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Trust a must between public, board

December 14, 2002

Molly Shore

Restoring community trust in the school board and inspiring a

working relationship with parents, teachers and students are among

the goals school board candidate William Birtell will work toward, if

he is elected. Birtell and his wife Lorena have three sons in local

schools, following in their father's footsteps.

"The education that I received allowed me to compete for and

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successfully receive an appointment to the United States Air Force

Academy," said Birtell, who is running for one of three open spots.

But physical education is no longer offered in local schools as it

was when he was in elementary school, Birtell said that board members

need to find new and creative ways to bring it back so children can

become physically fit.

Public-private partnerships are one way to finance the programs

the schools have dropped in recent years, Birtell said. He would also

lobby the state legislature to give tax credits to businesses that

donate equipment and materials to schools.

Birtell said he believes his education background, including a

master's degree in science from USC, and his 25 years of business

experience, qualifies him to be a school board member.

He is a commercial real estate broker, and has held executive

positions in Fortune 500 companies, Birtell said, adding that he

understands the budgeting process.

Birtell had an innovative plan for solving the district's recent

$3-million deficit, saying it could have been remedied for less than

the cost of a Big Mac per student per week.

"If every parent donated $2 a week, it would have taken care of

the deficit," he said. "Who could object to paying $2 a week to keep

their favorite teacher in school or prevent losing a needed program?"

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