School board member gives his vision for Toledo district


Toledo Board of Education member Larry Sykes laid out his vision for the district Wednesday, and left open the possibility he may seek another office.

Mr. Sykes presented seven priorities for the district, including the development of a strategic plan, the passage of a 6.5-mill renewal levy, the implementation of a recently completed performance audit, preparations for possible budget cuts, a decision about whether to search for a permanent superintendent, greater transparency, and training and development for the board.

When asked why he was offering his own plan, Mr. Sykes called himself the board's historian, with more than a decade of experience on the Toledo school board.

“We as a board need to come together now in our role and our responsibility,” he said.

Mr. Sykes is one of three board members whose term runs out this year. He spoke about his district priorities at the Mott Branch Library on Dorr Street.

Board President Brenda Hill said she only learned Tuesday evening that Mr. Sykes would hold a news conference, and said she preferred that the board spoke with one voice. But she called Mr. Sykes a dedicated person who has a right to speak his opinion.

“I looked at his plan, and most of the things he said all board members feel,” she said.

On the levy, Mr. Sykes said the board should be out aggressively making its case, and called it “critically important.” Mr. Sykes abstained when the board voted last month to place its renewal levy on the ballot. He said he needed to make a commitment on whether he will run for reelection.

Mr. Sykes declined to say whether he plans to run for another office.