Letter Writer: Ruehlig can’t be bought or bullied
I am Walter Ruehlig’s toughest critic. Whatever arguments there are for or against his campaign and candidacy for Antioch City Council; I vouch my husband will bring to the Council one undeniable and most important character trait. Walter Ruehlig cannot be bought nor bullied.
The German origin of the Ruehlig last name means calm or steady. However, adversity has toughened the spirit underneath the gentle facade. His mother, Marie, died of cancer at age ten. At age fourteen, Richard, an older brother, was institutionalized for mental illness. Walter worked his way through college and graduated Cum Laude from the State University of New York in Albany. One of his first jobs was teaching English-As-A-Second-Language for the Peace Corps in Sultandag, a village in Turkey which had neither running water nor electricity.
It is no surprise then that Walter was undaunted when he joined the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) Board of Trustees in 2004 while the District was on the fiscal watch list with a 9 million dollar deficit and a 703 Academic Performance Index (API) score. Today, the District has a 34 million ending fund balance, has climbed to a 742 API score with eight schools hovering or above the vaunted 800 mark and has become a state trailblazer in link learning with five career academies.
Walter will not be deterred by the challenges of crime, blight and economic lethargy. This gutsy, transplanted New Yorker will help build the city that we envision and stand unfazed by allures or threats from special interest groups that carry a price tag for their loyalty. For Antioch, the best is yet to come.