Three Forks Voice - Connect With Your Community!

By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

School board candidates discuss issues


Three Forks School Board of Trustee candidates Robert Buchholz and Stephene Kamerman were able to discuss a variety of topics at a candidate forum last week at the school library.

The lone candidate forum prior to the May 7 election was also streamed live on the districts Facebook page.

Kamerman said education is very important to her and her daughter in first grade is thriving.

"I want to see this school continue to thrive," she said.

Buchholz feels his knowledge in the technical industry and nine years of government experience in the United States Air Force can offer a lot to the schools as well as enhancing the board.

Kamerman also believes she has a lot to offer to the board. She said with her experience in government she can see how things are going to play out in the future and how taxpayers are going to be affected. She wants to see students get a really good education and wants everybody to know Three Forks has excellent schools.

Buchholz said with the recent financial challenges in the district, his experience could help with communication and transparency and hopefully this will get the district back on track so they can be trusted by the members of the community and get a school bond passed.

As far as their primary focus as a board member, Kamerman said she wants to find solutions to what she called the very obvious problems at hand and wants to think the purpose of the board is to get a lot of peoples input to find a solution that to going to work for the trustees.

Buchholz said the primary challenge the school is facing is with communication and transparency and feels this what killed the last bond after a successful levy had passed.

Both candidates discussed the importance of streaming school board meetings. Buchholz said attending the meetings can be a challenge because the room is small. He would also like the district to improve their websites.

Kamerman discussed the importance of online documents and said by streaming meetings citizens can be able to sit down and watch what is going on.

When asked about the board's role and responsibility, Buchholz said they are there to represent the taxpayers and need to be transparent with how they handle finances.

Kamerman said the board is representing the community and need to listen to citizens if they have concerns, at the same time making sure everybody feels welcome.

Both were asked what they could do to make a successful board meeting.

Buchholz said his time in the Air Force trained him for the governmental process and has a lot of history with policies and procedures.

Kamerman stated that if a meeting has been stuck with discussion going round and round on the same subject it is important to keep things moving forward.

As far as expectations of the board, Kamerman said they should be standing up for tax payers, teachers, and everybody involved with the district.

Buchholz said as a board member the expectation is to be good stewards of tax payers money and to put the needs of the students first.

The Three Forks School District hosted a candidate forum last week.

Neither candidate spoke in favor of the 2018 bond in the district. Kamerman said one of her biggest concerns was with three gyms 500 feet of each other and there could have been better design, materials and use of space.

Buchholz said he was not in favor of the bond because the prior levy had been pushed through with what he called shady marketing and he saw a design that was not necessarily about the education of the kids.

When discussing challenges in the schools, Kamerman said space for students is huge as well as moving forward from the major financial struggles.

Buchholz said the most immediate problem is financial concerns.

"We can't take care of students and teachers if we have unknown amounts of money in our accounts," he said.


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