School Board Member

Kevin P. Tynan’s biographical information
Born: New Brunswick, N.J.
Florida residence: since 1975.
House of worship:
   St. Mark’s Catholic Church.
Married since 1983.
Children: Two.
Occupation: Attorney

Family/human interest

Q: Where did you grow up and what was it like?
A: I was born and raised in New Jersey, with a one-year stint in Bermuda when I was four; but I feel I grew up in Florida. When I was 15, my parents moved us to Hialeah and bought a lakefront home. To me, this was what Florida was all about – the weather, boating (sailboat), swimming, fishing – and all I had to do was walk outside.

Q: Who has most shaped you as a leader – your mother or your father? Why?
A: That’s a tough question, as I see both of my parents in me, and I know that they both instilled in me a strong desire to serve the community. The drive and the passion probably comes from my mother, and the desire to lead comes from my father, who was certainly the motivator and leader of numerous campaigns.

Q: Growing up, or now, do you have a favorite sport or hobby?
A: I have been a big football fan all of my life, but I have turned into a mild soccer fanatic who misses the Fusion and is hooked on every national team game.

Q: Where and how did you meet your spouse?
A: I met Daniela in the first year of college, but we never dated until the last two weeks of our four years together at Barry University.

Q: Your … first job?

A: Fry cook at Arthur Treacher’s.

Q: Favorite movie?
A: Braveheart.

Q: Last book read?

A: To Try Men’s Souls, by Newt Gingrich.

Q: Musical preference?
A: Rock to Irish folk.

Q: Favorite team?
A: Dolphins.

Public leadership

Q: What is the most pressing issue facing Broward County public schools at this time?
A: The school board has major financial problems, due to the reduction in tax revenues and funding from the state and national governments. The downturn in the economy and in property values has seriously impacted funding, and I am concerned that another wave of budget cuts, which are on the horizon, are going to be felt for a long time.

Q: Can you name an issue or two that will be high priorities for you as a School Board member?
A: First and foremost I am looking at governance issues, how the School Board conducts itself and runs the business side of the School Board. I am also looking at systemic changes that will help the superintendent do his job with less hindrance from a micromanaging board.

Q: Recently you were appointed to fill the School Board seat that was vacated by the suspension of Beverly Gallagher, of District 2 (southwest Broward County). Both actions were at the discretion of the governor, due to her indictments for the misuse of her public office. What will you do to restore the public’s trust and confidence so that they are well represented in the area of public education?
A: With my background in ethics – over 20 years practicing in the legal ethics field – I have a good sense for what needs to be changed at the School Board to make sure that we change the culture of the School Board and make serious changes in how the School Board conducts business, so that the new standard is not just avoiding impropriety but also avoiding even the appearance of impropriety.

Q: Typically, school boundary changes can be some of the most contentious and emotional discussions and votes. You are being thrust into at least one of those debates. What should students, parents and the community expect from you regarding the process of these debates and imminent changes?
A: I will listen to each side and make an informed decision. I am deeply concerned about making sure that any boundary change must be made for a legitimate reason and affects the least amount of students.

Q: Will you be a candidate for this School Board seat when it comes up for election in November 2012?
A: Yes, but depending on how Ms. Gallagher’s criminal case resolves, this election can be much sooner.

Public perspective

Q: Everyone develops an opinion about presidential and gubernatorial elections, but few people focus on local elections. What are your thoughts about this?
A: Every election is important, all the way down to dogcatcher. While we can all name the president and can’t name our city commissioner, these local officials impact us in more ways than the federal government.

Q: Is there a person in American history that you truly admire, or are fascinated by, and why?
A: Ronald Reagan. He is clearly the person that molded my conservative political philosophy, but he also showed that you can have a serious political debate about ideas without making personal attacks.

Q: What are your thoughts on careers in elected office and government, versus being a public servant?
A: We do not need career politicians. Everyone should have an opportunity to serve. It promotes new ideas, new ways of looking at issues, and prevents the ability to be corrupted by the system.

Q: Please complete the following  sentences: The one thing that I would change about Broward County …
A: I would change some of the current constitutional officers to appointed positions.

Q: The one thing that I would change about Florida …
A: There has to be a better way to amend the Florida Constitution to avoid some of the recent wave of issues that are now included in our constitution.

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