May 18, 2009 Ami Olson Uncategorized
Connie, her husband Matt, and their two children, Emily, 10, and Amelya, 2, reside on Limeledge Road in Elbridge.
Connie is a West Genesee graduate. Her husband Matt is a lifelong resident and graduate of JE. He is also a part owner of Acrolite, a fiber optic company in Elbridge. They live in the Jordan-Elbridge community because their family roots are here and because the community has so much to offer. – From the JE Eagle Eye newsletter
Briefly describe your involvement with the school district in the last five years.
I began volunteering regularly in the district when my oldest began elementary school. I have also attended school board meetings and informational sessions to learn about the district. I was chosen to assist in interviewing a recent open position as a community voice. My husband and I also have worked with the kids in the JE Recreation League, and the JE Lacrosse Club.
What is your motivation for running for a position on the school board?
I simply want the best for the children of JE. School is a very stable place in these stressful times for them, and I am hoping to continue to give them academic excellence. I also am a taxpayer/family business owner in the district, and I want to ensure that we do all we can to be accountable for how we manage the district financially. I believe that I have taken the time to learn about the Board process, and am excited to give back to the community in this way.
With two meetings a month, the board is relatively limited in what it can accomplish. How should the board decide what is most important?
The Board has a very strict schedule. Members are given agendas prior so that any questions may be asked prior to the meeting. From what I have seen, they come prepared, and seem to be able to address a multitude of issues bi weekly. Occasionally, I may see something pushed to a later time, but that is usually due to outside situations.
What are the current challenges facing the board?
Other than the financial challenges obviously out there for all NY State Districts, one of the biggest issues at hand is communication. Much of what happens in the meetings has been given a different slant to the community, causing some confusion and even dissention. The district faced that with the School Budget last year. It was voted down originally, but many took the time to get the accurate word out to the community on what was trying to be accomplished, and it passed the second time up for vote. I am hoping the Board will continue to find a way to get true information to the taxpayers of JE.
What do you think will be the board’s biggest challenges in the next three years?
Providing quality education on a shrinking financial budget. Two years from now will be our biggest challenge, as the stimulus aid will stop then. It could have a huge tax impact on us all. I believe that the Board must continue to manage a tighter day to day operation. Saving pennies now can mean dollars two years from now. The district has been able to ease the burden of the taxpayers for the last few years doing this, and I hope that they can continue to do so in the years to come.
If it becomes necessary to make significant budget cuts, to what extent should the community be involved in deciding where such cuts should be made?
The Community should definitely be involved. JE has been proactive on this approach already. They held a community forum prior to working through this year’s budget evaluation looking for insight and suggestions. I have no doubt that they will request and welcome the community to come again in the future!