Lowsma gets down to business | ParkRecord.com

Lowsma gets down to business

Alexandria Gonzalez , The Park Record

Edwin Lowsma is one of four candidates running for Park City Board of Education incumbent and Vice President Michael Boyle s District 5 seat. He emphasizes his leadership and business experience as a new perspective on school district issues. Photo by Alexandria Gonzalez/Park Record.

Edwin Lowsma is somewhat new to Park City, but he is no stranger to positions of leadership and guidance. Twenty-two years in the Marine Corps have instilled in him a desire to serve his community. He said with five children in the Park City School District, he felt there was no better position for him to serve than as a Park City Board of Education member.

Lowsma joined the Leadership Park City program upon his arrival in town to find an area to commit to. When the District 5 seat on the school board opened up, he said it was the perfect fit. If elected, Lowsma will represent the precincts of Lower Silvercreek, Upper Silvercreek, Lower Pinebrook, Pinebrook North, Summit Park East, Summit Park West, Upper Pinebrook and Wagon Wheel.

Since incumbent Michael Boyle decided not to run for re-election, Lowsma is running against three other opponents in the primary election on June 24, all of which have experience working in the school district. The two top vote-getters will go on to the November ballot. While Lowsma has never served on a Parent Teacher Organization or as an educator in Park City, he said he brings a new perspective to the table.

"I think my experience in [leadership positions] and my education make me the optimal candidate for the school board," he said. "I would bring a different view with a whole new line of critical thinking than the other candidates bring."

As a defense contractor for L3 Communications, Lowsma said he handles budgets as large as the school district’s. Over the last several months, budget discussions have left community members concerned, an issue Lowsma said he would be more than capable of addressing and handling.

"I am the candidate who is bringing outside, real world experience to what is essentially a business of educating our children with the most important line items being the children themselves," he said. "We get next to no funding from the state, so I think there are definitely improvements to be made in funding and there are improvements to be made as to how we handle that funding."

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The funding issue may have to be addressed before whoever is elected to fill outgoing school board Vice President Michael Boyle’s District 5 seat will actually get to participate in school board decisions, Lowsma said. In his opinion, the board will either have to make cuts or increase taxes, but more than likely it will take both measures to fix the budget.

When it comes to issues the parents and community members in his precincts would like their representative on the board to address, Lowsma said the standard issues are the Dual-Language Immersion program and PCCAPS. Handling those two programs again comes down to Lowsma’s specialty: handling the budget.

"Dual-Language Immersion is what everyone wants, but there are a couple of issues. Either we fund it so it can be supported or we tweak it so it can fit within the funding we have," he said. "I think most people understand that and feel positive about it."

Lowsma’s opponents have held positions in administration in the district and on PTOs in the schools, but he said he doesn’t believe that is a requirement for having a seat on the board. He believes it require leadership and fiscal responsibilities to make it successful, two things he feels he offers in spades.

"I have my own views on different issues, but I will represent a district. Their input is exactly what I have to take to the board," he said. "It’s not just one guy going in to try and change the world, but it is that one guy representing a group of parents and the community to help run the school district."