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Oliver running for 4-year term

Unification a local issue, board should help, she says
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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Even though Lynn Oliver was only appointed to the Placer County school board last year, she has more than a decade of experience from which to draw. Oliver is one of four incumbents hoping to keep their seat this election season on the Placer County Office of Education board of trustees. Businessman Ryan Murphy challenges Oliver for the Area 5 seat, which represents upper western Placer County. Prior to assuming her role as a Placer County Office of Education board trustee last year, Oliver served 16 years as a board member for the Alta Dutch Flat school district. The 61-year-old real estate broker said during her tenure she has been a “productive and valuable asset” to the district she’s served. As an Alta Dutch Flat board member, she said she helped complete a large building project and brought Emigrant Gap School into the district. The district also was recognized with the distinguished school award in 2004. As a county board member, she sits on the committee that review policies. She said she regularly visits school sites as well as budget seminars and conferences. Recently, the county office of education released a study on the possible revenue from countywide school district unification. According to the study, if nine districts in Placer County unified, there could be a possible $6.9 million in new monies. The figures, however, are preliminary and do not take into account debt, reorganization costs, facilities, personnel costs and more. Oliver said she considers consolidation as one of several options to counter declining enrollment and diminishing revenues. “My personal opinion on this issue is that any movement toward consolidation must be initiated by the local district,” Oliver said in a prepared statement. “The Placer County Office of Education, when asked, can provide relevant and significant data to the inquiring district on many aspects of the process especially the fiscal impact of consolidation.” Oliver acknowledged that a large-scale unification is a long and “emotional” process as many local school district worry about losing their identity. Oliver said she feels the Placer County board has been effective thus far and encourages residents to attend meetings. She added that she feels board members remain current on education, fiscal and legislative topics. She said she hopes to continue her tenure on the board and take part in highlights such as interviewing students vying for a spot on the Governor’s All Star Academic Team. Oliver said if she is re-elected, she would like to continue working on behalf of students. She said she will remain informed on legislative issues and curriculum trends. “With the present level of reduced spending and limited revenues it is increasingly important to develop and pass a budget that is fiscally responsible while simultaneously addressing the needs and requirements mandates by the state and the federal governments,” Oliver said. “I am an advocate for children and believe strongly that each student deserves the very highest quality education that we can provide.” The Journal's Jenifer Gee can be reached at jeniferg@goldcountrymedia.com or post a comment.