It’s time for Joe Enge to resign from the school board
December 7, 2007
On Tuesday, Nov. 27, Nevada Appeal editor Barry Ginter wrote what may stand as the editorial of the year for our newspaper. If unanimous reader response defines a home-run editorial, then Barry slammed that metaphoric ball out of the park, sizzling with ruptured seams and cowhide cover flapping in the air. That editorial’s subject? None other than Carson City school board member Joe Enge – a man whose name has appeared on our front page seemingly more times than our governor and mayor – and for all the wrong reasons.
The purpose of my column is not to reiterate what was so accurately and articulately conveyed in that editorial, which stands as the view of the Nevada Appeal’s editorial board. No. The purpose of my column is to suggest that Joe Enge resign from his current post on the school board. As long as someone like him is on the board, which boasts an assembly of some very smart and honorable professionals, the school board itself is perching on weak branches by allowing such a man as Enge to be associated with the academic integrity of its mission.
Need further sustenance of my claim? Here’s a pop-quiz for you: Would you hire this man to be part of your own organization? Would you want this man representing your company? Would you place full faith and confidence in what this man has to contribute to anything let alone to the critical decisions of a school board?
The passionate consistency of feedback that the Nevada Appeal has received in response to the editorial is both staggering and urgent. If the response was depicted in a microcosm for a motion picture, the Hollywood script would call for a group of townspeople raising torches and screaming out their unified judgment.
Though he has his supporters, what many people are saying is that Joe Enge is an embarrassment to our city. Personally, I find it intolerably and unjustifiably despicable that such a person is representing our school board. And what an education we are all getting!
I have never met the man. But I have heard enough (from people I hold in high regard) and read enough to shout out a claim that he has no business representing our school board. DUI charges, getting assaulted by three apparitions in a public restroom, trying his hand at avant-garde fence design by plowing his car through one and leaving his license plate in the fencepost wreckage as, you know, sort of an artistic touch. Most intelligent individuals with his jaw-dropping history of public shame would have long ago stepped aside and off the stage before the theatrical hook pulls him from further tomato flinging and rescues the audience (the residents of Carson City) from feeling ripped off since the cost of admission to the Joe Enge theatre of the absurd comes to all of us in the form of wasted tax dollars.
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So, the obvious question is: How did he ever get elected in the first place? My own personal opinion is that it was name association. I believe that. Voters were at worst vaguely familiar with the name, which gained some exposure when he resigned from Carson High School in his fifth year as history teacher after waging a public complaint that the Carson City School District’s early American history courses were not in compliance with state standards. Because of that, he was able to slip under the security blanket of early voting. But was that enough to get him elected to the school board. No. He needed a little help from his opponent James Hukari, whose campaign could not possibly upstage Enge’s center ring clown act.
Joe Enge needs to resign from the school board. Period. He is not respected by the masses, and he is not the role model of sound logic and intelligence that should coincide with being a member of the school board (just look back at his off-center explanations for driving through a fence and getting “beaten up” in a casino restroom).
Why is Enge’s situation different than the cries for resignation that Mayor Marv Teixeira received after his DUI earlier this year? Simple. Joe Enge contributes to decisions that pertain to the education of our children – the education of the future leaders of our city. And his portfolio of misadventures is long and in defiance of what education symbolizes. I personally wouldn’t allow him to read a chapter from a children’s picture board book, let alone be a member of a board that writes the chapters of our children’s lives of education. No more pencils, no more books. Joe Enge, school is out. Clean out your locker.
• John DiMambro is editor of the Appeal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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