In an effort to help you make informed decisions during the General Election, ABC Action News has reached out to dozens of candidates running for office. The following statements have been submitted to ABC Action News by the candidate. Every candidate was given the same set of questions. These are their responses in his/her own words.
Name: Sally Harris
Office: Hillsborough County School Board District 7
Career Counselor District 18 years. Monroe Middle, Tampa Bay Tech., Branch Manager of Gainesville Florida Campus Federal Credit Union for Medical School, CEO-Entrepreneur -Circle C Ranch Academy 40 years.
Why should voters vote for you?
I am approachable, a good listener and able to mediate both sides of issues. I am strong in Financial auditing and have served as a DOE auditor for Schools accreditation.
I have worked in the school district for 18 years then became and Entrepreneur and learned all aspects of operating a business from the ground up to success. I now am one of the top 100 women-owned businesses in Tampa.
If elected, what are your top priorities?
Coping skills for students and staff dealing with bullying and issues that come up in a school thru out the educational path. Vocational Education serving those students not planning to go to college so that students graduate with a skill to become a productive citizen upon graduation. Also with this I would like to encourage key boarding in elementary school so that prepare all students to be able to key board on their computers thru out their Educational journey.
What are three key messages of your campaign?
- Elect people who you can reach out to when issues come up during the year. I am that person.
- Coping skills, safety, Vocational and a Balanced budget are areas that need our full attention .
- Affordable Health care for teachers and staff.
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
Making sure we have sound policies that ensure all students have access to a great public education where they live.
Providing timely and useful resources to address emerging issues such as (pandemic).
Setting procedures in place to review the governance calendar to promote effective decision-making while achieving cost efficiency.
Building reserves to equal the recommended six months of operating expenses.
Diversifying revenues through new income streams and creating value-added services.
As it relates to the role you are seeking, how has that governmental body handled the Covid-19 pandemic? What would you do differently/the same in handling both the public health risk and the economic recovery?
I feel that when they did the first survey and parents wanted the CHOICE to either attend Brick and Mortar or e-learning it was at 70%. The district should have made the decision that day. What ended up happening they extended summer, then disregarded the survey and went back and forth about opening. They lost the community respect by not making a decision and standing behind it.
I would have stood behind the parent survey and moved forward.
In the role you are seeking, what will you do to address issues of racism and inequality?
I will visit our schools. I will stay abreast of what is going on and making sure each school has the necessary help that they need. I will continue to visit neighborhoods and talk to our families. I will continue to be approachable and accessible to talk to our community leaders. I will continue to stay connected to our schools, neighborhoods and community.
What motivates you to run for public office?
I have been a foster parent for over 30 plus foster children. During that time I saw Education changing drastically. College was the only thing spoken about to Middle and High School students. The district took out most of the Vocational Skill Training programs in our High Schools and if you wanted to learn a trade you had to attend one or two Vocational Programs and leave your neighborhood high School. So our kids were graduating with no skill to seek employment. I saw a need that we needed a better balance to offer our students. Especially my foster children who did not have an interest in school but needed a trade to make a livable wage.
I felt I could help move us to a more balanced Educational path for our students. I also saw a need to lower the cost of Health care for our teachers and I want to help look at alternatives that could save each teacher/staff
I am very interested in helping to address the bullying issues and offer coping skills to our students.