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CLARENCE SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES AIR VIEWS AT FORUM

Three Of the five candidates for the Clarence School Board Tuesday said they responded to a survey from the Christian Coalition, a conservative group headquartered in Clarence.

In response to a question from resident Paul Richold, board candidates Robert L. Kausner, Douglas M. Braun and David R. Byers said they had no problem explaining their viewpoints for the survey which asked, in part, about birth control, police in schools and sex education.

Incumbent James A. Powers and James D. Hirt said they did not respond to the survey because the issues were not pertinent to the district. Powers said he wrote a letter inviting the group to the candidates' forum.

More than 55 residents attended the candidates' forum in the high school cafeteria. Residents will fill three three-year terms in voting from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the high school.

Candidates are Powers, an engineering consultant who has been on the board 12 years; Kausner, a teacher at Buffalo's Academic Challenge Center; Hirt, a Du Pont retiree who serves on the district's Strategic Planning Committee; Byers, a sales engineer; and Braun, a salesman.

Ralph Showalter, a resident, asked what candidates would do to keep the budget under control. Hirt said staff would have to share more costs, such as medical premiums.

Braun said the district needs to establish a building fund so renovations could be paid for in cash rather than through bonds. He also said a central purchasing department should be established instead of allowing building principals to make purchases individually.

Kausner said he would ask the state for relief in mandated programs. Byers said there is a need to save money and predicted the district would need another school building soon. Powers said some things, such as installing energy-efficient windows, had already cut some costs in the budget.

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