My name is Patty Stephan. I am running for a three-year term for the Member-At-Large seat on the Sanborn Regional School District Budget Committee. I have lived in Newton for twenty years with my husband, Chris, and my children, Ben, age 20, and Emily, age 11. I am running now because I believe that we are at a tipping point regarding the future of both our town and our schools. If I am elected, I promise to focus on balancing the concerns of our taxpayers with the needs of our students, faculty, and support staff. I will be fair and open minded.
In my professional life, I am a Production Director at an educational publisher and learning solutions provider. I have been with this same company for over twenty-five years. I have many years of strategic planning and people management experience and managing multimillion dollar budgets. I am well respected for my problem solving and collaboration skills and my ability to find common-sense solutions to difficult problems.
I have a strong desire to bring these skills, as well as my strong interest in our communities and our school district, to the Budget Committee table. My professional credentials are available via LinkedIn for anyone who wants more information (www.linkedin.com/in/pattystephan).
From my observations of the Budget Committee and Deliberative sessions I have attended, it seems that there are two distinct camps in town: those who are most focused on providing the very best for the students of the district and those who are most concerned about rising property tax rates and their ability to stay in their homes. On these issues, there needs to be give and take. People are not either right or wrong. We need to sit together and carefully discuss these differing viewpoints and make decisions that reflect their deepest concerns.
In our school district, what I think is missing is clear, unbiased information presented in a more readily available, digestible way so that folks of all ages, with kids in our schools and without children or whose children may have graduated long ago, can understand why budget requests are made and their tax implications. The information is currently available, but only if you are willing to look for it. To me, that is unacceptable. Many people are completely unaware of the deliberative sessions or even this election for that matter.
I will do my best to provide a forum for gathering and sharing feedback with voters from both towns. I want to hear your concerns and your ideas for balancing the needs of our school district and our tax rates. Thank you for your time and consideration. Please feel free to reach me with any questions, concerns, or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.