Election Preview: South Summit School Board Seat 4

Oct 24, 2018

Credit Summit County

As mail-in ballots arrive in your mailbox KPCW is interviewing local candidates about their platforms. The race for the South Summit School Board Seat 4 features Incumbent Steven Hardman and challenger Hoyt Atkinson.

South Summit School Board Member Steven Hardman explains why he’s running for re-election this year.

“I’ve been on for two terms, this would be my third term if re-elected. The reason I wanted to pursue re-election is because of the bond we’re trying to pass. Our growth is a lot like Park City area, it is phenomenal now. We need some buildings built, we’ve got to have something done so that we can address and educate the students that’s going to be moving in here. So I wanted to see that through I wanted to be on the board to help complete that project.”

Hardman’s opponent is Hoyt Atkinson. Atkinson explains why he is running for the school board seat.

“To give back to the community. I’ve been a number of the South Summit Community all my life. Went to school in South Summit, graduated from South Summit. (I) feel like I could definitely help and give back to the community and add to our schools.”

Hardman says his experience working for the district and being on the board gives him the qualifications to be on the board.

“I worked for the school district for 24 years. I’ve been on the board for two terms. I feel I have an insight of how the board operates, what the state requires, what our students require here, what our teachers require here. I went through our failed bond election a year ago. I think I have a better understanding on why it did not pass. I think I can be of some valuable assets to the school board if I’m on the board to help the bond to get passed.”

Atkinson says his experience in the private sector has prepared him to be on the South Summit School Board.

“I’m a self-employed business man. I’ve had my own business now for 38-year, so I know financing a little bit and how to run a business and how to do things. I also worked for South Summit School District in the transportation department as a bus driver, and as a bus driver trainer for about 10 years. So, I know the current administration and a lot of the folks there at the district office. I think that through my business experience and working through the district that gives me a great opportunity to use some of those skills for the betterment of our school district and our community.”

Hardman said he didn’t know Atkinson’s positions on issues well enough to point out differences, but he does know what he wants to accomplish.

“I don’t know why he even wanted to run, I haven’t talked to him that way. So, I really can’t comment on what our differences are other than, like I say, what I see that I’d like to participate in on. Getting some good quality education for our kids. Hopefully we can expand offer more curriculum, just get our kids a lot better opportunities in life. I’d like to see, we have an interest over there in the Silver Creek area that I’m aware of, that we need to address. We’re going to have a lot of growth in that area. We’re going to have to provide schooling for those kids as well.”

Atkinson says he would bring a new perspective to the board.

“I’ve known Steve all my life and been friends with Steve so there’s not a lot of animosity or problems between us. The difference would be that I have a son that attends South Summit High School. So, I’m more connected with the schools through him and what goes on at the district and what happens there. I think the other big thing is that I haven’t run for school board before and I haven’t been on the board. It might be a new perspective or outlook on ways of doing things.”

Hardman says he’s aware of issues the district faces and ready to take them on.

“I’ve lived here in the valley my whole life. People over here in my precinct—except for the Promontory, Silver Creek area—know who I am. They know where I stand, if they have any questions they know how to get a hold of me.” 

Atkinson says if elected he’ll work to improve communications between the district and the community.

“If elected we’ll do the best that we can. I think that we need to work harder as a board to get information out to our community. Be more involved in the process of schoolboard and some of the decisions that’s being made. More involvement for the community, that’s what I’d like to see and what I’d like to try to do.”

That’s Hoyt Atkinson, he’s running for South Summit School Board Seat 4. His opponent is incumbent Steven Hardman. Both men said they would support the upcoming South Summit School bond, likely to come before voters in 2019. For more election coverage in the Wasatch Back visit KPCW.org