|Pasco Board of Directors, Position 4|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|Bachelor's||Eastern Washington University|
Ruiz earned his B.S. in Business Administration from Eastern Washington University in 1994. He is currently a supervisor with the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. Ruiz has been a youth coach for more than a decade and a Boy Scout leader for the past three years. He has five children who have attended or currently attend district schools.
- See also: Pasco School District elections (2013)
Ruiz faced incumbent Sherry Lancon on November 5, 2013.
|Pasco School District, Four-year term, Position 4, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Sherry Lancon Incumbent||60.4%||5,833|
|Source: Franklin County Auditor, "November 5, 2013 General Election," November 26, 2013|
Ruiz placed second in the August 6, 2013 primary for the Position 4 seat on the board. He will face incumbent Sherry Lancon in the November 5, 2013 general election.
|Pasco Board of Director, Primary, Position 4, August 6, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Sherry Lancon Incumbent||66.9%||5,013|
|Nonpartisan||Taylor Franklin Taranto||8.1%||606|
|Source: Franklin County Auditor|
Ruiz reported $3,464.96 in contributions and $3,113.17 in expenditures to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, which left his campaign with $315.79 on hand.
Ruiz provided the following statement to the 2013 Local Voters' Pamphlet in Franklin County:
Campaign video for Javier Ruiz
"As a community we are obligated to provide a quality education for our children and to provide quality educational facilities for them. We are also obligated to our citizens to make the most of the funds they provide.
In a time of limited resources, we must adopt innovative approaches to address new concerns and challenges. There are many issues to address...school performance, fiscal responsibility and student safety, just to name a few. They must be governed in a responsible way with total integrity and also take into account of how they may impact our children and our community. The same old approaches will only give us the same old results and the answer cannot always be “more money”.
While we have accomplished much as a school district, we should expect higher results considering how much we have invested. We must reevaluate expectations, accept accountability and maintain high standards. We should also recognize, reward and encourage the positive.
With a renewed commitment to such principles, we can provide creative solutions to help us achieve new levels of excellence in all Pasco schools! Let’s stand together and make a difference! This is my pledge. Thank you for your support!"
What was at stake?
Incumbents William Leggett, Sherry Lancon and Darrell Toombs sought re-election during the November 5, 2013 general election. Leggett was seeking a fifth term on the board against challenger Steven A. Christensen while Lancon ran for a second full term against Ruiz. Toombs was appointed to the board in April 2013 and sought a first full term against challenger Amy L. Phillips.
Growing enrollment, tightening budget
The district has experienced a 16.7% increase in enrollment between 2008 and 2012. This growth in enrollment could strain district resources in the near future based on budget projections. In a work session on August 27, 2013, the Board of Directors discussed a budget shortfall expected with the expiration of the current maintenance and operations levy in December 2014. The district currently receives $4.46 per $1,000 of assessed property value to fill in gaps left by state funding and other revenue. A tax levy increase of at least $0.10 per $1,000 would be necessary to fill the expected budget gap. Superintendent Saundra Hill and board members in attendance voiced no support for an increased tax levy on the February 2014 ballot, focusing instead on studying potential cuts in the budget while maintaining the current levy amount.
About the district
- See also: Pasco School District, Washington
Pasco lags behind state averages for higher education achievement, median income and poverty rate. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (14.9%) is below the state average (31.4%). The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Pasco's median income at $47,252 while the state median income was $58,890. Pasco had a poverty rate of 22.2% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 12.5%.
- Tri-City Herald, "Pasco School Board: Challengers say it's time for change," July 21, 2013
- Franklin County Auditor, "Local Voters' Pamphlet," accessed October 30, 2013
- Washington Public Disclosure Commission, "Local Candidates," accessed December 17, 2013
- Tri-City Herald, "Pasco school operations levy won't meet expected costs, board told," August 27, 2013
- U.S. Census, "Quick Facts: Pasco," accessed August 29, 2013
- Franklin County Auditor, "Archived Election Results," accessed August 29, 2013