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Paul Anderson, Flagler County School Board Candidate: The Live Interview

| August 6, 2016

paul anderson flagler schools

Paul Anderson is a question mark. (© FlaglerLive)

Paul Anderson is a candidate for Flagler County School Board, District 5. He faces Maria Barbosa, Sharon Demers and Myra Middleton-Valentine. Two candidates are running for the District 3 seat: incumbent Colleen Conklin and Jason Sands.


Anderson rather offensively declined to take part, describing the Live Interview as “folly.” Little is known about Anderson: he has not appeared at most major forums (the recent forum at the Hammock association was an exception). Other than his own money–he loaned himself $1,300, mostly to pay the $1,276.00 qualifying fee–he’s raised just $340 from seven contributors. He is in a business partnership with Bob Nocella, formerly the athletic director at Matanzas High School, and before that, the director of the Flagler Technical Institute, or adult education. Though eligible, Anderson did not cast a vote in the 2013 school board referendum.

This is a non-partisan election. That means all registered voters in Flagler County, regardless of party or non-party affiliation–Democrats, Republicans, independents and others–may cast a ballot for both races, regardless of district. Whoever wins with a simple majority is the winner of the race: there is no runoff. The races will be decided on Aug. 30.

Flagler County School Board members serve four years. They’re paid $31,900 a year.

FlaglerLive submitted identical questions to all candidates, with the understanding that additional questions might be tailored to candidates individually and some follow-up questions may be asked, with all exchanges on the record. The Live Interview’s aim is to elicit as much candor and transparency as possible. We have asked candidates to refrain from making campaign speeches or make lists of accomplishments. We have also asked candidates to reasonably document any claim or accusation. Undocumented claims are edited out. Answers are also edited for length, redundancy, relevance and, where possible, accuracy. If a candidate does not answer a question or appears to be evading a question, that’s noted.

But it’s ultimately up to the reader to judge the quality and sincerity of a candidate’s answers.

The Questions in Summary: Quick Links

The Basics: Paul Anderson

Place and Date of Birth: July 23, 1969. Place not disclosed.
Current job: Not disclosed. 
Party Affiliation: Republican
Net Worth: Not disclosed.
Resume: Not disclosed. 
Website: Not disclosed.

1. What makes you the best person for this public service job? What is your vision for public education in Flagler County? If you’re not the incumbent, about how many school board meetings and workshops have you attended in the past 12 months? If you are the incumbent, how many have you missed?

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

2016 Election Interviews

Supervisor of Elections


Kaiti Lenhart
Kimble Medley
Abra Seay

Sheriff


Jim Manfre (D)
Don Fleming (R)
Larry Jones (D)
John Lamb (R)
Jerry O'Gara(R)
Rick Staly (R)
Mark Whisenant (R)
Chris Yates (R)
Thomas Dougherty (I)

Palm Coast City Council


Robert Cuff (Dist. 1)
Troy DuBose (Dist. 1)
Sims Jones (Dist. 1)
Art McGovern Jr. (Dist. 1)
Nick Klufas (Dist. 3)
Anita Moeder (Dist. 3)
Pam Richardson (Dist. 3)
John Brady (Mayor)
Milissa Holland (Mayor)
Dennis McDonald (Mayor)
Ron Radford (Mayor)

Flagler School Board


Colleen Conklin (Dist. 3)
Jason Sands (Dist. 3)
Paul Anderson (Dist. 5)
Maria Barbosa (Dist. 5)
Sharon Demers (Dist. 5)
Myra Middleton-Valentine (Dist. 5)

Flagler County Commission


Charlie Ericksen (Dist. 1)
Ken Mazzie (Dist. 1)
Daniel Potter (Dist. 1)
Jason France (Dist. 3)
Dave Sullivan (Dist. 3)
Denise Calderwood (Dis. 5)
Donald O'Brien (Dist. 5)

2. Tell us who you are as a person—what human qualities and shortcomings you’ll bring to the board, what your temperament is like: what would your enemies say is your best quality, and what would your friends say is your worst fault? Give us real-life examples to illustrate your answer.

