Allen County General Election 2016 Frost Illustrated Candidate Survey results

| November 3, 2016

allen-county-indianaEditor’s note: Below are candidate responses to a survey emailed to candidate running for offices specific to elected offices in Allen County during the 2016 General Election. Surveys were emailed to all local candidates who listed emails with the Allen County Election Board. The responses are grouped according to office and candidate responses for each office are arranged in alphabetical order. We asked each candidate the same questions. Below are listed the questions. Answers are numbered in each separate survey response:

Question 1: What are the legally constituted powers, duties and responsibilities of your Question 2: Why do you want to hold public office?

Question 3: Why do you think you are the best person qualified to hold this position?

Question 4: In your opinion, how well is this office operating at this moment?

Question 5: What changes, if any, would you make in the operation of this office? Can these changes be made under the current legally constituted structure of the office?

Question 6: What issues would you like to address from this office and does the office provide legal and procedural means with which to address them? If so, what policies and procedures would you put in place to effectively address these issues: If not, why do you feel it is necessary to raise the issue in the context of the office for which you are running?

Question 7: In one sentence, what is your idea of effective public service?

ALLEN COUNTY COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1

Nelson Peters

Nelson Peters

Nelson Peters

Question 1 answer: To oversee the legislative and executive functions of county government

Question 2 answer: Because I am passionate about this community and this opportunity provides the best way assist in the enhancement of the Allen County community.

Question 3 answer: I have successful managerial and administrative experience both within the public and private sector, have a Masters Degree in Public Administration and understand the complexities of and how to work toward creating a successful environment.

Question 4 answer: Any situation can be improved upon. County government and the office of Commissioner is no exception. Presently County government is subject to the limitations established in a 160 year old state constitution which impedes its ability to be as effective as it could be.

Question 5 answer: County government is a very archaic and obsolete business. Because of the number of differently elected officials the accountability for creating a successful product is somewhat limited. State law must be modified to streamline the business and provide more visible lines of accountability.

Question 6 answer: This position needs to continue to address economic development issues. While the job market has vastly improved, we need to continue to work toward enduring that everyone who wants a job has the job that they want. In addition, we must not neglect our infrastructure, streets, roads, bridges, trails and our neighborhoods. Finally, we must build on recent successes to continue to enhance the quality of life for all citizens in the Allen County community.

Question 7 answer: Effective public service is serving one’s constituency in a manner where the greatest number of people benefit from a public servant’s efforts the greatest amount of time.

ALLEN COUNTY COUNCIL AT LARGE

Morrison Agen

Morrison Agen

Morrison Agen

Question 1 Answer: The County Council is the fiscal body of the county government. The council approves Tax Phase ins (aka: abatements), reviews and approves all county budgets, fix the tax rate for county purposes, and provides funds for the jail system.

Question 2 Answer: I would like to increase the ideological diversity on the County Council and in County Government in general. I would like to see ALL of Allen County have a voice in our government, not just a chosen few.

Question 3 answer: As a small business owner, I certainly understand the importance of creating and sticking to a budget. I also understand taking calculated risks in order to achieve a stated goal.

Question 4 answer: At the moment, we have a single democratic member on the council. This kind of supermajority does not lend itself to good government, as the council tends to become a rubber stamp board for the whims of the Commissioners.

Question 5 answer: I would heartily advocate for a single county executive, moving the legislative functions to the Council and adding, perhaps, two more council seats.

Question 6 answer: I have spoken at length on the need to evaluate non violent offenders in Allen County and finding ways to fund rehabilitation efforts more fully so that we can break the cycle of recidivism for these people, and focus our efforts on giving them the opportunity to become functional and contributing members of our community. This can be done through drug courts, mandatory counseling and work release programs.

Question 7 answer: The best way to represent our constituency is to listen to them. Communication is always the key.

Palermo “Pal” Galindo

Palermo "Pal" Galindo

Palermo “Pal” Galindo

Question 1 answer: County Council is responsible for establishing an annual budget for County Government. The County Council is also responsible for appropriating funds for the operation of County Government.

