The Union Recorder

Election 2012

July 29, 2012

Candidate Q&A: Mike Screws

MILLEDGEVILLE — You challenged the qualifications of the incumbent earlier this year based on the state’s nepotism clause? If you had it to do over again, would you still support that challenge and do you think the nepotism clause is too lenient?

I strongly support the challenge I made May 30 regarding the qualifications of the District 2 BOE member to seek re-election with a spouse serving on the central office staff. The state’s nepotism law is too lenient and unclear and should be rewritten. In the mean time, our local board should craft strict policies preventing immediate family members from working in the central office if their spouse is a BOE member. Many citizens of District 2 have told me that matters of such importance should not be defined by date, but rather what is the most ethical thing to do, for the best interest of the children we serve.

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?

The board can be more transparent by streaming the meetings on the Internet so more citizens can keep up with what is going on in our school system. Another thing that can be done is for the board and school leadership to hold town hall meetings three times a year for the purpose of exchanging ideas. By having the BOE members and school leadership in a setting to take and answer questions, accountability will be strengthened. Individuals elected to serve the public are accountable to the voters whom they serve, and should always uphold the highest degree of ethics and moral behavior. Any potential violations should be investigated and appropriate action taken.

Are you opposed to raising the millage rate?

Yes, I am opposed to raising the millage rate. Our citizens are being taxed enough. We must attract more industries to Milledgeville. This will increase our tax base and revenues. Having a high quality school system is a major drawing card when industries are considering locating here. We should have a Public Relations Director charged with identifying additional funding sources from the state and federal government. Also endowments and grants of every kind should be sought. A thorough look into the job functions of central office staff should be reviewed: cuts in spending need to start at the top, and financial resources redirected to the classroom so our teachers will have the resources they need for effective instruction.

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

Retention of quality teachers should always be on the mind of board members. Making sure the teaching salary supplements are competitive with surrounding counties is important. Some tuition assistance for teachers who go back and earn graduate degrees would be appreciated. Seeking stronger community involvement so more volunteers can serve in the classrooms to assist our teachers would mean a lot. Putting the paraprofessionals back into the elementary classrooms would improve the classroom teacher’s effectiveness so more at-risk students could be helped. Quality teachers thrive on respect. Regular visits from board members to schools and listening sessions with teachers and follow-up on their suggestions would go a long with to improve respect and instructional effectiveness.

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?

A school board member’s role in meeting the needs of their constituents is to be responsive. When a parent calls a board member with a problem, that board representative should return that call in a very timely manner. Depending on the seriousness of the problem, the board member should make contact with the principal to facilitate a resolution. After a short period of time, the board member should call the parent to follow-up and make sure their problem or issue has been taken care of to their satisfaction. In order to serve the overall needs of the school system, the board member should attend all scheduled and called meetings. The board member should do any necessary research on agenda items to be fully prepared. The board member should weigh other members’ opinions carefully, and strive to reach a consensus the whole board can support. When making comments to the press, board members should not disparage other members decisions. Board members should attend special events showcasing the successes of our local schools. And board members should support the superintendent and central office staff on their initiatives.


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

AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

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.
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH)