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Archive for Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Former party chairman would bring connections to school board

March 11, 2009

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Tom Hartley

Tom Hartley




Tom Hartley

Age: 33 Address: 1309 Kasold Drive Family: wife, Jeri; three children who attend Sunset Hill, fourth-grader Pierce, 10; second-grader Alexys, 8; and kindergartner Jocelyn, 6. Occupation: territorial representative for Forest Pharmaceuticals

Tom Hartley has a few friends in the Kansas state legislature thanks to his two years as the Douglas County Democratic Party chairman. He thinks those connections are an advantage in his run for Lawrence school board.

“I’ve got very solid relationships with the legislators here in Lawrence,” Hartley said. “It’s going to be important to already have relationships with the people that we’re going to be asking for the money.”

Hartley also has a huge investment in the success Lawrence public schools — his three children enrolled at Sunset Hill School, where is the chairman of the site council. But that’s not the only reason he wants to be a part of the school board.

“I take a lot of fulfillment out of civic and public service,” he said. “I’ve really felt over the last several years, just the way things are going in our nation that we’re in an all hands on deck situation with regard to government and especially local government and the school board is part of that entity.”

Hartley, a territorial representative for Forest Pharmaceuticals, moved his family to Lawrence in 2005 so his wife, Jeri, could go to Kansas University’s School of Law. He plans on staying in town to see his children graduate from Lawrence public schools and invests his extra time in community service.

“It’s something that I’ve always held very near and dear to my heart and I enjoy doing,” Hartley said.

The budget crunch

Hartley believes the district is in a decent position after the state budget cuts for this school year.

“Anyone who operates any type of organization or business knows that you need to have a little bit of money set aside and we have a little bit of money set aside,” he said. “Also, we can save some dollars by not filling currently vacant positions.”

And while that gets the district through this year, the concern is for the future and the potential for more cuts.

Hartley wants to look at how the district manages human resources since staff is the largest part of the general fund.

“Perhaps there are mechanisms to which we can better utilize skills and find some economies,” Hartley said.

And Hartley was hoping for help from the federal dollars before word came from the state that funding would be held flat for the next two years.

“I just don’t think the cuts are going to be as deep as we once thought they might be, as well as the potential influx of federal dollars,” Hartley said. “I think we may be in a better position we thought we were 30 or 60 days ago.”

Portables not annexes

Another big issue for Hartley is the use of portable classrooms outside some Lawrence elementary schools.

“We’ve got these temporary portable classrooms set up basically now as annexes at elementary schools across our district,” Hartley said. “They’re not sustainable. They pose a decreased security risk and increased hazard to our students.”

Hartley wants to rethink the master facility plan for the district to see what can be done.

“These classrooms have been used for 10 or 15 years full time,” Hartley said. “To me, that’s an example of over the course of time, urgent issues crowding out important issues.”

While he’s noticed improvements at both the high school and junior high level, he thinks it’s time to look at the schools with the youngest populations.

“One of the things that needs to be focused in on are facilities at the elementary level,” Hartley said.

And tackling these issues is exactly why Hartley wants to be a part of the Lawrence school board.

“I want to be part of the solutions and part of building a better Lawrence school system,” he said. “We’ve got a good one now and I want to be part of making it even better.”

Comments

Paul R Getto 5 years, 1 month ago

The 'friends' in the legislature won't help much, unless we can garner enough votes in the house and senate to raise sales and/or income tax. Underfunding is underfunding.

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9070811 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't think that living here for only 5 years is a bad thing. It may actually be a good change because he can see the problems without the silly "politics" or crap behind it all. He can be positive and think towards the future. Having 3 children in USD497 has made him aware of changes that need to happen. He obviously was moved by having children in the system and is geared towards community service. I think he's a good guy with good intentions and fair amount of experience.

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clarkentsman 5 years, 1 month ago

I don't particularly care if someone is a republican or democrat (being an independent who votes for both or neither) how is voting for Tom Hartley not voting for "politics as usual"?

Tom Hartley has a few friends in the Kansas state legislature thanks to his two years as the Douglas County Democratic Party chairman. He thinks those connections are an advantage in his run for Lawrence school board.

“I’ve got very solid relationships with the legislators here in Lawrence,” Hartley said. “It’s going to be important to already have relationships with the people that we’re going to be asking for the money.”

Let's see - its 1999 - George HW Bush knows people in politics so him running for president is a good thing right.

Yes, I realize that there is more to Tom Hartley than being around the political machine but the statement “It’s going to be important to already have relationships with the people that we’re going to be asking for the money.” leaves a bad taste in one's mouth.

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zoysiagirl 5 years, 1 month ago

What the article fails to mention is that with the exception of the few years he lived in Indiana, Tom has lived in Kansas his entire life, attended Kansas schools, and has specifically chosen to raise his family in Kansas. It's highly unlikely there is a more qualified or more dedicated person running for the Lawrence School Board.

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tennesseerader 5 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like a carpet bagger to me.

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sloppyscience 5 years, 1 month ago

Nice picture Tom, loved ya in "the king of queens".

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The_Original_Bob 5 years, 1 month ago

Lived here four years with three kids in the public school system. He's as qualified as anyone to run.

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not_holroyd 5 years, 1 month ago

"Hartley, a territorial representative for Forest Pharmaceuticals, moved his family to Lawrence in 2005"


By this measure, most on this forum would have tenure rights. Hell, Hawkperched would garner 2 or 3 percent against this dude. Instead of his usual 1 percent.

This dude had better be doing lots of door to door, with a better explanation, to explain who the hell he is and what he understands about Lawrence. Living here since '05 ain't much.

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