Question 2 answer: I am passionate about serving and positively contributing to our communities to achieve the best quality of life for our residents.

Question 3 answer: I am a problem solver, connector, and fiscal conservative.

My experience with all communities stem over 20 years. I have worked with many organizations in social service, education, for-profit, and administrations in bipartisan efforts. I seek for opportunities and engage our citizens to provide the best way to solve any challenge.

Question 4 answer: Not bad but this office needs to reflect the makeup of its communities. Diversity and inclusion with new blood and new ideas.

Question 5 answer: Be a discerning eye on the budget and end duplication of services. Provide efficient means to save the taxpayers’ money.

Question 6 answer: When elected, my priorities are to maintain a balanced budget, provide transparency to our taxpayers, and economic vitality in the county. It is necessary to get the pulse and provide solutions for our citizens.

Question 7 answer: Our communities need jobs, effective fiscal responsibility is utmost required, and governmental efficiency is demanded to continue forging onward.

David Christopher Roach

David Christopher Roach

David Christopher Roach

Question 1 answer: link to your county govt:

http://www.allencounty.us/

link: your COUNTY COUNCIL- Who they are; how to contact them; and what they do:

http://www.allencounty.us/county-council

Allen County Budget on-line

FOLLOW THE MONEY- Your Tax Dollars at work. Examine this link; and tell your county council what you want or want to change; or ask questions.

http://www.allencounty.us/allen-county-budget

Question 2 answer: I am a near Life-Long resident of Allen County/Fort Wayne since 1967. I have had a lot of fun working & living here. I want to give back something to my beloved hometown by serving my fellow friends neighbors & citizens at an $8 /Hr/$16K /yr lowly public servant/ accounting clerical bureaucrat job.

I got fed up with never having any Democrat choices on the ballot- the Democrat Party Hacks just want to forfeit their ballots & fraudulently run “RINO’s” and “DINO’s” or DISHONESTLY RIG THE SYSTEM by cross-over voting in the GOP Primaries & then back as “Dems” in the general election. This is Criminal at the least; & Felonious at worst. The Party Hacks know the rules & have dozens of corrupt lawyers on staff – They know the laws; it’s time they obeyed them like the rest of us & let the Voters decide instead of endless legal litigation & Judicial technicalities wasting the Court’s & Taxpayers Time & Money

Question 3 answer: http://dcroach.blogspot.com/2007/03/my-resume.html

I have lived in Allen County for 50 years SINCE 1967. I was born in Santa Barbara California, USA. I have attended FWCS Public Schools from 3-12; Sunnymede (EACS), St. Joe Center Harris- Lane- Snider- IPFW. I spent three years in the US Navy in a War Zone (& Cold War) on an Aircraft Carrier in the Indian Ocean/Persian Gulf. I received a Navy Expeditionary Medal and a couple of other routine Deployment medals. I worked in Naval Intelligence as an AIRMAN E-3. I Graduated from Ivy Tech College with an Applied Computer Science Technology Degree; & Ohio State University with a Business & Economics Bachelor’s Degree. I studied Urban Economics; Govt Finance; Public Policy; & Money & Banking. Also International Studies; Political Science; & 20th Century World History. (of which I lived in from 1960 until 2016- 56 years)

I am a Strong Healthy, Straight, White,Male of European Ancestry, A Spiritual California-born Surfer “THE DUDE” at heart American Citizen.

I have not sold my soul to PACS; Party Hacks; Special Interests; Lobbyists or other corrupting influences. I will only work for ALL residents of Allen County; particularly the SE part of Ft. Wayne- where we need to invest to improve the property tax base; our neighborhoods & our rural areas that all need to be considered. I’m have few ties to the corrupt downtown kleptocracy; plutocrats and carpetbaggers whose “development schemes” will only serve to enrich the Overlords & Bugger the rest of us. We will be left with a sack full of IOUs while the Overlords run off to tax havens to retire rich on the backs of the rest of us downtrodden working stiffs. This will stop under my watch.

