Marchman: ‘[BoE] will live within our means’

Dear Fayette County Citizens,

My name is Barry Marchman and I am offering to serve you on the Fayette County Board of Education.

Here is my quick bio: I currently teach finance classes at Georgia Tech and I interact with students from all over the world. I know what top-notch colleges are looking for and I believe that I can add a unique perspective to the board.

In my previous career, I was an electrical engineer. I worked for Georgia Power Company and Ericsson Private Radio systems. I progressed from design, to project management, to technical sales. I have managed large budgets and big projects. I believe that the Board will benefit from my varied corporate experiences.

My educational background is this: I have earned an electrical engineering degree from Georgia Tech and I have earned an MBA and a PhD in Finance from Florida State University. I am pretty good at math and I understand that revenues need to be more than expenses.

I believe that the Board’s biggest challenge right now is budgeting and finance. As a finance professor, I would like to offer the Board a four-year course in fiscal discipline and free market economics.

If you look at my experience and my education I think that you will agree that I am absolutely the most qualified candidate for this position.

If I am elected, I will work to instill Dave Ramsey values and Chick-Fil-A type service throughout the school system. We will live within our means and it will be my pleasure to serve the parents and students of this community.

You can read more about me at www.barrymarchman.com

Barry Marchman
Tyrone, Ga.

americanpatriots
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Marchman's knowledge and experience desperately needed

A seat on the Board of Education is certainly not a financially rewarding position; members only receive $6,000 per year for all the hours they have to put in.

We are indeed fortunate to have someone with Dr. Marchman’s financial expertise wanting to volunteer his time and talent to help Dr. Bob Todd and Marion Keys get us out of the mess Superintendent Jeff Bearden and Board Members Janet Smola, Terri Smith and Leonard Presberg have put us in.

NUK_1
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Started long before Presberg or Bearden ever arrived

I'd agree that those two aren't helping whatsoever in addressing the crisis since both were unanimously chosen by the existing BOE members and one later had his contract extended unanimously by the BOE, but the major problems and underlying weaknesses started well before then.

The BOE hit the max on the millage at 20 way before Presberg or Bearden. THAT was the time to start taking decisive action, not kicking the can down the road and especially not the time to continue to rely on the BOE Finance Dept's complete ineptitude. What Preseberg and Bearden are guilty of is being too tuned-in to political BS like this being in an election year and having both Smith and Smola's seats up for grabs. Smola wisely(unlike a Horgan) knew it was time to get out, but not Smith.

The main two architects of this fiasco the BOE is in right now are Smith and Smola. #3 on the list would be Laura Brock, Finance Dir. #4 would be DeCotis who shares some of the blame too. Next, I'd put both Todd and Key. Then I would get to Presberg and Bearden. While Todd/Key MAY help the BOE going forward in dealing with the financial disaster that is the FC school system right now, they also played a part in it happening in the first place.

I have said here for several years everyone on the BOE needed to go. I think I have said that since the late the 1980's. Tolbert was one of the best BOE members that I have ever seen and it's a real shame he's no longer with us.

Pat Hinchey
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Bowser....Re Dr Marchman

Bowser………. you restore my faith in the process by asking pertinent and relevant questions. I hope I can add something worthwhile to the BOE election.
Several of us in the Fayette business community approached Dr Marchman and asked him to consider running. Having spent considerable time with Dr Tolbert prior to his death in an advisory role related to the school board budget. ( Dr Tolbert was an awesome man, giving his time and talent to the end, and our county suffers with his passing. ) It became apparent to me at that time, (spending hours reviewing the budget and current accounting procedures) that the existing board lacks the talent or skills necessary to get us out of our current financial mess.
Having been privy to the numbers, I believe that we have reached a critical point where we cannot afford an amateur in finance to learn on the job. I don’t care if Dr Marchman has children, has 7 children, has all his kids in private school or .....whatever! Dr Marchman has the education, the experience and knowledge in Finance second to NONE.
I want someone who has NO allegiance to a particular teacher, school or line item, who is capable of weeding thru the numbers; who is willing to make the decisions that will get our system financially healthy and restore the faith in our school board. I want someone who will work on behalf of the folks who pay the bills, regardless of their use of the system, yet who will keep Fayette County Schools an attraction for newcomers.
Dr Marchman teaches FINANCE to the product of our school system, for those who work hard enough to get into a school like Georgia Tech. I think he understands how important a good education is to success in life. But what he really gets is how important it is to work within a budget that keeps the whole show around for the next generation.

ginga1414
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Bowser, I Had Not Seen Sugar's Comment Before

I think that Dr. Marchman answered the question. According to what he said, he and his wife chose to home school because they could customize their children's education to suit their individual children.

