Candidate profile: Mark Christ

What you need to know about the April 2019 election

The 2019 municipal election is April 2. Here are some key dates and times you need to know if you're planning to vote.
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The 2019 municipal election is April 2. Here are some key dates and times you need to know if you're planning to vote.

Name: Mark Christ

Age: 56

Town: O’Fallon

Occupation: IT Sr Configuration Analyst

Position Seeking: OTHS 203 School Board

Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I’m committed to serve the O’Fallon community as a school board member for OTHS. My 12 years of past board service provided me a solid foundation of school governance. I’ve increased my skills through Board member professional development curricula provided by the Illinois Association of School Boards. I’ve maintained a Master School Board member status since 2012.

What are the most important issues the school district faces, and how would you approach them? The biggest challenge still facing OTHS is the uncertainty of adequate state funding. The Board’s challenge is to maintain the high quality academic opportunities while maintaining a strong fiscal posture. The Board is focused more on strategic planning as O’Fallon and Shiloh have experienced modest economic growth, especially with the addition of the new hospitals. The Board must carefully plan for 10-20 years in the future to plan for increased numbers of students, faculty and staff.

Under what circumstances would you vote to raise property taxes? Only for any voter approved capital expenditures such as a new school building.

What are your goals for the district/what do you want to accomplish? Maintain the high quality of educational opportunities for all students. Continue to improve the safety and security of our campus. Recruit and hire highly qualified minority teachers to reflect our city’s diverse population.

What is your position on the proposed increase in minimum wage for teachers in Illinois? I’m against this measure. A one size-fits-all solution has a disparate impact on local communities. The wealthier districts likely exceed the proposed minimum salary level, while the less affluent, rural areas will likely have to reduce costs in their budget to offset the salary increase. Local school boards are best able to determine what salary levels attract and retain their teaching staff. This removes a key part of local control of school governance and operations.