This is the second of a series of candidate profiles that will appear on Massapequa Patch. Stay with us for more profiles leading up to Tuesday's election.
Joseph Marsh is a candidate in the May 15 Massapequa School Board election
He has been a resident of Massapequa for 12 years and has three children. Two of those children are currently in the school system, one is about to enter the system.
Marsh owns a technology and management consulting company and has been a member of the school district's budget and finance committee for six years.
We recently sat down with Marsh and heard some of his opinions on the issues facing voters.
On his mixed feelings about the tax cap:
"The administration is not doing its job. It's incapable of meeting its runaway budget. Apparently, it's not just our own district, It's school districts across the state. What the administration has gotten good at is getting their budgets passed, normally by holding arts, music and sports hostage. [The administration argues] 'If we don't get the whole budget, then you don't get your football team.' So I'm a fan of the tax cap, if only because it's finally starting to get people's attention. We shouldn't need it. But if the administration were doing its job, it wouldn't matter to us. So I hope in five years, when the tax cap expires, it goes away."
On financial issues facing the district:
"We spend $183 million and we've got 7,800 kids. The budget is going up. The student population is going down. Yet the student results aren't also going up. So I ask the question: How much is too much? How much money do we need? What is the cost of educating the student or 7,800 students? We don't know and the answer that the public is seeing is the budget growing by over $20 million over the last four years."
"The other part of this, is we spend so much time talking about money. At some point you want to say, 'We want to achieve educational excellence.' And the answer is not let's throw more money at it."
On transparency in the district:
"The culture in the district is is very insular. This is driven from the highest levels and we want to open that up...What we hear from the administration is, 'We know the answer. Thank you for your input, but we don't really need it.'"
On the elimination of positions:
"I thought it was a little backwards, the fact that 29 teachers got cut and only three administrative positions got cut."