My daughter home schools because one of my grandchildren is extremely talented in art. One of my grandchildren loves and has a very high aptitude in math. Another grandchild loves and has an aptitude in science. One of my granddaughters loves playing the piano. My youngest grandson's greatest aspiration right now is to bounce a ball half of the day and jump on the trampoline the other half. My youngest granddaughter just loves playing in the dirt. Of course, the two youngest are just too young to know where their talents lie.

As I've said before, I think it is a positive that Dr. Marchman wouldn't have the constraints of having any one/or another community, school, or parent/teacher organization trying to influence his decisions. His focus would be where it should be, and that is on doing what is best for the budget and all of the schools, children, teachers, and parents.

Just like the rest of us, 2/3 of his taxes goes to our school system, too. With his financial background and having 2/3 of his taxes vested in the school system, it seems logical that he would be greatly interested in seeing our school system flourish once again.

bowser
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Thanks again Ginga

Ok, you think he answered the question, I don't. Fair enough. Evidently the candidate is not going to address it any further here. If he wins, I just hope we don't find out that the deeper answer is one we don't like. I do appreciate your points and I'll leave it there....

bowser
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Thank you Pat Hinchey

for your response. I appreciate your points and the background. As far as home schooling, as I told ginga below, the issue in my mind is not whether this candidate has kids in the system, it's WHY he chooses to home school. That's certainly his right and I am not suggesting it disqualifies him from seeking a board seat. But it does raise a concern in my mind that we may be electing a board member who has some issue with public schooling generally, the Fayette system or his specific schools. If so I want to know what it is before I hand him governing power -- ESPECIALLY with such crucial financial issues looming. His answers to this point haven't been illuminating or reassuring, to me anyway. Thanks again.

suggarfoot
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he aswered the question and someone already posted

his response.

"" A question from the audience asked what school the candidates’ children attended. Marchman was one of the ones responding to the question since his children are home schooled.

“What if one of the finest teachers in one of the best schools in Georgia designed a custom-tailored program for each one of your seven children where they can have individual instruction in a very small classroom? Would you take that deal?” Marchman asked. “That was the deal that was offered to me. My wife has volunteered to (home school) our children. We moved to Fayette County, in part, because of the school system. We take comfort in knowing that if we ever choose not to do that, we live in the shadow of the finest school system in the state. Furthermore, I’m not running for president of the PTO, I’m running for the school board. I’m running to represent the taxpayers and want to be on the board to represent them. I want to be on the board that spends the majority of your tax money and makes sure (the school system) is held to financially sustainable standards.”

http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/07-05-2012/boe-candidates-quizzed-clo...

PS.. We have board members that have and have had children attend Fayette County Schools ... Doesn't seem to have made a difference and in some cases has actually worked to the detriment of the system and students. Parents who place their students in Fayette County Schools are NOT the sole stake holders.

bowser
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Thanks sugar

Yes, I know someone already posted it and I already responded that I don't think it answers the queston at all, only seeks to brush it aside. As even Marchman fan ginga acknowledges below, people who home school generally have some deeper reason than simply, "the wife offered and I said ok." My question stands and the CANDIDATE has yet to answer, which is his right, as it is mine as a voter to take that into account when I go to the polls.

suggarfoot
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Dr Marchman is just what we need

We are so lucky someone with his background in finance is offering to help. At a time like this, we need nothing less.

bowser
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2 questions for Mr. Marchman

1. Your web site says you were recruited to run. By whom, and what is their political affiliation, ie, tea party?

2. It's been reported that none of your own school-age children attend Fayette schools, and are instead home-schooled (though I found no acknowledgment of this on your website). If this is the case, what about Fayette schools is unsuitable for your own children, and why should we entrust the governance of the system to someone who would not even send his own kids to it? And how do you think the fact that your own children would not be directly affected by your decisions, budgetary or otherwise, affect those decisions? Thanks

ginga1414
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Bowser, I Truly Believe

that it is a great plus for our school system that Dr. Marchman doesn't have children enrolled in a Fayette County School.

In this financially critical time, objectivity and financial leadership are what we need. We really don't need someone who is emotionally tied to any one school, parent/teacher organization, administrator, or Board member.

We need someone who can step outside the picture and see the issues clearly. With the financial instability our school system faces, a school board member needs to be free of having to deal with other influences.

