For four years, Scott Barnett kick-started vigorous debates about how San Diego Unified spent and managed money, and was often on the losing end of votes. But he got a lovefest of a farewell from fellow board members last week.
They praised his leadership in helping to pass school bonds and forcing the district get a grip on its spending.
“You’ve made a huge impact in this community and this district,” said trustee Richard Barrera.
“You’ve taught me to be a better leader and a better educator here in San Diego,” Superintendent Cindy Marten told him.
On top of the praise, the board unanimously passed some joint-use projects Barnett had shepherded for years – agreements with the Little Italy Association for Amici Park and swimming pools with the YMCA. Both plans will use nonprofits’ funding to improve and build on school properties that will serve students and the larger communities.
Barnett said he’s relieved to be stepping off the dais and looks forward to getting his life back. Barnett said the timing is right for him to leave public service – and said he doesn’t have any plans to run for office again.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Really, we have to begin the interview by first navigating past the pejorative label of "loudmouth"? Labels such as these, applied to a man who has been a public servant in a very difficult, demanding, and often thankless job, are best left on the editing floor. Let's buy the guy a drink and salute him for his service, whether or not we agreed with his goals or appreciated his NYC communications style. We can all applaud him for his time, effort and accomplishments.
Great interview with a fascinating guy. I loved his crack about having bartenders to support. I hope he pulls a Nixon and runs again; I'd vote for him for just about any office. His confidence in our Superintendent is very reassuring. Hope he's right.
Thank you for your service! Your rational voice will be sorely missed. I had similar childhood experiences in the 60s and wish more of us still had the passion for public service that fueled our marches and protests in the 60s and 70s.
A very solid interview. I don't know this guy, but if this is all I ever read about him I would think him to be an honorable man who worked hard for what he believed in. Impressive.