Hello, Fellow Citizens,
I have been a Grand County resident for the past 62 years and have owned my own real estate brokerage, Moab Realty, for more than 20 years. I am married, with a 9-year-old daughter. Makenna, who is a fourth grader at HMK.
Friends have asked, “Why are you running for the Grand County School Board?” First and foremost, I am not running against my opponent, rather I am running for the children and teachers of Grand County. I feel the school board and district personnel have done an impressive job transitioning the Grand County School District from dire financial straits, to a financially stable and fiscally responsible position. What do I feel I can bring to the table to further improve the district?
I have a good business sense and the energy to project school district needs in a positive light. I can help garner support for, and help with understanding of, various issues that may arise. There is always a need for any board to have members who are able to present agendas and issues to the public. I enjoy speaking with the public and feel I have the ability to present issues clearly and keep citizens informed.
Over the last four years, I have taken an active role in my daughter’s education. I have spent several hours each week volunteering in the classroom. This experience has kept me abreast of the current school system and allowed me to see firsthand not only the great things going on but also the shortfalls that occasionally arise. I currently serve on the HMK Community Council, which helps with my awareness of the immediate needs of the teachers and students.
I am the recipient of the Friend of Education award for co-chairing a facilities committee. We spent several months researching school facilities. The committee was only advisory in nature, but my participation allowed me to see firsthand the positives and negatives with regard to our school facilities. I feel the district works hard monitoring the viability of the existing middle school. I am certain that at some point in the future, we will need to do a full assessment of the existing school to determine the best path to take concerning the long-term needs of our middle school students.
Finally, I fully support the school board-voted levy, Proposition 4. Grand County is next to last when it comes to teachers’ salaries. In order to hire and retain new teaching staff, we need to bring our salaries in line with the other school districts in Utah.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.
James W. (Jim) Webster
I’ve served on the school board since 2005, was board president from 2011 to 2015, and am currently the vice president. I’ve lived in Grand County since 1990 and own a home in Moab, where I live with my wife, Vicki.
Our children were well-served by Grand County schools from kindergarten through high school. They have since graduated from college and embarked on their own careers. School board service is my way of giving back to our schools. I’ll continue using my leadership and collaboration skills to build on our district’s successes. Over the years I have:
— helped create and/or lead
— school superintendent searches
— facilities assessment leading to successful bond election and two new state-of-the-art school buildings
— community/school district finance, budget and land/facilities committees
— the successful annexation of San Juan County Spanish Valley residents into the Grand County School District
— the development of a now-robust capital fund to address critical building and infrastructure needs, including the middle school
— helped save the taxpayers over $1 million through several school bond refinances
— been a longtime member of community/school safety committee; USU-Moab Dean’s Council; Moab Chamber of Commerce; Grand Area Mentoring
— been a voting member of committee for Utah Legislature public education priorities, and spent many days on Capitol Hill advocating for bills to support our schools
— developed good working relationships with local and state legislators
— brought school, business, community and elected leaders together to strengthen our schools
— advocated for development of the school district’s new preschool program
My priorities include:
— continuing to support our schools through efficient, strategic and effective use of tax dollars, seeking outside revenue sources, legislative support and partnerships
— improving teacher and staff salaries to a competitive, livable-wage level. I support the Voted Local Levy for this reason.
— addressing critical infrastructure needs, especially at the Middle School
— supporting programs for our students challenged by poverty
— continuing improvement of our math scores
— maintaining high academic standards for our local schools and further developing enriching after-school, music and arts programs
— ensuring that we take advantage of opportunities presented by the growing presence of Utah State University in Moab, and supporting the development of its destination campus here.
I’d appreciate your vote on November 8.
There is only one contested school board seat on this year’s general election ballot. In the race for the Grand County Board of Education’s District 3 seat, Dave Bierschied is vying with incumbent Jim Webster. Both candidates submitted statements regarding their experiences and their visions for the school district’s future.