Transcript of Alex Leykin’s speech is available below – scroll down for details.
Transcript of Alex Leykin’s speech
Hello My name is Alex Leykin, I am running for the Mequon/Thiensville Board of Education. I would like to take a moment and tell you a little bit about myself and why I am, the best choice for the Mequon-Thiensville School Board. I came to this country from the former Soviet Union when I was eight years old. My mother, brother and I came here with nothing except my mother’s burning desire to offer her children a better future. A future with freedom and liberty– and a chance to someday achieve the American dream.
Many years later, I’m here today having realized most of my goals and dreams.
I am the founder and owner of one of the largest privately held mortgage lending companies in Southeastern Wisconsin. My wife of 20 years and I have lived in Mequon for 13 years having moved here from Milwaukee for two simple reasons…exceptional public education and low taxes. Our two children have grown up being educated in the Mequon-Thiensville schools taught by some of the best teachers in this country.
I am running for the Board of Education because I am passionate about my kids’ education. I believe that I can make a difference in helping this district become financially solvent, enhance educational opportunities for our students and protect our taxpayers.
I am frankly concerned about the direction our district is headed right now.
Over the past few years, the MTSD administration and School Board has demonstrated that they can’t balance the budget without negatively affecting our children through program cuts. For ten years now our district and budget has been shrinking due to declining enrollment. During all this time our board has been desperately fighting this demographic reality by trying to find ways to grow our district. The results of this (wish for growth) policy have been devastating budget cuts for our educational programs. For the first few years the cuts were hardly noticed by our community, but as the board was forced to enact deeper and deeper cuts with every passing year, some in our community (including me) took note. For me, the call to action moment came when our school board’s flawed approach required a drastic change in academic scheduling at Homestead.
Each year, the MTSD administration makes the same demands, in essence, demanding “Taxpayers, give us more money, OR ELSE we will cut programs.”
Our community has responded with a resounding “NO” to raising taxes.
So the cuts to our children’s programs continue from one year to the next.
We are told, “There is no other way!” Clearly, we are at an impasse, and our kids are caught in the middle. More of the same will not solve this problem. We must recognize demographic and societal changes in our community and act accordingly to protect our children from further erosion in their educational opportunities.
We must do this in a way which protects our taxpayers and citizens from falling home values and increased expenses they can’t afford.
I offer myself and my extensive business experience, with successfully managing this exact type of situation for my company, during the last 5 years of the Real Estate market collapse, to our community in order to blaze a different path.
I will balance our budget. I won’t cut kids programs, and I WILL NOT RAISE TAXES!! When I am done I will simply return to my life and my business leaving behind financial stability alongside educational success for the next generation of Mequon and Thiensville students and citizens.
Some think this is not possible. I do this every day at work.
Those who doubt my resolve need to look at my success in both business and family life then stand aside and let those of us with vision and determination fix our schools.
The current board has run its course and is out of new ideas. If you are looking for a fiercely independent, conservative voice, on our school board, who is grounded in results not rhetoric I ask for your vote!