Loren Martell

Content By This Contributor:

Thu. Apr. 6th, 2017

Oh, the negativity

by Loren Martell

The only thing I would add is: this potentially fatal wound to Denfeld High was pointed out to the ruling members of the Board TEN YEARS ago, during the genesis of the Red Plan, and they still blindly and bullheadedly insisted on hewning our town into two--one side of “haves,” one side of “have-nots.”

Thu. Mar. 23rd, 2017

Will We Maintain?

by Loren Martell

Here’s the thing about maintenance: it doesn’t go away. Maintenance work deferred still has to be addressed down the road, and the longer it is deferred, almost invariably, the more expensive it gets.

Thu. Mar. 16th, 2017

The Drama District

by Loren Martell

Member Loeffler-Kemp also condemned what she called “disparaging remarks about individuals,” prompting member Johnston to say: “Despairing remarks? This Board?” He pointed out that “despairing remarks” had consumed the Board for two years.

Thu. Jan. 26th, 2017

Vile Words

by Loren Martell

Never underestimate our Board or the complexity of contemporary society, however: the discussion over “wellness” did create a bit of a food fight over what snacks kids should be allowed to take to school to share with classmates

Wed. Dec. 7th, 2016

Super Evaluation

Loren Martell

His biggest failure was not establishing a good working relationship with the full Board. Unwisely, he actually helped to inflict great damage onto the district by getting involved in an attempt to purge a voice from the Board

Wed. Nov. 30th, 2016

Gallows Humor

Loren Martell

I almost hate to rain on his parade, but the chances of the DFL-endorsed Board majority members suspending policy to sell to Many Rivers Montessori appear about equivalent to Donald Trump naming Hillary Clinton as his Healthcare Tsar.

Wed. Jun. 29th, 2016

If We Had a Time Machine

Loren Martell

“Someone who’s been very interested in our bonding for the last ten years, a former banker, told me that I may not have fully understood what exactly has been going on here. I’m beginning to fear we may be taking $85 million of debt and replacing it

Wed. Jun. 22nd, 2016

That’s the Price

Loren Martell

It doesn’t matter what kind of scheme number-hustlers come up with, the Board is the governing body. The Board is the responsible entity; nothing can proceed without the Board signing off. All responsibility for the fiasco called the Red Plan

Wed. Jun. 15th, 2016

If You Give Them an Inch…

Loren Martell

The three non-DFL minority Board members were surprised to learn there was a cash box–aka, a contingency fund. “Since I’ve been on the Board, I’ve never even heard of a contingency fund in the budget.” Member Johnston expressed, with a note of dismay

Thu. May. 12th, 2016

The Red Wall

Loren Martell

The wisest words of the evening were: “large groups of people are smarter than an elite few.”

Thu. Apr. 7th, 2016

Central Issue

Loren Martell

“The fear is real that Edison would become so successful at the Central High School site that eventually ALL students would want to go there, leaving ISD 709 with no high schools.”

Thu. Feb. 25th, 2016

Falling Off the Cliff

Loren Martell

Superintendent Gronseth again expressed the district’s spin this way, to the gullible paper of record: “Expenses have finally caught up with us, and we knew they would, because our increases haven’t kept up with the percentage increase of expenses.”

Thu. Feb. 11th, 2016

Let’s Keep It Positive!

Loren Martell

Most school boards have Policy Committees and the board of ISD 709 desperately needs one. One of the primary problems causing all the boardroom dysfunction for years has been the slipshod application of policy.

Wed. Dec. 30th, 2015

Pearl Was Right

Loren Martell

I know the happy talkers of this town want to believe otherwise, but you can’t have every promise made in the selling of a half billion dollar capital project go south, and then just blithely declare it “over.”

Wed. Dec. 16th, 2015

Pearl Was Right

Loren Martell

Some board members want to have a real discussion about what state the Red Plan has left the district in. They are convinced that no real solution can be found without an honest and open assessment of the problem.

Thu. Aug. 20th, 2015

Have We Learned Anything?

Loren Martell

The mainstream media had been in the boardroom all along of course, acting sort of like a baseball play-by-play guy blandly covering the sinking of the Titanic: “The ship seems to be listing a bit, Joe. I wonder if it’ll affect Johnston’s swing?”

Thu. Jul. 23rd, 2015

One Sale, No Profit

Loren Martell

The Board is going to hit us again with its non-voter approved alternative facilities taxing authority next December. Other Red Plan projects left undone in this half billion dollar project

Thu. Jul. 9th, 2015

No Sale for Central

Loren Martell

“It is disappointing, BUT it (was really smart and) good we didn’t include (the money) in our budget. And selling it in parcels might end up being BETTER!” Free ice cream will be offered with every parcel.

Wed. Jun. 24th, 2015

Points of Friction

Loren Martell

It wouldn’t have surprised me to find a blackboard set up behind the Board dais, and Chair Seliga-Punkyo forcing the two censured bad boys to do some public punishment before the meeting began.