Highly qualified board hopefuls victims of undeserved bullying

To the Editor:

As a former candidate for Olentangy school board, I know firsthand about the personal attacks and slimy politics that come as a result of wanting to improve our school district. Rather than sell their vision and plan, incumbents and their supporters move quickly to label highly qualified challengers as "high risk" or "dangerous" and "lacking needed experience." They slander opposing candidates like bullies in the classroom, yet lay claim to exceptional leadership skills and a desire to represent the best of Olentangy.

Honestly, I think these people just reached into their files from four years ago and changed the names to Barricklow and Helwig. It is troubling that Olentangy residents who are passionate about improving the quality of representation on the school board are treated with such childish behavior and disrespect.

I urge you as voters and members of the Olentangy community to really look at what these candidates stand for and their plan for the next four years. Dave King's plan of hope isn't a plan. We tried that as a nation and our debt went from $10 trillion to $17 trillion in six years. Julie Feasel has had seven years to find a great solution to our growth problem. If she hasn't found it by now -- and she hasn't -- she won't find it in the next four years either.

As a father of three students at Olentangy, I'm passionate about our community. I've personally spoken at length with Katy Barricklow and Brian Helwig. I'm impressed with their professionalism, personal resume, common-sense approach and good nature. I am convinced of their conviction that students come first, that educational quality matters most, and that they are stewards of our community.

Brian and Katy are humble people who have earned my vote. It's time for change, not hope.

Jay Siefring