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Candidate Profile: Andy Mytelka - The Galveston County Daily News : Politics

October 30, 2014

Candidate Profile: Andy Mytelka

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Posted: Friday, October 24, 2008 12:00 am

Part 1

Are you a legal resident of the district you’re seeking to represent? Yes.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime? No.

Have you ever sued a public entity or been sued by one? No.

Do you have any unpaid property taxes? No.

Do you have any unpaid parking tickets? No.

If elected will you work at the job full time? While a trustee is a volunteer job and I will continue to work during the day a school district trustee position is a full time job.

Will you continue to own or operate an outside business while holding this full-time public office? Yes.

Will you have your home phone number listed in the phone book? Yes.

Will you keep regular office hours? While school district trustees do not have separate offices I will continue to be available to the citizens by phone and by email.

Part 2

Q: Why should voters choose you? What are your specific qualifications for the position?

A: In light of the hurricane the District faces some of the most difficult issues imaginable. What is needed now is proven leadership. As the President of the School Board for the last year I believe I have exhibited the ability to lead the board through many difficult issues. What is necessary at this time is the strength and fortitude to make the tough decisions in order to restore pride in our school system. We currently have three recognized schools but also several unacceptable schools. We must make the tough decisions in order to have all of our schools and our district rated recognized or above.

Q: What are the issues in this campaign? What is your platform on those issues?

A: While it is obvious that improving the ratings of our schools is an important issue we frankly don’t know all of the issues which we will face in the coming years. What I can offer is the ability to study and make the best decision based on the available information whether such decision is supported by the administration or not.

Q: What specific actions would you take to make the office you seek more accessible to county residents and work efficiently with tax monies?

A: We recently passed a budget reducing taxes in the District. I am in favor of re-appraisal of the properties within our District. I believe that we need to independently fight for federal state and private support in order to rebuild our District. I recently met with the Commissioner of Education seeking relief from Robin Hood payments. The District needs to invest this year’s payment of almost $11 million in our schools and not some other district. We have further strengthened our internal accounting controls in order to ensure we are receiving the best services for our tax dollars.

Q. What government programs or personnel can be cut to reduce the increasing cost of government? Be specific.

A. Unfortunately there are many state mandates that are beyond the control of individual school districts. However I believe that we must pay our teachers as much as possible in order to maintain competitive with the surrounding districts and in an effort to retain experienced teachers. I further believe that the District needs to be as transparent as possible so that all citizens can see how tax dollars are being spent. To this end while I have been on the Board the Administration has posted on the GISD website our check register.

Q. What specific actions would you take to make the office you seek more accessible to residents and work efficiently with tax monies?

A. During the last three years we have continued our efforts to make all decisions by the board as transparent as possible. I strive to have as few closed executive sessions as possible. I have also personally pushed for translation of all District communications into Spanish so that parents of our students can be more active in the educational process. There is much work to be done in improving communications both through the website and otherwise.

Q. Tell us a about yourself. How old are you? What is your occupation? What is your highest level of education?

A. I am the managing partner of the law firm Greer Herz & Adams. I have a J.D. degree and a LLM degree. I am 48 years old been married for 22 years and a resident of the Island for 23 years. I have two children one of whom is still in the district.