In sports it's good to have a team that works well together -- a team where the members are in sync with each other and can anticipate each other's movements.
We can also see value in an elected body working together for common goals.
In both cases, it's a great way to get the ball moving.
At the same time, we see a potential problem when an members of an elected board are "too" in sync with each other.
In any body that works closely, there's a danger of group-think will limit innovation. Diversity of opinions can lead to healthy discussions and better-rounded decisions.
We congratulate all the winners in the recent election, and thank all who vied for office, whether or not they were successful in their bid.
That being said, we have concerns about the new Kennewick School District Board of Directors.
The three newly elected directors formed an alliance before the election and produced a joint campaign flier. They didn't exactly run as a bloc but came close enough to merit a cautionary note.
The flier said the candidates were "sharing the cost of this flyer to inform voters because they share common goals."
While that message sends up a red flag to the editorial board, Kennewick voters didn't appear to share our concern. All three candidates won handily.
Each of these men, Brian Brooks, Ron Mabry and Ben Messinger, said that although they collaborated on campaign literature, they are independent thinkers who will make their own decisions.
We hope that's true. No one will be happier than us to have the new board prove our concerns are unfounded.
We raised a same issue and heard similar reassurances two years ago when Heather Kintzley was running for the board.
Kintzley's aunt Dawn Adams is president of the school board. When they ran in 2009, we recommended both to our readers. Our editorial said, "They share similar philosophies on education. But we're convinced of Kintzley's independence."
Voting records over the past two years don't support our theory. They instead show a rift on the board, with most votes aligning Wendy London and Kathy White on one side against Adam, Kintzley and Lynn Fielding on the other.
It's been a case of us v. them.
When the school board appointed Brooks to replace London this summer, we worried that the majority was missing an opportunity to create a more rounded board.
Brooks brings valuable skills and ideas to the board, but it's not a stretch to think he was selected because he's more in line with the board's ruling trio than the other candidate for the opening.
So now Brooks been elected, along with two other new directors who "share common goals."
All three are well qualified for the job, with expertise that matches the district's needs and a genuine desire to make the Kennewick School District the best it can be.
We're eager to watch the board over the next few years, and we're confident we'll continue to see great things coming from Kennewick schools.
But for board members to fully exploit their talents and best serve all the students in the district, they'll need to ensure that all their sharing and common goals leave room for open discussion and diversity of thought.