Farmington Schools Candidate Q&A: Richard Mukamal

Farmington Voice sent questionnaires to Farmington Public Schools candidates running on November 3. Responses are being published in the order they are received. Read all of our election coverage here: farmingtonvoice.com/f2h-votes-2020/.

Richard Mukamal
Richard Mukamal (contributed)

Richard Mukamal (six-year term)

Farmington Public Schools trustees recently approved a diversity proclamation, with one trustee dissenting. Please share your thoughts about the proclamation.

As a member of the board, I approved the proclamation and support it. I believe that it is an important declaration of the board’s desire to actively work to ensure that our curriculum, assessments and district culture reflect the sentiments in the document. Dr. Bobbie Goodrum, our new Assistant Superintendent of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, will use this as her policy guide from which to develop a plan with indicated actions for the district.

COVID-19 will impact the district’s budget, perhaps for years to come. What values, concerns, and priorities will you bring to the table when it comes time to make budget decisions?

My funding priority centers around the classroom, which is at the heart of what we do as a district. Along with funding issues, students will likely need additional resources that currently do not exist to support academic and social/emotional interventions. I am concerned that inadequate funding may possibly require reductions in support resources at a time when more will be needed.

I would encourage our business operations team to continue to apply for government grants related to COVID-19. I would also continue to champion our district’s efforts to partner with local businesses and corporations to provide resources to support our students through specific program grants, internships or other educational opportunities.

Trustees have had some challenging conversations among themselves and have listened to a great deal of public comment over the past few months. What would you bring to the table to improve board relationships? 

As a current board member, I have modeled the correct behavior to not only improve board relationships but ensure that the board is well functioning in its decision making. I am respectful of my colleagues and do not make personal or incendiary attacks on them even when we are not in session. As a former corporate executive I am well prepared for meetings and bring a calm and rational approach to my decisions.

How will you ensure residents’ concerns are heard and addressed?

Currently, members of the community have multiple ways of communicating with the district and the board. Individuals may email us, write letters or use public comment during board meetings to convey their concerns. However, I think many residents would like to engage in more of a two way dialogue with the district. To that end I would support regularly scheduled town hall forums or other specific meetings that are designed for two way discussion.

I take notes of resident concerns during public comments and read all correspondence to the board. On matters pertaining to the Academic Excellence or Policy Committees (the committees on which I serve) I ask questions of central office staff during these meetings and request that the topics of concern are appropriately addressed.

 

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