone he talked to felt the same admiration for my qualifications.

This is where mom should have said, “Thank you and I do hope you will vote for her and tell your other friends.” But she wanted to pave the way for a soft landing in case I am not elected so she said, “Well, she is talented, but may not be as well known as the others…still…I’m sure she’ll be an asset even if (emphasis ALL mine!) she is not elected.” (Now I know why you pay handlers to keep your staff and family “on message!”)

After little contemplation, he countered (hopefully not TOO enthusiastically), “Well, if she’s not elected, then perhaps she’ll serve on the Cemetery Board!”

DOWN ANOTHER NOTCH!

Not a criticism of the cemetery board. That’s probably an interesting – and quiet – board. After all, this is an historic community and most of the stakeholders don’t complain much. But I worry about campaign slogan that goes something like this:

“Don’t elect her, she’ll do the job anyway AND still have time to serve on your board!”

So my reputation thus far is:

  • We don’t understand what she does so she must be smart.
  • Even if she’s not elected, we still love her.

Hmmm, I guess I can live with that, after all.

UP A DOZEN NOTCHES!

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A Correction…Already!

In my last post, I noted that I was the only challenger because the most recent edition of our weekly newspaper only listed the two incumbents with me as the sole challenger. Apparently, the paper left out the name of the other challenger who had been listed in previous editions. I know this because the notification of “order of listing on the ballot” just came out and sure enough, there are four names listed. So, my apologies for not mentioning the other “challenger” in my last blog. I was only going by what my paper said…which just goes to show you that we STILL (perhaps even more) need librarians for information. We know the best intentioned newspapers make mistakes, but a librarian would hunt out information like a hungry bloodhound but wouldn’t pounce on it without verifying the primary source or evaluating its credibility.

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The Campaign Begins

This is the first time in four years that there will be an election for the library board of trustees. During the last election, only the two incumbents ran for the two available positions so there was no election. As the only non-incumbent in this race, I need to let people know:

  • my platform,
  • my qualifications,
  • my vision,
  • my NAME!

That’s how I’ll use this space over the next couple of months. I’ll also be meeting and greeting and distributing my cards around town. They aren’t anything fancy, but they are a start. The back has a few of my qualifications. The Curriculum Vitae on this site has more information than you could ever want, but it is a necessary document in academia!


Front

Back

If you’d like to help distribute cards, let me know!

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Important Dates and Events
In Salado Village 2007 Elections

[NOTE: The following information was printed in the Salado Village Voice, Vol. XXIX, Number 45, March 22, 2007.]

April 12: Candidates Forum, Salado Civic Center 7:00 p.m.

I will have 5-7 minutes to state my platform and will accept questions from the participants.

April 19, April 26, May 3, and May 10: Salado Village Voice Publication of candidate responses

Each election, the Salado Village Voice publishes the candidates responses to questions. Readers may submit possible questions to news@saladovillagevoice.com.

April 12: Last date to register to vote

You may pick up a registration application at any Bell County full service locations, area libraries (map to: Salado Public Library), Department of Public Safety and Texas Department of Human Services offices. You may also request a voter application by e-mail. Here are instructions for completing the voter registration form.

April 30: Early voting begins at the Salado Civic Center

Early voting will be open weekdays 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. except extended days.
LAST DAY TO VOTE BY MAIL. Applications to vote-by-mail can be sent to Salado, ISD, Attn: Lyydal Cabaniss, PO Box 98, Salado TX 76571. For more information, call 254.947.5479.

May 1 and May 8: Extended days for early voting

Early voting will be open at the Salado Civic Center from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

May 12: ELECTION!!!

Vote at the Salado Civic Center

TO VOTE BY MAIL:
Send applications to:
Salado ISD
Attn: Lyndal Cabaniss
PO Box 98
Salado, TX 76571

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL:
254.047.5479

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