Meet the candidates: School Committee

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 Meet the candidates: School Committee

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Dave
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20090128
PostMeet the candidates: School Committee

Quote :
Four to seek two Seekonk selectman's seats
BY JOSEPH S. SIEGEL FOR THE SUN CHRONICLEWednesday, February 18, 2009
2:11 AM EST

SEEKONK - There will be four candidates vying for two seats on the
board of selectmen for the April 6 election. Selectmen John Turner
and John Whelan are running for re-election. Their current three-year
terms will expire in April.

Town Moderator Dave Parker, the husband of town clerk Jan Parker,
also is running for the board, along with Victoria Kinniburgh, the
wife of Veterans Agent and former Selectman Don Kinniburgh.

The school committee will have three candidates competing for two
open seats. Newcomers Mitch Viera and David Abbott are running
against incumbent John Bilodeau.

John Pozzi, Jr. and Paul Buckley are competing for a seat on the
board of assessors.

Brad Read, Christine Allen, and Christopher Halkyard are competing
for one open seat on the board of water commissioners. William Rice
and Ron Bennett are running unopposed for two open planning board
seats. The deadline for candidates to return papers was 5 p.m.
Tuesday.

Richard Perry and Sharon Connors are unopposed for two open seats on
the library board of trustees.


If you are running for a position in Seekonk this spring then feel free to drop in and post a little about yourself in this thread. Smile

This a great Town because so many people volunteer their time to making it that way. If you don't have the time to volunteer then don't forget to vote. Make your voice count Exclamation


Last edited by Dave on Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:35 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : added Sun Chronicle article...)
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Meet the candidates: School Committee :: Comments

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Re: Meet the candidates: School Committee
Post on Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:00 pm  Dave
Ok...I'll go first and I encourage others to do the same. Let residents know that you want to volunteer and get involved.


My name is Dave Abbott and I am running for the position of School Committee Member.

I have been a resident of Seekonk since 2003. I became involved with the community through coaching my son in the town soccer program. In 2005, I became the President of Seekonk Youth Soccer and began expanding the program by creating their first website. Over the years the program has grown both in opportunities and players. I have had the pleasure of working with a great board of Directors that volunteer countless hours for the children of our town.

With your vote I would like to become more involved with our town government. With three children in the Seekonk School system and some trying times ahead of us it is my goal to provide fair and balanced decision making to help our town in these trying economic times.
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Here is a question for you Dave.

This is something I would struggle with,and do struggle with as a parent of 2, but more so if I was in a position like the school committee.

It's easy to get caught up in the passion of wanting the best for your child, and when you are in a position like that it would be easy to make that happen.

Where would you draw from when it comes down to having to vote for the human/parent side versus the tax payer side?
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Re: Meet the candidates: School Committee
Post on Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:59 am  Dave
Quote :
Where would you draw from when it comes down to having to vote for the human/parent side versus the tax payer side?

To a degree I have already made decisions time and again as to what I thought was best for town children in their development. Though that was done in the context of a soccer program there are some similarities to the function of a school committee. You had a finite amount of funds and worked with a group of volunteers to determine what would be most beneficial to the children within that budget.

Watching my own children progress through the Seekonk school system has afforded me a ground floor view of some of what is entailed in providing them with an education that helps them thrive and develop both as students and as athletes.

My primary occupation is in Law Enforcement. I have seen and dealt with children from broken families. Nothing is more disheartening than watching a juvenile develop into a criminal. The opportunities of our academic and athletic programs are of extreme importance to children on the edge of making some unfortunate choices in life.

I think that by drawing from those experiences of seeing both the best and worst in children and their family structure, while working within the frame of a budget, affords me the ability to make a fair and balanced decision. We have some hard choices ahead. I do not expect everyone to agree or support every decision that I am involved in.

Seekonk is known for their schools. The community is what makes the schools. All you have to do is go to a school function and the gym is always packed with parents. Everyone wants to be involved. At the same time I have worked details at functions for a school in another system and seen only a handful of parents attend. Seekonk is not like that and that is how I know that even with some bad days ahead of us and some difficult choices to make we will all come out of this economic downturn as an even stronger community.
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A question for the Candidate
Post on Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:01 am  terrybohax
Dave, I support your candidacy for the School Committee. I need to ask you about dealing with the teachers' union. Being in the law enforcement field, I assume you are a member of a union.
If so, what physical and emotional allegiance do you have to unions? In this time of economic crisis bordering on catastrophe, can you stand up to the strong teacher's union if necessary, to gain concessions? Will you cross a picket line? Will there be an inner conflict for you, to enjoy the benefits of belonging to a union and then to be on the other side of the table dealing with a different union? Will taking a strong stance with a union as a School Committee member affect you at work or cause repercussions in your own job? Your thoughts?
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Re: Meet the candidates: School Committee
Post on Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:02 am  Dave
That is great question! Though I am not a teacher or a member of a teachers union, I am a member of a union. The city that I work for is having financial difficulties worse than Seekonk. Our union took a zero this year to do our share. I feel my experience as a union member (granted we are not talking about the same union) will be an asset for the School Committee. Communication and having an understanding of the thought process of someone that you deal with in good faith is critical in these difficult times.

