Friday, February 17, 2017

Christine and me

I once gave Christine O’Connor some free campaign advice. Nothing major, mind you, just a couple of lines she could use at candidate forums. On a scale of life-regrets, this equates to roughly a stubbed toe.  Looking back, I wish I had avoided it.

It was September 2014 and, from a communications perspective, she was busy underwhelming the crowd at every candidate event she attended.  Frankly, her over-reliance on platitudinous remarks annoyed me. I felt compelled to try to help her up her game, if only a little.   So I sent her an email which included the following:

“Relate it all back to a larger, future-oriented vision:

‘I know that the school operating budget is no mere ledger of data points, it is a statement about our values and about how best to educate our children.  I know what they need in the classroom and I will work to ensure that they have the tools they need to learn and grow and that, at the moment they turn the tassels on their graduation caps, they will be ready for college or the workforce.’"

I thought it would work with her voice, accessible…folksy even.  Sure enough, she used some version of that line shortly thereafter.

Flash forward to early 2017, and we see less of a "values” and “vision” focus.  Now, apparently, Ms. O’Connor has other concerns top-of-mind.  In a communication with the ironically monikered Howard County Hate Watch, she writes, “We need to get more about Christina.  What can I do?”

Nice “growth.” 

Suffice to say, she will be receiving no further counsel from these quarters.  Scratch that. I will offer up one more piece of advice: she should not run for re-election.  If we have seen her apogee, that just isn’t good enough for Howard County.  Public service isn’t for everyone…some folks just don’t have the “tools they need to learn and grow.”


Stay tuned, as more will follow.

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