Crookston School District voters had the power on Election Day to add as many as three new members to the Crookston School Board in 2013, or as few as one new member. Voters chose the latter when they re-elected first-term incumbent board members Robin Brekken and Frank Fee, and elected Dave Davidson as the lone new board member.
In addition to Brekken and Fee seeking second terms, other candidates to file besides Davidson, a longtime high school English teacher who retired earlier this year, were Bob Altringer and William Enlow. Altringer was a board member until not seeking another term two years ago, and said he was encouraged by many to seek a return to the board.
The top three vote-getters were elected. Brekken led the way with 2,544 votes, followed closely by Fee and Davidson, with 2,440 and 2,326, respectively. Altringer was next with 1,946 votes, followed by Enlow with 692.
Davidson said he was both honored and humbled by Tuesday's results. "It's a little daunting when you see how many people actually vote, and you stop to think about the people who had the confidence in me to do this," Davidson told the Times via phone Wednesday. "Right now, I'm thinking that's just a great honor, but I'm also really starting to think about the work that lies ahead."
The work that Davidson thinks lies ahead was largely influenced, he said, by what transpired in the Minnesota Legislature on Election Day. Republican majorities in both the state House and Senate were erased after two years in power, giving DFL Gov. Mark Dayton DFL majorities in both chambers to work with. Davidson said it all adds up to an opportunity to seek increased public education funding from St. Paul.
"All of a sudden we have this DFL control, so it's time to start lobbying at the state level for more funding," Davidson said. "And I think that effort needs to come from school boards and citizens, not just unions. Whenever Education Minnesota (the state teachers' union) goes into lobby, everyone always thinks it's just to get more money for salaries, but I think it's time for all of us collectively to get in there and fight the good fight for the kids."
Attempts to reach Brekken and Fee for comment were unsuccessful.