Yes, Bowser, I think it is a great advantage that Dr. Marchman will not have to be tied to anyone or anything other than what is financially best for all the schools in Fayette County.

Objectivity is definitely paramount, here!

ginga1414
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Bowser, Why Some Parents Choose Home Schooling

I don't have children in the school system, either. My two are grown.

I know some people who home school have told me they do so because they want to be able to include some amount of Bible study within their curriculum. Others have told me that they are able to include a more diverse list of subjects because they are able to cover core subjects quicker. Others have said that they want to shield their children from the influences of peer pressure and drugs. Others want to home school because their children are talented in music, art, science, or math and they want to provide more for their children in their specific area.

There seems to be any number of reasons why folks choose to home school. My grown son tells me that he wishes we had had that option.

Our daughter home schools our grandchildren for all of the above reasons.

Whatever reasoning someone has for home schooling, those folks still pay school taxes. So, home schooled children aren't taking from the system, but their parents are still paying into the system.

When Dr. Tolbert served on the school board, his children were grown, too. He wanted to serve because he had a passion for education. He truly wanted to see our school system work to the best standards for the kids.

Just my two cents worth.

bowser
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Thanks ginga

You make a fair point. However, the issue in my mind is not WHETHER he has kids in the system. (I don't either.) It's WHY he chooses to home school rather than send them there. Does this reflect some philosophical issue with public schooling generally, the Fayette system or the specific schools in his district? Home schooling is not a casual decision. I simply am asking what it is about Fayette schools that makes this candidate think home schooling is better for his own children.

Smart Woman
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Someone has got to run.

In a post in May, Dr. Marchman wrote the following:
Fri, 05/18/2012 - 12:15am
#8 .
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Someone has to do something

I have been reading your posts with great concern for several months now and I kept thinking SOMEONE HAS GOT TO RUN!! Tuesday I decided that someone was me.

www.barrymarchman.com

Veritas
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Bowser and questions

Bowser and questions CLY answered your #2 question

" A question from the audience asked what school the candidates’ children attended. Marchman was one of the ones responding to the question since his children are home schooled.

“What if one of the finest teachers in one of the best schools in Georgia designed a custom-tailored program for each one of your seven children where they can have individual instruction in a very small classroom? Would you take that deal?” Marchman asked. “That was the deal that was offered to me. My wife has volunteered to (home school) our children. We moved to Fayette County, in part, because of the school system. We take comfort in knowing that if we ever choose not to do that, we live in the shadow of the finest school system in the state. Furthermore, I’m not running for president of the PTO, I’m running for the school board. I’m running to represent the taxpayers and want to be on the board to represent them. I want to be on the board that spends the majority of your tax money and makes sure (the school system) is held to financially sustainable standards.”

http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/07-05-2012/boe-candidates-quizzed-clo...

This is what I am talking about..... please read all information and research the candidates to help you make an informed and educated decision.

PS.. We have board members that have and have had children attend Fayette County Schools ... Doesn't seem to have made a difference and in some cases has actually worked to the detriment of the system and students. Parents who place their students in Fayette County Schools are NOT the sole stake holders.

bowser
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Veritas

Thanks, I am aware of that. I don’t feel it answers the question of why the Marchmans decided to keep their kids out of the schools he now wants to help govern. In fact I found it flippant and superficial. Just because the wife is smart and ‘volunteers’ to home-school it doesn’t mean you say, ‘ok dear.’ There’s a deeper thought process at work by both parents – I certainly hope, anyway - and as an undecided voter I’m simply asking the candidate what it is.

Btw, I am also aware some board members don’t have kids in school - usually because the kids are grown. If someone who home schools wants to be on the board I have no problem with them running. I just think they should be prepared to say forthrightly why the system they want to help govern isn’t suitable for their own children.

Smart Woman
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Maybe...

When my child was one, I chose to stay at home. In order to do so financially, I had to take my older children out of the pre-schools they were attending. Going to school, even a public school, costs money. I am sure you have had to pay fees, purchase certain items, and then every time you turn around, there is money needed for something. It is a never ending cycle.

Dr. Marchman has stated that at this time, this works for his family. When their current arrangement does not work for his family, he feels fortunate that he has one of the best school systems in the state at his back door.

Many teachers in Fayette County have school-age children going to private schools. I guess they are not qualified to work in Fayette County.

To exclude someone with the experience and knowledge this school board needs at this time would be a travesty.

suggarfoot
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Being at all BOE meetings doesn't make you the best qualified!

