Board Must Refocus

Nov 01, 2017

To the Editor:

We’re at a critical juncture for our school board in Stafford Township. Our superintendent has been extended through 2022, while our teachers are still working under the terms of a contract that expired in 2016. Tension is high and morale is low. If we want our children to be successful, we as a district need to be successful. Right now, we’re simply not doing a good enough job.

In addition to settling the outstanding teachers contract, there are three areas on which the board needs to focus.

Transparency: We, as parents and taxpayers, need to understand the board’s motivation and reasoning. Not every detail can be made public, but we deserve a clearer picture of what’s going on and what’s being considered in each of their decisions. It’s time to pull back the curtain.

Accountability: The board is elected by the people and should represent the people. That means letting our voices be heard and our feedback considered. The board’s decisions aren’t made in a vacuum. They have a real impact – an impact to our children each day in the classroom and an impact to our tax bill each quarter.  

Fiscal Responsibility: When I write out that check every quarter to pay my taxes, I want to be confident that my tax dollars are being spent wisely and responsibly, and that every penny goes directly toward the education of our children.

I’ve always been active in the district, including regularly attending board meetings. I’ve listened, I’ve learned and I’ve asked questions. I’m no longer satisfied with the answers I’ve been getting, and it’s time to change that.

We need a board member who can drive change, a member not burdened by conflicts of interest, one who can take part in negotiations and evaluate the superintendent. One who has practical business experience from 16 years in financial analysis and project/team management, and who can leverage that to help improve our district. One who’s focused on ensuring we’re acting in the best interests of both our children and our taxpayers. That person is me.

Stafford residents when you head to the polls on Nov. 7, please consider casting your vote for me, Joshua Smith, for Stafford school board.

Joshua Smith



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