Bay District School Board Candidates Answer Community’s Questions in Public Forum

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Bay District School Board candidates met with voters and answered their questions Monday night, ahead of the primary election.

The Association of Bay County Educators (ABCE) hosted the public forum to allow the community to get to know the four candidates.

The two seats on the school board, districts three and five will be voted on in a few weeks, on August 28.

Joe Wayne Walker and Steve Moss are looking to be re-elected, but the other two candidates are new faces to the community.

Pamm Chapman is running against incumbent Joe Wayne Walker.

She said her top priority is being the ears for the community.

“I want to be the middle man that lets Tallahassee hear what your problems are,” she said.

David Haight will be facing incumbent Steve Moss.

As a professor at Florida State University, he said he is dedicated to helping fellow educators.

“I’m not a politician, I am a passionate educator, and I’m going to appeal to you on that basis,” he said.

Residents then had the chance to ask candidates about some of their concerns.

Dr. Rufus Wood asked candidates what their commitment is to Oscar Patterson Elementary School.

Chapman and Haight said they would try to engage the community more with Oscar Patterson.

But Walker said he wants to provide the school with more resources, including a higher pay for teachers.

“They’ve got to have the resources to go out and hire the best teachers that this district has,” he said.

Another resident asked candidates what programs they would cut or add if they had to.

Chapman said she wants a program on bullying.

“Kids nowadays have bullying 24/7, so I feel like a program to help us educate more — the parents, the teachers,” she said.

While Haight said he believes in putting a focus on arts in schools.

“Personal satisfaction and being engaged in the community leads you to the arts,” he said.

Steve Moss did not attend the forum, and Joe Wayne Walker joined via telephone.

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