On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I created two successful businesses and built them from the ground up, despite the fact that I did not enjoy the benefit of a formal secondary education. Everything I’ve learned has been from practical experience, which is an education in itself. I also have an appreciation for the distinct advantage a college education or specific vocational training can provide. It is even more important in today’s competitive job market. I also understand the issues that confront employers and employees daily as they strive to meet business and career goals. Further, I understand the concerns of taxpayers who are looking for an exceptional return on their tax dollar investment. I will be an effective Trustee and liaison to the public. My primary goal will be to provide a practical employment driven education that is of exceptional value to the student and taxpayer alike.
What are your top three priorities if elected?
1) I want to provide a quality, relevant, workforce-ready education at an affordable cost to the student, to minimize the risk of leaving them burdened with student debt and subsequent added risk to the taxpayer; 2) I want to improve the ratio between financial aid to students, college operational expenses and graduation rates; 3) I want to improve and bolster the relationships between the public, college, governmental boards, agencies and the private sector to ensure that we are best serving all stakeholders.
Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
I would support a tax freeze. Until the economy is stronger and housing values increase; it does not make sense to put more pressure on the taxpayer. A public institution should operate in the same economic reality that the average, middle class household does. Waubonsee should always be seeking ways to “think outside the wallet”. There also needs to be a financial contingency plan for the times when tax levy revenues fall short of forecasts. The College needs to review the best practices from other institutions which enjoy success despite downturns in revenues.
What one decision by the school board do you most disagree with and why?
From my experience, I believe the Board of Trustees devotes an excessive amount of time in “Executive Session”. I believe the time would be more effective in Open Session, which is accessible to the public. I believe that opportunity for more active public engagement will only strengthen a public institution like Waubonsee Community College.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
Last year’s annual report indicates that the Board is continuing to implement the “Project Graduation” initiative. The College’s own numbers indicate that the graduation rate had not improved. I believe that increasing the graduation rate is one of the most important things we can do, but the current Board has not delivered. I would bring the Board new ideas along with enhanced public engagement, so we can utilize the intelligence of everyday people in our community to provide the best opportunities for our students to be successful.
Why should voters elect you to office?
My purpose in seeking this office is to strengthen my community, economically and culturally, through meaningful educational opportunities for both career seekers and life-long learners. I will promote fiscally sound ideas and management. This best way to achieve this is to create a more open dialogue and sustainable working partnerships with the public and private industries. I care about my community and the legacy of Waubonsee Community College. I have a lifetime of practical experience that will serve the student body and the taxpayers well. I respectfully ask our district constituents for their vote.
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