I fail to see how a adjunct PHD in chemistry teaching part time at a dysfunctional Local Branch campus who has not even lived in the USA for decades can have the insight nor perspective as the rest of us who have been working BOOTS ON THE GROUND for a Lifetime . we shall see how far “name confusion” carries the day; or simply being a GOP’er

Question 4 answer: I suppose the County Council (CC) is working OK. Since 1991-(25 years)- I have closely followed city & county government meetings on public access TV; & online- There are a few things that could be reformed, like all Govts; –

The open seat vacated by Mr. Brown should be filled by an Independent minded Democrat who is a Fiscal Conservative & Social Liberal/Centrist- who will raise issues & ask questions from the taxpayers & citizens who are often ignored due to conservative “political correctness”

I will work hard to get along with the other CC members; & County officials many of who I am acquainted with from my 1990 GOP days.

My main issues will be more cash for our Veterans Office & asking why we spend so many Millions of dollars on AADP; & Redwood Toxicology-Drugs & Alcohol Prohibition. I believe the needle exchange program is stupid and only enables Addicts. This is all a distraction to shut down and silence the legalize marijuana movement We need to make clear to Heroin Addicts, etc. they are not welcome here & will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law ;

TWO- I will assure our county sheriff & justice system have the resources wisely provided they need for Public Safety, & Helping the various screwballs foul-ups misfits & “Square Pegs” fit in and conform to community standards expectations & Ethics

Lastly: I have an eccentric interest in Research of Allen County History- the obscure, interesting, Tabloid stories that citizens may be curious about.

Question 5 answer: I do not think any major changes need to be made in the operation of this office- the Surrounding County towns and citizens have made it VERY CLEAR they are content with “business as usual” And a Plurality of city Residents who Elect County Officials & pay both city & County Taxes – have made it clear they want a County Councilman who will Listen and publicize and follow their Concerns; & wants & needs -they are paying for. I Intend to do this to the utmost of technology and 21st century public policy – Doing what works.

Question 6 answer: Again the main Policies and issues I will focus on are Maximum openness transparency & accountability to the Public; Uploading All public records to the Internet- ( w/ redactions as needed for privacy)- Court records; sheriff’s records criminal justice, and so on- anything the Public demands and is willing to pay for .

Maximum Funding for our County Veterans & War Heroes at the County Veterans Service Office. With so many War Veterans – from WW2, Korea, VietNam, Interim wars; & Iraq & Afghanistan- the Need is great and we must spend what is necessary to meet the needs of our veterans and their families; whatever the price tag.

I am open minded to study the need for a minimal security PUBLICALLY OWNED & OPERATED COUNTY JAIL /Prison Camp for the many average inmates & ex-cons willing to become law abiding tax paying citizens again & resources for an Mentally ill;& Drug Addicted special confinement Lock-up to process them into the proper institutions. Jail Guards have enough work without babysitting the Insane or the addicts or mentally deficient

Lastly: I will raise the issue of Legalized Recreational Marijuana-Legal as Tomatoes- & kept from Minors- to raise revenue & attract Millennials; artists musicians nightclub workers; nonconformists outside the box entrepreneurs & Others who want to live in a fiscal conservative social liberal freedom and liberty sort of city. College educated singles & young adults. My approach is a near polar opposite of the current downtown riverfront schemes as visioned by GFW and “the usual bunch of idiots”

Question 7 answer: Asking the Citizens & Taxpayers input of how much government they want & How much are you willing to pay for it, then delivering those services in the best affordable way realistically possible in a fiscally sustainable way.

ALLEN COUNTY TREASURER

William “Bill” Royce

Question 1 answer:  The County Treasurer is the Chief Investment Officer for the County and they are charged with collecting, safeguarding, distributing, and investing property taxes, business personal property tax, and other fees and collectables.

Question 2 answer: I have served as Chief Deputy Treasurer for the past eight years. I know the law as it pertains to the Treasurer’s office, I know the inner workings of our department as it relates to other County departments and have a heart for public service. I want Allen County to be a great place to live, work and play.

