School board position 2 candidate: John Dunbar
Name: John Dunbar
Date of birth: Sept. 24, 1962
Family: Wife and six children (All of our children have attended the USD 348 schools)
Current employment: Dynatron Elevator (Project Engineer)
Past employment: Dynatron Elevator (President)
Education: Post Graduate (dual engineering degrees)
Number years lived in the community 13 years
Previous public offices held: (church deacon, school board member, international inspector,)
Community involvement: (FFA honorary member, church board member, provide retail space for under privileged mission outreach, multiple charitable contributor, accident investigator, expert witness)
What made you decide to run for office? I was questioning the direction the district is heading and decided to get involved to give back for all the district has done for our family.
What special qualifications would you bring to this office? For over twenty years, I have worked with children of all ages in boys clubs and youth ministries.
How do you plan to familiarize yourself with the issues that come before the board? I have been studying the Internet site and like what I have seen. I would like to sit in on future meetings if possible and will make contact with current membership.
What leadership qualities do you possess? For over twenty years, built a business from the ground up peaking out with over thirty employees and seven million a year in revenues.
How do you plan stay in touch with constituents if you are elected? I love the diversity that comes with a team in making decisions and weighing all points of view. Email is essential for meeting this challenge. I want close contact with our state leaders as well to be sure we are not overlooked in their decisions. I am also counting heavily on the parents in this district to assist in every way to communicate their wishes and feedback and to give our children a chance in this changing world.
Describe what you see as the main role of a school board member. Procure safe and competent candidates to teach our children. With this in mind encourage them in every way possible to complete their task.
What is the best attribute of our school district and why? We possess a magic I do not want to see go away. There is a core base of great teachers who have invested their lives in our children. That magic keeps the children in school and builds a better community.
What are the three most important issues facing the school district and how would you confront them?
Downsizing, we have to be careful not to lose our magic in staffing and prevent overcrowding in classes.
Financial shortfalls, going to creative ends to provide the best educational bang for the buck.
Keeping our teachers happy and giving them the freedom to give feedback and to help us lead in a positive direction. We are all on the same team. Expand opportunities in our community to keep our well educated kids around after graduation.
Do you think public schools are adequately funded? Why or why not? I am not sure if we are well funded or not. I would like to pursue grant programs on the state and federal level to access greater funding as needed.
What areas of the budget would you target for spending cuts if necessary? A direction and course has been set for our district, this needs to be pushed forward if it is the only way. If not, make the necessary changes before further damage can occur.
Are the district's teachers being compensated fairly? Why or why not?
As a new member, I want to listen first and then decide about some of these issues. It is easy to look in and judge until you are the one making decisions. I would like to see programs in place for our teachers to have an opportunity for additional income. This would include the summer months.
These monies don't have to come from the district budget. Our community will have to come together to come up with ways of employing our talent.
What better way to keep our teachers up to speed with the changes in the community and world and at the same time improve their standard of living. Their lives are invested in each of our children and leave an impression that can last for a lifetime.
Under what circumstances would you favor increasing property taxes?
Our tax burden is heavy in this county and I don't believe this can be solved at the school board level. The only way I would be in favor of any increases would be if we first had our house in order. I firmly believe in balanced budgets and will ensure that we are transparent in our financial decisions. This is the only way our accountability won't come into question.