This past Monday, residents had the opportunity to listen to seven of the eight candidates, state their case to be elected to one of three open seats that will be open on the Barnegat Township School Board. I would like to go a little more in depth concerning answers to two of the questions posed at that time. The first concerns what the roles and responsibilities are for the board.
The policy on board member ethics is clear when it states that board action is confined to policymaking, planning, appraisal, and that the board will not administer the schools but together with the other members see that they are well run.
How does the board make this happen? Identifying issues and determining the best courses of action to be taken to meet those goals can only be accomplished if the courses of action to be considered are feasible, acceptable, suitable and distinguishable.
Feasible means that the courses of action can be accomplished within the established timelines, space and resource limitations. Acceptability must balance cost and risk with the advantage gained. Suitability refers to the goals accomplished within the administration and board’s intent and planning guidance. Each course of action must be distinguishable from one another so that they do not replicate one another and provide options.
My military experience has taught me that decision-making simply cannot be accomplished without an open dialogue and input from the affected stakeholders. In our case, the school administration and the community are those stakeholders. This leads to the second question, brought up on Monday evening, referencing how we as board members can improve communications with the community as we move forward with major changes to the district.
One of my initiatives will be to improve community relations, which I hope will have a more positive impact and lead to more community involvement. I do not think it is a fair stance to push everything onto the administration and ask that the community reach out to them on every issue. The board should hear input from the community and in my opinion should not just satisfy the minimum requirement established by the Open Public Meetings Act.
Understanding there needs to be a balance between the public’s right to attend board meetings, and the board’s need to conduct its business efficiently certain items, clearly require additional input. The most recent decisions by the board to approve outsourcing of the before/ after care and the use of Insight for substitutes are great examples of decisions made that needed additional input from those it affected.
I would like to see the board engage the PTA’s in each school. The PTA is a great starting point to better the relationship between the board and the community. If utilized appropriately, they can assist with breaking the barrier of the community’s perceived transparency issues.
I hope the Barnegat residents will consider me for one of the three seats this November. My wife and I are the proud parents of two daughters who are enrolled in our district. I want to be a part of the success that I know Barnegat can achieve not just for my children, but for all our children.
If you vote for me, you will vote to ensure “Progress for Education.” If any resident would like to reach out to me you can email questions or concerns to email@example.com or visit my campaign Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/George-Fedorczyk-for-Barnegat-Township-Board-of-Education-110665056959681/.
Remember to get out and vote this Tuesday, it’s your right and your opportunity to make a difference.