Who am I?

Occupation: Parent, small business owner, community volunteer and children’s advocate, currently serving on the parent advisory committee at Top of the World Elementary (Laguna Beach Unified School District).

My qualifications are: Decorated United States Army Veteran; served proudly overseas. I currently have three boys who attend Top of the World Elementary and have been an active member on various committees within the community. I am a former parent advisory member at El Morro Elementary (LBUSD), and now I serve on the parent advisory committee at Top of the World Elementary. I am very well versed with the districts’ LCAP and funding initiatives.

My focus is creating a nurturing environment where every child has the opportunity to succeed. This requires smaller classes, rich curriculum, diverse electives, and advanced placement, career-technical, and vocational courses. I strongly support the education of anti-bullying for all (differently-abled/special needs, ethnicities, gender, LGBTQ, race, religion) to ensure a safe learning environment. Fiscal responsibility is of the utmost importance to me to ensure the money the school district spends is spent benefiting students first. I have the experience to manage during tough economic times and I support public disclosure of LBUSD expenditures. I am a dedicated, compassionate, detail-oriented leader. Together, we can tackle the quality-of-education, equity, and fiscal challenges, while representing diverse interests. I would be honored by your vote. 

Why am I running?

I want to help.

Our school board is facing several critical decisions that will affect our district for years to come. I want to help by contributing my experience and professional skills to the board. 

Safety is #1 concern.

With all of the unfathomable violent scenes taking place across school campuses in the United States, Laguna Beach Unified needs to be at the forefront of making sure our campuses and students are safe and secure. I firmly believe each campus needs a dedicated Safety Resource Officer. I intend to have the LBUSD school board and city council work together on more of a consistent basis to address ways to improve safety and security measures across all campuses.

Good communication is key.

As a public body, the school board owes a duty to the public to be as open as possible. With these important issues facing our district, good communication from the board is more important than ever. The board should communicate as regularly and openly as it can, so our citizens are well-informed. 

I am passionate about bringing back the Honors grade bump for all LBHS students, in order for our students to get rewarded for the hard work they put into their course work.

We all win with a strong education system.

As a business owner, I know that having a strong education system in our community is critical to local businesses that want to hire well-educated workers in exchange for good wages and benefits. But the whole community wins when our future citizens are given a good education that allows them to comfortably support their families. Let’s all work together, and let’s all win. 

PROP 5 is a Concern if Approved:

Ballot Subtitle: Changes Requirements for Certain Property Owners To Transfer Their Property Tax Base To Replacement Property. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

Ballot Text: Removes certain transfer requirements for homeowners over 55, severely disabled homeowners, and contaminated or disaster-destroyed property.

Fiscal Impact: Schools and local governments each would lose over $100 million in annual property taxes early on, growing to about $1 billion per year. Similar increase in state costs to backfill school property tax losses.

Laguna Beach’s Home Ownership is about 27% of the homes being second homes. 

If Prop 5 is approved this could impact our district’s budget since we are not State funded. I am going to look at many of our expenditures to make sure we prepare for the future if elected.

Mark Nelson

Laguna Beach