News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, February 14, 2013
Two open seats draw incumbent, new Brooksville candidate

by Anne Berleant

A new name will be on the 2013 election ballot for the Brooksville School Board. Gail Ladd, who has taken out papers to fill the seat that will be vacated by Dana Hooper, will appear on the ballot with Helen Condon who will seek a fourth three-year term.

Helen Condon

With nine years on the board behind her, Condon said she was happy to run again. “It’s interesting to stay in touch with what’s going on,” she said.

Condon doesn’t see any big plans for the elementary school in the near future, but keeping an eye on the budget is a priority.

Condon was pleased with the 2013-14 school budget just passed by the board, which shows a 1.06 percent increase. “Costs are always important, trying to keep it affordable so we can keep our community school,” she said.

Gail Ladd

No stranger to public service in Brooksville, Ladd seeks her first elected position.

In a recent telephone interview, Ladd said that as a teacher since 1967, most recently in the Brooksville school, serving on the school board “was something I could do.”

While she sees no current problems at the school, Ladd is concerned about the cost to tax payers on fixed incomes.

Ladd agrees with the recent board decision to halt funding of the after school program for 2012-13 and to cut the program in the coming year. Teachers should be willing to stay if children need assistance, Ladd said, even without a formal program.

Ladd supported the two trips to Alaska and the current Coast to Canyon trip, “but now we need to take a break…and focus less on fundraising and more on giving students the best possible education. I think that the fundraising is draining on the community financially… and draining on everyone.”

A library trustee for six years, Ladd served two as president. She also was a board member of Four Town Nursing (now Hancock County Home Care), a founding and seven-year member of the Bagaduce Chorale and a member of the Brooklin Garden Club. Ladd has lived in Brooksville for 40 years and is married with two children and five grandchildren.