Candidates vie for Precinct 3 chair on School Board
October 31, 2008
Anne Bransford knows when she sends her three kids off to school in Park City she, like every parent anywhere and everywhere, is entrusting her kids with someone who’s going to be a good role model she said.
As a fifth-generation Park City property owner and resident for nearly 10 years, Bransford said she decided to run for the Precinct 3 chair on the Park City Board of Education because it was a chance to put back into the community. (Note: Precinct 3 includes the following areas: Lucky John/Park Meadows, Post Office/Eagle Point, The Canyons/West of SR224, West of Silver Springs Drive andQuarry Ranch/Ranch Creek.)
"I represent the entire Park City School District community, not just one… faction," she said and sees this as the biggest difference between herself and her opponent Gerd Holmsen-Aguilar.
Aside from having children currently in the school district, Bransford is a familiar face in the area for many. She’s attended so many parent teacher conferences, athletic events and other school-related activities that she knows more than 70 percent of the teachers and administrators in the district. According to a flier from Bransford, she’s attended 75 percent of the school board meetings since March and has experience with the Park City Council and the Planning Commission.
Bransford is a native Utahan and received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Wheaton College. She later headed east where she attended Dartmouth College and worked for the Memorex Corporation for 18 years. Twenty four years later, she returned to Utah as a single mother. Her economics background, Bransford said, will help her be proactive in addressing the economic challenges school districts face: budgets, property tax revenue and state monies allocated.
One of the hot money issues is teacher salaries. Bransford said she would work to compensate school district employees by offering incentives such as ski passes, gas vouchers and discounts at local merchants. She said one of the questions is how to attract teachers outside of Park City to the area. With the cost of living so high, for most, it’s a turn off. Bransford said to remedy this, she’d like work with real estate developers to create a percentage of affordable housing for school district employees she is also a member of Park City Board of Realtors.
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The topic of drugs in the schools is another topic she has strong feelings on and takes a hard stance on a zero-tolerance policy. She said the problem is deeper than most people realize and that it’s reaching the middles schools. Bransford said it’s a legal issue and plans to get the authorities and parents involved.
"People will gamble with second chances and try to ride the edge," she said. It could make the difference between graduating and being held back.
Bransford admits the position is bigger than she expected, but she’s more fired up about it. She said she took the time to do her homework and understand what the position entails. Bransford credits her people skills and business background in helping her deal with the challenges and working with people to reach an agreement.
"Any time you have issues dealing with the welfare of your children," Bransford said, "they become emotional." She added she’s a good listener, which is important in this position because it’s important to discern the facts. "People take hard stances," she said and as a member of the school board, you have to stand-up to people and say this is the way we’re going to vote and why.