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“Why I'm Not Running For School Board”

Mark A. Coplan
Saturday May 18, 2002

To the Editor: 


Many in the community have asked me why I am not a candidate for school board in the next election. In part, I like to think that's because I have worked long and hard in the district, and have earned the right to join the board at this time. It's also because I have openly discussed my desire to run for the past two years. I do intend to become a member of the board, and I believe that I will have a lot to offer. But right now, I really believe that the district is in greater need of the budget & financial expertise that Nancy Riddle can bring to the table. I have thought long and hard about this, and contacted Nancy early on to ask her to run. 

I told her that for years I had watched her go before the board with ideas, questions, and demands for accountability, because she understood the spreadsheets, or more to the point, their flaws, in a budget that has often been Greek to the rest of us. We have often counted on her to speak up for us when it came to the numbers. I have come to the conclusion that Nancy is one person who can really make a difference in this time of budget crisis. I told her that I have never felt stronger about a candidate, and if she would agree to run, I would forgo my own desire for a few years, to devote my energies to her campaign. Many others have encouraged her as well. 

There are many of us in the district who have worked long and hard, and deserve a chance to represent our kids on the board, through years of providing leadership in our schools and organizations. I have played a visible part in the leadership in the district for about 6 years, and Nancy was a veteran when I arrived on the scene. In a couple of years, as my son moves on to Berkeley High, I will still be ready, willing and able to join the board and make a difference in my own way. If I wasn't confidant that the incumbants will be re-elected, I would run alongside Nancy. 

We will all have our chance, but right now, I believe that our vote should go to Nancy Riddle for School Board. 


- Mark A. Coplan 

Berkeley Parent