Fedorchak, Wainz Endorsed by Mehlville NEA

The teacher group endorsed two candidates running for the Mehlville school board.

The Mehlville National Education Association (NEA) selected two candidates to endorse for the April 3 local elections.

Ron Fedorchak and Mike Wainz were selected out of on the Mehlville School District Board of Education.

The union represents teachers in the Mehlville School District and endorses school board candidates in each election. Its Legislative Action Committee (LAC) sent out a questionnaire and interviewed the four candidates Feb. 22.

“They seemed the most qualified for the job, but it was a tough decision,” said Greg Ruzicka, the chairman of the committee and an eighth grade science teacher at .

Ruzicka said the committee asked the candidates to rank their top spending priorities out of planning time for teachers, academic programs, class size, technology, facilities, district fund balances, competitive salaries and benefits and curriculum. 

The candidates were also asked how much time they’d devote to the board if elected as well as past district involvement.

“ and we’ve felt very comfortable with what he’s already done,” Ruzicka said. “Mike (Wainz) was very new to the whole thing, but he was very open with his beliefs and viewpoints.”

The chairman said Wainz told the committee he voted against , the district’s 88-cent tax hike that failed in Nov. 2010 by about 62 percent of the vote.

“He told us he voted against Prop C, which unsettled us at first and he had an explanation for that: too much at the wrong time, and that made sense to us,” Ruzicka said. “He had done a lot of research, it amazed me with the amount of information that he came with. That’s the thing he impressed us with the most.”

Fellow candidate Kathleen Eardley interviewed for the endorsement, but did not get recommended. The fourth candidate, Fred Padberg, did not return a survey or attend an interview. 

Starting in March, Patch will be profiling each candidate running for the board as well as putting out a before the election. 

Christine Stewart Mehigh March 01, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Bob, I wonder too why someone who wants to run for public office couldn't be bothered to talk to a group of teachers about why he wants to be on the school board. It seems like someone who wants to be on the board would be concerned about public education to a degree where they would not only want to talk to the teachers, but listen to them as well.
Bob McKitrick March 01, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I have a feeling it is because the group was representing Mehlville NEA. I think most people need to understand that many, many teachers belong to the NEA and there are a lot of reasons why we do belong. Where I work, over 80% of the teaching staff are NEA members -- and it's not because we are "wacko's who are hell bent on controlling public schools." There are lots of professional supports we get, and if it's true that Padberg didn't return his survey because the request was from MNEA, it suggests to me that he has a narrow mind.
Paul Anderson March 01, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Bottom line is the teachers are as much of the backbone of the school district as the students and their parents. It sure gives the appearance that the teachers don't matter in the success of the Mehlville School district in Mr. Padberg's eyes.
Bob McKitrick March 01, 2012 at 10:01 PM
I did a little research -- Padberg spoke at a Mehlville Board of Education meeting on September 27th, 2011. The Mehlville BOE was considering rolling up the tax rate--something they are allowed to do under the Hancock Amendment to remain revenue neutral. (They have to lower the tax rate as well when property values increase.) Since this is public record I think I can reprint his quote below. Know that I am actively researching the Board candidates -- just reprinting what they say publically. My intention is not to smear anyone -- and I imagine there will be people who like this comment and those who don't like it. Here it is (published in the Oakville Call on October 5th) BEGIN QUOTE>>>> Fred Padberg of Lemay, who applied for a vacancy on the school board earlier this year, stressed to the board that "there's a hell of a lot of us retired people living in this area that are supporting this school system." "Guys, these people are retired. They're retired, they have a limited income — it's frozen. You can't arbitrarily, constantly be loading another tax on their backs," Pad-berg told the board. " ... Rethink this, and think about it hard. "You've got a constituency out there that you've got a responsibility to. In some cases, the people that pay the bills are called 'the boss.' And that's what we are. We'd appreciate it if you'd pay attention to what these people are saying,'' Padberg added.>>> END OF QUOTE
Paul Anderson March 02, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Limited income is a statement that can almost be negated further for most of us, with frozen salaries, higher cost of benefits, rising gas prices and on and on........so Fred its not only affecting the retired in our community.....it affects everyone in our community. And don't forget the unfortunate few who have lost their jobs ----NO INCOME. But the schools are still a part of the foundation of our community!


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