Office sought: Auburn School Committee, at-large
1. Why do you think you’re the best candidate for this seat, and why are you running?
I’m a 1998 graduate of Edward Little High School and am proud to live in Auburn with my husband and three children. I love our city and see the potential it has. I successfully ran two years ago for the School Committee and was excited to be given the opportunity to serve. I have learned so much and look forward to serving many more terms. It’s important to have a wide range of members on the committee. I’m one of few running that have children in the Auburn schools. I promise to make the best decisions possible for the community and our students.
2. What do you like, and what don’t you like, about the school budget passed in the spring? ($41.75 million in Auburn, up by $1 million; $74.3 million in Lewiston, up by $5.5 million)
The School Committee took a lot of time talking and listening to teachers, administrators and parents to determine what was needed most within Auburn’s schools. We attended workshops to determine what areas needed more and which areas could cut back. I never like to see budget cuts, especially when it means cutting teachers or staff members. Unfortunately, with all the changes with state and federal funding, we were forced to cut in some areas we couldn’t afford to lose. I will continue to make the best decisions possible while being fiscally responsible.
3. When it comes to property taxes, what kind of budget would you support this spring?
Auburn’s property taxes are high, there is no hiding that. I know the impact it has on the community when taxes are raised, especially for those with fixed incomes or families living check to check. It’s important to be fiscally responsible when making budget decisions and I always keep this in mind. I support a budget that meets the teachers and students needs but at the same time being creative to limit the negative impact it has on taxpayers.
4. What, to you, is the biggest issue facing Lewiston or Auburn schools, and how would you like to see it addressed?
Auburn residents need to recognize that our money allocated per student is much lower than the state average. We need to invest in our students and provide them with the tools they need to be successful. Successful schools draw people to live in new cities and open businesses within those cities. I’m very excited that we will soon have a new high school. Our children deserve a state-of-the-art facility with cutting edge technology that encourages the arts as much as academics. It’s time for Auburn to invest in our future, and our future is our children.
5. Do you support the merger of Lewiston and Auburn?
No, I am not in support of the merger. I think Lewiston and Auburn have worked well together in the past to provide the best opportunities for the two communities. I would like to see us continue to partner together in areas where it is successful, but I feel it is very important to ultimately reside as separate cities.