Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Anchorage 2011 Seat D School Board Race: Conservative Treg Taylor May Be A More Fiscally Prudent Choice Than Liberal Gretchen Guess

Post updated March 26th with two Anchorage Daily News story links.

The Anchorage 2011 Municipal Election features two school board races. The Seat C race will undoubtedly receive more interest because of the presence of two high-profile candidates, Bob Griffin and incumbent Pat Higgins (Dustin Darden is also in that race). Links to all election-related information on this blog available below:

-- Anchorage 2011 Municipal Election List of Candidates HERE
-- Anchorage 2011 Municipal Election List of Ballot Propositions HERE
-- Anchorage 2011 Municipal Election List of Candidate Forums HERE

Two more media links specific to this race now available:

-- "Seven jockey for two School Board seats", Anchorage Daily News, March 26th 2011
-- "School Board Seat D candidates answer questions", Anchorage Daily News, March 25th 2011

But the Seat D school board race is also worthy of attention. At this moment, former state lawmaker Gretchen Guess, a Democrat, is projected as a prohibitive favorite; she's received an enthusiastic endorsement from liberal Downtown Assemblyman Patrick Flynn. Also in the race is second-time candidate David Nees, who was an also-ran in 2010 with 7.88 percent of the vote, first-time candidate Roman Romanovski, and another first-time candidate, Treg Taylor.

It's the latter candidate who's attracted my attention. If you look at Treg Taylor's Facebook page, you'll see that he's absolutely teeming with potential. Taylor is 34 years old, married with three children, and is currently employed as an attorney by McKinley Capital Management. Taylor is a Mormon who grew up in Utah, graduating from Alta High School and obtaining his juris doctorate from Brigham Young University. He was also educated in political science and psychology at BYU, and engineering at the Air Force Academy. What a diverse, power-packed academic background, and in truly relevant subjects, no less! But as an added bonus, Taylor also identifies as a conservative Republican, more of who we need to control an entitlement-hungry school district. He's attracted endorsement from former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman and from Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan.

Now that Treg Taylor's official campaign website is up, we see that his three major priorities will be to focus on the basics, live within a budget, and promote personal responsibility. Taylor is concerned about the fact that despite a static to decreasing student population during the past 10 years, the district has added over 1,000 support staff. He also questions why the school district’s budget has doubled during the past ten years even though performance has remained flat. Taylor also opposes tenure for teachers. And finally, he's concerned about construction cost inflation; Taylor notes that Clark Middle School cost the School District $65.4 million to build even though Reed Construction Data (one of North America’s leading construction cost estimators) estimated the cost of building the school at $18-20 million using union labor. That’s a $45 million difference.

Of course, just because Gretchen Guess is a Democrat doesn't mean she necessarily wants to write the Anchorage School District a blank check. Guess is aware that increased costs do not always bring increased value, and she pledges to focus on fiscal management and hold all sectors of the public education community accountable. On the other hand, her track record as a state legislator didn't always match her newly-found commitment to fiscal prudence; by her own admission, Gretchen Guess consistently supported increased state funding of education, and even supported defined benefits for teacher's pensions. That alone will undoubtedly earn her the AEA endorsement in this race.

Obviously, we want to wait until Treg Taylor finishes laying out his full agenda and hear him discuss the issues in public before making the final call on April 5th. But based upon his impressive academic background, his legal training, and the endorsement of a proven conservative, Treg Taylor is clearly a viable alternative to the "business as usual" approach that will be offered by Gretchen Guess. Whether Taylor can defeat Guess remains to be seen; but Taylor clearly has the potential to break loose from the rest of the pack and make it a two-person race between himself and Guess. Ask yourself this question: If the next new school built in Anchorage costs three times more than it should, who would be more likely to spot it before the fact; Gretchen Guess or Treg Taylor?

And finally, if you intend to vote for the fiscally conservative Bob Griffin in Seat C, why offset that vote by choosing Gretchen Guess in this race?

Here's the full list of candidates in the Seat D race from the Official Election Notice, with links to the campaign websites where applicable:

School Board, Seat D
(1). Gretchen Guess (former state legislator)
------ Official campaign website HERE
------ Facebook page HERE
(2). Roman Romanovski
------ Facebook page reference to him HERE.
(3). David Nees
------ Facebook page HERE
------ Holdover ADN Candidate Profile from 2010 HERE
------ Holdover response to AEA 2010 Candidate Survey HERE
(4). Treg Taylor
------ Official campaign website HERE (under construction)
------ Facebook page HERE


  1. I love being an also ran. I only spent $25 to get more than 2000 votes. Much more fiscally responsible then Don and Bob.
    27 years of teaching and 70 seasons of coaching make me the ONLY education candidate in the race.

  2. With some accounts earning as little as 0.5 %, I cannot understand why people keep their loot in a bank where ZOG, hungry lawyers, and others, can sniff it out as future booty. Banks are making billions scamming the public but they apparently love it. Capitalism is every bit as corrosive as Communism and both are essentially run by jews for the benefit of jews.

  3. I am excited about this candidate entering the race and giving us a conservative option. Imagine the changes we could see if we get both Bob Griffin and Treg Taylor elected to the school board!

  4. When fleas, lice, rats and such, latch onto our bodies and infest our homes, they are merely seeking a "better life". Their "better life" comes at a cost to mine. There are no freebies on this planet and the American boob will simply have to learn it the hard way. Immigration, with its crime and disease, is little more than an invasion of the body-snatchers.

  5. My web site is now up and running, please check it out. Thanks for the looking.