Farewell to Gene Tracy, faithful school district protester

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Think of the school board as the Titanic. Gene Tracy was the only one aboard who knew how to swim.
If you’ve ever managed to stay awake through an entire Cleveland school board meeting, chances are you’ve seen Gene Tracy. He’s the guy sitting somewhere near the back, his hair too long and his waist too stout, who rattles off a bunch of threatening-sounding statistics whenever he gets a chance to talk. He railed against former schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s habit of fudging numbers —particularly the cost of the district’s massive school construction project. He’s questioned the wisdom of building a new West Side high school when the district has long known its enrollment numbers are plummeting. He once even showed up with a gag in his mouth, to protest a school board member who banned him from speaking...
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