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Ed Hutson: 'the skills, energy and teamwork' district needs

We live in a very special place, and over these past months, I have had the privilege to speak with many of our citizens. There is broad agreement that our schools are a critical part of what makes our city thrive, and there is a strong desire to continue our tradition of educational excellence.

Though we have 10 excellent schools, we also have considerable challenges facing the upcoming school board. I ask for your vote for Position 5, because I believe I can bring the skills, energy and teamwork needed to address these critical issues.

While our economy is beginning to thrive nationally and locally, our school infrastructure has deteriorated from years of neglect driven by budget cuts from the economic downturn in 2007. Despite the improved state tax revenue outlook, our school budgets remain under pressure, and the harsh reality is that the upcoming PERS shortfall may force additional cuts in this next biennium. It will take new thinking to improve our situation after years of budget cuts and begin the return to smaller class sizes and an expanded curriculum. We will also have to address sizable capital improvements to our schools and proactively plan for facilities moving forward. We must approach these problems with facts, teamwork and efficiency.

Our community, although rich in many ways, does not have an endless pot of money and is not immune to difficult spending prioritization. Addressing our critical infrastructure needs is essential, and this is not the time to be wasting money on nice-to-haves. My first priority is to get the right information on our needs to make good decisions.

A Facilities Condition Index Report is a logical first step to making non-political decisions on improving our long-term school infrastructure and addressing our most pressing problems. My experience in the construction industry, my business skills honed in successfully growing my small business and my team orientation will be an instrumental contribution to the school board.

By objectively addressing our financial challenges with prudent oversight, we can return to enhancing our educational curriculum to give our children the skills and training to successfully compete. New ideas and approaches are critical to continuous improvement, and Dr. Heather Beck is helping us expand our thinking.

The STEM focus employed by schools from other states is a rich opportunity to accelerate our children and to prepare them for the jobs our economy needs.

My community experience working with youth in Lake Oswego and greater Portland and my current experiences as a parent in our schools provides a rich foundation to enhance our school board.

Our school board and district administration is comprised of unbelievably talented and caring community members who I respect wholeheartedly. It is a tremendous honor and responsibility to serve the community. I am running for the school board because I love this district. I have made a habit of making no promises in my campaign. The only promise I will make is that I will do my best to work well with others and to make fact-based decisions that we can afford. I am excited and ready for the opportunity to serve all of you in a practical and objective way.

Please Vote Ed Hutson for Position 5 on the Lake Oswego School Board. Thank you, Lake Oswego!

Ed Hutson is a Lake Oswego resident and a candidate for Position 5 on the Lake Oswego School Board.

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