Candidate profile: Greg Meyer

Name: Greg Meyer

Age: 54

Town: Unincorporated Columbia, IL

Occupation: Business owner

Position seeking: School Board

Campaign website: www.columbia2019.org

Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I am extremely concerned with the current direction of the district and its reputation. Rules and procedures appear lax and not always followed. There is a definite lack of business experience on the board. My knowledge of insurance, real estate, construction, personnel and transportation cover areas discussed at nearly every meeting. I have no personal agenda and nothing to gain other than a strong desire to make the community I work, live and love the best it can be.

What are the most important issues the school district faces, and how would you approach them? Lack of effort or due diligence on board actions, especially when it comes to money is a massive issue. Just at the last meeting, only a few minutes were spent discussing a million-dollar plus expenditure to replace a roof with a leak. Only Tammy Hines inquired about other bids and was basically ignored. No discussion as to the cause or other options. They also discussed disposing of aluminum bleachers with no mention of recycling. Next, they voted 6-1, to approve eight, two- and three-year administrator contract extensions, most not up for renewal for over a year! This was rushed through with hardly any notice, not even to the board. The issue is not the people contracted, it’s the way it was handled. Transparency, public input and time to make huge decisions goes a long way towards making the right choices and restoring the public’s trust.

Under what circumstances would you vote to raise property taxes? Only as an absolute last resort.

What are your goals for the district/what do you want to accomplish? Fiscal responsibility. Allocating precious resources where they are most beneficial to the students of the district. Open and honest communication and full transparency. Making sure our teachers have the tools and support they need to succeed in the classroom. Welcoming and encouraging opposing viewpoints to actively participate in board meetings. Always working toward preparing students for the next step in their individual lives. Doing the right thing, every time. Following rules, procedures, laws and avoiding politics. Take extreme caution to avoid even the hint of impropriety and never violate the public’s trust.

What is your position on the proposed increase in minimum wage for teachers in Illinois? This issue would only minimally affect Columbia. Our average teacher salary is $51,204, which is considerably more than the proposal, but less than the state average of $65,721.