Vote for Parker, Belinski and Kole for Aspen School Board | AspenTimes.com

Vote for Parker, Belinski and Kole for Aspen School Board

The good news is that we don’t think voters can go seriously wrong in this year’s election for the Aspen School District board. All five candidates in the race would bring positive qualities to the board, but we’re recommending Elizabeth Parker, Charla Belinski and Andrew Kole.Parker, a mother of three, has already proved herself to be a smart, cautious and analytical citizen who is dedicated to education. This is her first campaign for elected office, but she has served on numerous boards and committees in the valley and the school district. She understands the mission of the public schools and the nuances of school finance. She is a very solid candidate.We like Charla Belinski’s optimism and enthusiasm about Aspen’s schools and believe she would make a sincere, hardworking school board member. Her background in parenting instruction (she, too, has three kids) and education make the school board a logical step for her, and we appreciate her emphasis on communication with the community. Stronger links between the district and the general public could have made the current debate about Aspen Middle School much less controversial.Our endorsement of Kole, a local television talk-show host, will surprise a few people. The Times has criticized Kole in the past, and we have reservations now – based mainly on what seems to be his perennial pursuit of public office and the fact that he talks too much. However, we do believe that, although he has no children in the school system, Kole cares about kids. He has volunteered as a coach both at the schools and in the recreation leagues; and he consistently invited young people onto his television show, giving their views the air they deserve.We also like Kole because he can provide a skeptical voice on a board that desperately needed one in the past. If he can stay focused on asking tough questions and moving the board ahead, then we think he can perform a real service to the district. If elected, however, he must remember that he’s one member of a five-person board with a huge responsibility.We applaud Ernie Fyrwald and Bob Langley for throwing their hats in the ring. Membership on the school board is a thankless and often difficult job. If elected, we have no doubt they would bring unique skills and experience to the board and serve the district well, but neither has made his reasons for running clear enough to gain our endorsement.Vote for Parker, Belinski and Kole on Nov. 1.