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Candidate Q&A: Keith Van Hentenryck for Brighton Area Schools Board of Education

Keith Van Hentenryck will make a bid for the Brighton School Board in November.

Keith Van Hentenryck is one of four candidates competing for two open seats on the Brighton Board of Education. Continue following Brighton Patch this week for more school board election coverage.

Family

Karen is my wife of 21 years and we have a 17-year-old son, Sean.

Education

I attended and graduated from Ferndale High School, have successfully completed 5 college courses at both Mott in Flint and WCCC.

Employment

I am the owner of Lazertech, LLC which has been in business since 1998.

What groups/organizations are you involved with in the community?

I volunteer with the following organizations:

  • Brighton Band Boosters including co-chairing Brighton’s hosting of the regional band festival last school year
  • Recycle Livingston in Howell for 15 years and sat on the board of directors for six years ending June 2012
  • Sand Crane Crossing Homeowners Association board for last 12 years and have held several officers positions including President, Treasurer, and Vice President
  • Helped to build a home locally for Habitat for Humanity
  • My family has been bell ringers for the Salvation Army most every Christmas for the last 8 years.

Why are you running for office and what relevant qualities/skills would you bring to the position?

I feel very strongly that the board needs to be fiscally responsible in future decisions and I can help accomplish that without compromising the quality of education that BAS provides. With the recent passage of the improvement bond, it is imperative that those funds be spent wisely and future budgets be established such that the district avoids the financial hardships of the past. My greatest personal attributes are my diplomatic skills, empathy for all views, and the ability to find reasonable compromise. I also bring a successful business career worth of experience and knowledge.

What are the top three priority issues the School Board should address and what actions would you, as an elected official, take to address them?

My priorities would be: 1) Assure that the bond money is spent wisely. 2) Assure borrowing is limited to needed amounts only, 3) Assure the board establishes a long term budgeting policy that includes necessary line items to prevent future long term borrowing for short duration goods. Accomplishing these goals would require first-hand knowledge of changes under the bond being proposed and matching them with costs. I would investigate other local school districts that have successfully maintained and improved their districts without excessive secondary revenue sources.

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