School Funding

Autauga County Board of Education Runoff Republican Candidates

PRATTVILLE — Two candidates are vying for the Republican nomination for Autauga County School Board District 2 office in Tuesday’s runoff.

Kim Crockett came first in the four-way race in the primary, but failed to capture the 50% plus one required to avoid the second round. Wayne Lambert took second place. Holder Jim Manderson came in third.

Crockett has a background in education.

“After volunteering for thousands of hours at District 2 schools, I was encouraged by a mentor to consider running for the board,” she said. “I started attending all local school board meetings, where I discovered a disconnect between the board and the classroom.

“Having experience in the classroom as a teacher, parent and volunteer, I believe I have a unique perspective that our board desperately needs.”

Lambert is a product of local schools and has had children and now grandchildren attending the schools.

“I decided to run for school board because I have a vested interest in our education system, as well as our county,” he said. “I have family who have attended and worked in the school system for 35 years, and I will bring a tremendous amount of perspective and experience. As a grandfather of five children who are currently in the school system of county, I want to ensure that my grandchildren and all students have the best educational opportunities for them to pursue higher education, business certification, or be employable in our society upon graduation.

“I am committed to responsibly securing and executing the necessary resources to benefit our children and ensure they are career and college ready.”

His business background makes him qualified to serve, he said.

“I’m a retired CFO with over 43 years of tax experience,” Lambert said. “Now more than ever, it is essential that we understand the impact of the economy and the business world on our financing.

“Don’t get me wrong, the Autauga County school system is a business and is the second largest employer in our county. I want to use my business skills to acquire the resources needed for our schools. A Healthy School System results in a community of health.”

Crockett says she knows the schools

“I have a bachelor’s degree in education and years of classroom teaching experience,” she said. “When I became a mother, I decided to dedicate my time to serving my children’s schools.

“As a result, I have ‘on the job’ experience in half of the schools in Autauga County, including all of the schools physically located in District 2. That’s why my application and message resonated. with so many other parents and teachers. They know me. They’ve seen me work. They trust me.

Funding is one of the biggest issues facing future board members. In November, voters in Prattville and surrounding areas will decide on a $15 million property tax hike for education. The money will go to capital projects.

The tax would be levied in Prattville and areas just outside the city limits that are within Prattville school attendance areas.

The 15 mills, if adopted, would bring local education funding to 25 mills. The increase would add another $140 to $160 a year in property taxes on a home worth $100,000.

“I support allowing every citizen to choose whether or not they want additional funding for their schools, rather than having those decisions made for them by politicians,” Crocket said. “Now that we have the opportunity to choose, each family must decide what is best for them and vote accordingly.

“If new funds are made available, rest assured that I will do everything in my power as a board member to spend them wisely and transparently.”

Lambert supports raising taxes.

“What’s most important is that our students have the resources to give them the best chance of success,” he said. “I support increasing the property tax to help our schools move forward with new facilities and renovations, which ultimately helps our students.

“The board needs to balance the needs of the county and ensure these funds are appropriately allocated. I know my background in accounting would be beneficial in ensuring that taxpayers’ money is used appropriately and responsibly.”

There are no qualified Democratic candidates to run for office.

Kim Croquet

  • To party: Republican
  • Professional: Former lead instructor of Hand in Hand, an early intervention program associated with United Cerebral Palsy. Former Director of Curriculum at the Weatherly Learning Center.
  • Political experience: This is his first campaign
  • Education: Bachelor of Early Childhood Education from Freed-Hardeman University.

Wayne Lambert

  • To party: Republican
  • Professional: Former Chief Financial Officer of Moore Company Realty. He also worked at Blount International and Colonial Bancgroup. Currently working as a consultant.
  • Political experience: This is his first campaign
  • Education: Bachelor of Accounting from Auburn University and Master of Business Administration from Auburn Montgomery.

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Marty Roney at [email protected]