Jim Sobien

Running for
ResidenceYoungstown, OH
EducationBrashear High School Conley Skill and Trade Alleghany County Community College
EmployerSelf employed Salesmen and promoter for Visalus Body by Vi™
FamilySpouse NA
Ryan P Mason
Danielle L Sobien
Kyle N Sobien
Cammron J Sobien
Dakota J Sobien
Family in office?Dan Sobien, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
David Sobien, IRS
David Sobien Jr
Reasons for runningBoard focus must be redirected towards the needs and safety of the children who reside in the Austintown community. I believe it should be a priority of the Austintown Board of Education members to respond to the community’s concerns in a timely manner with the respect, understanding and compassion that is expected of an elected official. Although a chain of command is necessary for resolution of problems; if resolution is not satisfactorily obtained then board members should be approachable and willing to sit down with all parties to resolve issues. Though there are many positive things we are seeing in our district; there are negatives aspects as well i.e. student and employee low morale issues, lack of accountability from the Board down through the Administration, massive communication gaps within our school system and an increase in violence in our schools. As a taxpayer, I expect hands on leadership of my elected officials and that is the type of leader I will strive to be.
Priorities When elected, one of the first things I would like to accomplish is to work with the board to appoint a committee comprised of teachers, board members, members of the Administration and residents to review all board polices and expenditures and make the recommended changes that are needed. Secondly, I WILL work with the board to mend relationships between the Administration, teachers and Board by recommending changes in board polices allowing open communication and interaction (which is currently prohibited) and increase open communications with our students and parents, respond to resident’s concerns in a timely manner with respect and dignity (which is currently lacking), focus more on existing building maintenance and redirect the board’s focus back to needs and safety of our children. I will work with the board to place stringent limits on open enrolment if not removing it all together.
QualificationsI am a resident of Austintown and proud father of five children; four who currently attend Austintown schools. I have a vested interest in the decisions being made by board members and how those decisions will affect the future of our schools. I have spent the past six years working with the children, parents and leaders of our community in the capacity as a coach, board member and mentor of three community organizations. My community involvement makes me a prime candidate for the position. I have a true pulse on what is taking place in the community and in our school system. I have helped in numerous ways which includes working with the Township to resolve issues that affect the children of Austintown to helping parents with busing issues, safety issues and issues with our Administration. I have demonstrated a true passion and willingness to do what is in the best interest of our community and children. I have gained a unique view of the issues our residents have to deal with on a daily basis from financial issues to simply transporting our children to and from school. I have proven my ability to work with different community leaders in identifying issues and to work together to find solutions.
Positions on the issues We are currently more focused on building new schools than maintain our existing schools .I believe we need to focus on providing for the safety and education of the children of our township. Our students have had to share the basics for education I.E. (school Books) making things like homework difficult at best, our buildings have gone without proper maintenance for years, we are losing our own students to other schools and school districts, our transportation department is seriously under staffed and we cannot supply our students that walk to our schools with a proper amount of crossing guards. Yet we still spend the districts money on things like purchasing four homes at($100,000 +) simply to enlarge the campus and up till the beginning of September had plans to purchase yet one more house on Idaho rd for ($86,000), we purchase 48 real time GPS tracking units for our vehicles ($58,000+) that we could not directly access for months after the units were installed and still have an ongoing bill of ($21.134 per year for maintenance and support) and we bring in a outside company to direct us on how to use common sense and cut the energy costs in our district at a cost to the district of ($117,000) + a new position. With the closing and or demolition of five our buildings and the opening of the two new buildings they would have no base line to operate from. If we wish to cut operating cost one move that could have been made would have been to install LED lighting with ¼ the power consumption in all our buildings, this alone would have saved us thousands of dollars per year.
This board was told by our community and our community leaders we did NOT want open enrollment, we were told to pass a levy or the board would institute open enrolment anyway. We voted down the levy and the board did in fact institute open enrollment that in the 2012-2013 school year grossed the district ($3.2 to $3.5m) with a net gain of ($1.2 to $1.5m) the district had a finical carryover of over ($6.7 m) for the year, we can all do basic math and see we did not need open enrollment. We are told by the administration open enrollment will not hurt our township but in fact will only help, It is my view that if someone is looking to buy a home in the area and finds two comparable homes one on the west side for ($40,000) and one in Austintown for ($70,000) and no matter the one they buy their student would still be able to attend Austintown schools this person would save the difference, buy the home on the west side and the person selling the home in Austintown would have to drop the asking price of their home to sell it, lowering the property values. Every open enrollment student is dropped off at school by a parent or family member adding heavily to the safety and traffic concerns that surrounds our schools. How is that helping Austintown I ask? Though I do not feel we cannot just simply cut open enrollment totally this upcoming year I do feel we need to move in that direction by placing stringent restrictions on the number of students entering our schools. To touch on the charter school funding debate I stand with my school district. If we wish our children to have the best possible education we need to be involved, go to the board meetings make our voices heard not just in Austintown but in our state capital as well. If we run our schools in the correct manner (that is with the community input) and provide for the students safety and educational needs there will not be much of a threat. As a board member I will go to Columbus and fight to keep our funding and fight to restore lost funding. (I WILL FIGHT FOR OUR STUDENTS!)
(It is all about the children!!)
Offices Sought Na
Offices Held NA