Three candidates seeking two seats in election for Mehlville school board

Bill Schornheuser
Michael Heins

By MIKE ANTHONY

Executive Editor

Three candidates are seeking two seats on the Mehlville Board of Education in the April 8 election.

Michael Heins, John “Jack” Perry and William “Bill” Schornheuser Jr. are vying for seats currently held by board Secretary David Gralike and Walt Bivins, both of whom did not file for re-election. A fourth candidate, Gene Matlock, withdrew from the race earlier this month. The two seats carry three-year terms.

Asked to identify the most important issue in the race, Heins said, “The smooth transition into four middle schools and 10 elemen-tary schools is the most important issue.”

Asked to identify the most important is-sue, Schornheuser said, “Finishing the im-plementation of Prop P and making sure the ‘spirit’ of the proposition is followed.”

Perry, 2424 Southwind Meadows Court, 63129, did not respond to a Call questionnaire.

Heins, 42, 5554 Limerick Drive, 63128, is pressroom supervisor at Quickpoint Inc. He and his wife, Susan, have two children who attend Mehlville schools.

Heins, who is making his first bid for elective office, said he is running because “I feel strongly that the policies made by our school board should be made by dedicated and informed citizens.”

He served as co-chairman of the district’s Elementary School Redistricting Commit-tee and as a member of the Middle School Redistricting Committee.

Schornheuser, 45, 5511 Bellemeade Trail Court, 63129, is an associate systems engineer with Union Pacific. He and his wife, Veronica, have three children who attend Mehlville Schools.

Schornheuser, who is making his first bid for elective office, said he is running “to continue serving the school district in a districtwide capacity.”

He served as co-chairman of the district’s Middle School Redistricting Com-mittee. Schornheuser also is the current chairman of the district’s Citizens’ Advi-sory Committee.

Heins and Schornheuser gave these re-sponses to the Call questionnaire:

Do you believe the Mehlville Board of Education has faithfully adhered to the letter of the Missouri Open Meetings and Records Law, also called the Sunshine Law? What would you do as a board member to ensure the board’s compliance with this law?

Heins said, “I believe the Mehlville Board of Education has tried faithfully to adhere to the letter of the Sunshine Law. As a member, I would continue the high standards set by our current board.”

Schornheuser said, “If ‘faithfully ad-hered to’ is 100 percent compliance, then there might be a minor oversight in the past, but I do not believe anyone has in-tended to break this law.”

Now that Proposition P has been approved, what will you do as a board member to ensure it is successfully implemented?

Heins said, “I will make every effort to be informed about all aspects from bidding to payment.”

Schornheuser said, “Continue to monitor the Oversight Committee, architects, construction manager and administration, questioning any variations from the ‘spirit’ of Prop P.”

Do you believe Superintendent John Cary and his administration are doing a good job?

Heins said, “John Cary and his staff have done a remarkable job.”

Schornheuser said, “Yes – our administration is doing a very good job.”

What changes would you work for as a school board member?

Heins said, “I would work for a unified school board. I’d also like to see the board meet out at more of the schools to get the community even more involved.”

Schornheuser said, “I am not aware of any major changes needed at his time.”

How would you work to keep politics out of the board’s decision-making process?

Heins said, “I will lead by example.”

Schornheuser said, “Hopefully each di-rector is a spokesperson for the community and not any party.”

When a majority of the board has made a decision, would you support that decision if you are in the minority?

Heins said, “Absolutely. I am a consensus builder.”

Schornheuser said, “Consensus is very important. We all must stand by each decision. We all may not 100 percent agree, but we must support.”

What is your position on the use of the consumer price index tax-rate adjustment?

Heins said, “The CPI adjustment needs to be used to meet inflation for schools in the same way it does for Social Security.”

Schornheuser said, “(The) CPI is something that I would like to study before commenting on it now. I just don’t know the ins and outs of it.”

How do you feel about charter schools?

Heins said, “Charter schools haven’t shown to be a good alternative to public schools. I can appreciate attempts to help those schools that are failing, however, we are fortunate to have an excellent school system in Mehlville.”

Schornheuser said, “I have no opinion on charter schools at this time.”

How do you feel about the voucher system being promoted as an alternative to the current system?

Heins said, “I don’t support vouchers for many reasons. One is because I believe it will lead to government intrusion into our nation’s private schools.”

Schornheuser said, “I do not currently support any voucher-type systems.”

What do you think about the process used to redraw the district’s elementary and middle school attendance boundaries? Were everyone’s concerns addressed satisfactorily?

Heins said, “I think the district did an ex-ceptional job engaging the community in this monumental task. Everyone’s concerns were definitely considered during the process.”

Schornheuser said, “It was a very good process, but each time in the future that it is used I am sure that improvements can be made. Yes, everyone’s concerns were addressed to the committee’s satisfaction. I know the Call sat in on the middle school meeting as the concerns were reviewed and discussed, and discussed and discussed.”