Candidates for Pleasant Valley’s School Board are at odds with each other two and a half weeks before election day. Some incumbent candidates take issue with some challengers on the ballot because they’re funded by a Political Action Committee.
“I don’t think there’s any room for partisan agendas in our school focus,” said Nikhil Wagle, Pleasant Valley School Board president. “We have had a lot of pressure (all of the school boards across the country) and even in our local area to bring partisanship in our decision making.” Wagle says he does not want to follow national trends. “I’ve been proud to say that we haven’t done that,” Wagle said. “That is why our district is doing so well.”
Local 4 News spoke with candidates Danny Amaya and Amy McCabe, both funded by the Political Action Committee PV School Board PAC.
“A political action committee is two or more individuals that want to support a group of candidates,” said Danny Amaya, candidate for the 4th District. “They want to support each one of them so instead of all the money going to one candidate, they are able to disperse money across the candidates and support them in that venue.”
Amaya says the Political Action Committee is used to support candidates with funds exceeding over $1,000. “I’ve spent over $2,000 in signs,” Amaya said. “I have to buy posts to put those signs up, and all the materials that goes with that. If you’re doing mailers, you have to pay for those as well. Any text messages you want to send out to the constituents, those all cost money as well.”
Candidates funded by the Political Action Committee say they believe it’s nonpartisan. “That PAC is strictly to raise funds,” said Amy McCabe, candidate for the 5th District. “It’s not necessarily for any political reasons, because this is a nonpartisan race. It’s just two people that said we’d like to help you out, we’d like to do it in the most legal way possible.”
Molly Brockmann, the current vice president of the Pleasant Valley School Board says she’s willing to work with anybody. “I’m not really concerned about what party people align with,” she said. “I’m interested in everyone’s perspective and ideas. Often times I reach out and ask for input from constituents, because ultimately we all have a stake in this game.”
All four candidates who spoke with Local 4 News echoed the importance of quality education to the students in their districts.