Citrus County voters have a clear choice in the District 5 School Board race. Janet Herndon is not only the most qualified candidate, she is also the most experienced of all who are seeking this office. More important, she is the public's best insurance that the School Board won't become a rubber stamp for Superintendent Carl Austin.
Since she was elected to the board almost two years ago, Herndon has been a conscientious public servant. From asking probing questions about district contracts to advocating such educational programs as alternative schooling, the former teacher has been a diligent defender of children and tax dollars.
While some of her colleagues seem all too content to conduct the board's business in the most expedient fashion possible, it usually is Herndon who forces the administration to slow down and justify its recommendations. Her frequent clashes with Austin evince her tenacity in the face of adversity. Herndon's queries, if nothing else, raise the board's awareness that there are different perspectives from which to view their decisions.
Herndon's straightforward demeanor is as refreshing as it is effective. In a day when many politicians dodge the issues, Herndon is not afraid to meet them head on. You may not always agree with Herndon's position, but at least you know where she stands and you know you can rely on her to give you her honest opinion.
For the second time in as many years, Herndon is being challenged by retired schoolteacher B. J. Collins. Collins is a bright and well-intentioned candidate, but he lacks Herndon's vision and ability to articulate ideas. Against a lesser candidate, Collins might emerge as the better choice. But against Herndon he runs a distant second.
Because of her proven track record and willingness to work for positive change in the district, Herndon deserves to be re-elected. We strongly recommend her to Citrus County voters.
OPPORTUNITY TO REPLY
B. J. Collins is invited to respond to this recommendation. The reply must be received no later than 4 p.m. Friday and is limited to 250 words. Deliver to: Jeff Webb, Editor of Editorials, Citrus Times, 3822 E Gulf to Lake Highway, Inverness, FL 34450. Or fax to: (904) 344-3121.