Archive for Sunday, March 22, 2009

Challenger calls for competitive bidding

March 22, 2009, 10:59 p.m.

Updated: March 22, 2009, 10:57 p.m.

After an unsuccessful run the De Soto USD 232 Board of Education in 2007, Kevin Straub is hitting the campaign trail again.

Seeking the district’s Position 5 seat, Straub said student education and the district’s fiscal responsibility are his main concerns.

Straub, a Shawnee City Council member, has two children in the district. Although his daughter currently attends St. James Academy, his son attends Monticello Trials.

Straub said his seat on the council would not affect his ability to serve on the school board.

“I would abstain if there were a conflict between city council and school board,” he said.

His job as a real estate agent would allot time for service on the school board, he said.

While Straub praises the teachers in the district, the board could do better serving community members, he said.

“I think the district is going in the wrong direction,” he said. “They don’t have an oversight of their spending.”

Straub said the district has a fiscal responsibility to the community.

“Not putting all services out for bid, such as construction management,” he said as an example of the district not being fiscally responsible. “There are rumors that because my brother owns Straub Construction, that I want him to do all the construction. I’d love them to be a bidder, but they aren’t always the cheapest and that’s fine. They were one of ten bidders on a project and they weren’t the cheapest so they didn’t get it, that’s fine.”

Another issue Straub has with the district concerning children’s education involves the museum connections course at Monticello Trails Middle School.

Straub fears the course is being phased out.

“Both of my children took the course and loved it,” he said. “There are 20,000 to 30,000 items both donated and loaned.”

Straub said if elected he would work to reinstate the course to all grades at Monticello Trials and expand it to Mill Creek and Lexington Trails Middle Schools.

Straub would also like to expand advanced placement courses in the district.

“I think we are doing a great job with education,” he said. “I have never complained about the teachers or administration at the schools. I truly believe the teachers are doing a great job.”

If elected Straub said he would work toward preserving education in the district.

“I will spend money in the district if it has anything to do with improving the education of our students,” he said of being elected. “They are my No. 1 priority. I will not vote for wasteful spending. We do not need the prettiest buildings. A lot of the amenities are not improving the education. My No. 1 goal is improving the education.”

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