Citizens, candidates speak out in Dale
By LPR Staff
The 2005 political season got off to a rousing start in Dale on Monday.
The Dale Community Watch sponsored a Candidates” Forum for the Lockhart Independent School District board of trustees candidates, allowing each of the candidates five minutes to explain their qualifications and platforms.
In an interesting twis
t, current school board members who are not up for reelection were also invited to speak to the crowd about the variety of issues facing the Lockhart ISD.
Although the candidates each had their own ideas about the most pressing issues facing the district, primarily tax rates, school spending and test scores, the citizens in attendance made it clear that they will hold the board members to their promise to think of the interests of the children above all else.
Dale resident Dave Fitzpatrick gave an impassioned talk about special education programs in LISD. Fitzpatrick, who has custody of his autistic grandson, is concerned that the current programs are not equipped to deal with some special-needs children.
“My grandson is autistic,” Fitzpatrick said. “When he was in the Lockhart schools, he was supposed to have an aide with him the whole time. But he didn”t. And the teacher didn”t know how to deal with an autistic child.”
Fitzpatrick encouraged the board to look into the special education programs to make sure that all special-needs children can have the help they require.
Other citizens expressed grave concern about the Cub House, the widely criticized child-care program.
“You talk about vocational training,” said Lockhart resident Kenneth Sneed. “What vocation is there that is more important than being a parent?”
Sneed”s comments were in response to accusations that the Cub House is an expensive program that serves only a small portion of the student population. Critics of the Cub House say that the child care services should be contracted to an outside service provider. Supporters of the program insist that the other services, such as nutritional education and parenting training, might not be available through other means if the Cub House services are discontinued.
Most of the candidates running for the LISD Board of Trustees were present for the forum. One candidate sent a representative in his stead, claiming that a prior commitment kept him from attending.
Two candidates, Rosa Hernandez and Clint Mohle did not appear or send representatives.
At press time, one of the candidates who appeared and spoke, Peter Reinecke, had yet to officially file for candidacy.
The candidates who have officially filed include:
District 1: Raymond Gonzales (I); Timothy Juarez; John Storbakken;
District 2: Andy Govea (I); Rosa Hernandez; Gary Allen;
District 3: Paul Hardwick (I); Jerry Hinkle; Clint Mohle;
District 4: Carl Ohlendorf (I); John Manning;
At Large: John Flores (I); Kerry Gaddis.
While the deadline has expired for filing in Districts 1-4, potential candidates may still file for the at-large position until April 6.