My experiences would lead me to having the School Committee avoid the non-productive stance of “us versus them”. You just have to look at the situation in East Providence to see how poor communication leads to entrenchment on both sides. How is that situation a positive for that community? As a member of the School Committee my responsibility would be to provide the most efficient use of our tax dollars and I would encourage our educators to do the same.

As you pointed out we are facing an economic contraction that has not been experienced in many years. There are difficult choices ahead. I will not hesitate to engage our educators in being part of the solution.
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terrybohax wrote:
Dave, I support your candidacy for the School Committee. I need to ask you about dealing with the teachers' union. Being in the law enforcement field, I assume you are a member of a union.
If so, what physical and emotional allegiance do you have to unions? In this time of economic crisis bordering on catastrophe, can you stand up to the strong teacher's union if necessary, to gain concessions? Will you cross a picket line? Will there be an inner conflict for you, to enjoy the benefits of belonging to a union and then to be on the other side of the table dealing with a different union? Will taking a strong stance with a union as a School Committee member affect you at work or cause repercussions in your own job? Your thoughts?

That was a nice question....(We need a "thumbs-up" emoticon)
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Re: Meet the candidates: School Committee
Post on Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:13 pm  Dave
Thumbs up

Ask and you shall receive. Have abunch more just need to find time to upload them. Hope it was a good answer to a good question!
Mitch, If you're out there reading this, please take this opportunity to introduce yourself to those who may not know you well. Do you have any specific goals you want to accomplish as a member of the School Committee? What do you say to those (not me) who think you may be too young or inexperienced to hold such a seat? I think that being such a recent graduate of the public school system you now seek to serve is a benefit.
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Re: Meet the candidates: School Committee
Post on Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:01 am  Dave
Thanks to all of the snow today I had a chance to sit down and put together a website for my Candidacy.

Vote Abbott

This should give residents a a chance to get to know me a little better and as always feel free to post here or PM me if you have any questions.

Dave
Hello Seekonk Talks Members:

I am happy to talk with residents either via private message or email: mitch_vieira@comcast.net I will do my best to keep up with this thread also.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Mitch Vieira
Thank you so much to Selectman Brady for his pointed questions to the School Committee about the high school pool, any actual operating cost reductions realized from the 35K improvement that the SC budget funded, and the pool's revolving fund.
The mantra seems to be 'the high school pool pays for itself out of the revolving fund of receipts from outside organizations - no school budget money is spent to support the pool'. (And Mr. Grant says there is about 30K in the fund now to have on hand for pool repairs and equipment replacement.)
But it's actually not free of cost as Mr. Brady found when he probed further - the electricity and heat for the pool are funded out of the high school budget. I bet that is a substantial sum since this pool seems to be in constant use on weekends by these outside organizations (NOT SHS swim team meets).

I am so glad he asked his q's and now the SC Admin is going to provide more transparency about pool receipts. And why all this is still allowed to be handled outside the school budget is very puzzling given that this is NOT a new issue.

The charge for using the pool for these outside orgs should be re-formulated to factor in the cost of heat and electricity too. Actual meter readings are not available but estimates can be made. Why should the taxpayers foot the bill for these utilities? We've all seen our home heating and electric bills rise this year. It's a substantial cost. I'd bet that money would fund a first grade teacher's salary.

Maybe the SC candidates would be willing to discuss this on their chat or weigh in now?
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Re: Meet the candidates: School Committee
Post on Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:38 am  Dave
There are no easy answers to your question because of the lack of data.

To really hash things out you would need the figures (or estimates) for the total expenses to operate the pool. Then you would have figure out what percentage of the use of the pool is by non-residents. What I would be looking for is for those two pieces of the puzzle to offset each other, meaning for example if non-residents use it 25% of the time then I would be looking for their payments to cover 25% of the total expenses.

My family has attended the community swim night and I think it is a great way for residents to get together. Seek posted his opinions on the other site and I do understand his concerns. However it is an asset and is something that residents can use.

My big question from me after sitting through the meeting is;

If there is 25-30k for maintenance built up in the revolving account, then why wasn't any of that money used to offset the cost of the 5k filter system? Revolving accounts serve their purpose and I have no problem with money being saved for maintenance, but taking half of that build up to defray the cost of the filter system would have been appropriate IMHO.
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Congratulations Dave and Mitch!
Post on Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:12 pm  terrybohax
Thumbs up Congratulations to Dave Abbott and Mitch Vieira as new members of the School Committee! cheers
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Re: Meet the candidates: School Committee
Post on Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:15 pm  Dave
Thank you everyone for your support Exclamation

I look forward to making a difference.

Dave
THANKS
Post on Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:20 pm  MitchV
Thank you to the voters of Seekonk! I look forward to serving you on the School Committee for the next three years. Please feel free to contact me with any questions at any time.

Thank you,
Mitch Vieira
Mitch_vieira@comcast.net
 

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