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PC School Board Candidates Discuss Communication With The Public


The Park City Rotary Club hosted a Park City Board of Education pre-election-day forum on Tuesday. Three seats are open, with only one being contested.

The candidate forum kicked off with a discussion about communication. The Park City School District no longer has a Communication Director with Superintendent Jill Gildea repurposing the funds for that position and picking up that role.

Andrew Caplan has represented District 2 on the school board for the past four years and currently is the Board President.  He says they’re trying some new social media management for communication with the public.

“We have an outside consultant who is helping us in terms of staying on top of news stories and comments trying to give some factual responses as opposed to what we've done in the past I think you know communications is always something that you can improve on recognize that world where information is so readily available so much flying in every direction that it's hard to get through the noise for all of us.”

District 1 Board Member Anne Peters is running unopposed and says the board decided to streamline communication through the President, Andrew Caplan and Vice President, Erin Grady. Peters says those officers will change with the new year in January.

“I've heard some people say that we're not transparent enough which I kind of scratch my head about because I can't imagine what more we could possibly say. But I would welcome feedback from the community if there are areas that we can communicate about more, or more frequently. But I think we're doing a great job communicating.”

Thomas Cooke is running as a write in candidate against Andrew Caplan for the District 2 seat. He’s been on the Snyderville Planning Commission for the past four years and has a different philosophy on how best to keep the public informed.

“My personal feeling is to build trust and transparency is that we should spread that around a little bit. It shouldn't always be one voice. Not everybody agrees with me. I know that it's common for the board president to speak on behalf of all of the board, but I think that our community would benefit from hearing more voices from the school board.”

Wendy Crossland was appointed to the board to cover District 3 and has been there for about 18 months. She says she speaks for herself and all constituent communication is welcome. She believes the superintendent is best equipped to communicate district operations.

“I’m very comfortable with having a streamlined approach that allows first consistency and transparency and there's nothing that he will go and speak about publicly or when Erin does after a board meeting that is inaccurate and doesn't reflect what we just met and discussed. If I'm ever uncomfortable with something that's been communicated, I have full confidence that our team is cohesive enough and trusting enough that I'm very happy to have that voice speak for the board.”

A link to the Park City School Board Candidate forum and a link showing a description of each district can be found here.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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