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Q. What made you decide to run for BPSB? A. You have to be in the service mentality. My entire family is in education, I know a lot about it, and I feel I can provide a service that could help improve the system in Bossier Parish. I have no specific issues with the School Board. I’m not upset with anyone. I believe everyone in the school from the janitors all the way up should be accountable to the voters. Q. Why do you think you’re qualified to serve on the BPSB? A. I have credentials. I have a degree in Business Administration and the School Board is a business. I know education. I am independent minded, and I am not being sponsored or supported by any particular group. Q. Recently, the BPSB considered a tax increase to help cushion against cuts in state funding. Do you support a tax increase, cutting spending, or a combination of the two to help cushion against cuts in state funding? A. There is a serious shortfall in funding, and we must do something. In order to build schools we will need bond issues. If we are going to increase teacher pay, that will take tax money. As a Board member, what I would take a look at very critically is, “Are we as lean as we can be?” If we are, then we have to convince the voters of our true situation. The general consensus is that we are fat, and that we have an overload of administration, and that we don’t need them all. If we can convince our voters that we are lean and we’re doing a good job, I think they’ll vote for it. If they don’t vote for it, we’ll either have to maintain pay where it’s at or lose personnel. We will either have to get more taxes or reduce staffing. Q. What is your position on the BPSB recently announced positions of Graduation Coaches, Behavior Coaches, Response for Intervention Coaches? A. My understanding is that these are new positions, but not new hires. Is this a reduction in staffing going from a change in direction going from the Core 4 studies to a two track system? I really don’t know that much about it. One of my main concerns is that if we’re accepting federal stimulus money for particular programs that they want pushed, two years later they drop it, then we’ll be mandated to maintain it. And I am not for that at all. Q. What do you believe is the role of a School Board member? A. My perspective is to start with the Superintendent. My perception is that the Superintendent is like a CEO. His job is to look at our existing policies, recommend policies and procedures, or changes to policies. And we vote on them. We either vote for
them or send them back to the table. We have responsibilities for the budget, and the budget maintains the physical plant of the entire parish. And that’s the CEO’s recommendations. There are some things we have no control over. Payroll is 90% of the budget and that does not leave much for maintenance and other things. The SB evaluates the CEO, and he is accountable to the School Board, and as members of the School Board, we are accountable to the voters. Q. What would you do to make the BPSS transfer policy more equitable? A. Really I have no particular knowledge of the transfer policy. I do know that there is a written policy. Q. What are your plans to increase openness and transparency in the operations of the BPSB? A. By law you have open meetings. There was a problem with the Haughton mold issue, and that seemed to be hidden from the public for a while. There you go to accountability. I would look very critically at a situation like that. Hiding anything from the public when it comes to safety and security is not right. Q. What are the biggest challenges facing the BPSS? A. Growth is obvious. Receiving tax dollars to keep up with the growth, from a management point of view. Safety and security of our children, and this should be first on the list. Q. If elected to the BPSB, what will be your top priority? A. I am sot seeking position as a SB member with a vendetta or specific problem that I have. I would be only one of 12. I can be a strong voice for South Bossier. I do believe in the democratic process by which we do things. And I’m starting to worry about some areas that we may be bypassing the democratic process, or people seeking ways around it. It can cause problems. Some people seeking positions on the SB have issues with who was hired. They expect the SB members to go back and rectify what they feel was an injustice. If you have a democratic process in selecting people for a position and it’s not to one person’s liking, and they start a crusade to change the whole process, then we have a problem. Q. Are there areas in the BPSS which you believe could be better served by privatization? A. I would not be averse to looking at it, studying it, or have the Superintendent take a look to see if there are ways of saving money, looking at the pros and cons and then turn it over to the Board for their consideration.
Q. What specific measures can be instituted to provide greater protection for BP school children? A. With the technology that we have, many have camera systems within the schools. That could be improved upon. We have SRO’s (School Resource Officers) in the schools. Maybe we might get cameras on all our buses. This all takes money, but there are so many different ways that we can use technology. Q. What specific issues would you like to see looked at with regard to the BPSS budget? A. Frist of all, is there any fat in the Administration? Looking at School Board members salaries. I did not even know that they were paid a salary, and I’d run even if they didn’t pay. We need to look at SB health benefits. I’ve heard that some people are SB members because they get health benefits. I have not looked at this in depth though. Maybe we should be paid a mileage to go to meetings instead of a salary. Q. What is your political party affiliation? A. Republican Q. What are your areas of agreement and disagreement with your political party? Why are you a member of your particular party? A. I registered as a Democrat when I was 18. I went into the military at 18, and 20 years later I retired. And over these 20 years, I noticed, and liked the direction the Republicans were taking the country when they were in power, and I was upset and we in the military felt the results when a Democrat came into office. When I came back here after retirement, I registered as a Republican. Q. What is the primary source of funding for your campaign? A. I am 100% self financed. I have accepted no donations. I’ve not sought any donations. I’m not being sponsored by any political action committee. Q. Would your current job allow you the time to attend SB meetings? A. I have 100% control of my time. I do not work for a salary. Yes, my current status should allow me to attend all meetings. Q. What is the extent of your knowledge of the LA Open Meetings Law and the LA Public Records Act? A. I know that you can get into deep trouble in a hurry if you do not go to the letter of the law. I believe in no secret door special sessions. If a meeting requires notification and open the doors, by gosh you’d better do it.