Question 3 answer: As stated in question four, I have eight year’s experience as the Chief Deputy Treasurer and have run the office in the Treasurer’s absence. I worked six years in the Auditor’s office and have a thorough understanding of the relationship of both departments which is very important since we are the check and balance for one another. I have an associates degree from Olivet Nazarene University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Information Systems from Indiana Wesleyan University. Most recently I completed a two year course as a Certified Public Manager from the Bowen Center at Ball State.

Question 4 answer: The Treasurer’s office is run lean and efficient, customer service is a high priority and I look forward to building on the foundation Treasurer Susan Orth and I have built.

Question 5 answer: I want to continue to find more convenient ways for taxpayers to access their local government, raise the bar on excellent customer service and continue to seek ways to operate efficiently.

Question 6 answer: The Treasurer’s office is highly regulated by state law. I will continue to apply the law fairly and legally and where improvements to service can be made, will work with our legislators to affect positive change for Allen County Taxpayers.

Question 7 answer: Addressing a taxpayer’s question or problem in a kind, respectful, professional manner and “getting it right” the first time.

EAST ALLEN COUNTY SCHOOLS BOARD MEMBER DISTRICT 5R

Robert Nelson Jr.

Question 1 answer: Working with a seven person board and the administration of EACS

Question 2 answer: To make EACS the school district of choice in Northeast Indiana.

Question 3 answer: I have already served 4 years on the board and during that time we have balanced our budget, controlled transportation expenses, created a needed building project and most importantly became an “A” district.

Question 4 answer: Superintendent, Dr. Folks, and his staff have done an amazing job in education and transparency. And they make an excellent partner with the board.

Question 5 answer: N/A

Question 6 answer: I would like to see EACS continue on the road of success. I would like to see ALL members take part in the success, just not when it peaks their personal interest. We are NOT an “area” we are a district.

Question 7 answer: God gave us all different talents, our job is to use them wisely and use them often: but use them. I’m using my talents to help ALL children learn to the best of their abilities.

FORT WAYNE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS BOARD OF SCHOOL TRUSTEES DISTRICT 2

Glenna L. Jehl

Glenna L. Jehl

Glenna L. Jehl

Question 1 answer: The school board is to formulate the policies to help guide the school district, to hire and work with the Superintendent, and see that the school district remains financially sound.

Question 2 answer: I want to ensure that every child that attends FWCS will have a superb education so that they will have every opportunity to succeed in whatever career path they choose to pursue in the future.

Question 3 answer: I have attended public schools all my life while growing up, yet was fortunate enough to graduate from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Political Science. I have served four years on the School Board and gained valuable experience which I will rely on should the people grant me another term.

Question 4 answer: I serve on the School Board with my fellow colleagues who all conduct themselves professionally. The Board operates very smoothly, cordially, and much is accomplished at our Work Sessions and Board Meetings.

Question 5 answer: The main thing I would change would be to open up the comments section prior to the official adjournment of the meeting… that way we will allow those comments or concerns to be heard by the viewers tuning in on their TVs at home. I believe that this is a much more considerate and transparent way to operate and the administration and the School Board could adopt this procedural change if they chose to.

Question 6 answer: I would like to see the district continue to stress academic excellence, especially in the early elementary grade levels since that foundation in reading is critical to understanding most of the rest of what they will study in later years. Also would hope the district will get away from teaching to the ISTEP test and back to letting teachers do what they do best, TEACH!

Question 7 answer: Public service is simply an opportunity to give back to the community and others…I have enjoyed serving on the School Board and look forward to working to improve our schools to give our children a brighter future.

FORT WAYNE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS BOARD OF SCHOOL TRUSTEES DISTRICT 3

Robert C. Hinga

Question 1 answer: Help manage decisions for the School system

Question 2 answer: I have always tried to help advance in their future.

Question 3 answer: I have the desire to help the children grow in their education to grow for there future.

Question 4 answer: The current office holder is a retired school teacher who is stepping down and I find nothing to stay against her.

Question 5 answer: Openly look at where the school system is going and move it forward to serve all students in the system.

