Candidate Q&A: Tim Austin, Saline School Board
Note to readers: The Sun Times News has made its media outlet available to candidates running for public office. Articles published do not reflect an endorsement by the STN. Submissions are from candidates who responded within our guidelines. In order to be as fair and equitable as possible, candidates can submit their responses to four basic questions.
- Who are you?
- Why are you running?
- What issues do you think are important?
- Why should we vote for you?
Candidate’s responses are printed as submitted.
I am a Saline High School Graduate and have lived in Saline most of my life. My wife and I have two children, one that graduated from Saline in 2022, and one getting ready to begin his junior year at SHS. I am the President of A&H Lawn Service, Inc., here in Saline. I started A&H with a friend right out of high school and it quickly moved from a job to earn money for college to my career. I have been a regularly active member of our community through my business and through our school district.
It is so important that our children, staff, and community have a strong Saline Area School District. We have many things to be proud of in Saline and, where possible, I would like to see these expanded to help all students. Our CTE/Consortium programs shine bright in Saline, the Special Education/Young Adult programs have always been such a strong part of our school district. Music programs, AP programs, and we can’t forget about the Alternative High School with its ability to be such a great fit for our students.
The Saline School District also has some work to do. Our schools have had some difficult years. Our staff, our students, and our parents have felt these pressures and we need to be there for all of them. I hear a lot of talk about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Mathematics) programs. I believe Saline Schools wants to be on the innovative side of STEAM. We must be more prudent in investing in these programs to give our students what they need to be successful. With enrollment down and struggling to retain our own “resident students,” we need to do better in this area. People move to Saline so their kids can go to Saline Schools, this should not be an issue but over the past few years it has become an issue. Parental involvement is a key part of this, and we need to engage all stakeholders to resolve this. School funding is based on per pupil enrollment, it’s vitally important that we retain all our “resident students.” Right now, the schools have a lot of one-time monies coming in through ESSER funding and 11T funding. This will dry up and we will be faced with budget shortfalls, we need to get a better handle on our General Fund budget structure! The upcoming bond proposal this fall is a “Win-Win'' for the taxpayers as well as for the district. We have a unique opportunity to not only lower our tax rate by 0.5 mills but we can also generate roughly 180 million dollars. This important millage will allow our district to invest in our infrastructure, STEAM programs, as well as transportation and athletics.
We are a community that cares, we are a community that wants a strong district, a community that wants a district that will educate our students, a community that values parental involvement. We need a board that represents the entire community. I was a Saline School Board Member from 2015-2020; serving as Secretary, Vice-President, & President over those years. I was raised in Saline, graduated high school from Saline, started my business in Saline, and am raising my family in Saline. Saline is my home and I take the motto to heart of: “Love Where You Live.”
Let’s create a positive experience for all students!
For more information visit my website: austin4saline.com
Facebook: Timothy Austin for Saline School Board (@austin4sasboe22)