Dalton: Committed to education, community


Publisher’s note: Lake Tahoe News asked candidates for South Lake Tahoe City Council, Lake Tahoe Community College, Lake Tahoe Unified School District, Douglas County School District, South Tahoe Public Utility District and Lake Valley Fire Protection District a series of questions. We are running the responses in the order received.

Nancy Dalton is one of two candidates for the Area 4 seat for Lake Tahoe Community College.

Nancy Dalton is one of two candidates for the Area 4 seat for Lake Tahoe Community College.

Name:  Nancy Dalton

Age: 53

Job/profession: High school teacher, mathematics and AVID. I was the department chair the previous two years.

What boards, commissions, or other experience, including volunteering, do you have?: I’ve served on several boards in the South Tahoe area including Soroptimist, High Sierra ASA (Amateur Softball Association), and STAT (Saving Tahoe Athletic Teams). Prior to teaching I was a member of Soroptimist where I served on the executive board as well as chaired a couple of committees. Specifically, I was instrumental in procuring the car and producing the video for A Fighting Chance, the program that teaches our youth about avoiding and escaping abduction. During the 10 years I was on the ASA board we were able to grow the enrollment significantly while improving the fields. The STAT committee was formed to provide funding for the athletic programs at both STHS and STMS when the district had to make budget cuts. This committee lasted roughly two years as the district decided to restore the funding. One last thing, I worked at the college before I began my teaching career and this insight will only enhance my role as a board member.

Why are you running for the college board?: I am completely committed to both this community and education. Serving on the college board is the perfect opportunity for me to demonstrate my passion for public education and the community of South Lake Tahoe.

Why should voters vote for you over another candidate?: For the past 10 years serving on the board for the college has been on my mind. At the end of 2015 I decided to run for the District 4 position and have been attending meetings since the first of 2016. This dedication and my experience in serving this community make me an ideal candidate. Also, I am aware of the time requirements of an LTCC board member and have planned accordingly to be able to meet them.

What distinct experience or competency makes you uniquely qualified to lead effectively as an elected official?: My service on previous boards, a career in education (including department chairperson), and managing a business with my husband for over 28 years give me a solid background to lead effectively.

Public agencies have been under scrutiny the last few years for lack of transparency and accountability. What will you do to ensure both?: I will adhere to the laws governing public boards and board members and conduct myself in a manner befitting a college board member. I will be open, honest and candid about the issues the college is dealing with while maintaining compliance with legal regulations.

What stands out for you in the current budget that you support and that you would change?: I support the ISP (Incarcerated Student Program) and Connect (community education). Both these programs serve the college well. I’m not sure what I would change, however the college is in the process of evaluating all of the programs to see which ones are in demand from the students and I would base my decision on the results.

Do you support current legislation for $15 minimum wage? Please explain: Yes, I believe the working class deserves a living wage. Rents in Tahoe have increased substantially over the last few years making it difficult for our residents to find affordable housing and a raise in the minimum wage could make living here more feasible for them.

Do you support Proposition 55? Please explain: Yes, I support extending this tax on the highest wage earners to provide funding for education and health care.

Describe three attributes for a successful board:

1.  Passion: One has to believe whole-heartedly in what they are doing to be truly committed and effective.

2.  Vision: Serving students and the community is the number one priority for the college and decisions should be based off of this priority. Always planning for the future and how to better serve our population is key.

3.  Teamwork: The entire college needs to work together for the betterment of the community. I am a team player and believe everyone benefits when all voices are heard.

What are your thoughts about public employee defined benefits?: If public entities, including the college, want to attract the best employees a solid benefit package is necessary to entice top applicants. However, the benefits need to be fiscally realistic.

Please explain your position on contracting out work normally done by staff: Sometimes it is necessary to contract work out either because current employees don’t have the time to perform the necessary work or the duties needed are temporary. However, I would not advocate contracting out work if it entails reducing current staff.

What is your 10-year vision for LTCC?: In 10 years I would like to see the college working with other colleges and universities to offer several four-year degree programs. Also I believe there is opportunity to expand of both the ISP and ConnectEd. Currently the college is exploring the feasibility of constructing dormitories to attract more students from outside the area and this might be obtainable within 10 years.

What one vote in the last four years that the current board made do you disagree with and why?: I was concerned about the vote on the community fields. While I completely support the fields, I was discouraged to learn that the most recent plan was not the one implemented due to agency approvals that dated back several years.

How many meetings have you attended this year for the board you are running for?: I have attended most meetings since the beginning of the year, approximately 16, and this includes board meetings, study sessions and retreats.

What do you know about the strategic plan, finances, debt, goals of college?: Due to my attendance at board meetings I feel I am up to date and informed on what is happening at the college. Specifically, where the college stands in regards to the budget, what the strategic plan is, and the improvements slated from Measure F. Currently the board is looking at projected budgets, ways to increase FTEs, and offering students the opportunity to enroll in a bachelor degree program through Sierra Nevada College.

Being on a board means working as a team. How will you work with the sitting members for the greater good of the community?: Coming from an athletic background I am a team player whose focus is on this community. I have great respect for the current board members and look forward to the opportunity to work with them.

What should be the three main priorities for the board?

1. Hire a competent superintendent/president.

2. Fulfill the improvements stated in Measure F.

3. Work within the budget.

What have you done to make yourself ready to be a board member?: I’ve attended meetings since the beginning of the year and met with current and former board members. Also, in anticipation for the responsibilities of being a board member I have adjusted my workload so I can give the position the necessary time.

What is your opinion about career and technical education at the high school level?: I’m a strong advocate for career and technical education at the high school and believe some programs could be extended to the college in addition to the ones already offered, specifically the dental and culinary programs.

What will you look for in a new college president?: First and foremost, the president should be passionate about public education. They should have ample administrative experience (in all facets) at the community college level and a history of working with the state agencies related to education. Prior experience with supervision of bond measures is necessary as well.  I would also like to see a president that has a management style that works well with the community and employee groups at the college, both certificated and classified.

Tell us something about yourself that people may not know: I’ve lived in South Lake Tahoe for 35 years and have no plans to live anywhere else, I feel fortunate to have raised my family here and truly appreciate all the beauty and opportunity that Lake Tahoe offers, and I don’t like Brussels sprouts.

As a teacher at STHS, how can the public believe you will represent everyone and not just staff?: Both the certificated and classified staffs are the greatest strengths at the college and I will represent them fairly. However, I know that there is more to being a board member than just that. Board members need to be responsible to the community and that means working within the budgets and following the correct policies and procedures that govern community colleges. As a business owner, I know how budgets work and will use this insight while serving as a board member.


About author

This article was written by admin