I am not a regular on this site, however, you could imagine that with people referring to me, word would get back. I have decided to respond to clarify a few things.
First, yes, I am highly considering a run for Mayor in 2021. Obviously that is three years away, but I feel that getting out and talking with people now is a good start.
Second, I am not and cannot speak for the entire Board of Education. Therefore, the following are solely my opinions as a citizen who happens to be a school board member who is considering running for Mayor.
I agree with many of the statements presented in the original post. However, I do not agree that our taxing body is failing nor that we have anything but a great school district. If you'll recall, when I was elected to the Board 5 years ago we were, indeed, in dire financial straights, some self-imposed but mostly attributable to the State of Illinois. Since then, we have run a balanced budget every year. We are slowly bringing back/adding programs to make educational improvements. Also true is the fact that slowly, tests scores have been improving. But every step along the way, the State of Illinois has put up speed bumps and road blocks. For instance, how can we track student improvement when the State changes the test that we are mandated to use? ISAT, PSAE, PARCC, ACT, SAT....there are so many more examples.
Point blank true statement: our District has and will continue to provide an excellent education to students so long as parents continue to be engaged in the lives of their children. That, in my opinion, is our greatest challenge. I am a product our system as are my parents and so many more family and friends. Our students can and will succeed in college, the workplace, the military, etc.
That leads me to my third point. Before telling me that I'm not qualified to run for an office (which is exactly what I was told in 2013 when I ran for the School Board), I think you should pick up the phone and call me. Email me. Facebook message me. Ask me my ideas and let me share with you what I think. I'm an open book, as is clear from me responding on here. If you call me and ask, I could tell you about my ideas for improving the city's hiring system to prevent purely political appointees from getting jobs...or perhaps we could discuss ways to improve the relationship that our city has with the Chamber of Commerce and local businesses.
My point is that whether it's me or someone else who runs or is elected, I'm putting my money where my mouth is. I will not complain about our city's progress unless I am prepared to help fix it. I am young, I am passionate, and I'm reasonably intelligent (at least I believe so), so I see that as a good start to running for the Mayor of Granite City.
Thank you and feel free to call me (618-210-2983) or email email@example.com. -Matt