Friday, October 12, 2007

Corrections to NW News Article

My thanks to the Hilliard Northwest News for running an article about my campaign in this week's issue. However, there are a few things that need to be corrected, both in fact and in tone:

  • My role at CompuServe Network Services was Chief Technology Officer, not 'chief technical director'
  • My hometown is Charleston WV, rather than Charles Town.
  • Terry was the Chief Financial Officer of her company when she retired

Those are just minor details. The more significant corrections I'd like to make are:

  • The sentence: "We are about to enter a time when enormous amounts will be needed by our schools because of decades of friendly decisions in our community" should read: "...due to decades of developer friendly decisions in our community."

  • This article paints a picture that the only thing I care about is funding. It is indeed a critical issue, and one that will shape decisions in every facet of district operations. If we don't keep our schools adequately funded, we'll feel the pain in every area.

    Of course I know there is a broad spectrum of matters which need attention. But we have competent professionals in the classrooms and in the administration who are trained and experienced in those areas. To do what they know needs to be done, the community must provide them with the fiscal and physical resources. In my opinion, this is a primary duty of the Board of Education.

    The Board carries out this responsibility by: a) ensuring that the people of our community understand how funding works at a fundamental level; b) taking an active role in community development policymaking; and, c) keeping the pressure on our state officials to provide the tools we need (e.g. impact fees) to control our own destiny.

Please let me know if you have any questions about my agenda.


  1. Funding is good but given the fact that government is always more wasteful than the private sector, I hope you'll also focus on spending too.

  2. Certainly. I find it interesting that the district has already made $1 million in cuts in light of the coming squeeze. What were these expenditures, and why were they in the budget in the first place? The Board has called these 'strategic cuts' but I suspect they have misused the term.

    A strategic change is one made in response to a fundamental shift in direction or process (i.e. of strategy). It would not happen under the radar, but would be readily apparent to the whole community.

    Whatever these cuts were, they don't rise to that standard. They were nibbles here and there, and a move in the right direction, but not the solution.

    When the problem is a $40 million/yr projected deficit, it means getting way past the fat and deep into muscle. That's a funding crisis.

    There's a saying in business that you can't save your way to prosperity. At the end of the day, a viable business must have a dependable income stream. Such is also the case for a school district.

    We've let the makeup of our funding get out of whack in Hilliard. Too many houses, too many kids, not enough business. We can complain about the state cutting back its funding, but the reality is that the state is likely to give us less money per student in the future, not more (though we have to keep the political pressure on the state officials).

    We're going to be largely on our own to solve these funding problems. It starts with educating folks so they understand the situation. Then we enlist their votes to force municipal officials to make decisions consistent with the protection of the school system, which is the same thing as saying for the protection of the homeowners in our community.