USD 204 candidate wants to be Edwardsville’s voice
USD 204 Board of Education candidate Troy Thompson believes the answer to dealing with reduced funding from the state isn’t necessarily cutting budgets but making better use of the funding that’s available.
“I don’t think it’s wise to assume that spending cuts will automatically (be) necessary,” Thompson said in response to a candidate questionnaire prepared by The Chieftain. “We need to assess the district’s finances and try to project what they will look like three or four years into the future.”
Though Thompson has never held public office before, this isn’t his first experience as a candidate. He lost his bid for a seat on the school board two years ago. But he says he decided to run again because he wants to bring new ideas to the table and he wants to ensure Edwardsville residents have a voice in the discussion, as well.
“As a parent and district patron, I feel that it is important to be good stewards of the taxpayer’s money,” said Thompson, who has three children going to schools in USD 204. “I decided to run because we need fresh ideas about the school board’s role in the community. Also, living in Edwardsville, I think it is important that all communities in the district are represented.”
Thompson says he’ll look to the community for input as much as possible. As a leader, he wants to be seen as someone who says what he means and means what he says.
“I believe in leading by example,” Thompson said. “I won’t ask any district employee or patron to do something that I’m not willing to do myself. Also, I believe that communication with patrons is very important.”
Thompson says he is not in favor of increasing property taxes, and would only consider it as an option if “we had explored all other options, up to and including staff reductions or school closures.”
He also doesn’t like the idea of asking patrons who already support the district for more money.
“People that pay taxes to support the district are also the same people that pay fees for books and tuition, buy lunches, band uniforms, and pay participation fees for sports (and admission fees to go watch sports),” Thompson said.