Heck, look at Smith and Smola, they NOT ONLY WERE THERE...THEY CONDUCTED THE MEETINGS....AND IT DIDN'T HELP THEM A BIT!!! After years of attending, they are still both clueless!

Yes, Hollowell, did have a mid life crisis and give up on journalism, he took some Sears Robuck classes in finance and was reborn a 'financial consultant'. That doesn't make him smart with money.

The world is riddled with bad 'financial advisors'. These people are likeable, but they have ruined people's lives and finances with their ignorance and winning personalities.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickferri/2012/03/30/financial-advisors-enco...

and

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18450893

Dr Marchman KNOWS finance, he has the background in it and has been a professor of finance at Georgia Tech for years! He knows sound principles. He believes in living within our means.
Hollowell was recruited by Smith and Smola who have proved to be inept to say the very least. They have us owning several million dollars worth of cow pastures! That has to be a first for a BOE. You want someone recommended by them? You want someone who will meet with the PTOs of the lily white schools and tell them he won’t close their schools and never darken the door of the Black ones ? Or do you want an ethical person who is intelligent and moral enough not to do that?

By getting someone you ‘like’ because they have a kid in school with yours, or you saw them at a PTO meeting is insane . I much rather have someone capable of making sound decisions when it comes to money.

As talked about in the Forbes article, “High fees and commissions incentivize advisors to promote performance chasing and costly actively-managed products”…. They also found that advisor self‐interest plays an important role in generating recommendations that are not in the best interest of the clients. They are unwilling to lean against these biases even when they know they exist because not doing so helps them further their own economic interest, e.g. maximize fees and commissions.”

Being a financial advisor for a few years as a reason to be elected sounds very bad to me!

I want the brightest! Being on the BOE is about making the best decisions for ALL OF US. It is not who is the sweetest guy at the PTO meetings. If that is what you are looking for, with any luck you might get Santa Clause.

Veritas
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oops

Should read Browser and Questions..Dr. Marchman PUBLICLY answered question #2....

Dang small screened smart phones.

suggarfoot
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And that is the way Dr Marchman is

His wife is one of the smartest and strongest people I've met. Their kids are remarkable. Not only are they all smart, there isn't a one of them you wouldn't be proud to call your own. They are polite, compasionate, self confidant, and well behaved. Each has their own unique personality. Very well rounded children.

Mary Kay Bacallao
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What Would Dave Ramsey Do?

As a candidate for the FCBOE post 2, I was given a paper copy of next year’s budget. I have heard repeatedly that over 90% of the budget is salaries, so there is not much room to cut. However, instruction only accounts for 67.84% of next year’s budget, down from 68.48% last year. With money spent on instruction down as an overall percentage, what categories have increased? Pupil services, improvement of instruction, educational media services, general administration, school administration, business services, transportation, other outlays, and debt service have all increased as a percentage of the whole from last year. So next year we will spend all our reserves but we will spend 7 million dollars LESS on instruction, but $129,963 MORE on general administration. Three days were eliminated from the school year. At the last board meeting, several cost cutting measures were proposed such as closing schools and eliminating first grade paraprofessionals. These were proposed to get your attention in an attempt to raise the millage rate, which is already at the legal maximum. There are other budget cuts we can look at. Political games are being played and I don’t appreciate using our students and teachers as pawns in a game to collect more money in taxes. We can do better. We can balance the budget and fulfill our mission, excellence in education for all our students. Let’s look at the numbers and do our best to keep our school system strong. My name is Mary Kay Bacallao and I humbly ask for your vote on July 31st. marykaybacallao.jimdo.com

g8trgrl
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Mary Kay Bacallao

Just got done voting for you. Like the way you think. Good luck! Hope you are elected.

suggarfoot
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Mary Kay I voted for you

I also voted for Dr Marchman, Barlow, Sanderson, and several other good candidates. I noticed Terri Smith has changed to Democrat because she seems scared to face the music is the primaries. It always amazes me how Smith and Smola play the angles.

NUK_1
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You have my vote

I noticed both you and Dr. Marchman have referenced Dave Ramsey, and I wish a whole lot more people across the world would listen to Ramsey's basic but oh so true financial common sense that seems to elude consumers and politicians alike.

taxed too much
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I like what you have to say

Mr. Marchman,
So far I like what you are saying. If more politicians actually lived by that philosophy we would be in a much better situation. I am positive that there is plenty of waste and probably some fraud that needs to be eliminated.