Without going into the particulars here, we are facing budget challenges that are putting in jeopardy the excellence of our district, the health of our community and the values of our properties. I believe that these challenges can not be solved by simply analyzing numbers on a spread sheet. The efforts necessary to balance our budget will impact peoples’ lives…..me, you, our kids, our entire community. Do you want a Trustee who focuses only on the numbers or do you want a Trustee who will focus on the people?
I became actively involved as a classroom volunteer in 2006 when I first moved into the district with my three children who are currently in 3rd grade, 7th grade and 10th grade. In 2011 I initiated a series of district-wide community dialogues to seek input from residents with and without children in our schools to define community priorities. I was extensively involved in the EISD Master Plan Initiative through its entire process, serving on the Outreach Committee and as a parent participant 2013-2014. From 2012 to 2015 I have served as President-Elect, President, and Past-President of Eanes Elementary PTO. I regularly attend booster meetings and band parent meetings at the three campuses where my children attend school. My extensive involvement puts me directly in contact with staff, teachers, parents and students throughout the district. As Trustee, I will continue to be involved on the campuses and in the classrooms. And my involvement means that I can base my decisions on people, not numbers.
Community engagement is a priority for me, evident in my 8 year volunteer track record. But I am more than a volunteer and a parent. I am a licensed architect. And it is the skill sets and perspective from my professional experience that are most relevant to finding a long-term solution for achieving and maintaining our goals. Our facilities are the second largest expense in the annual budget, are our longest-lived assets, affect many other priorities such as class size, transfer student reduction, teacher quality, technology adoption, and curriculum methodology, not to mention that they represent some of the most contentious issues that voters confront. As a licensed architect, I can offer useful insights and inform the dialogue regarding how we can more wisely make decisions that protect these investments. At a time when most of our structures are over capacity and in need of renovation, expansion and/or replacement, my architectural perspective at the Trustee table can be useful in identifying strategies for making these capital improvements fiscally responsible, forward thinking, sustainable, and flexible while enriching the property values and businesses of district residents.
When it comes time to make these investments, I support the use of bonds to improve our facilities throughout the district, as it allows us to reduce maintenance and operations costs, provides revenue generating opportunities from field and facility rentals, and improves the educational experience for students and teachers within. The best news is that those investments will last long into the future, protecting our property values. That means bonds are a way to respect the taxpayers, as they will continue to gain from the investment even after our kids have graduated.
You have an important choice to make: do we invest in our future or not?
If you are okay with laying off staff, letting our buildings decay and sacrificing the long-term excellence of our schools, then I am not your candidate.
But if you believe in funding public education and if you believe that long term investments in the future of our schools and our community are the best solution for achieving a balanced budget and maintaining our excellence, then I am your candidate for Place Four.
If you want a Trustee who will ensure that our broader community has a voice in making important decisions, I am your candidate for Place Four.
If you are an immediate neighbor to one of our nine campuses and you want a Trustee who understands the design process and the need to include all the stakeholders in the process before the decisions are finalized, then I am your candidate for Place Four.
If you are a taxpayer and you want to preserve the values of your property and believe that the skills of an architect are relevant to making wise decisions about how we invest in our district’s largest assets – our buildings, then I am your candidate for Place Four.
If you are a parent with kids in the schools, and you want a Trustee who is committed to meeting the needs of your children, who has been involved and will be involved at all levels, and who will proudly support future investments that nurture and sustain the health and well-being of your children and your family and your community, then I am your candidate for Place Four.
Show your support with a YES vote for the bond and a vote for Julia Webber, Place Four.