The Union Recorder

Election 2012

July 29, 2012

Candidate Q&A: Harold B. Simmons

MILLEDGEVILLE — Do you think there is a conflict of interest with your spouse working in the county office? How do you reconcile serving in the best interest of your constituents in this regard?

No there is no conflict of interest with me being a board member and, my wife, Dr. Sharon Simmons, being an employee of the Baldwin County Board of Education (BCBOE). As a board member, along with four other board members, it is our duty to legislate general policies and procedures for the school system. Obviously, if there is any issue that come before the Board where I have a conflict of interest, I will abstain from voting. As a board member, I do not implement the policies and procedures and have no daily role or input on the operation of the school system; that is the Superintendent's responsibility.  

How do you feel the board of education can be more transparent in its dealings? What about ethics? How accountable should individuals in public office be? When should they step down?

 Since I have been serving on the BCBOE, transparency has been one of the board's hallmarks. The Board always complies with the legal requirements that the agenda be publicized prior to the meetings (posted at the Board office and the BCBOE website), all of our meetings are open to the public, and all meeting minutes are maintained and available to the public. I am very involved and take great pride in our community. If anyone feels that the BCBOE is not transparent in its dealings, I welcome any questions and I am open for dialogue and suggestions with anyone on ways they feel would make the board appear more transparent.   

All elected officials, including myself, have an ethical duty and obligation to the public in general, and particularly to their constituents. Elected officials should be accountable for their actions while in office. The existence of accountability creates the needed public trust and belief in our democratic system. As a board member, I believe in being accountable to the citizens of Baldwin County and that's why I am an advocate for a safe and wholesome learning environment for the children in our school system. I am committed to educational excellence and equality for all children, teachers, and staff of the Baldwin County School System.

Are you opposed to raising the millage rate?

I would need to know the specific circumstances before I could answer this questions.  Over the last few years, the Baldwin County School System has had to endure substantial federal and state budget cuts, while attempting to provide its students with the same or higher level of educational programs and a satisfactory workplace for our employees. Even though we have had record budget cuts, the BCBOE board members have kept the millage rate at its current rate for the past three years. In spite of the reduced funding, we have continued to make great strides. I am an open-minded and fair person. I will keep all of my options open and act in the best interest of our school system when considering the issues of the millage rate and budgetary items.

What do you think board members can do to foster a better environment to retain quality teachers?

Retaining quality teachers is an ongoing and evolving issue that I am concerned about as a board member and a parent. I feel that currently the Baldwin County School System has a good retention rate of quality teachers. The feedback the I have received from our teachers overall has been positive. As a board we have the primary duty of creating policies and rules that make our school system a safe and friendly environment for our teachers to work. We attempt to retain our teachers by providing them a safe work environment, competitive pay and benefits, along with providing them with adequate and updated teaching aides and equipment to make their jobs easier and less stressful.   

How would you describe the role of a school board member in meeting the needs of constituents and serving the overall needs of the school system?

As a school board member, it is important to learn and stay abreast with new innovations in the field of education so that we can provide the children in the system and my constituents with the most modern and efficient educational system possible. It is also important that I be a good listener and fact finder when addressing my constituents' concerns. As a board member, I do not interfere with the daily administrative decisions as this is the function of the Superintendent. I have confidence in our Superintendent to take our school system in the right direction. Again, I am always open for discussions and input from my constituents about ways we can make our school system more effective, efficient and productive.

 

1
Text Only
Election 2012
  • Election 2012 WEB.jpg Election Day 2012

    Welcome to Election Day 2012 and welcome to our special election coverage!

    Regardless of the outcome, tonight’s election will be historic for our country and no less impactful to Baldwin County. That’s why we’re beefing up our coverage to bring as much news and information to you as possible.

    November 6, 2012 1 Photo

  • voter check Candidate Q & A

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Several weeks ago, The Union-Recorder assembled an election advisory committee comprised of staff members and representatives from our editorial and community advisory boards to finalize questions for our Q&A segments with local candidates. Some of their responses ran prior to the July elections for candidates who were opposed in the primary races. The following includes responses from all of the opposed candidates on the Nov. 6 election ballot.

    October 23, 2012 1 Photo

  • Charter school logo.jpg Amendment 1: Charter Schools — a closer look

     

    Registered voters across the state can begin marking their ballots Monday when early voting kicks off for the Nov. 6 general election. As one of two amendments listed on the ballot, voters will make their yes or no decision regarding the controversial charter school amendment, which officially reads “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?”

    October 13, 2012 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • web break-1.jpg Fussell seeks early votes this week

    Baldwin County Commission District 2 incumbent Linda Fussell would like to see early voters show their support this week.

    August 15, 2012 1 Photo

  • web break-1.jpg French seeks Commission D2 seat in runoff

    As a candidate vying for the Baldwin County District 2 democratic seat, Tommy French, Jr. is encouraging voters to cast their ballots early this week as he challenges incumbent Linda Fussell in the Aug. 21 runoff election.

    August 14, 2012 1 Photo

  • Some not so receptive to T-SPLOST potential

    As the 12 divided Georgia regions prepare for the July 31 general primary vote on the T-SPLOST referendum, some see the 1-cent regional sales tax as inconsistent with the state constitution and not in the best interest of Baldwin County.

    July 30, 2012

  • Candidate Q&A: Johnny Westmoreland

    Today's Q&A segment features responses from District 5 Baldwin County Commission challenger Jim Fain.

    July 29, 2012

  • Candidate Q&A: Jim Fain

    Today's Q&A segment features responses from District 5 Baldwin County Commission challenger Jim Fain.

    July 29, 2012

  • Candidate Q&A: Ben Quinn

    Today's Q&A segment features responses from District 2 Baldwin County Board of Education challenger Ben Quinn.

    July 29, 2012

  • Candidate Q&A: Harold B. Simmons

    Today's Q&A segment features responses from District 2 Baldwin County Board of Education incumbent Harold B. Simmons.

    July 29, 2012

Poll
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza