There will be a “Meet the Candidates” meeting with Jon Menough and Cindy Stoekler at the Clearwater Grange Hall (IOOF) from 5pm to 8pm on Saturday, October 21, 2023. Finger foods and punch will be provided.
We recently interviewed Cindy Stoeckler who is running against Laci Myers this November for the position of Zone 4 Trustee for the Mountain View School District #244.
Can you give us a little backgroud about yourself Cindy?
My husband and I moved here 2 ½ years ago from Oregon, specifically to escape high taxes, overly-strict land-use policies, high crime and numerous failed public policies. I have personally experienced how unprincipled government destroys quality of life.
I am currently retired from a 30 plus year career in the Medical Billing office sphere. I started at age 18 as a file clerk in the hospital and worked my way up. I have worked in an 8 physician Orthopedic office for over 7 years. My last position was with a Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep specialty clinic with 20 physicians. I retired from the clinic after 22 years. I worked all positions in the billing office for these clinics: Posting payments, charges, auditing insurance payments for accuracy and going to bat for my patients to ensure the insurance companies are paid correctly. My supervisor’s and office administrator always gave me leeway to make many crucial decisions. They knew my work ethic, my attention to detail and that I pay attention to timelines. I learned to analyze the short and long term ramifications of decisions (i.e., policies). I believe these are characteristics that would make me well suited for a trustee position. I also believe my financial background has prepared me to be objectively methodical, analytical, and accurate.
I started paying attention to the school board from the time we moved here. A levy was run for 3.1 million and failed. There was board talk of reducing the levy from 3.1 to 2.2 and running it again in August. June 21 2021 the board decided not to run the extra levy. Then in 2022 a 1.7-million-dollar levy was run early (in March) and failed. It struck a nerve that the district was not listening or actively reaching out to the community so that is how my journey on being involved with the school board began.
Cindy tell us why you are running for this office?
I believe there is a lack of trust from the community towards the District as well as a lack of communication between the two. Example: The current Levy of 3.1 million could have been placed on the ballot in May of 2024 instead of this November. In the meantime, the Board could be doing a face-to-face outreach to every corner of the District to make sure you all are aware of the financial situation, to answer questions/concerns and give us – the taxpayers – our options. I believe that would show concern about our community and build trust so we could work together as a team for the students. But that is not what the “majority” of the Board (Kaschmitter, Edwards and Myers) decided to do. My understanding for their decision at the special Levy meeting I attended, was 2-fold: 1) that staffing that may be cut if the levy fails, would have time to plan for their future and 2) so that people would have time to budget for the increase in taxes
I am concerned about the Deconsolidation (splitting) of the District that the board is considering. There are so many questions and I want to make sure no stone is left unturned while going through this process. The community deserves to know and understand exactly what the pros and cons are and how it will affect our students and our pocketbooks both short term and long term. How would the deconsolidation change our community?
I also am concerned about what is in our libraries, curriculum, and supplementary materials. While it may not be a problem now, it needs to be watched on an ongoing basis. I would like to see a process developed to continue to keep our students safe and keep parents informed on what is available and what checks and balances are in place.
ICGG is a non-partisian voter education group which you are a founding member of.
Do you feel this interview would be a partisian action on our part?
I feel very strongly about not wanting to be sucked into the division between the parties. This is a nonpartisan position and I believe people need to evaluate what the candidates are saying, making sure they are consistent, and watch their actions, and decide what is in line with their priorities and values.
How can people get a hold of you with questions or support for your election?
Laci Meyers is runing against Cindy Stoekler. Here is some info we found online about her.
Laci Myers of Kooskia has lived in Idaho County since 1998. She was in Idaho County, then went on to attend school through grade eight in Sequim, Wash, when she moved to Kooskia. She graduated from Clearwater Valley High School in 2003.
Her contact info is:
140 Harris Ridge Loop
Kooskia, ID 83539
Email: [email protected]
We found this article from the Clearwater Press newspaper about Lacy’s appointment to the office.
GRANGEVILLE — Kooskia resident Laci Myers was appointed as the Zone 4 trustee for Mountain View School District 244 at a special meeting Dec. 16.
Myers takes the place of Kooskia’s Pam Reidlen, who resigned in October due to health and stress reasons. She will fulfill the remainder of Reidlen’s term, which is two years.
We found this on Casey Smith (The Incumbent) from an October 19th 2019 article in the Clearwater Progress:
Casey is a 4th generation native of Idaho and a 4th generation cattle rancher. Currently Casey has 11 grandchildren attending Clearwater Valley schools. The past four years Casey donated his time serving as school board trustee in an attempt to bring financial balance to MVSD. His goal was and still is to ensure the monies paid by the property tax payers is spent wisely, to work with the Superintendent, school administrators and teachers to ensure all MVSD students receive a quality education that will prepare them for the real world. He will advocate for more hands-on training like welding, carpentry, auto mechanics and other industrial trades so students are able to obtain employment once they graduate.
This is a letter to the editor written by Cassey Smith:
Dumbing Down Education
Here is how the 4 day school week dumbs down our children’s education and is actually costing us more.
We used to have 5 professional days, which are non-teaching days. Now we have 13 professional days. The difference of coarse is 8 days. $493.34 wages X 75 teachers X 8 new professional days which equals $296,004.
We use to have 5 paid holidays now we have 7. The cost for staff per day is $46,452.78. Two holidays at $46,452.78 =$92,905.56.
The rest of the board recently approved 33 extra days for 5 employees that wanted more paid days.
The class room days have been reduced by 20% and they still can’t make it work even with Fridays off. Cost of additional 33 days is $16,280.22.
Other board members recently approved an $8,000 supplemental contract for 5 employees. Cost with FICA for additional hours is $43,060. With reduced hours and Fridays off they still wanted more.
Other board members recently approved supplemental contracts for 3 employees up and over their base pay for the amount of $42,297.00.
B Edwards, the union mouth piece for the 4 day school week, promised the board there would be savings of at least $550,000 on transportation and was very adamant about it. Our transportation costs included in the upcoming levy is $339,000. Where is the savings B.? There are no savings.
We were told substitute teachers would all but be eliminated by having Fridays off. The cost of substitutes for the school year 2022-2023 was $224,644. Of course how could anyone believe
that substitutes would be eliminated as teachers have 3 personal days and 10 sick days off with pay. That amount is down from the 2021-2022 school year, but of course that was when we were in a worldwide pandemic.
The 4 day week was a hoax from the start. Other schools that have gone to the shorter week were told right off that there would be no savings, that it was strictly a teacher benefit pushed by the union. We were lied to. Our kids’ education was dumbed down by 20% for the union’s interest.
Wages have gone up and classroom time has gone down. The average teachers wages $58,158, plus $9,075 insurance, plus $13,675.21 trailing benefits which equals $80,908.32. Last year’s wages were average $72,215.65. Teaches wages are up $8,692.67 this year. Principals wages $90,176, plus $9,075 insurance, plus $20,187.65 trailing benefits, equals $119,438.65.
Don’t believe the story that the children are in class the same amount of time as before. A half hour more a day does not make up for the 5 day school week. In December and March they are in class for only 12 days.
This is a small example of wasted money as a result of the 4 day school week. A lot of hourly employees now work on Fridays also. There is also wasted money on all non-teaching days that
the union uses as filler days to satisfy their contract days. Our children have been tossed aside and neglected, especially the special needs and learning challenged kids.
I received many emails from teachers promoting the passage of the 4 day school week. Only one teacher expressed any concern for the children. The rest and there were many, were only concerned
about me, me, me. The unions concern is not about the children it is about the levy and more benefits.
If you feel that the board of directors at MVSD who acted in a negligent and fiscally irresponsible manner while approving the 4 day school week and the union who supported this student damaging boondoggle deserves to be rewarded with your personal money, then you will get a chance on November 7 th to vote for the greedy levy.
Don’t forget to vote NOVEMBER 7th
Dr. John Menough kindly provided the ICGG with some input on this views which we would like to pass on here.
More will be added as it comes in….
