My name is John “Jack” Baughan of River Road, Westport, and I’m running for Diman Regional School Committee.
I have served on Westport town committees for 23 years. I chaired the Finance Committee, the Capital Investment Planning Committee, and was a founder of the Agricultural Open Space Committee. I contributed chapters on Economic Development for both the 2000 Master Plan and the current update project.
In Fall River I chaired Junior Achievement as well as the Salvation Army for many years.
As a graduate of West Point, a night intruder pilot in Korea, and a successful executive for several large American Companies (Canadian Curtiss Wright, Leesona Corp., and Rockwell International) I have learned the value of identifying potential on which to build successful enterprises. I was group combat operations officer for the 3rd Bomb Group of the 5th AF in Kunssn, Korea, operations to the Yalu River and flew with the AF 13th Sqdn, the oldest combat squadron, formed in France during WW1. I proudly hold the DFC.
In rebuilding underperforming business organizations, identifying leadership personnel is the main key to success in my opinion. In every culture from Hong Kong to Russia the same instincts were vital in achieving assigned goals. Teams are built around such people.
Proper educational backgrounds were a considerable part of that selective process, and working in that environment helped me conclude that educational achievements were at least predictive in certain ways regarding future team successes. It is even more essential in the fast pace of today.
This is the value I see in Diman and their educational process of developing hands-on leaders. Learning the basics under competitive disciplines is evident in Diman and rewarded by successful employers.
An unfortunate four-town charter agreement in 1963 limits Westport to 5% of the students at any one time, whereas Fall River gets 75%, and Swansea and Somerset get 10% each.
I would like to work to change that. We also pay the highest per pupil tuition and thousands more than similar WPHS cost to our taxpayers. I seek a charter fair to all concerned.
The Diman Regional School Committee is defined as one member each from the three small suburbs, with Fall River receiving three seats as appointed by the mayor.
For the better part of 12 years the current representative from Westport, who works for the city of Fall River, has voted with Fall River interests making the board a 4-2 board for the mayor. I will try hard to open up that charter for renegotiation as quickly as possible. This will require assistance from state regulatory agencies now entrenched with the original formula. Meanwhile I pledge to vote for Westport interests only.
Westport also needs better communications with our committee representative in keeping town residents informed of the committee’s actions and future direction, a process that is now missing. What do you really know about Diman?
I am willing to make the necessary effort if elected. The cause is fair and the fight worth it for Westport students.