February 21, 2024
Election


Election

Thomas Mollet, Fox River Grove Grade School District 3 School Board election questionnaire

Fox River Grove Grade School District 3 Board of Education election candidate Thomas Mollet

Full Name: Thomas Mollet

What office are you seeking? District 3 School Board Member

What is your political party? NA

What is your current age? 60

Occupation and Employer: Supervisor, Chicago Cubs Charities

What offices, if any, have you previously held? District 3 School Board Member (Appointed in 2005, Elected in 2006 and re-elected since)

City: Fox River Grove

Campaign Website: NO

Education: Bachelor of Science - Finance Illinois State University; Masters - Business Administration Eastern Illinois University; Certificate Corporate Community Relations Boston College

Community involvement: Rose Of Sharon Education Foundation (Board Member), Knights of Columbus Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Salvation Army Bell Ringer, Illinois Special Olympics State Games Volunteer

Marital status/Immediate family: Yes, 2 Adult Children.

Why are you running for office?

The education of our youth is the most important task for a community. There is a significant value to having a smaller school, like School District 3, where youth can learn and grow in so many different ways. Having been on the Board since 2005, there is a delicate balance needed to provide the best possible education without over taxing our community.

What makes you qualified for the office you’re seeking?

I have served on the Board for nearly 18 years in different capacities. In those 18 years, I have served on the Negotiations team (twice), Consolidation Research team, and Superintendent Search team. My experience as a Manager Community Relations (more than 20 years) and Financial Analyst, as well as my Financial Education background, provide a valuable base for government financing a Board Member must wrangle.

Have you sought and/or received any training to run for your local school board? If so, from whom?

Yes, Illinois School Board Association.

Would you propose any changes to the curriculum? If so, what?

No. Our District has done a good job of challenging students with curriculum that is interesting and helps set them up for future success.

Are LGBTQ students treated fairly in your district?

I believe our District strives to treat all students fairly, including LGBTQ students. We are constantly striving to improve the social emotional learning of our students.

What is your assessment of how Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is handled in your school district?

Our district has become more diverse over my tenure on the board and our teachers and administration work to continuously improve upon Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within our schools.

Do you believe the district needs to make any changes to improve DEI in your district?

I have no specific changes I think we need to make.

Are teachers in your district paid adequately now and in retirement?

Our teachers are a valued resource in our District. With the District and Union negotiating contracts every few years, the teachers and Board have to come to an agreement as to what they feel is adequate. I do believe that our teachers should be paid for the time they put into educating our students at a fair rate. With Minimum Wage rising to $15/ hour for many jobs in our community, I believe that teachers should be paid well above that.

Would you support changes to teacher pay scales? If so, how?

Yes. Through negotiations with the Union. Unfunded Mandates could be FUNDED by the entity that has mandated them, whether State or Federal Government.

What is your assessment of the district superintendent’s compensation?

Our Superintendent is compensated fairly. We have a small district with 2 buildings and ask our Superintendent to take on some roles that are performed by other employees in larger districts. There is value in being in a “small” district and signficantly different challenges as well.

Would you make any changes to how the district superintendent is compensated?

No.

Do you support the current superintendent? Please explain.

Yes. We are in transition with our current Superintendent retiring after the end of this school year. I have worked with the Superintendent when she was a Principal and work with her now especially on financial issues. I look forward to our new Superintendent getting into the District and putting their vision in place for the future.

Should schools in your district adopt and teach sex education according to the National Sex Education Standards? Please explain.

Our school district does not teach Sex Education since we are a Pre-K - 8th District. We focus on Health Education.

What is your assessment of how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled locally?

The pandemic was handled well locally, although there were many stops and starts along the way. Coordination between the State and County Health Departments and our District Administrators allowed us to provide educational opportunities and keep our students and staff safe.

What did you learn from the pandemic?

My faith in people’s ability to adapt was revitalized. The ability of so many to move forward with no clear path ahead and help others amazed me.

Are voters that support your district taxed at an appropriate level?

Our taxpayers are paying the majority of the cost of the District through Real Estate Taxes. The State has recently offered opportunities for the District to abate taxes back to our taxpayers while increasing the State’s share of the cost of the District. We have taken advantage of those opportunities whenever available and have abated beyond what the State has required during the last several years.

Would you support any plans to raise taxes in the district? If so, what should the additional revenue be spent on?

Yes. If the district were to take on a Capital Project that would be of value to the community for the next 30 years, I would be in favor of asking the Community to allow the School to issue bonds to better match the Capital Expenditure equipment’s life to the payment. As far as increasing taxes for Operating Expenses, I continue to believe abating funds back to taxpayers is appropriate as long as the District has taken care of our employees appropriately, and has a reasonable amount of “Savings” to keep from having to take Tax Anticipation Warrants to get through a School Year.

Would you support lowering taxes in the district? If so, what programs or services in the district would you cut?

We have been abating taxes for several years and I would support continuing to do so as long as the District can pay their expenses without borrowing (using Tax Anticipation Warrants) each year.

Will you accept the voters’ decision in your race on Election Day?

Absolutely. I have been on the Board for nearly 18 years and while I think I contribute at a high level on the board providing a good mix of experience and knowledge, I understand that may not be what voters want on their School Board.

What is your position on open, transparent government?

I am in favor of as much transparency as possible. Taxpayers need to know what their taxes are being spent on for the good of the community.

Do you support the Freedom of Information Act and citizens’ ability to freely access government records?

Absolutely.

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