21 Aug 2014
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Election 2013: Lawrence Mish

Lawrence Mish is running for the District 118 school board in the April election.

Position Sought

Palos School District 118 school board member

Campaign Contact Information

n/a

Hometown

Palos Heights

Family Members

Wife: Susan K. Mish
Son: Kevin Mish, 20
Son: Connor Mish, 16

Education

Purdue University, BS

Current Occupation and Employer

Self-employed

Political Party Affiliation

None.

Why are you seeking the position?

I am currently on the Palos District 118 School Board and would very much like to continue serving the community in this role.

What will be your single most important priority if you get elected?

My focus is helping to maintain the course for Palos District 118. One which traditionally includes great teaching of both academics and the arts, while being fiscally responsible and achieving financial integrity.

What past experience in your life, whether work or otherwise, would you say qualifies you well to serve on this board, and how?

Through my professional career, I have years of financial experience with an in-depth knowledge of accounting, operations, budgeting and forecasting of financial institutions. As service to my community:

I'm a current school board member serving on the Finance, Communications and Safety committees; I'm a member of the Palos AYSO board, where I have served for over the last twelve years, as treasurer, regional commissioner and board member, a soccer program that has grown to over 625 players serving the Palos and surrounding communities; I'm a proud member of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd where I serve on the Finance Committee, Church Council and as a trustee. My active involvement has provided me a strong connection to the community.

Revenues from the state are drying up. Rank the following in order of importance for fixing the situation: 1) Staff cuts 2) Contract renegotiations 3) Operating expense cuts 4) Tax increases or other funding sources. Explain your reasoning.

My focus is on our budget and the factors that affect it, like enrollment. The budget is a working document. Based on information accumulated at the district, we try to look out more than one year. This enables us to plan ahead or to take action sooner rather than later. Each year changes based on different circumstances so its difficult to say what is the best solution. What may work one year may not work the next. Our biggest concern is the maintaining the quality of education that each student receives while respecting that we serve the taxpayers of the community.

What can schools and school districts do to increase safety?

One of our primary responsibilities as a school district is the safety of our students. I currently serve on the Safety committee. We review all of the District's safety procedures twice a year to ensure that we are exceeding that responsibility. We engage the local police and fire departments who specialize in these areas to review and comment on our procedures. We are partnered together with these agencies to ensure the safety of our students.

What do you think are the most challenging issues facing the district?

Our biggest challenges today come from reductions in state and federal funding for programs like transportation and special needs which are mandated by the same governmental bodies that are cutting their budgets. Also with teacher pension reform looming, the district may be responsible to fund some or all of any future pension liabilities.

Have you ever been arrested or sued? If yes, please say what the charge was, and the case's and/or lawsuit's outcome.

No.

Any other information pertinent to your campaign.

I want to acknowledge those who served on the board before me. It was through their efforts and visions that the foundation was laid for each new succeeding board to build on. And to all of those individuals, I say Thank You. In closing, my experience has helped me learn, grow and meet many new people from our community. I hope that my involvement as a diligent school board member has not only played a part in helping improve the lives of the young people within our community, but has also contributed to the district residents by improving the community and watching taxpayer dollars. I look forward to more years of dedicated service to the community as your school board member.

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