2023 Municipal Letters to the Editor
There is so little information available about these races that I thought I would include Letters to the Editor about them in case that helps you make your decision. Contact me if you see one I missed.
BEWARE the SO-CALLED "CONSERVATIVES
BEWARE the so called “CONSERVATIVES”. I recently saw an ad in a local newspaper for three Caldwell School Board trustees who labeled themselves “Conservatives”. The latest “Conservatives” I know of that were elected as School Board trustees were two in the West Bonner School District. The results were disastrous. One third of the budget was cut, teachers left, parents had to take their children to other schools to continue their education and they tried to hire an unqualified superintendent. Two of the “Conservative” trustees were subsequently recalled. “the take over of the school district is an example of what can happen when parents and voters do not pay close enough attention” said the chairwoman of Recall Replace Rebuild for the West Bonner School District. Do not let this happen to the Caldwell School District. Investigate what the candidates plan for the Caldwell School District. Get educated on the happenings of the Caldwell School District. Then get out and VOTE!!!!
TRAVIS MANNING for CALDWELL SCHOOL BOARD and MIKE Dittenber for CALDWELL CITY COUNCIL
In a famous 1822 letter supporting public education, James Madison said, “knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives.” What a beautiful statement about responsible citizenship, public education, and democracy. In the spirit of such Madisonian sentiments I endorse two local candidates this election cycle: Travis Manning for Caldwell School Board and Mike Dittenber for Caldwell City Council. Both men possess the experience and personal integrity to serve our community’s needs. They will not serve in “ignorance.” Manning is long experienced in public education leadership and Dittenber’s record as a servant of the Caldwell community is unparalleled. Caldwell is blessed by what these two men do for our community already and we need their measured leadership. The only people I would vote over them are their spouses, but neither Ann or Tammy are running! Free citizens have a responsibility to place the “wise and the honest” in office; otherwise the “people mourn” when ruled by less. Vote Manning, Dittenber.
Billie Farley, Caldwell, 10/29/2023, Idaho Press
The CALDWELL SCHOOL DISTRICT INCUMBENTS, TRAVIS MANNING, MANUEL GODINA, and ANDREW BUTLER, are NON-PARTISAN, DEDICATED, COMMUNITY-MINDED SERVANTS
Members of a local school boards are non-partisan volunteers, rooted in their communities and neighborhoods. School board members are dedicated to students and teachers first, working with administrators to provide for the needs of their students, parents, and patrons while being careful conservators of taxpayer monies. Political agendas are not a part of their jobs. The Caldwell School District No. 132 incumbents, Travis Manning, Manuel Godina, and Andrew Butler, are all non-partisan, dedicated, community-minded servants of the PUBLIC schools of Caldwell. They are focused on a quality education for every student, no matter their background, economic status, or ethnicity. The patrons of the Caldwell School District do not need shrills of the Idaho Freedom Foundation nor Moms for Liberty. None of the challengers facing these incumbents seem to want what is best for students. They wish to impose an ideological agenda on our students. In fact, one underlying goal for each of the challengers is to privatize our PUBLIC schools. Please vote to support our PUBLIC schools. Vote for Manning, Godina, and Butler.
Penny Neely, Caldwell, 10/24/2023, Idaho Press
VOTE MANUEL GODINA, TRAVIS MANNING AND ANDREW BUTLER for CALDWELL SCHOOL BOARD and ALLOW THEM TO CONTINUE THEIR GOOD WORKS FOR CALDWELL'S KIDS
Support for Public Education is the litmus test for School Board Trustees. Manuel Godina, Travis Manning, and Andrew Butler have passed this test by their years of dedicated service as Trustees on the Caldwell School Board and by entrusting their children to the Caldwell School District. Due to their efforts the District has expanded Advanced Placement classes, Vocational/Technical offerings, and Summer School opportunities. For the youngest students, full day Kindergarten is now available at no cost and pre-school is available through community partnerships. Reading scores on the Idaho Standard Achievement Text increased by over 20% during the 2021-22 school year. Amazing, even without the Covid disruption. Thanks Manny, Travis, and Andrew for these accomplishments and many more.Trustees need to bring a variety of backgrounds and experiences to the body, to represent the various backgrounds and experiences of the community. Manny, Travis, and Andrew provide this diversity while wholeheartedly supporting Public Education. Vote Manuel Godina, Travis Manning and Andrew Butler for Caldwell School Board and allow them to continue their good works for Caldwell’s kids.
