Basehor-Linwood school board candidate questionnaire: Eric Dove
Incumbent Eric Dove is running unopposed for Position 3 on the Basehor-Linwood school board in the April 5 election. Below are his responses to a questionnaire distributed by the Sentinel to the school board candidates.
For information on the other candidates and other election details, take a look at the Sentinel's 2011 local election voter's guide.
Biography: Eric Dove
Family: Wife Michelle; Children: Spencer (BLHS 2010 graduate, Marissa (junior)
Current employment: PDL Support.com, L.L.C.
Past employment history: 20-plus years in the commercial real estate industry
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration and accounting, University of Kansas; Master of Business Administration, Regis University
Number of years lived in the Basehor-Linwood area: Seven years currently; Linwood High School graduate, initially lived in district from 1971 to 1987
Previous public offices held, if any: First elective office
Community involvement: Volunteer leader, Troop 83, Shooting Sports Support Team (Camp Naish)
What made you decide to run for re-election to the Basehor-Linwood school board?
I felt I could help improve the school district.
What special qualifications would you bring to the office?
As a corporate controller and CPA, I bring unique abilities to the office in these difficult financial times.
How would you characterize your decisions and your voting record during your time on the school board?
My decisions and voting record reflect a desire to bring more rigor to the classroom and be fiscally responsible.
What leadership qualities do you possess?
Consensus-building, ability to make hard decisions and understanding of finance.
How do you plan stay in touch with constituents if you are elected?
I attend many district events, and my phone number is on the district website. I also like for patrons to attend board meetings.
Describe what you see as the main role of a school board member.
A school board member is a member of the board of directors of the school district. Our job is to set goals and establish clear policies for our administrators to follow.
What is the best attribute of our school district, and why?
Our administrators and educators. They make all the good things happen on a day-to-day basis. They want every child to succeed.
What are the three most important issues facing the school district, and how would you confront them?
Finances – We review finances every month looking for opportunities to increase income and decrease costs while improving education.
ACT scores – This is a regular discussion item, and we need to improve in this area. In place is a review program and earlier testing, and we are looking for additional ways to improve our scores. We want to have the best scores.
World view – It is a world economy. A student could currently go to USD 458 and never realize there is a world outside Leavenworth County. This needs to change, whether by Internet or Skype or some other means. More foreign language would be good. A regular interaction with students in other cultures would be better.
Do you think public schools are adequately funded? Why or why not?
Schools are not adequately funded. They are currently funded at levels not seen since 1992. We haven’t even kept up with inflation.
What areas of the budget would you target for spending cuts, if those become necessary?
We have already made significant cuts in many areas. As we receive more information, we will look at every item in the budget. We want to avoid any cuts that directly affect the classroom.
Are the district’s teachers being compensated fairly? Why or why not?
Fair is in the eye of the beholder. We negotiate this through an IBB process, and it is voted on by the teachers. There is plenty of information on where we stand provided by KSDE. Salaries and benefits are the two largest items in the budget.
Under what circumstances would you favor increasing property taxes?
We are charged with providing an excellent education to our students. There are many circumstances where I would vote to increase property taxes for this cause. They include avoiding deferred maintenance, keeping teachers and improving education. None are very palatable. Property taxes & fees are basically the only tools a school board has to increase revenue. No one wants to raise taxes.