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ELECTION PREVIEW: District 186 Subdistrict 4
Sub-district 4 pits Susan White against Mike Zimmers. White is the current board president. Zimmers is a former educator. The current school board had a rocky relationship with the now-former superintendent, Dr. Walter Milton Jr. So, how will these two candidates improve the relationship between the board and the future superintendent?
"I am hopeful, through the search process, which we expect to involve the community," White said. "The new board will have an opportunity to learn how to work together and do a better job of working together."
"You are in the public eye and televised and people attend these meetings," Zimmers said. "So, it's about being civil to each other."
District 186 is still millions in the red, despite the board cutting more than $6 million from the budget. We asked both candidates what specific areas the next school board should look at to cut.
"My job as a board member is to look at recommendations that are made from the superintendent," White said. "I voted for basically every budget cut that was recommended."
"I think we need to look at programs and start looking at administrative jobs," Zimmers said.
Sub-district 4 encompasses Springfield's southwest side. What are the needs in that area?
"People are worried about our money," White said. "People are worried about their taxes. People know that we need more money. I don't think we will ever get more money until we can prove we can live within the means we have right now."
"When I am walking around to different precincts, the issues are trust, communication, and transparency," Zimmers said.
Election day is April 9.
See Andrew Hansen's raw interview with Susan White.
See Andrew Hansen's raw interview with Mike Zimmers.