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VDC 2023 School Board Applicants

Chair Michael F. Mirochna
Vice Chair Kathy DeWitt
Treasurer Niru Deveraj
Secretary Scott Sederstrom

It is amazing what can happen when people have faith and trust in a fair process. There were 14 Democrats who applied to be the 2023 City Council School Board Appointee, likely the most ever in VCS history.

Republican leadership on the City Council crushed that faith last night. They instead chose to appoint the pre-ordained good old boys club selection. Karl Cender, who just retired from the School Board, didn’t re-apply for his own seat and got a plaque commemorating his retirement, was re-appointed by Republicans last night (5-2, party line vote). It should say something when the Democratic appointee received no Democratic votes.

We had been excited by the willingness of so many qualified applicants to serve, many with children in the VCS school system. There were many new, fresh faces that took the risk to be interviewed in front of the City Council and face scrutiny from the public.

Why would anyone ever apply again with Republicans in charge? Save everyone, most importantly the candidates, the time, anxiety, preparation, hard work and paperwork of the dog and pony show just to make appearances.

This is a disgrace and shameful.

Mr. Cender owns a consulting company that does accounting work for government agencies, including many contracts with the City of Valparaiso and the RDC. We are still waiting for results of our FOIA request to see how many contracts Mr. Cender has with the City of Valparaiso. This is a huge conflict of interest.

We had a new generation of qualified candidates , all with school aged children, who were ready to serve the public good. They are skilled and prepared. But, we have a good old boys club hellbent on keeping control and recycling themselves in an awful game of musical chairs, where anyone else more qualified doesn’t ever get a chair.

Thank you to all other 13 candidates and especially the four who were interviewed twice through this sham. Watch the interviews yourself. The most inspiring and best answers were given by the four other candidates. At least we have proof of the dishonesty of the Republican majority on the City Council. For shame.

We need new leadership in City Hall and City Council, elected officials who govern honestly and transparently, not those who pretend in public but privately already have decided the outcome. The Democrats currently elected, as witnessed last night, and those seeking to join them in this fall’s City election, are ready to open the doors of government to its people and put Valpo First.