Q&A with Frank Triggs, candidate for Paso Robles School Board
Questions and answers with Frank Triggs
Editor’s note: The Paso Robles Daily News invited all candidates running for the board of trustees of the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District to participate in a Q&A to help inform local voters. We will be running them this week as we receive them.
Why are you running for trustee?
I have listened to my friends, neighbors, and business owners in our community complain about the lack of financial transparency of the district. I joined them in wondering when and if we might lose local control of our schools to the state due to an insufficient reserve. I believe in America and our founding story is unique throughout the world. I am a product of public education and that benefit has come mostly in California. I want to be an influence to assure we continue to offer our students an honest and faithful narrative of our United States of America history. For a citizen, the position of Trustee affords me the best opportunity to address my concerns.
What is the school district currently doing well, and what would you like to see improve?
I believe in “excellence without extravagance.” Looking from the outside as a community member, I think the school district is presenting quality learning environments at our various campuses.
I have met only a few of the teachers so I have limited evaluation in this realm but those I have met have impressed me with their passion for the students and the learning experiences. I would work to see that excellence in the “classroom” is continued and enhances with as much of our resources as are available.
What is your position on re-opening classrooms and protecting students from COVID-19?
It is my position that we should open classrooms as quickly and safely as the state of California allows us to do so. The school board just approved a positive step in that direction. This should be carried out in a manner that protects the vulnerable without punishing the healthy. That will take a great deal of thought, planning and most likely negotiation.
How can the school district better serve students and meet its budget responsibilities?
The board, staff, and superintendent will need to rally all the influence possible on the powers in Sacramento to return to the district a fair and complete funding that we have the right to expect. I consider the hard-earned tax money a trust from our community. We need to be far-reaching in view. By that I mean, just because we have present funds does not mean they should be spent. We need to anticipate possible diminishing enrollment and the possibility that we may not get the funds we deserve from Sacramento. Priorities that move funds for the classrooms and teachers should be high on our list. Live within our means is always prudent.
Is there anything else you would like voters to know about your candidacy?
I have a wide and varied life of experience. I worked my way through college (now a university) as a warehouseman and truck driver for a company in the City of Commerce. I followed that education with a job with the Oregon State Motor Association in sales. I furthered my negotiation and business skills with the Automobile Club of Southern California where I served as Material Damage Assessor/Adjuster. I was given further training and became a Bodily Injury Specialist and completed my career with the title of Attorney Negotiator. Please note I was in no way an attorney, but it was my task to prepare cases for trial or settlement. During all these responsible jobs I was bi-vocational.
I have been an ordained minister for over 50 years. I was pastor of both small and large churches and tended to be entrusted to rebuild diminishing congregations into healthy endeavors. I believe in integrity, transparency, and fulfilling the trust that people place in me. I have secular skills and people skills that come from a genuine caring heart. I purchased my first home in Paso Robles in May of 2003, my wife and I are proud to call Paso Robles our home.