Candidate questionnaire: Al Bischoff

info@islandpacket.comOctober 22, 2012 

Name: Al Bischoff

Age: 58

Office: Beaufort County Board of Education, District 8

Number of years living in the area you seek to represent: 6-plus years

Family: Wife Angela; three children in graduate school or college, Amelia, Alexander and Austin

Education: University of Pittsburgh, Asian studies; University of Maryland, business ethics; University of Maryland, master's degree in history of ethics

Current occupation/employer: Professional consulting group for nine years

Employment, military and volunteer history: AT&T/Lucent for 23 years

Please list all public offices to which you've been elected, when and where: Elected to two board of director positions, one in New Jersey and one locally at Windmill Harbor

Please list any unsuccessful runs for public office and when: None

Other prior political and government experience: Government contractor both currently and in the past

Key endorsements you've received:

Beaufort County Republican Party
Andy Patrick
Julie Bell
Bill Evans
Stu Rodman

Contributions: No campaign contributions or expenditures reported as of Oct. 12.

Expenditures: No campaign contributions or expenditures reported as of Oct. 12.

Highest contributor: No campaign contributions or expenditures reported as of Oct. 12.

Why should people vote for you? What separates you from your opponent(s)?

  • My children attended Beaufort County schools and were enrolled in everything from special education to the International Baccalaureate program.

  • I currently support more than five programs in the schools, including chairing Rotary Reader/ Rithmentic (chairman), Safety Town, Senior Lecture support, tutoring at-risk alternative-school students, and sitting on the Greater Island Council's education, regional and safety committees.

  • I am motivated to improve the quality of life in Beaufort County, improve the jobs outlook for the area, and improve the graduation rate while identifying programs that will help in graduation, but also to train students for positions that will be available in Beaufort County

  • What are the three most important issues you would address if elected?

  • Improving graduation rates.

  • Expense-control, including Act 388 management and lobbying to remove or change Act 388 funding levels.

  • Teacher growth and development, coupled with student skills, abilities, personalities, social styles, etc. to better match students into programs that will support the ultimate goal of employing all people.

  • What other issues do you see as important?

  • More money from the state, aka Act 388, and sensible taxation.

  • Better access and utilization of outside funding, grants, etc. that are available, including both private and government.

  • Utilize alternative teaching methods and technologies using current and future proven plans, but also be willing to take a risk on trying something new if it seems it might work to raise graduation rates.

  • What specific steps will you take to make government more open and accessible to the public?

    I would fully support open meetings acts and other requirements to be as transparent as possible. But I also feel we need to be more communicative on why there might be times where information may need to be kept private, at least until the reasons for keeping it away from the public go away (personnel issues as an example as these often involve government and legal issues). The bottom line is that I do not believe in keeping embarrassing things out of the public eye. People need to be accountable for their mistakes.

    Have you ever been convicted of a crime (felony), been disciplined by a professional licensing board or organization or had an ethics violation filed against you? If so, please give the details.

    No

    Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your federal, state or local taxes? If so, please give the details.

    I've never filed for bankruptcy. We did have an issue with the tax court that was ultimately resolved in my favor, in which a lien was placed on our home in South Carolina in 2006 and cleared up quickly in 2006. It was an issue around 401(k) money movements from one company to another when we were laid off and the company's plans were not compliant on all fronts.

    Are there any personal details about yourself that voters would be interested in knowing?

    I have extensive international experience, so I have a very good understanding of different cultures and how to succeed in the global market. The opportunity to live in and experience different cultural systems including educational systems gave me valuable insight into what it takes to communicate with different types of people and cultures.

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