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Editorial: A clear message in District 192

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opinion Farmington, 55024

Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

There was no mistaking the will of District 192 voters on Tuesday. After a summer in which parents complained about staffing decisions and a campaign in which candidates raised questions about where the district spends its money, voters opted for a complete change on the Farmington School Board.

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Tera Lee, who was the most vocal critic of district staffing decisions over the summer, led the charge of newcomers in Tuesday's election. She will be joined on the board in January by Brian Treakle and Melissa Sauser.

Veronica Walter, the only incumbent on the ballot Tuesday, finished a distant fourth.

The message should be clear to district leaders: Residents are not happy with the way things are running, and they're looking for change.

Change in government is never as simple as putting new people in office. There is too much infrastructure to navigate for a board member to make a dramatic difference. But it's hard to argue too much with voters' decisions. Lee showed dedication with her campaign over the summer and Treakle and Sauser both attended a class last spring to find out about what goes into a being a board member. All three have been been in attendance regularly at board meetings.

That is not to say we think Walter deserved to go. In her two years on the board -- she completed the term vacated by Terry Donnelly -- she has proved to be a capable, thoughtful board member. She has asked good questions and she has done a good job running meetings since stepping in as board chair earlier this fall.

As Walter said during the campaign, it would have been nice to give her a full term to get her feet under her.

Voters, however, wanted something new.

It remains to be seen what these results mean for the district as a whole. All three candidates have called for a closer look at how the district spends its money, and while they will soon learn that the reality of making budget decisions is very different than the world of campaign ideas, these results should mean they will get it.

The district should have no doubt now that is what residents want.

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