Dr. Melyssa Ferro, Caldwell, 10/17/2023, Idaho Press
SUPPORT EXPERIENCED and COMPASSIONATE LEADERS BY RE-ELECTING MANNING, BUTLER, and GODINA
Education is often political, as the voters of our state influence decisions for Idaho classrooms, but it should never be partisan. Regardless of some candidates' views for the Caldwell School Board, this election transcends political affiliations. It's about selecting representatives who prioritize the best interests of all Caldwell students. When a candidate vows to sacrifice billions in district financial support to deny equal rights and protections to some students, it's concerning. Likewise, when a candidate aims to strip educators of their professional judgment in supporting their students, it's troubling. As a veteran, award-winning educator, parent, and district alumnus, I implore you to thoroughly understand these candidates and their positions before voting. I encourage you to support experienced and compassionate leaders by re-electing Manning, Butler, and Godina to the Caldwell School Board. Your vote can shape the future of our district.
Julie Warwick, Caldwell, 10/17/2023, Idaho Press
VOTE FOR MIKE DITTENBER on NOVEMBER 7th
I am writing in support of Mike Dittenber for Caldwell City Council Seat 6. I have known Mike for several years and have always appreciated that he takes the time to attend every city council meeting and many urban renewal meetings. He has taken the Caldwell Housing Authority from just managing properties to filling it's entire statutory authority to the city to better communities which has resulted in saving the taxpayers of Caldwell millions of dollars. He was instrumental in separating the housing authority from federal governance resulting in local oversight so that no federal regulations dictate its management. This has allowed him to focus on Caldwell's need for low income housing. He has found creative solutions to problems at CHA which have led to both eliminating slum and blight and eradicating the gang problem at Farmway Village.
Mike has also developed a very talented crew at CHA that performs work for the city while also being a training ground for young entrants into the work force. They have replaced the boards in both pedestrian bridges over Indian Creek and have skills in asbestos remediation and concrete work.
Mike loves Caldwell and is easily the best person to fill Caldwell City Council Seat 6. Vote for Mike Dittenber on November 7th!
Jim Runsvold, Caldwell, 10/15/2023, Idaho Press
RE-ELECT THE INCUMBENT BOARD MEMBERS, GODINA, MANNING, and BUTLER
It’s odd that the three self-described “conservatives” running for the Caldwell School Board (Horrell, Trakel, and Hyland) wish to fire the Superintendent and buy-out her contract. I thought “conservatives” were more careful with taxpayers’ dollars.
And what would be gained?
Maybe they could hire that guy from West Bonner School District, who needs a job.That would go good with their intent to remake the Caldwell schools in their own image, including purging the libraries. (Note that Mrs.Trakel is “proudly endorsed by Moms for America,” the culture warriors notably busy in Florida.)
Re-elect the incumbent board members, Godina, Manning, and Butler.
They’re doing a good job with what they have to work with.
Tom Newton, Caldwell, 10/15/2023, Idaho Press
VOTE TO RE-ELECT THE CURRENT NON-PARTISAN CALDWELL SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS
Why on earth would we vote for 3 partisans now collectively pushing to bring only their political agenda onto a fully functioning Caldwell School Board? Have they spent years attending local school board meetings, becoming familiar with the facilities, staff, and student needs, let alone with the needs of the community of Caldwell itself. Do they believe in a free public education as enshrined in Idaho’s constitution? I don’t believe so. Remember months ago when Senator Trakel’s unruly conduct forced a shutdown of a school board meeting because he wouldn’t even follow the rules of addressing the board! Look how devastating that kind of misconduct has been to the West Bonner School District and the North Idaho Community College and student bodies! It will take years to repair the damages done to those communities by political hacks elected to school boards.
Vote to re-elect the current non-partisan school board members, who bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a positive attitude to the present board. Thank you for supporting Caldwell from the ground up!
Patricia Moylan, Caldwell, 10/8/2023, Idaho Press
I am writing to express my strong support for incumbent Travis Manning in the upcoming Caldwell School Board election. Having closely followed the developments in our school district and the performance of its board members, I firmly believe that Travis Manning is the right choice to continue serving on the Caldwell School Board.
