Two on ballot for other Bellbrook school board seat

Bellbrook High School started its second first day of classes Tuesday, Aug. 18, with students and staff wearing masks. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Caption
Bellbrook High School started its second first day of classes Tuesday, Aug. 18, with students and staff wearing masks. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

The second Bellbrook-Sugarcreek school district election pits appointed incumbent Kevin Price against challenger Sarah Williamson, as they seek to fill the last two years of an unexpired term.

Kevin Price

Price, a civilian employee at the Air Force Research Laboratory and parent of six, said two key issues facing the school district are COVID response and walk-to-school safety.

Price said he supported a “pragmatic” mask requirement for grades K-6 because they couldn’t be vaccinated, and to lessen the hundreds of student quarantines.

ExploreRead state's performance audit of Bellbrook schools

He said after his advocacy, the district added personnel on the street to improve the safety of kids walking to school, but he said crosswalks and lights could still be better.

Price was a teacher for three years. He said he’s pushing to restore programs lost to recent budget cuts, with busing at the top of the list. But he said Bellbrook schools need to find an alternative to property tax levies, suggesting earned income tax as a possibility.

“I am a free and independent thinker,” he said. “I have demonstrably worked to make the district fiscally sound, but also to address (transparency). I will advocate for our students’ safety and well-being.”

Sarah Williamson

Williamson, owner of a sign company and parent of three young children, thinks transparency is the biggest issue facing the school board. She said lack of transparency through multiple levy campaigns “caused a lot of our drama” in recent years, and she argued in favor of public work sessions and an “open checkbook” system like many local governments use.

“I feel like we can’t tackle educational things and move forward as a district until everybody’s on board, until everybody understands what’s going on,” she said.

ExploreBellbrook school levy passes after three rejections

Williamson said she thinks the district should survey the community now about different funding approaches so they’re ready when the seven-year levy expires. She’s “not displeased” with Bellbrook’s current COVID protocols and

She was a levy supporter, and she supports restoring some of the busing cuts, but said she’s “on the fence” on restoring other programs pending “a hard look at how that’s going to affect finances going forward.”

About the Author

ajc.com