On Tuesday KPCW published an article titled “Candidates decry opponent’s appointment to Park City school board.” One of those candidates was me, Josh Mann. I, along with Meredith Reed and Mandy Pomeroy, are running for Park City School Board. Ms. Reed and I felt appointing one of the three of us to the board, didn’t serve the democratic process. Ms. Pomeroy disagreed and applied.
I have no problem with Ms. Pomeroy choosing another path; however, how she has conducted herself brings up larger questions.
Ms. Pomeroy could have respectfully disagreed and stated why she felt it was important to apply. Instead, she chose to attack Ms. Reed and me and color our opinion as uninformed and uneducated. In a Park Record editorial she attempted to explain how a bill becomes a law, that because the state legislature has a code it guarantees a democratic process, and that we should just do a “quick Google search.” In truth, she completely missed the point. She didn’t listen, she didn’t ask questions, and she didn’t understand.
Furthermore, In KPCW’s article, Ms. Pomeroy says “the decision by Reed and Mann not to apply for the interim appointment ‘speaks volumes about how they truly feel about their qualifications for the position.’ Ms. Pomeroy doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know my background. I don’t believe we have ever met. Yet, she knows how I feel about my own “lack” of qualifications. Yes, for you who are reading, she also likely knows how you feel about almost everything, as well. That said, her criticism does offer me a chance to talk about my qualifications.
Let’s start with the high-level duties of the school board per school district policy 2005. These are the things our school board should be doing.
- The Board has the legal power and duty to do all things necessary for the maintenance, prosperity, and success of the schools, the promotion of education and to exercise all powers given by statute.
- The Board shall determine what conditions are essential to the successful management, good order, and discipline of the schools and the rules required to produce these conditions.
- The Board shall establish tax rates each year prior to June 22 and submit the proposed rate to the board of commissioners of the county in which the District is located.
- The Board shall prepare, adopt, and file a budget for the next succeeding fiscal year with the board of commissioners of the county in which the District is located prior to June 22 of each year.
- The Board may acquire and hold real and personal property in the name of the District.
- The Board may close the school(s) or suspend operation if necessary.
- The Board will evaluate the superintendent and the business administrator.
Here is my background:
- I have a Business major with an emphasis in Psychology from the University of Kansas. My first job was working for the accounting firm Ernst & Young. I have business and accounting skills.
- I am a C-level executive for a software company. I am responsible for planning, reviewing, and directing our company’s budget.
- I have followed, commented on county officials, and written about County taxes since 2012. I not only understand how the tax system works in Utah, and I will treat each dollar spent as my own. Property taxes are rising, and will only rise more in November. I guarantee that I will be a responsible steward of your money.
- The board must determine conditions that are essential to management, order, and discipline in our schools. In the last year, the school district has defied the County Attorney on mask laws, not done much related to a swastika and hate speech in a Jewish teacher’s classroom, and presided over at least two cases of unreported rape and one case of child abuse. Nothing appears to be being done at the school board level. My background shows that I will not allow that attitude to go forward. We need a change of culture.
- The board is required to evaluate the Superintendent and Business Administrator. My opinion on Todd Hauber, the current Business Administrator, is clear. If you need to understand the business side of the school district, he knows it all. A week ago I had questions about the district’s lease revenue bonds ($42 million). He spent 20 minutes after the school board meeting answering my questions and explaining how the interest is calculated. As an outsider to the district, I feel Todd Hauber is an A+.
On the Superintendent, the jury is out. Dr. Gildea has a total compensation of $415,000 a year and she runs seven schools, amid several scandals. That is more compensation per student than any other district in the state. The question is whether we are getting good value for our money. We need to answer that question.
So, I would hope you would agree I am qualified. I care passionately about this and have for more than a decade.
The bottom line is that Ms. Pomeroy is already showing how she will behave as a member of the Park City School Board. They may just be sound bites, but she is demonstrating a tendency toward not listening, not conducting herself respectfully, and jumping to conclusions. These are issues that many in our community have with some members of our current school board.
I believe we need to change the culture of the Park City school board.
If you like the current direction of school board, I would encourage you to vote for Mandy Pomeroy. You’ll get more of the same.
If you want something different, please consider me, Josh Mann, for school board. I have a proven record of asking questions, not being bullied, and listening. I am committed to change.
If I am not your cup of tea, please consider Meredith Reed, who is also running for the school board. Yes, we are running against each other, but I believe she also wants to make our schools better. More information about Ms. Reed can be found here.
Ms. Pomeroy has effectively told me I am uneducated and unqualified. She has told me to “Google It” multiple times when trying to counter why I didn’t feel it was democratic to be appointed to the school board.
If that’s the behavior you want in someone responsible for educating our children, then she is a great choice for you.
If you want someone different, I would appreciate your support in June during the school board primary.
Together, we can make our school district better for our children and the entire community.