October 22, 2013

By Staff

Lisa Callan for school board seat

Issaquah School District voters are fortunate to have two excellent choices for school board director seat 4. Both Alison Meryweather and Lisa Callan applied for the vacancy last spring when Chad Magendanz resigned to serve in the state Legislature.

The school board members struggled with the appointment, first split evenly between the two women. Eventually, Meryweather got the appointment.

Meryweather does have more lobbying experience and her confidence and knowledge makes her a leader in that arena. But community comes first.

While Meryweather seems to have all the answers, we prefer a representative who is seeking solutions. That’s Lisa Callan’s strength, along with her listening skills. While she did not get the board’s appointment to the seat, she did not give up. She has spent the intervening months meeting with parents, teachers, community leaders and taxpayers, prompting conversations that will make her even more prepared for a role on the school board.

Callan did have an earlier misstep with her PDC reporting of campaign finances, but it’s a common mistake of first-time candidates and her reports are now up to date.

Callan is a proven hard-worker. She has no ego mixed in with her good intentions to continue quality education in a safe learning environment. Her business and technology background will serve the district well.


The Oct. 16 editorial regarding Eastside Fire & Rescue’s future was based on incorrect information. The EFR board vote was to take a new funding model back for discussion with each of the six partner agencies. We mistakenly understood the vote to be an endorsement of the plan by the board members, which it was not.

Sammamish is set to decide Nov. 12 on moving ahead with its own fire department outside the EFR consortium. While some information was incorrect, we stand by our hope that an agreement can be reached with Sammamish still being part of EFR.

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8 Responses to “Editorial”

  1. Janet Suppes on October 22nd, 2013 11:24 pm

    Yes, I filed a complaint against Ms. Callan for not following the clear reporting rules of the PDC. They aren’t complicated. A misstep?

    If Ms. Callan can’t maneuver the PDC, how is she to oversee the quarter billion dollar budget of the Issaquah School District?

    If she can’t hire a competent treasurer to help her navigate reporting rules, how will she be able to monitor the superintendent of a large, complex school district?

    I ask as an interested neighbor, who wants to see all of our districts stay financially sound. We all benefit from good management of our schools.

  2. Michelle K. Brode on October 24th, 2013 11:45 am

    Lisa Callan’s dedication to finding solutions, honoring community, and navigating complex situations with clarity and thoughtfulness are among the many reasons she is right for the Issaquah School Board.

    Mistakes happen. What is most compelling is how a candidate addresses those mistakes. I appreciate Lisa Callan’s willingness to address the issue in a forthright manner, to correct the errors, and to maintain transparency. I do indeed trust her to to raise the level of conversation in overseeing a quarter of a billion dollar budget. I do indeed trust her to be a thoughtful and productive part of the team which monitors the superintendent. And most importantly, I do indeed trust her to bring her head and her heart to guiding the future of my children’s education.

  3. Kelly Munn on October 24th, 2013 8:22 pm

    Lisa has a Seattle based campaign consultant who is helping her campaign. He has run hundreds of campaigns and knows the rules inside and out. He is working for free on the campaign because the democratic party is worried that Alison is so effective on the school board that she might be persuaded to run for a legislative position. And that she might even win.

    How do I know this? I talked to the consultant.

    Alison could have switched her fundraising amount if she knew that Lisa was going to raise so much money. But, by not reporting, and missing the deadline, Alison could not switch. The Seattle consultant knows this. This was no accident by the campaign consultant. And Lisa is working with this campaign consultant. She has little to no leadership experience, this misstep is important, it shows us that she is not asking the important questions, that she is not completely understanding what she is participating in.

    Lisa is well intentioned, but she is being manipulated by forces that want to make this campaign about democrats and republicans about supporting the union or not supporting the union.

    The school board race is supposed to be non partisan. Alison has already proven her non partisanship by her current work on the school board.

    Alison is about doing what is right for kids. That kids are central to the decision making. This means asking uncomfortable questions to the school district, about the union, about the teachers, about the community, about the budget. She will ask those questions. And she will help the board to make well informed decisions because of those questions.

    This is what we need in a board member. Someone who has a financial background, who understands the nuances of education, who understands the complexities of a school district. And, someone who asks the tough questions so the entire board makes informed decisions.

    Although the board may have been split in their original vote, Alison was selected by the board over Lisa. Alison was selected because she has the experience, the knowledge and the commitment to continue working as a very effective advocate for the children of Issaquah on the Issaquah School Board. The Issaquah School board has already made this decisions. Now it’s up to us.

    With due respect to the Issaquah Press, they are wrong – Alison Meryweather is the clear choice for retention on the Issaquah School Board!

  4. Gary Heggle on October 25th, 2013 1:35 pm

    Janet Suppes says the PDC requirements “aren’t complicated.” This is an opinion — after all, what’s uncomplicated to one person may be complicated to another.

    OTOH, the IP editorial says Callan’s mistake is “a common mistake of first-time candidates.” This may be true but it’s unsubstantiated.

    So how do voters determine whether Suppes’ opinion is accurate? The answer is that the IP should due its due diligence, back up its unsubstantiated claim with evidence, and tell us how many candidates made the same mistake and when. After all, if it’s common, then this should be easy to research and report on. Then voters would have the information they need to decide whether this is unusual and something to worry about.

  5. Sally on October 26th, 2013 9:12 am

    Callan did not get a report in on time. It was taken care of as soon as she found she was delinquent. There was no foul play and no money was involved. The mean spirit comments of J. Suppes is unfortunate. Callan has a very level head on her shoulders and can make thoughtful decisions to keep moving our public school system forward with all of the children and instructors in mind. It is that characteristic this district needs and certainly we haven’t gotten this far in the ISD with those who have “all the answers”. Common sense, good solid ideas, understanding education in the public schools and firm supportive ideas come into play. Callan is smart, thoughtful and has ideas. I might add that she is also kind and will work well with others. I know that is who I want as a new school board member and that would be Lisa Callan.

  6. Steve Henry on October 27th, 2013 12:35 pm

    For me, the most important question is capability to do the job well. And in reviewing the experiences that the candidates bring to the School Board, it seems clear that Alison Meryweather is the more capable of the two.

    A broad range of experiences in education will equip a School Board member to navigate all sorts of complex issues that come before the board. Both candidates have served as presidents of PTSAs. But beyond that, the experience gap is vast. Alison Meryweather has chaired steering committees for district bond and levy campaigns. She has been on the Board of the highly successful Issaquah Schools Foundation. And she has served on the district’s Financial Advisory Core Team.

    The contrast is clear to me. Lisa Callan is the daughter of educators. Alison Meryweather has been deeply, personally active in education in Issaquah for years at the school, district, and state level.

    With a new leadership team in the superintendent’s office and legislative changes in Olympia that may fundamentally affect education funding, I want the greatest possible experience and expertise on the School Board to ensure our kids keep getting exceptional educational experiences. I want Alison Meryweather to represent my family.

  7. Gary Heggle on October 29th, 2013 3:32 pm

    Oh, you don’t like “unsubstantiated claims” and “Issaquah Press” in the same sentence? Got it.

    Let’s hear it for open and honest discussions.

  8. Gary Heggle on November 3rd, 2013 2:33 am

    In case anyone’s curious or confused about my last post: After 4 days of not seeing my first (10/25) comment published, I sent in that second one. Both finally appeared on 11/1 or thereabouts. Why on earth it took so long is a mystery. Looks like the same thing happened at http://www.issaquahpress.com/2013/10/22/to-the-editor-241, where another person thought they were being censored.

    Moderator: Feel free to delete my 10/29 post AND this post. Or keep both. Thanks.

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