Despite a stacked deck against Skowhegan keeping its Indians nickname, those in favor still prevailed. Those School Board members who voted to eliminate the nickname did not go unnoticed: Jane Arthur, Elizabeth Anderson, Karyn Curran, Noella Despres, Peggy Lovejoy, Tim Downing, Mary Ellen Charles and Theresa Howard. Arthur, Anderson, Despres, Downing, and Howard all have terms ending this year and may seek re-election.

Also, it did not go unnoticed that some school board members actually pushed for a decision-making process that unfairly disadvantaged one side in order to further their own personal support for the other side.

No matter which side residents’ support, we can’t have board members rigging the decision-making process. There must be some regard for fair play.

Those members gave one side an exclusive two-hour uninterrupted forum where they presented their demands in a cohesive comprehensive way, followed by weeks of local TV broadcasts of that one-sided presentation. Then another forum was held during which the other side finally got its first shot at explaining their views to the board and public, but could do so only in two-minute statements, while the other side got another shot at presenting its views

Jane Arthur made her prepared motion to eliminate the nickname, maybe because she believed that with the stacked odds, she had the votes to eliminate the nickname. Luckily, that wasn’t the case.

Before the vote, Arthur, along with a couple of other school board members, urged that the decision of the Board be respected.

I would ask her and the other change-the-name supporters to actually respect the decision by not advocating or suggesting that this community-dividing issue be repeated again.

Michael Turner


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