By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – Three candidates are vying for one four-year term on the Riverview Community Schools Board of Education, while four candidates are running for one two-year term in the Nov. 3 general election.
Incumbent Kathleen Bosman, James Makowski and Martha E. Williams are running for the four-year term. David Boike and Amy Reeder are on the ballot for the two-year term, while Mark Kirkwood and Anita Estrada are campaigning as write-in candidates for the two-year term.
The Sunday Times hand delivered each candidate (at an address supplied by city officials) a list of questions. Followup phone calls were made and deadlines extended. The responses received are given below. Reeder attempted to reply to the survey using her Blackberry, but her electronic documents did not transmit. Replies were not received from candidates Bosman, Williams, Kirkwood and Estrada.
1) Please describe yourself.
BOIKE: I am married with two very active boys. I have coached baseball for six years with the Riverview Baseball Association. I have been vice president of the RBA for two years. I have been with the Michigan State Police for 12.5 years.
MAKOWSKI: My name is Jim Makowski. My wife, Kathy, works at Oakwood South Shore Hospital. We have two daughters, ages 8 and 2. I am an attorney at Harroun, P.C. of Bloomfield Hills specializing in real estate and civil litigation. I grew up in southwest Detroit and moved to Riverview in 1997. I am a 1995 graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a 1999 graduate of the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law. Prior to receiving my law license I worked in the IT industry. With my business experience and technology background I have many skills to bring to the table.
In these tough economic times, school budget cuts will have to be made. What do you think could be cut, and what are you unwilling to cut?
BOIKE: To my knowledge the state has proposed cutting the per-pupil funding by approximately $170 per pupil. We are fortunate to have a good number of “school of choice” children which eases the burden other districts are facing. If cuts are necessary, I believe the core classes (English, math, science, etc.) cannot be sacrificed. Computer classes are also a necessity in today’s workplace and should not be cut.
MAKOWSKI: Most people don’t realize it but the district is going to have to cut approximately $500,000 from its budget, which was already somewhat lean. Promoting school-of-choice will help alleviate some of that shortfall but major cuts are going to be necessary. I would first examine transportation costs then move on to looking at extracurricular expenses. Educating our children must come first.
Do you think “pay to play” should be implemented to fund sports and extracurricular programs like band? Why or why not?
BOIKE: School is primarily about learning the essentials needed to become a productive adult. I believe that athletics are extremely important in meeting that goal. If a district could not find funding for athletics, I believe that pay-to-play should be implemented before any athletics were cut all together.
MAKOWSKI: This will undoubtedly make me unpopular but I am not afraid to say that this will probably be necessary. There are a lot of great reasons not to implement “pay to play” but the bottom line is that school is about preparing our children for the future. If it is a choice between compromising the quality of our schools and requiring “pay to play” there is only one reasonable and responsible choice.
What is your motto, personal philosophy, or phrase that inspires you?
BOIKE: Quitters never win and winners never quit.
MAKOWSKI: Always look for opportunities in the face of adversity.