As I think you all know by now, I’m running for the School Board position in Zone 2 – Casey Smith’s current position. And as you know, this is a ‘Non-Partisan’ position. However, according to the latest information available, 79% of the registered voters in Zone 2 are Republican. Only 4% are Democrat and 1% affiliate with some other group. I suspect most of the rest of this county is similar. So in Idaho County – particularly in Zone 2 of the Mountain View School District (or probably any other officially ‘Non-Partisan’ position) – you’re probably a Republican. So much for non-partisan elections.
Just for the record, most of you already know that I’m a Republican. And I’ve been proud to wave that flag for a long time, and wave it high. Even if I can’t wear that label on the ballot, it’s one I’m proud to acknowledge.
One other point, the School District recently held a ‘Team Building’ event that I was unable to attend. In addition to getting the notice of this event quite late (the day before it was to occur), I do have a full-time position working as an engineer with the Indian Health Service and I simply couldn’t attend on such short notice. And since I don’t have a union funding my campaign …
Jon Menough, Ph.D. P.E.
I hope that you will pass my comments along to other people living in this area. I think they need to hear it. I hope you all agree.
We found this from an August 31st 2023 article in the Clearwater Progress:
“Aside from my personal education, I believe I have a good understanding of what education is supposed to provide for our youth,” he said. “My wife and I raised five children and saw them through school. Three went on to college while two chose to enter fields that didn’t require that higher level of education. Schools need to prepare young people for what they want to do with their lives, not what we think they should do with their lives. And parents as well as everyone else in their communities need to be involved in that process.”
The absolute foundation of this country is our Christian heritage. There are only two countries in the world that acknowledge God in their founding documents. This country is one of them. Decades ago, a decision was made to remove any references to God from our schools. This laid the foundation for what we have today: a school system that is more concerned with money and position than with preparing students for the life that lies before them. High school graduates in 1900 were better prepared to enter college or the working world of the day than many college graduates are today. Can that be fixed in 5 years? Or even 25 years? Probably not. But if we don’t start today, it will never get fixed.
Dr. Menough’s contact information is:
Rachael Young has also announced that she is running for Area 2 Trustee as well. We grabbed this from an August 31st article form the Clearwater Progress as well:
In a release, Young stated her strong schools, strong communities campaign recognizes the value of education to the individuals, families, communities and to Idaho. Young is concerned that the community loses physicians and people in skilled labor jobs when they seek better supported educational opportunities for their children in other towns.
“I want to do my part to ensure that current and future students get the education and opportunities they deserve,” Young said.
According to the release, Young’s campaign focuses on three areas: attracting and retaining effective, quality teachers, administrators and other staff; transparent, diligent, and purposeful spending decisions that benefit all students; and focus on students and fiscal responsibility, not a personal agenda.
A native Idahoan who has lived in Idaho County for 19 years, Young currently serves as president of Grangeville Arts, is a Cottonwood Community Credit Union board member and St. Peter and Paul Church and School Finance committee member. Young stated experience with fiscal responsibility and working well with others to reach solid decisions are key skills she has developed through her work on these boards.
Young and her husband, Chris, both retired wildland firefighters, own and operate a small business, C & R Inspections. Their two children, Ruby and Tucker, are active in sports and other activities at Grangeville High School. In addition to supporting her own kids’ activities, she serves as treasurer of Grangeville Youth Baseball. She focuses on younger children through her role as part-time administrative coordinator at Kids Klub in Grangeville. Kids Klub offers before and after school programs and summer school for K-6 as well as pre-school.
Rachel Young lives in Zone 2, in an unincorporated area of Idaho County on the South Fork of the Clearwater River. She has been an Idaho County resident for nearly 20 years. Young is retired from the U.S. Forest Service as a fire manager, and, with her husband, currently owns and operates C&R Home Inspections. She also serves as part-time administrative coordinator at the Kids Klub – Youth Development Center.
Rachael’s Facebook page is here.
Here is a letter to the editor that was sent to us on Rachael with info we thought you should know.
No on Rachel Young
Rachel Young is quickly showing her ability to become yet another union puppet, something that we
definitely don’t need on the Mountain View school board.
The union’s number one goal is and always has been passing the levy, something that does not benefit
the students, as I will demonstrate in the coming days.