Question 6 answer: This position votes on the polices the administration pus forward.

Question 7 answer: Do your best to move the educational system forward to serve all the students attending the School system.

NORTHWEST ALLEN COUNTY SCHOOLS BOARD MEMBER DISTRICT 1

Zubair Asif Khan

Question 1 answer: The duties are to set policies, employ a superintendent, and adopt budgets and make appropriations necessary to its educational mission.

Question 2 answer: Running for school board is a way for me to give back to the community and set a good example for my family for public service. Local School boards have only one agenda—education, and that is what I am passionate about.  If you look at early childhood education, there is irrefutable proof that shows children who receive early childhood education will do better in school, are better off socially, and will do better financially later in life.  This is why my wife and I invested in opening a state of the art educational childcare facility called Kiddie Academy.  Kiddie Academy is now a feeder system into the NACS school district, and I want to make sure that the NACS School Board maintains that same level of good quality education.

Question 3 answer: With my experience of running two successful businesses, I bring a unique perspective as a professional and as a business owner.  I know what it’s like to make tough decisions.  Since five elected officials are in charge of close to seventy million dollars of taxpayer money, this is a very important position.  Like in business the school board has to be able to budget and stretch taxpayer money.  I have extensive board experience, including being on the board of two non-profits and our Homeowner’s association board.  I have built relationships with city, county, and state elected officials. This is important because a lot of our school funding comes from the state.   I’m honored to have the support and endorsements of many community leaders including City Councilman Michael Barranda, former President of County Council Darren Vogt, City Councilman John Crawford, Commissioner Therese Brown, State Rep. Casey Cox, President of the Greater Fort Wayne Hispanic Chamber Palermo Galindo, former State Senator Tom Wyss, former teacher and co-founder of Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education Phyllis Bush, and State Senator Jim Banks.  Along with community leaders, some of the top builders including Mike Thomas and Associates, KAM Construction, and FC Tucker/Malcolm & Schlueter Realtors are all supporting me.

Question 4 answer: NACS is fortunate to have a superintendent who is passionate about public education.  His leadership has made NACS a desired school district to be in.  The NACS district is growing and becoming more diverse.  There is a need for better community representation on the School Board.  School Board as a governing body sometimes gets forgotten among other government entities.  Building relationships with other gov’t officials is crucial, especially if another annexation were to occur.  I have built these important relationships.

Question 5 answer: I would like to live stream the public school board meetings and use technology to our advantage so that transparency is the norm in all meetings.

Question 6 answer: I am concerned about the over testing of our children from standardized testing.  Parents and students feel that ISTEP testing is a waste of money and time, especially when the only purpose is to hold schools and teachers accountable.  Educators feel that these tests are inappropriate and provide a lot of data with very little useful information.  What got me interested in being a part of the steering committee for the Regional Cities Initiative was the idea to retain and attract talent to our area.  How can we expect to retain and bring in good teachers when the pay scale is based on test scores of children?  We need  to have  better salary incentives for teachers at the local level otherwise we will lose them.

Northwest Allen County is undergoing tremendous growth with housing and more business coming in. With NACS growing, the issue of overcrowded classrooms need  to be addressed.  According to a survey done by the nonpartisan Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics in December 2013, an overwhelming number (80 %) of  NACS residents were in favor of a referendum to restore funding lost to property tax.  According to the survey NACS is perceived as a high performing district, and parents feel they have paid a premium to live in the district.  The survey concludes that 80% of people surveyed would allow a special referendum to use property taxes to pay for building and transportation.  Based on this data, I would support a community approved referendum to help pay for expansion or new buildings for increased student enrollment.

Question 7 answer: I believe that effective public service requires servant leaders who put their constituents as the focus of their service.

Chanda Kay Lubbehusen

Question 1 answer: Formulation of policies for the operation of schools, employ a Superintendent to act as CEO of the school corporation, adopt budgets and levies, and hold the Corporation accountable to its constituents.

Question 2 answer: I want to represent the residents of the NACS school district as a public servant and give them a voice.

