CLARK, NJ - TAP into Clark will profile each of the candidates for the Clark Board of Education this week. Each candidate has been asked to answer six questions for presentation to TAPinto Clark readers. Profiles will be published in alphabetical order. This is the fourth profile in the series offered by Jerry Fogle.
1.) Why are you running for the BOE?
I believe in being involved in Clark, volunteering my time and always trying to make it better.
One of the reasons I moved to Clark, years ago, was for the school system for my children. Recently with the budget shortfalls this has been worrying many parents as well as myself. I have been to the board meetings, even before I made the decision to run for a position, and have voiced my opinions and asked questions in regards to the budget issues, and did not receive satisfactory answers.
I believe in transparency and that parents/taxpayers should understand what is going on and have a say in everything that is occurring. The Board of Education members are our representatives, elected by you and answerable to you.
I will work hard as your elected representative on the board, always work to improve our school system and make it better for our children.
2.) What do you believe to be the major issues facing the BOE and how do you recommend addressing them?
The major issue is the budget. There was a 2 million dollar budget shortfall, causing the current BOE to cut freshman sports and dismiss employees. This shortfall is due to a lack of previous surplus. This appears to be a lack of foresight by the current BOE when creating the budget, an issue that has snowballed and now we have to deal with this large deficit. Now is the time we need new views and new ideas to get us back on track. I have seen postings recently claiming that the other three candidates running for the board are a “team”, do we want to re-elect the same individuals or “team” that has gotten us in this predicament in the first place.
3.) How can the community and the BOE know they have an effective school program?
One way of knowing we have an effective school program is when we do not have to balance the budget on the backs of employees losing their jobs, which may cause class sizes to rise, and students losing sports opportunities. Losing these sports opportunities takes away the chance for our children to learn sportsmanship, teamwork, comradery, and pride in school.
When these sports programs are reestablished and we are at a full complement of teachers, then we will know we are on our way back to having a successful school program. We cannot do that by re-electing the same individuals that caused this situation. Now is the time to make a change and make a change for the better
4.) What is the role of the BOE in communicating and being accessible to the public? How will you help foster this role?
The BOE are our elected representatives and should be responsive to us. The budget issue should have been explained to us in more detail, there were many unanswered questions. I brought up a few of the disparities in the numbers they were using and we did not receive satisfactory answers. I will help foster transparency and make sure parents/taxpayers questions are answered to their satisfaction. Do we want to re-elect the “team” and have more of the same? I believe not, we need a change and I am willing and able to be your representative with actual transparency in everything that is done.
5.) What makes you stand out among the other candidates?
I have always been involved in Clark, I have been involved with the school system for many years as a PTA executive board member as well as being involved in the schools. I have been attending BOE meetings, prior to deciding to run for the board. I was there as a parent/taxpayer asking questions trying to understand the budget shortfall. I am not part of any team, I will be here to represent YOU, the way you should be represented with complete transparency.
6.) How long have you lived in Clark and how have you been or are you now involved in the community?
I have lived in Clark for 6 years. I have been involved in our community from the start. I served on the Valley Road School PTA Executive Board and currently serve on the Kumpf Middle School Executive Board. I have served on both simultaneously in the past.
I am a Clark Travel Basketball Coach, Clark Girls Softball Coach, serve on the Clark Girls Softball Executive Board and am a member of UNICO.
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