Allegheny Mountain Radio and The Pocahontas Times collaborated on a candidate forum May 2 with candidates for the Pocahontas County Board of Education. Prior to answering questions, the candidates introduced themselves.
Question One: If you could make one change in the operation of our schools, what would it be?
Question Two: Given that Marlinton Elementary School is in need of major repairs and renovations to keep operating and that the state has said it will not provide any repair money to the current school building since it is located in a floodplain, would you support keeping that school building open by repairing it using dwindling county funds or would you look for way s to relocate the school to a safer area outside the flood zone?
Question Three: Marlinton Elementary Schools sits in a floodplain and could be subject to sudden, dangerous and unpredictable flash flooding as well as more traditional but slower and predictable creek rising flooding. If you vote to keep the school on that site, are you prepared to take responsibility for any injuries or deaths to students or staff in the event of a sudden flash flood?
Question Four: The board of education has been criticized for advertising requests for proposals to renovate the new board office before offering a contract to purchase the property. Would you have preferred that the board offer a contract to purchase a property without having reliable estimates of how much the renovations would cost?
Question Five: Given that many of the administrators working in the school’s central office perform numerous roles that are filled by hiring additional employees in other school districts, do you feel that our school system’s central office is overstaffed and under worked? If so, which specific central office jobs would you recommend be eliminated as a board member?
Question Six: As a new elected – or re-elected – board of education member, how would you go about restoring trust between the community and the board of education?
Question Seven: Do you believe that individual board of education members should involve themselves in the day-to-day operation of the central office or of the schools?