Question 3 answer: I am a person who will listen, ask questions, and research the issues related to our school district. I want to make sure that all community members feel they have a voice on topics that are important our school system.  As a nurse, working as a team is key in the care and treatment of my patients.  I have to be able to communicate and coordinate services with multiple entities within the hospital to make sure patients have good outcomes, this involves taking a lot of given information and being able to prioritize based on the needs of the patient.  I will take these communication, critical thinking, and prioritizing skills and use them, along with listening to the NACS community, staff, administration, and other Board members to make decisions in the best interest of children of Northwest Allen County Schools.

Question 4 answer: The NACS School Board functions very well.  It’s members work well together and want what is best for the students of the district. They take their time in making decisions and have done well financially, under the direction of Superintendent, Chris Himsel, and Business Manager, Bill Mallers. They have done a good job of making sure the district works within the financial means given from the State, even with tax caps shorting the school district 1.9 million dollars annually.

Question 5 answer: I think that the School Board of Trustees runs well and is dedicated to the mission of providing a healthy and safe learning environment that engages, supports, and challenges each learner in a culture of achievement and excellence.

Question 6 answer: Being able to retain teachers is a problem nationwide. NACS needs to be part of the solution in teacher retention. The Board can look at the financial aspects and we, as Board Members, can be representative to the State legislature on issues of tying test scores and student progress to the compensation of teachers.

Question 7 answer: I believe that effective public service means serving the community by being a fair, approachable, listener, taking the needs of all citizens into consideration when making decisions without need of anything in return.

NORTHWEST ALLEN COUNTY SCHOOLS BOARD MEMBER DISTRICT 1

Kent H. Somers

Kent H. Somers

Kent H. Somers

Question 1 answer:  All three powers (Legislative, Executive & Judicial) necessary to perform the duties necessary to provide public education are granted by statute to the Board.  Practically speaking, the Legislative aspects are carried out in the development and adoption of bylaws and policies.  On the Executive side, much is delegated to the Superintendent and his staff to carry out the function of running the school corporation. The Board oversees and coordinates with the Superintendent and staff on emerging issues and concerns.  Finally the Judicial aspect is that the Board can hold hearings and resolve disputes regarding those areas of authority of the Board.  

Question 2 answer:  I want to serve my community by sharing my talents and professional experiences. I ran for school board 4 years ago on the following expectations.  I wanted NACS to be the school system of choice for parents and students by:

  • Ensuring all constituents (students, parents, residents and businesses) receive the utmost education value for the taxpayer dollars spent
  • Expand upon the existing strong academic performance by establishing stretch goals throughout the school system as continued improvement is necessary for long-term success.
  • Provide secure and nurturing learning environment where all students, teachers, administrators and support staff can safely focus on the educational process and support thereof; and
  • Improve the NACS technology footprint though implementation of 1-on-1 computing.

I believe I have been true to those aspirations and still support them today.

Question 3 answer: I am person who listens first and then acts. I have represented workers in the construction industry for almost 20 years and I know what having a voice means to each and every one. I have spent 3 years on the Board of Works learning how the infrastructure in Fort Wayne is repaired and maintained.

As the incumbent in this race, my past four years of experience on the Board puts me in the unique position to be effective day 1.  I am already fully versed in the budgeting process and associated issues.  Also I participated in shaping the strategic plans for facility demands, addressing the projected growth in student enrollment.

I have nearly 30 years of business experience as a leader.  Capital and financial budgeting, strategic planning, risk assessment, performance evaluations and overall leadership of both large and small units has provided me with such valuable skills and tools that are of great benefit to the business-side of a school corporation.

As NACS deals with the challenges of student growth and existing financial constraints, now is not the time for on the job training.  Experience matters and will be a tremendous asset for the next four year.

Question 4 answer: I believe that the NACS school system is performing extremely well given the financial constraints from property tax caps.  Together with Superintendent Himsel and his administration, the Board has been highly effective in addressing the needs of the school system and expanding its capabilities.  

