Scott Stewart
Pima College Governing Board, Dist. Four

About Me

Scott Stewart, Engineer, Manager, Educator: A brief “bio”

   

I’ve been an optical engineer at Raytheon since 1978, working in many roles: lab work, test design, team leadership, project management, and finally as manager of my departmental labs. In 1994 I married Vaden, the woman I was in love with in high school, eventually found,  and reconnected with after 20 years. We have two children. All of us have attended Pima College.

  

I've been interested in the dynamics of education since high school. Thus, when I was ready to run for office, I chose a position where my background and interests lined up, at an institution that is part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.

  

I believe that education is both a public and a private good. It's better for everyone - it makes them more employable as well as more independent. It's better for employers to have an educated workforce. Finally (and contrary to what some policy makers in this country believe) there is no social program better for anyone than to have a real job doing meaningful work.

 

I think education should be affordable for everyone, including a higher education. While it must not be free, interested people shouldn’t be priced out of access to education through excessive tuition costs. Additionally, they shouldn’t have to incur crippling debt to get to learn their field. The process of getting into school AND paying for it shouldn’t be as confounding or frustrating as it is today. THAT'S why I have consistently supported the funding of Pima Community College, even as I have pushed for greater transparency, accountability, efficiency, and especially customer focus.

 

While I like and respect my colleagues on the Board, I'm the only Board Member from the private sector of the economy. I think my background gives me greater sensitivity to economic realities (where tax money really comes from) and educational realities (failing to focus on fundamentals) than others on the Board who have spent their lives in the public sector.

  

A short statement about my opponent

  

For twelve years now I've worked to take care of the Pima College staff in both good times and bad. In fact, I've almost always been the board member to publicly defend our employees’compensation package. This year, however, I have opposition from the government employee union sector. Personally, I believe my opponent was recruited by Pima's union leadership because of the manner in which we have dealt with recent funding cuts. Let me explain why I think this.

 

Like everyone else, we have to do more with less. However, instead of instituting layoffs and furloughs we've expanded our workweek from 37.5 hours to 40 and cut pay 2.7% per hour (resulting in 4% more pay per week). Unfortunately, the union leadership sees only more hours for less money per hour. They have even publicly complained about the hardships of the 40-hour workweek – this at a time when many folks in the community have lost their jobs!

  

I have met my opponent and he's an intelligent and positive young man. Nonetheless, I believe his background as a government employee and a government employee union representative could very well change the board from one that looks out for the community first to one that first and foremost looks out for college employee unions. Naturally, I believe we have to take care of the employees but our primary mission is to serve this community FIRST and foremost.

 

My opponent's government employee union endoresements can be found at: http://kevinmattocks.org

  

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