School board, county commissioner candidates take stage during Austin forum

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(ABC 6 News) – Citizens of Austin had the chance to hear from more candidates that will appear on the mid-term ballot.

The forum, hosted by the American Association of University Women offered candidates running for the school board and county commissioner seats a chance to speak to voters.

Carolyn Dube, Kathy Green, Carolyn McAlister, Denver Ritz, and Peggy Young answered a series of questions including how to improve the parent-teacher relationship when it comes to the curriculum.

A topic all candidates appear to be on the same page about.

“Parents do have the right to review the curriculum,” McAlister said.

“I also think its very important that we don’t get to a point where we don’t get to a point where parents should feel like they need to micro manage what their children are learning,” Dube said.

“We know we can’t please everyone all the time. We do the best we can but we recognize that all of our teachers are working to make curriculums that benefit all of our students,” said Young.

“Plain and simple we need to let our teachers teach. They’re there because they’re passionate. They want to invest in a kids future. They are not there to be millionaires. We need to trust the educational system before us but we also need to engage parents,” Ritz said.

Following the school board forum, candidates for the county commissioners took the stage.

The public got to hear where candidates for district 3, Jason Duffy and Jerry Reinartz and for District 4, Jeff Baldus and Dan Sparks stood on the growing housing concerns in Mower county.

“Housing costs are going up. But we have a housing shortage. We need more housing in this community. We need to make where mower county is number one and make it where its affordable to be here and raise a family here. That’s why we’ve always stayed here me and my family our families before that and that’s why we continue to stay here.,” Duffy said.

“The taxes a lot of people think we raise values to raise taxes. That’s hardly the case. Taxes are set by levies that we set, the county the city the school. You can lower all of the property values but as the budgets go up so do your taxes,” Reinartz said.

Two candidates were not able to attend Tuesday’s forum – Candidates Kathy Green for the Austin school board and Dan Sparks for County Commissioner District 4.