Candidate Statements

Why I Am Running for the Chatham Board of Education

Michael Ryan, candidate for the Chatham Board of Education

The SDOC is facing difficult challenges. Increasing enrollments, inconsistent state aid, and rising healthcare costs will continue to put pressure on the SDOC budget and, as a result, our community for the
foreseeable future. Implementation of the following techniques and proposals will enable the SDOC, BOE,
and the voters of Chatham to come together to meet these challenges in a fair and balanced manner while maintaining and perhaps increasing the academic success of our students.


The SDOC budget and the BOE decisions affect many groups of citizens including parents with school-aged children, single adults, empty nesters, parents of children with special needs, and the group that has
made most of our success possible, our beloved seniors. I am running for a seat on the BOE to encourage each of these groups to actively participate in the political process and give them a voice. I will advocate for and propose that the BOE establish official committees, chaired by a board member, that will routinely meet with disenfranchised groups such as seniors and parents of children with special needs who are often not included in important dialogues. Further, I will encourage the restructuring of BOE meetings themselves to move routine day to day agenda items to executive session. Public BOE meetings should allow for public debate, questions, and more importantly answers.

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With so much uncertainty regarding how or if the state will provide funding to schools, the voters of Chatham should be the ultimate decision makers with respect to the SDOC budget, capital projects, and governance of the BOE. If elected, I will support a non-binding referendum asking voters, and only the voters, to decide whether they wish to once again be able to vote on the SDOC budget and if term limits should be implemented for BOE members. In addition, I will propose that the district explore the opportunity to hire, or contract with, a professional risk manager to provide guidance to the SDOC and the BOE on matters such as shared services opportunities or insurance programs available to properly manage workers compensation and rising healthcare costs.


The BOE must ensure the SDOC is properly run while still maintaining is fiduciary obligation to the voters of Chatham, whose interests they must first and foremost represent. The voters of Chatham deserve the right to debate and decide for themselves what are the highest priorities and the best use of the taxes they pay to the district. In the spirit of inclusion and accountability, I believe in and will fight for full and complete disclosure, public education, and debate of all proposed capital improvement plans, contracting strategies, and non- clinical expenditures. Further, I will fight for full disclosure of all capital reserve funds held by the district prior to any new referendum proposals made to the voters. I believe it truly “takes a village,” and our combined efforts will continue to provide the children of Chatham with the tools to become not only successful in the “now” but to become life-long learners and good, balanced citizens who will value education for generations to come.

• Committees to represent each voting interest
• Community Working Groups
• Risk Manager to lower Healthcare cost

• Referendum for Voting on Budget
• Term Limits
• Disclosure of all Capital Reserve Funds prior to proposal of referendums

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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