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Candidate response

Published October 22, 2004

Alice Delgardo, Democrat, School superintendent

With all due respect, to Democrats and Republicans, Dr. John Long was right and Mr. Tom Weightman was right. Both of these superintendents of schools chose to cross party lines to endorse a successor. Those were courageous steps. The lesson I take from that is, partisan politics has no business in the managing of the schools. That lesson has escaped the St. Petersburg Times in its endorsement of my opponent.

Your rationale that I am not a Florida politician misses the point, which is that this system does not need a politician. This system needs an experienced manager. I will keep politics out of the school system. I have refused to play the game that is so common among present day political contests, which is the only way to be elected, and that is to tear down your opponent. I do not subscribe to such practice. I believe my experience and qualifications stand on their own.

I have a master's degree in education with a concentration in management. I have a long record of managing hundreds of millions of dollars of public funds and public employees, and most importantly, I know how to be accountable for taxpayer money. These are the important qualities for your school superintendent.

On the rationale of residency, this community has the ability to see past the politics of convenience. I have seen it with the search for city managers in Port Richey, New Port Richey and the police department of Zephyrhills.

With me, the voters do not have to do a national search. I have been here and I am here by choice. You can vote for me with the confidence that I will work for you and I will make you proud.

-- Alice Delgardo

, Pasco School Board, District 2

It is strange that you failed to mention Marge Whaley's plan to obtain more money for the school district. Whaley stated at our debate that she is in favor of creating a real estate tax, extending the penny sales tax by another decade and working to repeal the class size amendment. Therefore, if the voters retain Whaley they can expect higher taxes and classrooms with more students.

There is no evidence to suggest that students benefit from small schools as they do with small classrooms. Many of our schools on the west side of the county are well over capacity. What we should do for these schools is add multistory wings and larger lunchroom facilities to help ease the burden.

You also claim that my views on impact fees are illegal. Governments routinely reduce fees and taxes to encourage development. It is irresponsible to tax businesses and families out of the county. But more importantly, school impact fees should not be arbitrarily determined for different types of structures. It should be based on square footage.

I believe vocational training programs should be expanded to all of our high schools because 60 percent of our students are not going to college. The current program discourages involvement because of the limited access.

I believe in keeping our superintendent and elected position. The people of Pasco are smart enough to elect their leadership. My opponent wants to control the superintendent, while I believe the people should.

-- Ryan O'Reilly [Last modified October 22, 2004, 01:09:27]

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