On her Facebooks she is now openly supporting the levy. When asked at the Idaho County Fair she was
asked if she was a levy supporter her answer was “absolutely.” One doesn’t get more resolute than to
When asked by a colleague what the worn out union slogan “Strong School = strong communities”
meant, she simply turned and walked away. No answer.
When asked in a Facebook conversation with Cami Rae Strasser if she would pledge to make an effort to
remove unsavory materials from elementary school libraries, she simply ended the conversation. Again
When asked by the Republican Central Committee to be vetted by answering some questions, she
responded claiming that was against the law. What a joke.
On her facebook she has a statement “I’m not a hypocrite for agreeing with democrats… and goes on to
claim she is open minded.
A person can generally be defined by the company one keeps. Many democrat liberal activists from
Idaho County are openly supporting Rachel. Rachel recently became a republican, I’m afraid that is in
Rachel will not be a good addition to the current school board that continues to show favoritism to the
union over the students. There will be more on that later.
The Idaho County Republican Central Committee recomends Tyler Harrington for Area 1.
Dr. Harrington is a dentist in the Grangeville area.
Tyler Harrington has lived in Grangeville since 2007.
“I have served in various organizations and boards in this community. Along the way, I have learned to listen and to consider different ideas and suggestions when determining the best course of action, My desire is to bring a levelheaded approach to the issues we are facing and do so in a way that brings people together.”
“We have been given the privilege of determining what is best for the students, parents, and community at large when it comes to our school district.”
“As such, we are able to decide how and what our children are taught, where our money goes, what levies to pass, and prioritize what we feel is important,”
“I fear that if we do not properly manage or adequately fund our schools, we may lose that privilege to state or federal regulations. If we neglect our responsibility as a community to take care of our school district, we may be subject to the dictates of those outside of our community.”
The information above taken from the Clearwater Progress.
Some sources are saying that Tyler is pro-Levy for those interested.
More investigation is underway.
We have contacted Tyler’s dental office but so far he has not responded to our requests for comment.
Melisa Kaschmitter, Grangeville, is a 35-year Idaho County resident. She is currently employed as the company manager of Gem Chain Bar (manufacturer of mechanical harvester parts).
Majoring in accounting with an emphasis in business management, she said she gained a solid foundation in college to prepare her for a career that has encompassed many facets of both private-sector and public-sector organizational management and financial oversight.
“I have more than 27 years of business management experience and nine years of small business ownership experience. I have found accounting principles to be interwoven in every different type of business or public sector entity I have worked for. As an accountant, I have managed and performed every aspect of financial management, working with budgets anywhere from several hundred thousand to millions,” she said. “I have spent many hours on small group committees and directly working with MVSD superintendents and business managers on the MVSD budget for the past four years.”
Kaschmitter is a certified Global Career Development Facilitator, created and coordinated the ILC Career Expo for four years, was a career and education case manager for youth and adults for seven years, and for 11 years coordinated several public education and business groups focused on making increased career and technical education available locally. With her current employer, she created the USDOL Registered CNC Milling and Turning Apprenticeship.
Kaschmitter sees MVSD’s biggest challenge as being able to obtain a culture shift.
“When I say culture shift, I mean the community taking collective ownership in the education, opportunities and success of our children (and by extension our entire district.) Shifting from a culture of suspecting the worst and conjecturing of beliefs, of what is occurring in our district, to a culture of supporting our district from the inner circle that is students to the outer circle that is community,” she emphasized.
“Students are the reason the district exists and every circle surrounding them is involved in different aspects of influencing and affecting their lives and their education. The culture needs to shift to a view of how do we support our district, so that everyone from students to the community benefit from the education we successfully offer and impart. I know it is somewhat of a cliché, but truly it is a cultural mindset of healthy schools, healthy communities. We need to support students for success, not just seek out the bare minimum we can do. Culture shift: now — supporting the current levy because it will be a start in filling the bare minimum needs; in future years — discover how we can meet that minimum while doing better for our kids, our community, our future.”
The information above taken from the Clearwater Progress.
Melissa Kaschmitter kindly gave us a response to this page.
What zone am I in? Good Question! There is a tool here you can use to help you figure that out but it’s a bit complicated to use.
We took a snapshot of the tool with the zones hilighted which you can use but it doesn’t show towns or roads very well. Hope this helps.