Post seeking: Board of Education, District 9 (at large)
Certified Public Accountant
Describe your background:
I was elected in 2006 to fill an unexpired term and then was re-elected in 2007 to a full term. Prior to being elected to the school board I served ten years on the Winder Housing Authority, the last three years as chairman of the authority. I’ve had extensive experience in local government finances by conducting audits of local governments in all parts of Georgia. I currently am the only board member with a child attending school in Barrow County at Winder-Barrow High School. It has been an honor serving on the school board. I’ve had to make some tough decisions, but I have always put the children first when any decisions are made.
•If the E-SPLOST referendum fails, will you vote for a property tax increase to service the school system’s debt?
If the E-SPLOST referendum fails, I feel we will have no option, but to assess a debt service millage to offset our current debt. In fiscal year 2010-2011 we have lowered our expenditures from 99,181,275 to 90,742,855. This is a 8.6% drop. We anticipate another drop in 2011-2012 based on anticipated revenues. This doesn’t account for the 10,347,812 in debt service that we are required to pay.
•What are your plans to deal with budget constraints in a way that will preserve quality instruction for Barrow students?
To continue to cut in areas that don’t directly affect the time teachers have in the classroom. If you look at our current budget 71.6% is direct instruction and materials. This leaves very little margin to cut in areas such as transportation and facility maintenance that have already been cut deeply. Some have suggested cutting transportation to students that live within a mile and a half of the school. I would only support this in areas that we can show are safe for our children to walk. We want clean schools and campuses for our students to attend. We have already cut these areas to the bare minimums. We have to look for ways to do more with less going forward.
•What are the three biggest issues that Barrow County Schools must address over the next five years?
Student achievement, doing more with less, and decrease the drop-out rate.