1. Why are you running for the BOE?
I am running for the BOE because I believe in the concept of public education for all children. I have a long history of public service and believe my knowledge, skills, and abilities will benefit the board. I am running to be a Tax Watchdog for our seniors and taxpayers, Advocate a ZERO tolerance drug and alcohol policy, Appoint a permanent superintendent, Advocate for an all-inclusive curriculum and update regularly, Demand more form our teachers and administrators, and Work with municipal leaders.
2. Why do you think you are a good fit for the BOE?
I am a good fit for the BOE because I have experience in personnel and human resources as we select a new superintendent, I have prepared municipal budgets and practiced cost containment, I have negotiated police, fire, and white collar contracts and implementing cost saving health benefits plans for both employees and employers.
3. What do you think are some of the top issues you would like to see accomplished in your first term for the school district? and why are they important?
The top three issues I would like to accomplish on the school board are the most obvious; appointing a new superintendent, negotiating a fair and equitable teachers contract, and exercising fiscal controls while at the same time fairly funding those educational programs that are underfunded.
4. Please tell us something unique about you.
Unfortunately, I am not that unique, just a dedicated husband and father willing to volunteer his time for the betterment of our community.
5. Are there any changes you would like to see the school district look at? and why?
Too many of our children at the middle and high school level are consuming drugs and alcohol in and out of school. We need to expand our school resources to better educate not only our children but our families as well. The consumption levels exceed average experimentation and we need to address it beyond our basic health and wellness classes. Also, Special Services is underfunded to adequately close the ever expanding gap between main stream students and those students who cannot meet the basic state standards. When curriculum updates are presented like a few weeks ago, they need to include a plan which includes the 20% of our school population who receive the benefit of special services.
6. what are your thoughts on the Referendum and the projects that are named in it?
$15 million of additional debt to burden the seniors and taxpayers on top of the existing $52 million of outstanding debt the district has already incurred over the years seems excessive. What originally started out as a capital project to provide cooling in our schools seems to have picked up added projects such as the renovation of the Hamilton School Field, the Central School Auditorium, and the High School Library. I agree that our infrastructure needs to be maintained and including capital improvements in our operating budget just is not possible with our state mandated 2% budget and tax levy caps. We need to find a healthy balance between maintaining our infrastructure while at the same time not out taxing our residents whereby they need to sell there homes when the children are grown because it is too expensive to live here.