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

3. Besides the obvious—leading by example, remaining ethical, listening to constituents and to your fellow-board members–describe the scope of your job as school board member as you understand it: what’s your primary responsibility? What’s in your power to influence on a day-to-day basis? What is not in your power to do?

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

4. What are the district’s three brightest successes and it’s the three failures that affect students most? What will be your three chief priorities regarding student achievement, within the limits of the doable—that is, four years from now, what can we look back to and say: you were responsible?

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

5. The school board’s discretion to raise revenue locally has diminished drastically in the last few years, but it still has some authority to do so. Would you support a referendum to raise the local property tax by 0.25 mils (or 25 cents on $1,000 in taxable value, what would add $31 a year on a $150,000 homesteaded house), raising $2 million that could be spent on educational programs at the local board’s discretion?

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

6. Almost two decades ago the late educator and theorist Neil Postman wrote: “Forty-five million Americans have already figured out how to use computers without any help whatsoever from the schools. If the schools do nothing about this in the next ten years, everyone will know how to use computers. But what they will not know, as none of us did about everything from automobiles to movies to television, is what are the psychological, social, and political effects of new technologies. And that is a subject that ought to be central in schools.” Provide us with your analysis of Postman’s statement. Tell us if you think Flagler schools are too infatuated with technology, or not enough.

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

7. The district has put a premium on art education. But now we’re in a deep recession. We can have art or football. Not both. What goes?

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

8. You’re at a school event with your 5-year-old child or grandchild. You take that child to the bathroom. A transgender person who was clearly not born as the gender represented by the bathroom you’re using enters as well. What do you do? How would you change current policy to address the issue?

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

9. Twice in the last six years Flagler Palm Coast High School was the scene of high-profile conflicts between free expression and censorship: the censoring of the staging of “To Kill a Mickingbird,” and the censoring of a student’s art work in a student display. After a long controversy the play was staged and whatever fears had been claimed over it proved groundless. The student’s art work was never displayed alongside its peers’ works, even though administrators recognized its accomplished value. In both instances, Jacob Oliva—as principal in the first case, as superintendent in the next—asked that staff’s decisions at the school itself be respected, though the school board is an avenue of appeal. Would you readily defer to staff? Please provide examples of when a school board should override a staff decision in certain controversies?

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

10. Briefly explain the mission and scope of IB program. What is your opinion of the program and how committed are you to its continuation?

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

11. What two items would you strike out of the current student code of conduct, and what two items would you want to see added? Amendments would work as well, if you prefer a less dogmatic approach.

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

12. Evaluate Superintendent Jacob Oliva, specifying how supportive—or not—you are of his administrative approach, and his focus on the flagship program.

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

13. Who on the board currently is the board member most closely aligned with your idea of a school board member and why?

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

14. Have you ever been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor anywhere in Flagler, Florida or the United States (other than a speeding ticket), or faced a civil action other than a divorce, but including bankruptcies? If so, please explain, including cases where charges did not lead to conviction.

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

15. Question customized for Paul Anderson: Candidates who decline interviews almost always do so courteously. You chose to take a more offensive approach, though you claim on your Facebook page that “We will not always agree but I will always listen.” Are you prepared to deal with the pressure and constituent diversity of a school board position, which is immensely more challenging than any media questions you would have to answer from the comfort of your home?.

Paul Anderson did not answer the question.

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3 Responses for “Paul Anderson, Flagler County School Board Candidate: The Live Interview”

  1. DJT says:

    Another one who really wants the job?

  2. A.S.F. says:

    What is it with these people who run and refuse to answer any questions? Are they nuts or just looking for a little publicity (and it doesn’t really matter whether it’s good or bad?)

  3. Will Awdry says:

    Mr. Anderson has spent $1300 in hopes of collecting $32K per year for 4 years. That’s a great return on investment. That’s probably how Mr. Anderson views this position, as an investment. If elected we can only hope that he has more to say than he did in this interview.

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