What you need to know about the April 2019 election
Name: Joe Mott
Position Seeking: School Board Member-Highland CUSD#5
Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I’m a relatively fresh incumbent who still has unfinished goals and aspirations for the school district. I bring a different perspective, then most of the other school board members as I am not employed within the educational field. I believe in keeping our students in school and believe that our school system should be preparing our students for LIFE (life readiness!), as not all students are college bound. I am also a firm believer in responsible stewardship with tax-payer money. I believe with the current state funding model, we need to continually discover, explore and implement efficiencies that reduce or at least hold costs down while providing our students with the best educational opportunities in the conference.
What are the most important issues the school district faces, and how would you approach them? Funding is huge and we as a board are consistently put in a position of weighing the costs when making decisions for the district-its the unfortunate reality of being a school district in Illinois. We have to continue to discover newer, innovative, less-expensive ways to provide services to our students. Our board is very creative and I am confident in our ability to continue to do this. Recruiting good educators will be a major undertaking that the board will have to embrace as the pool of qualified teachers seems to be getting smaller. Creating paths to success through our school system for the non-college bound students is another board priority in the coming years. Continuing to build strong and responsible community and parental involvement-it takes a village! Its about being accountable!
Under what circumstances would you vote to raise property taxes? If state funding were to fall short to a level where we could not adequately maintain current educational standards. I personally feel that the income the district receives from taxes is good at this point and the best way to gain additional tax revenue is for the community to grow, thereby creating additional tax revenue organically. For me, this is more of a Highland community issue.
What are your goals for the district/what do you want to accomplish? Get a prosperous vocational/building arts program established and functioning. Fill open positions with highly qualified long-term candidates.
What is your position on the proposed increase in minimum wage for teachers in Illinois? I believe that teachers starting base pay is low compared to other professions. I feel that it gets much more in line as the teachers progress through the salary scale. I am not an advocate for mandatory minimum wage as its currently proposed in Illinois, but I am in favor of creating incentives, higher starting pay could be one of them, to attract the best possible talent to our school district for our students.