“I don’t think we have a taxing problem; I think we have a spending problem.”—Bill Baber
By Janis Mork
Incumbent La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board President William ‘Bill’ Baber is up for re-election this November, running against Emma Turner and Jay Steiger for two spots on the school board. The LMSV district includes El Cajon, Spring Valley, and La Mesa. View a map of the district.
September 5, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)-Since being in office since 2004 as president of the board, William Baber believes major achievement has been “the fiscal stability of the district with very prudent financial management.”
Just this week, he noted, “We enacted a policy that set the standard for public disclosure and fiscal review of any school bonds, so future LMSV boards do not fall into the trap that enslaved the Poway School District [in 2008]. This policy was crafted with the help of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association and Dan McAllister, our county treasurer- tax collector.”
Also, in 2005, he recalled, “I voted against the district’s use of Capital Abbreviation Bonds.” (For more information, view: http://m.nbcsandiego.com/nbcsandiego/pm_107837/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=BIR8oo1R)
Born in Montebello, CA and raised in Connecticut, Baber majored in political science at USC. He has worked in Washington D.C. for several years. He has gone to law school in San Diego, and has since practiced it since 1990. He has spent five years as an aide to the mayor of San Diego. He continues to practice law and do government work for members of the construction industry, and is working on his master’s in history at San Diego State University.
He has been married for 26 years and has four children, who have all been educated in the LMSV district. The oldest daughter goes to college in Washington D.C., the middle daughter is a junior at Helix High, the third daughter is at La Mesa Middle, and the youngest son is a fifth grader at Lemon Avenue Elementary School.
He has decided to run for office again because “I think our district is in a challenging situation with the state, and I believe we need to maintain our current leadership on the school board because we are in a financial crisis created by the state.”
He states, “I don’t think we have a taxing problem; I think we have a spending problem.”
Regarding Prop 30, Governor Brown’s ballot initiative that would increase taxes to prevent deeper cuts to public schools, Baber said he "doesn't think Prop 30 is good public policy. I thought the Governor's political team propduced a bad product; I don't support how the Governor is managing school funds."
However, he thinks Prop 38 is a better designed initiative than 30. "I admire Molly Munger's courage in standing up to the Governor and fighting for education," Baber said.
His solution to provide more funds for education would be that “our state needs to increase its tax base by becoming job friendly. If more people are working, they’re paying taxes. Businesses are fleeing California because of Sacramento’s oppressive regulations.”
According to Baber, the biggest challenges in the district right now are: “1) managing our finances during a difficult period while we hope the state can fix its own problems, 2) continue to innovate to help our students learn in an age of rapid technology growth, 3) helping our English-language learns assimilate more quickly into our school system, and improving their test scores.”
His stated values are: 1) helping every student learn every day, 2) protecting the taxpayers of our district, 3) recruiting, training, and retaining the best possible staff at every school.
He says that he has had a “very good “relationship with the board. “We work together as a team, and we emphasize teamwork in our district. Student success is a product of teamwork.”
His most important endorsements are from board members Bob Duff, Emma Turner, Penny Halgren, and Rick Winet. “Their endorsements show they value my leadership on the board.” He is also endorsed by State Senator Joel Anderson, Assemblyman Brian Jones, and La Mesa Councilman Ernest Ewin.
For more information on Baber, visit BaberSchoolBoard.com, which will be up shortly.