Two boards and two millages
For the first time since her first election to the Ann Arbor Board of Education in 2003, Deb Mexicotte is facing an opponent. Dale Leslie, who owned the former Leslie Office Supply, criticizes board members for the priorities they listed at their August retreat. First on the list was improving mutual "trust" and "relationships." In a YouTube video, Leslie responded, "I believe our children should be priority number one!"
Leslie stresses his business experience and volunteer work with the Kiwanis and the Chamber of Commerce. In response to the district's pinched finances--state cuts in per-pupil funding alone will cost Ann Arbor almost $12 million this year--Leslie says the district should explore "a project that generates revenue." As an example, he mentions how the Jackson Kiwanis raised $35,000 by selling flags.
While Leslie says he will be campaigning mostly online, "I will be knocking on doors," says Deb Mexicotte. Currently board president, she points out that test scores for lower-achieving students improved during her tenure--in part, she believes, because the district created more consistency in the curriculum.