As the school budget vote and board election nears Patch talks with candidates on the issues.
By Judy Mottl
Patch is asking all school board candidates to complete a Q&A to offer up insight on why they’re running and their respective qualifications and backgrounds for serving on a school board. All board candidates are asked the same set of questions and also asked to provide some bio information.
Here is the Q&A for Rebecca Campbell, who is challenging incumbent trustee and BOE Board VP Andrea O’Neill for the seat of current board member Kathy Heinlein who elected not to run again. It is a three-year term.
O’Neill’s seat is a two-year term seat given the board change from nine to seven members.
Full Name: Rebecca Campbell
Residency: 14 years
Children in district: Five children, four in BBP schools and one attending Tulane University.
Education: A bachelor’s degree in economics from The College of William & Mary, a master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and a law degree from The University of Virginia School of Law, where Campbell was an editor of the law review. Occupation: Attorney with a Manhattan law firm
Related Experience: A three-year member of the BBP Budget Advisory Committee, and a founding member and board member of the BBP Community Tennis Association.
What is the biggest/top issue facing the school district and what is one proposal you have for solving it?
The biggest issue facing our district is financial, specifically how to provide BBP students with an excellent education at a cost that the community can afford. In order to accomplish this goal, the BOE must, among other things, become much better at negotiating contracts.
Next year’s budget will likely be tougher than this year’s in the quest to meet the tax cap. Name one specific budget area you believe can be reduced going forward.
The rate of growth in salaries and benefits.
Consolidation is a hot topic during budget and board election time. Do you favor consolidating school district operations wherever possible, and what is one specific area you believe would be a substantial cost-savings. If you don’t favor it, name one specific reason why not.
Consolidation of small districts into larger districts is the “hottest” topic right now. I see this issue as a distraction from what our focus needs to be at this time, which is more effective management of the district we have.
Do you believe parents should have access to teacher evaluations? If yes, why, if no why.
Yes, in part. New York State Freedom of Information law guarantees such access.
What is one specific goal you have established if elected to the board?
I will work to increase the transparency of district operations, particularly with respect to employee and vendor contracts.
There are two referendums Bayport-Blue Point taxpayers will vote on this year. Patch asked candidates to state whether they’re in favor or not of the propositions:
Do you favor reducing the BBP school board from 7 to 5? No.
Do you favor the transportation proposal on the ballot this year? No.
The complete Q&A can be viewed at Sayville-Bayport.Patch.com.