Q&A With School Board Candidate Bob Larson

Bob Larson, current School Board Treasurer, sits on the right. (City-Times photo)

Questions by Stevens Point League of Women Voters

What background qualifies you for this position?

I am a parent of 2 children that went through the K-12 Stevens Point school system.  I am a concerned taxpayer that wants to ensure that all citizens of Stevens Point have their tax dollars spent wisely within the school system.

What strengths and interests do you bring to the board?

Common sense.  An interest in staying current with how other regional and national school systems are spending their school tax dollars.  A lifelong interest in spending money wisely.

As a board member, how would you foster a more positive public opinion of the board?

Listen to the concerns of the taxpayers and take action on their concerns.

What is your knowledge and understanding of the current public school funding situation in Wisconsin?

Act 10 has allowed the Administration and School Board to gain control of the District. If elected, I will continue to support the policies that have recently been implemented. These new policies have allowed this district to get our house in financial order. Here’s an example: Post Retirement Liability: In 2010 the Stevens PointSchool   District had an $84 million post retirement liability; in 2012 this was reduced to $32.8 million, down $51.2 million. If the current board and new board leave the post retirement program alone, the District will be at $0 dollars liability in 5 years.

If elected to the Stevens Point School Board, I will represent all citizens in our District. I believe the most important question to ask all candidates is; “Are you going to represent all the citizens or just some employee groups?” This is very important. If the majority of elected officials on the school board are elected by various groups, then many of their decisions will be influenced by these groups. If this happens, then many of our current policies could change, and our district would go back to the way things were.

I believe the Stevens PointSchool   District is 30% of our property taxes. If elected to the Stevens Point School Board, I will continue to support school policies that ensure the District lives within the means of its citizens, at a time when so many area families are struggling.