LWV League of Women Voters of California
San Joaquin County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter Political Philosophy for Charles W. "Charles Wayne" Shults

Candidate for
Mayor; City of Tracy

This information is provided by the candidate

Philosophy on Education

In my following philosophy, I would like the reader to distinguish the type of person I am and the type of leader that I will be for my local government and hopefully for our State of California. At times, my ideas may seem to be somewhat futuristic but I believe it is important for us as leaders to look far enough ahead to solve not only the problems of today, but to prevent issues of tomorrow.

Let us begin with my position on education. I believe there are numerous problems with education today. For me the issues that I am concerned about are schools, parents, and children. First, the schools that we have are in need of repair. This is because the money that supports the public schools is called designated money. This means that if you have 200,000 dollars in funds for technology, then the roof with the hole in it and the broken heater is not repaired. This must change and the money needs to be put into the general fund so our school districts can spend it to make the repairs needed to our children's classrooms. This will be a sure way for us as a community to govern what happens to our schools. If this money is placed in a general fund at least we will know were the problem lies and there will be no excuses like it is the states fault.

We also need to find educators with the ability to teach that have the proper credentials. This is becoming increasingly more common to see teachers without credentials. I think that the teachers should also have a passion for their job. Our children are born in today's society with so much knowledge in technology that today's instructors must be able to energize the students to make their education more enjoyable; a reason for the students to want to come to class. Also, as a parent myself, I think that today's parents are expecting the teachers and the school to be mom, dad, and nannies to their children. I think that this stems from the situation of parents not being able to be home in our current society. I do not believe that this should be an excuse for parents. This does not allow them to put the blame on the schools. The school only provides the information for the children to learn; they are not the parents. I believe it is up to the parent to monitor their children's progress daily and to see that they get the help they need to complete the assignments required by the schools.

Finally, I think that the children themselves should be held responsible for their actions. In today's educational environment, children from grade school through high school have no respect for their instructors or staff, I believe this for three reasons. The first being that the children know that there is no punishment for what they do. The second is, the parents do not seem to care enough to make their children learn some sort of respect. Third, the children themselves have no sense of compassion for anybody and this can be attributed to a variety of things. I think that it is extremely important to install a program from kindergarten to college like Character Counts which would install some values that a lot of children are missing at home. The issues regarding education are broad and there is no quick fix. I think starting with the basics will go along way in our children's future.

Philosophy on Growth

In the area of growth, I have come to realize that there seems to be a variety of issues that I have problems with. Although, I believe in growth, I also believe in a balance. This balance includes Education, Transportation, and the Environment. My philosophy on these issues are as follows. First, there is the issue of growth and education. I believe that growth can and has to be advanced in order to achieve the kind of standards that a community expect. This means that if growth is to be balanced with education, we must get help from the developers to assist in the finishing of schools before the development is completed. In this type of growth management, the infrastructure for the housing of the children will be in place when the community is complete. This will keep children in their neighborhoods and not force them to be relocated due to a lack of schools in their area.

Next, there is the issue of growth and transportation. This issue is very sensitive in that people like to have the freedom of their cars, trucks and motorcycles. Not being one of alternative transportation myself, I have come to realize the importance of transportation. As a city grows, it is in my opinion that a better way of transportation must exist before the growth starts. This is usually the last issue that is addressed. Anyone that has lived in a city that is under growth knows the problems that this lack of planning creates. Buses and taxis are not enough. There needs to be an alternative to the automobile that is not only accessible, but fast and efficient as well. A town of 50,000 people that commute consume 1,000 gals. of fuel per year. That is a total of 50,000,000 gallons of gas that contain cancer causing MTBE's in your air each year. What are the chances of you contracting Cancer? I do not know, but the odds are not in our favor.

This brings me to my final issue of growth and the environment. As I discussed in the other two issues, these are relatively easy issues to solve. We can build more schools and we can find alternative ways of transportation, but we can not replace the environment. As I will not go into the issue of environment and growth to any extent, you may read my position on the Philosophy of the Environment. I think that we can and should practice good environmentally sound policies and we can insure growth and along with managing the environment.

Philosophy on Environment

With the last two issues as I stated, education and growth are not only feasible but they are achievable if the proper channels are followed. As I develop my skills about Ecology and the environment, I find we need to take a special interest in our environment. If there are two environmental words that I will make as my goal in life concerning the environment, they would have to be SUSTAINABLE and RENEWABLE. I believe that we can apply this to all sorts of environmental problems. Keep in mind that I do not consider myself a tree hugger. I am, on the other hand, becoming aware of some of our problems. As there are many ecological environmental problems, my goal is to do my part to achieve as much as I can in the areas of SUSTAINABLE water supplies, SUSTAINABLE farming, and SUSTAINABLE and RENEWABLE natural resources.

What this means to me is to make sure that we have the resources to renew the resources that we are currently using and make sure that our natural resources are not depleted. I think that we should start teaching ecology and the environment from the first grade. It is only with education, education, and education that we will have a balance with the environment. Maybe its time to take a lesson from the past and use only what we need and leave the rest alone. This would be a wonderful concept, but in today's time not a realistic one. Our struggles with our environment today will not only have to come from laws that guard our resources, but technology that will have to create new ways of achieving old ideas. This is a very basic philosophy and I still have a lot to learn, but we all have to at least start to make sure there is no end.

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