Travis brings a wealth of education and experience to the table. His dedication to improving our schools and commitment to providing a quality education for every student is evident through his track record of accomplishments during his time on the board.
One of the qualities that sets Travis apart is his balanced and moderate approach to governance. In a time when extreme viewpoints seem to dominate public discourse, Travis has consistently shown himself to be a rational, thoughtful leader.
I urge my fellow community members to cast their votes in support of Travis Manning for the Caldwell School Board.
Steven Shake, Caldwell, 10/1/2023, Idaho Press
VOTE TO KEEP CHAOS OUT OF CALDWELL SCHOOLS
Caldwell School District patrons only need to look at the West Bonner School District in north Idaho to see how three far right, IFF backed, anti public education school board trustees have split a community, crippled its student's education and created legal and financial chaos for district patrons. This same ugly scenario could happen in the Caldwell District. There are three trustee seats on the school board up for election on November 7 in Zones 2, 3 and 4. Far right, anti public schools candidates are already on the ballot in all three Caldwell zones. Caldwell doesn't need board trustees with negative personal, political or anti public schools agendas. Caldwell needs positive trustees focused on student achievement and providing a quality education for ALL Caldwell students. On November 7, Caldwell patrons need to vote to reelect board trustees Manuel Godina in Zone 2, Travis Manning in Zone 3 and Andrew Butler in Zone 4 to make sure the Caldwell District won't become the next West Bonner "far right chaos" District in Idaho. VOTE NOVEMBER 7.
Phares Book, Caldwell, 10/1/2023, Idaho Press
CALDWELL CANDIDATE IS LIFELONG EDUCATOR
Do you want a thorough, safe, free, equitable education for all Idaho Students in Caldwell School District Zone 3? If so, Travis Manning is the person for the job of School Board Member. He is a steadfast protector of the common good. He is a lifelong educator who cares about the intelligence of the population. He is not dissuaded by popular trends--the banning of books, the deconstruction of public education, or the disparagement of vulnerable groups. In fact, he is the opposite. He values diversity. He respects and trusts parents and has high expectations for each child. He believes learning is for us all and maintains an environment in which civil discourse will flourish. His laser focus will be on educating your child to become a participating, informed member of the citizenry. Education is freedom. Vote for Travis Manning for Caldwell School Board Zone 3 in November.
Nampa, 9/19/2023, Idaho Press
ENDORSEMENT: MIKE DITTENBER FOR CALDWELL COUNCIL
Caldwell needs Mike Dittenber on City Council. Mike isn’t a braggart, doesn’t wear his personal preferences on his sleeve, and he isn’t a mud slinger. Mike IS a get it done steward of the public trust. He works tirelessly to be prepared, and ensure his contribution to collaborative endeavors is of value. He is a man who looks for the greater community good. We support Mike and will be giving him our vote for Seat 6.
9/19/2023, Idaho Press
ENDORSEMENT: MIKE DITTENBER FOR CALDWELL COUNCIL
Please join me in supporting Mike Dittenber for Caldwell City Council. I have had the pleasure of working with Mike when I was on the City Council. He has made an amazing impact at the Caldwell Housing Authority and is always looking for ways to improve life for the residents there. He is very knowledgeable about budgets, and can definitely hit the ground running as a councilman.
He has been instrumental in the program he implemented buying blighted properties in our north end and rebuilding new homes to help rehabilitate this part of town. This gentleman would be an amazing addition to our council, and I strongly support him in this endeavor.
8/27/2023, Idaho Press
CALDWELL SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION NOV. 7
Very important Caldwell School Board elections will be held on November 7th. The current board members’ actions appeared to be ignorant and evil when they proposed Policy 3281 to be implemented into the Caldwell school system. This policy, as you know, would allow ‘so-called’ transgenders to have access to bathrooms, locker rooms and dressing rooms with children of the opposite sex. These board trustees tried to sneak this policy onto their agenda last December 12th when parents were preparing for Christmas. Parents, please stand up, protect your children and vote these apparently agenda driven people off the board. It’s time to elect good Christian, family-oriented individuals to get our schools back to their purpose of educating our kids and supporting out community’s values. The days of passive parenting are over! If you don’t protect your children, who will? And if not now, when? Please vote for Nicole Trakel Zone 3 and Nicole Hyland Zone 4 on November 7th!