School Board Candidates Answers
This week the FCNP posted the answers of the School Board candidates to the questions it all candidates. You can find the full set here:FCNP Story
And here are my responses. As always, please contact me or comment if you have any questions. Have a great day!
What key issues have caused you to seek this office?
I want to serve on the School Board because I care about our schools, and I have the experience to help. I am a former government and private sector executive, with a background in technology. I understand the problems with managing large organizations because I have done so. My key issues are: improving our use of technology, and protecting kids online; retaining great teachers; engaging parents and taxpayers about our schools and plans for their future; and strengthening school management and providing fiscal accountability – funding a new George Mason high school and larger Mt. Daniel elementary school while protecting taxpayers.
Should the City Council approve full funding of City Schools? Why or why not?
Yes. Great schools are a foundation of our community. However, it is up to the School Board and administration to spend money carefully, and treat the taxpayers’ dollars as their own. That hasn’t always happened. More effective oversight by the School Board, and better planning by the administration and the Board, would help hold costs down.
How should the City develop the new 34.6 acres campus that contains George Mason and Mary Ellen Henderson schools?
The best approach is to build a new high school using significant private investment that also creates a new “place” for the City – facilities that will benefit all City residents – while minimizing taxes. Any development should maximize greenspace through undergrounding of facilities, more vertical development, and “green” rooftops. Whether all this is possible – whether development proposals will justify using up to 10 acres of City and School land for commercial purposes – will have to be carefully examined. To this end, the City Council and School Board must allow for as much public participation as is possible under the law.
Do you support the Mason Row project? Why or why not?
Whether to approve the Mason Row project is a City Council issue. If the project is approved, the job of the School Board will be to provide an excellent education to the new students that the project is expected to produce, along with other students from the City. That said, as a citizen I support smart development that diversifies our tax base to reduce the burden on City taxpayers.
What about the City’s small area plans rolled out to date do you support or oppose most strongly?
I don’t believe the City’s small area plans are the domain of the School Board, with one exception. The School Board should focus on school issues. If elected, that is what I will do. The exception is school facilities, and if Mt. Daniel cannot be expanded, additional school facilities within the City may be necessary, and City plans should take that possibility into account.
If you win this November, do you see yourself running again in the future?
If I am elected, and represent people well, then I would expect to run for a second term.