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Two Candidates Vye For East Wasatch County School District Seat

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Kimberly Dickersen
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The Wasatch School District East seat has two new candidates running this term. Kimo Paulse and Kimberly Dickerson are vying for the seat covering the neighborhoods of Jordanelle, Hideout, Timber Lakes and other areas east of Heber City.

Kimo Paulsen says he is very involved in his children’s education. He believes he has the management and financial experience to take on the challenges of meeting growth demands, student’s educational needs and controlling spending by the school district. He claims 35-years of business management in multi-national and fortune 100 companies.

"The school district is 70% of a typical tax bill and if we keep the district spending reasonable, we minimize the tax impact for the community.  So, I can help oversee the district expenditures and hold the district accountable to the objective. My experience makes me uniquely qualified to help oversee the spending and budgeting of the school district. That’s why I'm running.”

Kimberly Dickerson moved to Heber 10-years ago from Park City. She has been involved with her children’s schools including the Old Mill Elementary and Timpanogas Middle Schools. She’s on the board of the Wasatch Education Foundation and worked on the scholarship committee.

“There’s a part of the community that feels there’s a lack of trust and transparency and I believe with my strong skills, my strong interpersonal skills, that I can help bring our community together, to work together. We need to collaborate together, to help our students, to help our children. It takes a community working together to help our students succeed and that is what I bring to the table.”

Paulsen thinks the $150 million school bond failed last year because people were confused about how the money would be used. He says the public wanted more data about current and future needs and they wanted to see more options.

“Mainly because people were confused. They didn’t know what was going on.  They were fearful of more money being spent and the effect on their tax bill. A lot of people have seen drastic increases in their taxes. And so I think the district could have done a better job in explaining, giving more information and kind of helping the community come along with the decision of why we might need a new high school.”

Dickerson says budget management and financial planning is critical but before floating another school bond, community trust needs to be restored.

“I think first and foremost, before we even present another bond, we need to work on the parts of the community that feels like there's a lack of transparency and communication. That is key. If you don't have communication and trust, then you can't work together to solve the issues that we're currently facing with student population and growth. I talk to people every day. I talk to parents. I talk to custodians. I talk to the lunch ladies and you know, the secretaries. So, I'm hearing concerns all the time. I talk to a lot of teachers who see things happening in the schools that is a concern to them.”

Paulsen says the district should provide more information and data on their web site or Facebook page. The district, he says should provide budget details that would show cost analysis or background data on how decisions are made such as the decision to build a new $150 million high school.

“If you really want to dive deep into what's going on at the school district, there's not a lot of options. The board meeting minutes are posted but if somebody wants information, it's been difficult to get.”

If elected, Dickerson says she wants to expand the conversations beyond budgets and finance.

“But there are so many other areas that need to be addressed. I've heard inclusion, student inclusion is an issue. I’ve had people asking about curriculum that's being taught in the school. So, there's so many other areas of concern that need to be addressed and things come up every day. And the focus needs to be balanced and that is something that I bring to the table, is that I am balanced, and I will look at all issues that need to be addressed.”

Links to the Wasatch School District East Seat candidates, Kimo Paulsen and Kimberly Dickerson,   can be found on KPCW.org.

 

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Credit Kimo Paulsen
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