Teacher, Community High School District 155 (Crystal Lake South High School)
Married, Diane Waltmire
Eric Waltmire, 37
Neal Waltmire, 34
Scott Waltmire, 31
On the Record
What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?
I’m the only candidate in this race who currently teaches and if elected, would be the only active educator on the MCC board. MCC benefits from a board that includes people of different backgrounds and experiences. The board needs the perspective of educators. I’ve not only taught high school automotive classes for twenty-eight years, I also spent eight years in the private sector as a car and truck mechanic. I understand what skills and education employers look for and my mission is education that leads to good paying jobs. I also have the perspective of a taxpayer and resident, having lived in the county for fourteen years. I have two sons that graduated MCC and I teach many students at Crystal Lake South High School that go on to attend MCC. In addition to teaching, I spent a number of years as a mediator for the National Center for Dispute Settlement. I helped car customers and manufacturers come to agreement on how to solve issues relating to repeated car repairs. In today’s political environment, too often elected officials hold fast to their positions and do not look for ways to compromise. I’ve been in the room when there is a lot on the line and emotions run high. I’ve brought people together to find solutions that all parties can live with. It involves listening and keeping an open mind.
Do you support the college’s long-term expansion plan? Explain.
No. I will continue to oppose MCC’s flawed and wasteful $640 million, 40-year expansion plan, and call for common-sense, data-driven expansion that benefits both students and taxpayers. As the Northwest Herald noted in a July 1, 2012 article, the consultants MCC used to draft the plan relied on outdated county population figures, which were higher than more current U.S. Census data available at the time. It’s irresponsible to commit the college to an aggressive and expensive building plan without solid data to support it. The forty-year window also is not appropriate, as underlying assumptions of the plan will become quickly out of date. We need to be able to adapt to changing trends in education and the economy. A five to ten year time frame is a much better way to plan.
Would you support freezing the college’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?
The primary goal of both MCC and the board should be ensuring the best education and career opportunities for McHenry County students. I can only support measures that allow these goals to be met.
What one decision by the board do you most disagree with and why?
Again, I am opposed to MCC’s flawed and wasteful $640 million, 40-year expansion plan.
What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?
I’m pleased that the board expanded and modernized the facilities for the culinary arts program this year. Previously, students occupied crowded cooking facilities that were shared with the cafeteria staff. Now students have adequate lab space and opportunity to learn free from distractions. The renovation makes the program more visible and will likely attract more students into this field.
Outside of any issues already discussed, what one or two things would you try to accomplish if you are elected?
I will work to ensure that the students at MCC have access to a wide selection of courses and training programs that will prepare them for today’s competitive job market. I will be a strong advocate for keeping the Child Care Center open at MCC so that students with children can attend classes and further their education. It also provides Early Childhood Education students hands-on experience teaching young children.
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