Frank Wanner

Although this letter is written to you, and the additional enclosure is directed at you, I’m far more interested in having the members of the DFT Executive Board and the Duluth School Board read them.
I wrote the enclosure shortly after Mark Myles announced his resignation and sent it to the Budgeteer as a guest column. The Budgeteer demurred, using as an excuse the fear of a libel suit. That was nonsense but the Budgeteer is not in the business of making enemies. Fortunately, the Duluth News Tribune is not so squeamish. It is only because of Mark’s intervention that I have withdrawn my column.
As a courtesy to Mark I showed it to him and the two of us had a long talk about the good of the District. Mark asked me what I hoped to accomplish and if I thought this column would serve my purposes. I don’t know. I’m certainly not afraid of the truth and while the column is just my opinion, it honestly represents my belief that you have become little more than an old fashioned, hard ass, union, game player with a chip on your shoulder. I don’t think you were always like that.
My intention over the course of the next year as Board Chair is to open up a dialogue between our respective Boards and talk seriously about the future of the Duluth Schools. I want both our Boards to know that I’m not eager to have either you or Mark be a part of the dialogue because I don’t want the two of you to drive our discussions. Besides that, my experience with you over the last two years has made me question the wisdom of trusting you. I doubt that any School Board member has worked harder than I have to keep in touch with you or kept contact in the face of stronger objections by the rest of the School Board. My reward has been to have you threaten me politically. Its the first such threat I’ve received in twenty years of politics.
I fully understand that implicit in my relations with every resident of Duluth is the threat that they might vote against me or even work against me. But Frank, the cold blooded smile on your face when you threatened me gives me pause. I have to ask myself, "How can I trust Frank?" "Will Frank simply view future meetings as a opportunity to make good on his threat?" While I’m mulling over the answers to these questions I’ll will direct my attention to the other members of the DFT Executive Board. I know the teachers in the District would want me too.

Harry Welty

cc DFT Executive Board
Duluth School Board