2015 Candidate questionnaire: Gary Johnson, USD 458 Board of Education
Gary Johnson is running for the Position 3 seat on the USD 458 Board of Education, which covers the southern portion of the Basehor-Linwood school district. Jeanette Klamm is also running for the seat. The following are Johnson's responses to the Chieftain/Sentinel's candidate questionnaire.
Occupation: Retired from Union Pacific Railroad.
Family: Wife Carol and two kids,
Years lived in the school district: 64 years
Previous political experience: Served eight years USD 458 board
Other community service: Linwood Recreation
Campaign website (if applicable): N/A
What made you decide to run for office?
I enjoyed my previous time on the board and would like to a be part of helping Basehor Linwood to keep reaching and setting high standards. I have 2 grandkids and 10 nephews & nieces attending USD 458.
What special qualifications would you bring to this office?
From my previous time on the board, I know what needed to be a good board member and understand you do what is best for the students.
How do you plan to stay in touch with constituents if you are elected?
With all of my relatives in the school system, I get to meet with a lot of people by going to most of the events in the district.
In addition to voting for your intended seat, voters will consider a bond issue election for the district on the April 7 ballot. Do you support approval of the bond issue? What improvement projects do you find most important?
The upcoming bond issue takes care of safety & security for district buildings. It will give students a more space for classes in career & technical education. This bond covers some improvements district wide at no increase to the mill levy.
As you have been campaigning, what issue have you found is most important for constituents in your (Position 3) portion of the district? How would you address this issue?
A few people keep questioning as to if the LES school is staying open. The Superintendant has never brought this issue up with the School Board.
In your own opinion, what are the three most important issues facing the school district? If you did not do so in a previous answer, please explain how you would address these issues.
School funding, schools are losing money and the outlook is not favorable for all school districts in Kansas. There will be hard decisions on how we can save money. The board needs to all it can to ensure all decisions they make keeps giving our students the best education they can. Base funding per student now is almost the same as 2001. The cost of running districts has increased and now they have to operate with less money.
I find it hard to come up with three issues in the district when school funding drives everything that schools need to improve. Retaining teachers and improving courses for students. There will be cuts in our district and we will lose jobs nobody wants to see schools suffer because of lack of funding by the state.
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