Friday, October 15, 2010

Pacifica Elementary School District Candidates - Meet Richard Faust

Text and picture from Pacifica Tribune online 10/14/10.

The Pacifica Tribune sent questionnaires to all four Pacifica School District Board candidates. Their responses are published in their entirety.

1. What is your background, training and experience that qualifies you to manage the affairs of the Pacifica School District.?Please include your occupation and any personal information you would like to share. Why are you running?  I have been a firefighter/paramedic for San Francisco for 16 years. Have lived in Pacifica since 1999 and had children in the public school system in Pacifica for the last eight years. I have been a member of the Ocean Shore PTO executive board for seven years and have served in various roles including president and vice president. During that time I have worked with the school budget to make sure that sustainable programs and policies have been put in place that will carry the school and the PTO forward for the next generation. I worked with the various groups crafting the strategic plan for the school and guided its passage through the board. I worked to help establish a Family Emergency Fund to help families in crisis and a field trip scholarship fund to ensure that all children would be able to attend field trips regardless of ability to pay. I also helped establish a means for all children and families, including those in the County and Special Day classes, to be able to be a part of our community and participate in all school events. I now hope to bring my energy and enthusiasm along with many of these same ideals to the district.

2.  How can we make sure that positions that are eliminated, when brought back, will be filled by those who have lost their jobs in the district?
One of the greatest assets we in the school district have are the employees. These are the people that we are tasking with the care and nurturing of our children. It is our responsibility as a district to ensure that we support our employees. Besides being employees, many of these people are parents in our schools and members of our community. At times the school board has been forced to eliminate positions, but when the board is able to hire people back, it makes obvious sense to look to the people that had previously been laid off. This is also a cost saving for the district in that these people have already completed the necessary background checks, etc., that are required for employment.

3.  What would you consider unwise parcel tax expenditures? An unwise parcel tax expenditure would be any expense other than what the parcel tax was originally designed for. The money from the parcel tax is a gift that has been entrusted to the school board by the public. The board in return needs to make sure that money is spent wisely and not used for any purpose other than those intended.

4.  What are the major issues facing the Pacifica School District? The most pressing issue at this time is obviously the budget. In addition to dealing with lack of support at the state level, the district will continue to need to look at alternate sources of revenue. Some of that can be accomplished through means already under way, ie. leasing of surplus property, grant writing, etc. Another large part of it will be in educating the public about the need for things like parcel taxes to support our schools. The current parcel tax will expire in a few years and the district will need to pursue another one.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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