Three incumbents seek to reclaim seats on Chatfield School Board
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 4:48 AM
Three current Chatfield School Board members are seeking reelection next Tuesday during the general election. Incumbents Jerry Chase, Greg LaPlante and F. Mike Tuohy have each refiled for the seats they currently hold on the board.
The three incumbents running for Chatfield School Board are, from left, Jerry Chase, Greg LaPlante and F. Mike Tuohy.
Candidates for election answered three questions sent to them by the Chatfield News. Their answers are printed after the number corresponding with the following questions.
1. What has motivated you to file for this office? If you are an incumbent, please note how many years you have served and why you wish to continue.
2. Name one characteristic you have that has enabled or would enable you to be a valuable member of this office. Please explain.
3. Is there an upcoming issue that you feel needs to be addressed by the school board and how would you proceed?
The candidates were sent questions by the Chatfield News asking them to highlight their priorities for the board and to share their strategies for handling issues within the school district.
Chase and LaPlante responded and their answers are printed below. No reply was received from Tuohy.
Chase is a teacher with the Rochester School District. He is married to Laura and has three children, Ashley, Tyler and Alexis.
1. I have served on the Independent School District 227 (Chatfield) school board for nine years. The school board with the community's support has made significant progress in the last nine years. We have built a new elementary school, networked with fiber optics, enhanced technology, made academic gains and is fiscally sound for the next five years. These are all reasons as to why I would like to continue serving the public interests.
2. The characteristic that I have is that I'm detailed and punctual. I review all sides of an issue and try to make an informed decision. There are a lot of experts in the community and I seek their perspective on issues.
3. The biggest challenge for the school board in the near future is in economics. We have an excellent five-year plan that includes modest growth for teachers and support staff in conjunction with preserving the academic excellence in the schools. The hope is that we have either an increase in student growth or the state of Minnesota comes up with a new formula for the funding of schools. In the meantime, the board needs to stay conservative in these tough economic times.
Greg LaPlante and his wife, Dayna, have two children, ages 10 and 5.
1. I am seeking my third term on the school board. I wish to continue serving. I have been on the board helping to overcome some major hurdles including the building referendum and operating levy. We will continue to have budget issues in the not-too-distant future and I would like to continue to be a part of finding solutions to those issues.
2. I feel my open mindedness enables me to be a valuable member of the board.
3. We have, and will continue to have, issues with finance and our budgets. Our current plan includes some long-range planning based on projections that can only be accurate out a few years. The model our superintendent is using gives us as clear a picture as is possible, which allows the board to make many financial decisions. We will have to continue to make changes as the projections change, but I feel we are very well informed by this plan.