Some of the highlights from the past four years include: restoration of all salary cuts that occurred district-wide following the 2008-09 financial crisis; the establishment of a two-tier busing schedule, thus avoiding the need to eliminate service for those families living near our schools; working with the Superintendent and the community to highlight the significant negative consequences of the City of Fort Wayne’s annexation plan; implementation of phase one of our 1-to-1 computing initiative by providing laptops to all secondary students and teachers; and refinancing of all of the NACS outstanding debt, increasing funds available for capital projects that otherwise would not have been possible due to property tax caps and did so without raising debt costs to the taxpayers.

Question 5 answer: I would like to see the following three initiatives accomplished in the near term.  First, I would like to see 360 feedback evaluations implemented for all administrators.  The best way to grow as a leader is receive feedback from not only from the top down, but also getting input from peers and employees is essential to professional development.  Second, I would like to see the expansion of standing Board committees, formalizing the exchange of ideas and between Board members and the Administration.  Third, I want the weekly Board communications to become fully digital.  This would eliminate much of the printing and physical distribution costs of the Board, and allow for enhance searching capabilities of past materials without having to keep hardcopies on hand.

Question 6 answer: I would like to discuss any contract that has to do with pay and benefits for employees before the structure is formulated not just a vote after it is presented. I believe the office does provide the legal means to do so.

Primariliy I would like to continue to work with the Indiana General Assembly to address some of the existing legislative constraints.  Contrary to the belief of some, the current Board has already taken action by passing a resolution on February 29, 2016 to eliminate the high-stakes testing that currently exists.  School systems should be allowed to develop their own set of measures to demonstrate accountability to the State.  Furthermore, the reduction in state fund distribution that occurs from mid-term graduates is counter-intuitive to the fundamental purpose of our schools.  Finally, our legislators need to find a permanent solution to address the revenue losses from property tax caps.

Question 7 answer:  An effective public servant embodies selfless giving of time, energy and abilities in support and advancement of the public entity’s role in society, without any pretense of using the position to advance their own personal aspirations or serving only a subset of constituents.

NORTHWEST ALLEN COUNTY SCHOOLS BOARD MEMBER DISTRICT 2

Steve Bartkus

Question 1 Answer: My duties and responsibilities would be to sit down with the additional members of our school board and discuss the current issues we may have as well as future concerns with our school system and the amount of children that are attending. We meet twice a month to make the important decisions that will effect many families that attend or work for this school system.

Question 2 Answer: I have been born and raised in this area for 44 years. My wife and myself graduated from Carroll High School. My business is Real Estate and Auctioneering. In my everyday work I hear, see and witness the concerns and questions that people have as they move into this school district and I would like to learn a little more about one of the largest school corporations in our state from the inside out verses seeing it from a outsiders view.

Question 3 Answer: As stated above, I work with many people that buy and sell homes in this part of our county and the leading factor on why the public wants to live in Northwest Allen County is hands down the school system. I think that is something said to what we are working with here. I want to be a part of that and help give back to our people that count on this single entity to make sure the quality continues.

Question 4 Answer: I feel that its working great. There may be some small changes that need to be addressed and there may be larger ones too like the sizes of our class rooms and the amount of children that are coming into this system.

Question 5 Answer: I do believe that the task will be at hand again on whether or not Northwest Allen needs to expand at the High School Level as well as our Elementary and Middle schools. In the past there was much talk about building another high school. I believe that yes that is something that should have been completed then. We are now experiencing classes that are at full capacity and will be having to address this issue soon.  Before my career in Real Estate and Auctioneering I worked in Fort Wayne for a couple of Architectural firms one of which was in charge of the design of our Middle Schools in fact I was a part of the Design process on Maple Creek Middle School. It was interesting to be a part of that and to really see what goes into that type of project. I feel with my past design background as well as my experience in Real Estate and development I can be a important part of our school board.

Question 6 Answer: At this point there is not one particular issue that I feel that needs to be changed or solved with our current board. I feel that there is always a place and time for current members to step down and new candidates to step up and in this case volunteer their time and knowledge for the good of all the people.  

Question 7 Answer: A person that is in public office should always look out for what is best for the public.

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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