Candidate for Naselle GRV School Board: Luke Gardner

 

September 7, 2023

Courtesy photo

Luke Gardner

Each school board candidate has been given an opportunity to express in their own words what they feel voters would want to know about themselves. The following is information Luke Gardner provided: "Should I be elected, here is what I will swear to when taking the oath of office as Director on the Naselle Grays River Valley School Board: I, Luke Gardner, a resident of Naselle for over forty-years, do hereby solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Washington and will faithfully discharge the duties of Director of Naselle-Grays River Valley School District No. 155, Pacific and Wahkiakum Counties, State of Washington, to the best of my ability." Luke further states, "This is the oath taken, spoken, given to the people, it is a promise not a formality. While the health, safety and education of our community's children is my primary objective, this all must be accomplished while honoring this mandatory oath. As a school board director, it will also be my duty to represent to the Board without bias, any idea, suggestion, qualm, or grievance brought forth by any constituent and maintain open communication with the people I have the opportunity to serve."

Luke Gardner moved to Naselle as a small child, entered kindergarten there, then graduated from Naselle Grays River Valley Schools. He has been a commercial fisherman in the Bristol Bay area for 31 years, and began fishing with a boat he built himself, named Quantum Leap, in 1996. He has three sons enrolled this year at Naselle/GRV schools. He considers school boards as a parliamentary form of government and expects board members to represent their constituents.

Why run for this position?

Luke's answer is "to help maintain local control over the needs of the local community's school district. "I see the current Board relinquishing local control. There has to be ongoing accountability offered to the public, along with clear communication with the community, in all areas of education and administration. I would like the local board to have autonomy in all situations, as much as possible. I see the Board relinquishing local control to the State. I want the local community to maintain control and autonomy for itself. I am concerned about policies that violate someone's right to privacy, for example. I believe every single person/voter has the duty to understand the oath I would be taking, if elected.

I believe the board needs to be fully informed in a timely manner before any meetings in which they will be asked to vote on any item with legal implications, such as contracts. The board should also be involved in determining how much money should be held as surplus, thereby making the annual budget more flexible. And all public documents should be available upon request without hesitation and at the convenience of the person making the request.

I'd like to see what is needed to help our transportation challenges be addressed more by the board. For instance, we need drivers available for sports trips so that cheerleaders can go to the games. Retaining bus drivers is a problem in all our school districts, but can the board do some work on what could be changed to make the transportation program as versatile as possible? I believe making decisions around wages for bus drivers requires a full board discussion, so that in a meeting a fully informed vote can be made. If elected, I will be actively engaged on behalf of the community members I am sworn to serve."

 

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