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Phil Hemingway Speaks Truth to Power; Support His Candidacy for School Board!

Phil Hemingway in front of his old truck carrying hand-painted signs; call Phil's Repair and ask for one!
Phil Hemingway in front of his old truck carrying hand-painted signs; call Phil's Repair and ask for one!
It takes a strong person to speak truth to power. It's harder yet to boil home truths down to a few well chosen words. If you think Phil Hemingway comes on too strong, practice saying all the things you'd like to say to the Iowa City Community School Board in three minutes or less after months, no years, of betrayal, lies, deliberate deception, and frustrating delays.

Have you noticed that the more telling those truths are that community commenters tell, the more school board president Marla Swesey tries to hurry the speaker along to his or her conclusion? She even tried to stop people from clapping and cheering when community speakers without exception opposed the board's plans to close one or more schools. Her shushing only made people clap and cheer more. We're not third-graders, Marla. You can't control us. We're adults. You should have learned that by now.

As someone who knows Phil Hemingway as a warm friend and honorable mechanic who has worked on my family's vehicles, I see someone who is kind, generous, courteous, and thoughtful. With Phil, what you see is what you get. There's no pretense there, which is refreshing in a town like Iowa City.

Since I'm all about trust and our current school board and school district administration has proven itself anything but trustworthy by general acclamation, a wise and trustworthy friend who is knowledgeable about school board and school district issues is important and valuable to me. 

In his younger days, Phil traveled the world over, including to Belize and Russia. Under tight deadlines, he managed crews in third-world countries under appalling conditions. He's a good man and a good judge of character. As a businessman and entrepreneur in southeast Iowa City near Fareway, Phil knows the value of a dollar and is conscientious about not wasting his own or his customers' money.

He has a curious mind and taught his daughter, his only child, to ask questions when she doesn't know something in class. As a result, his daughter is an outstanding student who is studying engineering on scholarship at the University of Iowa. She also participates in the UI marching band and symphony orchestra.

Phil lives with his wife, his daughter, his mother-in-law, and his brother-in-law from Belize. You can trust him. He won't take money for his campaign. I tried to give him some, but he refused. He doesn't have a website and he doesn't have leaflets to give out. He just asks people if they've watched the board meetings and read the paper. He knows what the issues are and comes to all of the board meetings.

He does have hand-painted signs that he will deliver and put into your yard himself. I chatted with him after he put mine in my yard this morning. He was raised on an Iowa farm and can talk to anyone. 

If you want to vote for someone with a fancy website and 20 different ways to donate to his campaign via credit card, you can, but I'm voting for Phil Hemingway September 10, 2013, and I hope you'll do the same.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jean Jordison July 12, 2013 at 12:54 AM
Was it really necessary to include "Marla Swesey" bashing in your endorsement of Phil? Some of the current board members have shown extraordinary courage in trying to move this district forward and Marla is certainly one of them. Not only does Marla spend countless hours on board issues every week, she also is an incredibly active volunteer in the community. Asking people not to clap or applaud is neither controlling or disrespectful on her part. This is a meeting not a football game. I think if you are going to endorse Phil, you need to talk about the positive things about Phil and not drag someone else into the conversation. You seem to have forgotten the board of the past that tried to shut down almost all conversation including the banning of signs and t-shirts. Some of the comments and actions of adults at past meetings have been almost adolescent. Is it really respectful to stand up in the middle of a meeting and start shouting at the board. The board does actually give the public an inordinate amount of time to speak and many community commenters repeat the same thoughts over and over. Cheering, clapping, and even booing have been part of many meetings this past year. I don't think any elected officials - especially ones who are not even paid - deserve or should have to tolerate this. I also do not think any person should have to fear being booed at a school board meeting by those in the audience who might disagree with them. I know several people who did not get up and speak at the last meeting because of the booing that was going on. Just because a majority of the speakers at the last meeting were on the same side of an issue does not mean either that that is the way the majority in the district might feel. It was only the majority opinion of those who showed up at the meeting. If adults do not want to be treated like third graders they should not act like third graders. Keep an endorsement of Phil about Phil.
Maria Houser Conzemius July 24, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Jean Jordison, Marla Swesey is needlessly controlling and offensive. The school board is not listening to its constituents and should not be reelected. Government at every level, federal, state, county, city, and school board is not listening to its constituents. Most people have no faith in government any more, even people who used to participate in and have faith in government. This is a serious problem, and worthy of more than shallow platitudes about "playing nice." If you don't know what the problem is, you sure as hell can't fix it.

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