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From the Desk of Board of Education Candidate Jimmy Reeder

My name is Jimmy Reeder. I will be on the ballot as James C. Reeder, Jr. I am a fifty-six year old professional banker with thirty-eight years of experience, a strong conservative, a lifelong citizen of the county and I pay lots of taxes. I entered this race as the preverbal "angry tax-payer". I was also deeply disappointed by the lack of professionalism that has been demonstrated by the School Board and the Administration level. I consider their decision making flawed and expensive. And, I consider the consequences of their actions to be detrimental to the school system and the county at large. The tax payers I meet have had it and they demand action. They want this school system brought back "under control" and they want it done now. I have spent the better part of my life helping my community and find this as one more way to lend my experience to rebuild the trust and confidence in a system that has been damaged by a vacuum at the leadership level.

So, when I entered this race I sized up the issues as I saw them and was determined to put my stamp on the changes required to make our school system accountable to the taxpayers, children, teachers and support staff. Bad decisions, poor communication and a lack of principled leadership have put us where we are today. The administrators and the school board have lost the trust of the community at large. Simply put, they do not believe them anymore. Whether it was a new central office building, potential cuts to childrenís programs or "one bonus too many", it was all there for everyone to see. Since the continued acceleration of the school board budget is unsustainable, a complete review of the central office staff is needed and will be required. It is way past time to have those who make large salaries justify their existence or they will need to move on. It is time to act and put our children first. I ask for your vote and will do the work that it takes to make sure that you did not waste your vote on me. Thank you.

Positions for Success

? Reign in and control overall spending. A top down exhaustive review, by cost center needs to be completed by board members, open to the general public. This school system will never regain any goodwill that has been squandered unless the taxpayers understand where and why the money is spent.

  • Complete a staffing audit for all paid associates on the administration area. This also includes, but is not limited to full-time, exempt and any consultants that would receive even one dollar of taxpayer money. Also, job classifications of associates needs to be clear and unambiguous. It is well past time to trim the fat.
  • Discontinue the practice of abusing our children and communities by providing inconsistent leadership. Never have I seen leadership that is incapable of making good decisions. Two quick examples:
  • The proposal to close the school in Sabillasville. From what I have read and heard it took years to get "air conditioning" in the school. Then over the last year or so, they get what is needed to meet the needs of the students and staff. Then we have a budget short fall and we hear that we need to close the school to save the money, some $383,400.00. Then they find the money to keep the school open, all the while the students, faculty and community at large is upset and then subsequently saved. What!! Do we need to close this school or not. We have invested money to get the appropriate repairs completed, then we are going to close the school and save some money and then we find money to keep it open. This would be hilarious if it werenít so serious. How about do the right thing and plan accordingly.
  • Shut down the swimming and diving programs due to a budget short fall. So, we run short of money and the first thing we go for is swimming and diving. Are you kidding!! If I have my numbers right, it was somewhere around $12,700.00 to keep the programs and another $20,000.00 or so to upgrade the diving boards. This stunt caught my attention and I actually donated money to keep the programs alive. In the meantime we are building a five story building on the corner of East and South Streets, costing in excess of $16,500,000.00 so the Board of Education executives have a "nice" place to work. Then, miraculously, we find the money to keep the swimming and diving programs alive. How does this happen. So, letís recap, we run short of money and we hit the kids first. Where I come from adults need to take the hits first. We should be here to enrich our childrenís experience by teaching them what they need to know to be successful when they reach their own real world experiences. This kind of stuff teaches them nothing. Oh, by the way, at the same meeting, the board approved spending $17,000.00 for single stream recycling. Now thatís putting our children first!!
  • Dump TERC Math.
    • This costs too much - upwards of $257,000.00 per year
    • Confuses the students who "get the math concept"
    • Irritates many of the parents who have invested in their children
  • Re-evaluate and leverage synergies between County Government and the Board of Education. These are extraordinary times and this requires normal, tried and true business logic. Whether it is Finance, Procurement, Maintenance, etc., we need to explore commonalities that can strengthen our county and make the dollars we spend more acceptable. The dollars we spend are precious and should be treated that way. Waste, no matter where it exists is unacceptable.

Read position papers of other candidates running in the 2010 primary