Category Archives: Election 2015

Election Results: All UCF School Board Races

Congratulations to the winners of Tuesday’s school board elections!

Based on the unofficial results, the voters have returned four sitting school board members (Dupuis, Daniels, Lindner, and yours truly).  In addition, voters elected John Murphy in Region C, who will replace Kathy Do.    The region C race was was decided by about 10 votes.  Despite the results being unofficial the candidates appear to have accepted the results as ‘final’.

The new board takes office on December 1.

Election Results All Regions Nov 2015

 

Sources are Chester County Voter Services (text search for ‘Unionville’)  and Delaware County (Chadds Ford).

 

 

Campaign Signs

One of the signs of an upcoming election is the proliferation of campaign signs along the road. You can’t run a political campaign without yard signs, right?

Before I knew that I would be unopposed on the ballot, I worked on campaign signs with my oldest son.   He provided the expertise on the graphics software; we brainstormed together and came up with one traditional sign and two more creative options.  Our masterpieces are below.  Which one is your favorite?  Scroll to the bottom to cast your anonymous vote; maybe the winner will turn into a real sign in 2019?

Poster-Other2 Poster-ChalkBoard Poster-Apple

Election November 3

A number of local offices are on the ballot on November 3, including five of the nine Unionville -Chadds Ford School Director seats.

Sample ballots, organized by voting precinct are here.

If, like me, you will be out of town on November 3, you should apply for an absentee ballot.  The deadline to apply is October 27, and the completed ballot needs to be received back on Friday October 30.

Internet Politics

 

Official Ballots for May 19

For all of you registered voters in Chester County, below are links to the ballots that will be used in each township where I am running.  (You are going to exercise your civic duty and vote on May 19, right?)   There are a few competitive races, especially for the state-wide offices.

Pocopson Republican Ballot
Pocoposon Democratic Ballot
Newlin Republican Ballot
Newlin Democratic Ballot
Birmingham Republican Ballot
Birmingham Democratic Ballot

Primary Election on May 19 – Absentee Ballots

If you will be out of town on May 19, note that requests for absentee ballots must be received by Chester County voter services by 5pm on Tuesday May 12, and returned no later than 5pm on Friday May 15.

You may download the application for an absentee ballot here.

Please remember to vote for your favorite candidate!

Handout

World Class Schools – Financially Strong and Operationally Efficient

World Class SchoolsIn my previous post I presented my vision for world class schools at UCF.  In a series of posts, I am going deeper into each of my six priorities for our schools.

Priority #6 – Financially Strong and Operationally Efficient

We need to be a district that is financially strong.  Strength comes from a strong tax base, keeping a close watch on expenses, limiting long-term debt, and professionally managing the districts books.   UCF has all of these strengths, and they must be watchfully maintained.

A strong tax base provides steady tax revenues to our schools, which provides year-to-year budgetary stability, and allows us to avoid cycles of layoffs and program cuts.  This stability is a great asset.  Moreover, the relationship between property values and world class schools is mutually reinforcing —  great schools creates demand for housing, which sustains property values, which sustains great schools.

But great schools also keep a close eye on expenses.  The goal is to not to spend the most on schools, but rather (like in any other industry) to provide the highest value to our community for every dollar that is spent.   Millage rates are high in UCF, but a majority of our community believes we still are on the right side of the value equation.  We must control the growth of expenses in our schools if we are to maintain this delicate balance and keep the trust and confidence of our taxpayers.

Financial Strength

Operationally efficient schools find ways to reduce administrative costs and non-instructional expenses.  And, knowing that instructional expenses are the single largest cost in the district, the most innovative districts also find ways to deliver more learning while staying within the limits of Act 1.  This is an immense challenge, but the best organizations in the world accept the challenge of improving productivity year-in and year-out.

Our district needs to have a strong balance sheet.  We should not carry large amounts of debt, and all debt that we do incur should only be to finance long-life assets like buildings.  We should take a conservative approach to our financial projections, and protect our Aa1 credit rating (which places us in the top 3% of Pennsylvania school districts.)

We need strong financial systems, procurement practices, and controls.   The district should continue to join together with other districts in purchasing arrangements to leverage our combined purchasing power.  Our existing financial systems are adequate, and our most recent independent audit found no issues with the district’s financial controls.    We must continue to run a tight ship, maintaining the good practices already in place and finding additional places to improve.

‘World class education’ does not mean ‘expensive’.    Rather, it means that we derive the highest possible value from every dollar we spend on education.  The tax payer is paying for the education of the community’s children, and we must be excellent stewards of each and every tax dollar.