David Sylvester is a candidate for the Independence Board of Education. He is running for the one four-year term on the board. Sylvester, 43, is an electrician in the Kansas City area. He and his wife, Debra, have four children – Rosemary, 16; Curtis, 13; Kyle, 11 and John, 9.
1 Why are you running for a seat on the Independence Board of Education? I believe that the citizens of Independence need someone to ask some hard questions and stand up and represent the hard-working taxpayers. Why are we paying our superintendent more than we pay the governor of the state? With the impending cuts in school budget, do they plan on cuts in administration? With a known budget deficit and necessary cuts, why did our current board just fly out to Arizona?
2 How would you address the financial issues facing the school district in the next few years? The current board merely approves or disapproves the budget submitted to them by the current administration. I will seek to scrutinize the budget and offer up suggestions to help tighten the spending. I believe that there are areas that need more attention than they get and areas that get more attention than they need and those need to be more balanced. I believe that the administration needs a report card that answers to the people it serves. Those who pay for the services that are provided.
3 Why do you feel like the $85 million bond issue approved in November is important for the future of the Independence School District? Some of our schools are reaching maximum capacity and with the expected growth in population, it will be necessary to build new schools to accommodate this expansion. With time, the elements weather away the existing buildings that we already have and these funds will allow for the needed repairs and possible upgrades to meet the needs of our children.
4 What is your opinion on the 12 Blocks West project, which the Independence School District is heavily involved with? Do you see it helping not only the city of Independence, but also the school district? I believe the school system is over-stepping its boundary. I don’t believe that we need to further burden the administration. They have enough to spend their time on crunching our current and future budget. If we have so much time on their hands, maybe we should look at how we can free up enough funds to reduce the amount of school taxes that our retired generations have to pay. It would be nice to help those on fixed incomes who have already given so much. I believe that we need to be more responsible than we have been, and it is not going to be easy.