Ousnamer brings ‘a wealth of knowledge’ to school board race | News | Lee's Summit Journal

Ousnamer brings ‘a wealth of knowledge’ to school board race | News | Lee's Summit Journal



Away from the field, Ousnamer runs IES while also lending his skills and expertise as a heavily-sought after consultant. He plans to use his background as an engineer, business owner and turn-around specialist as a drawing card in his run for school board.
“My background is in industrial engineering,” Ousnamer said. “I’m also a licensed professional engineer, so I’ve always been involved in my kids’ school. It’s one of those things that I look at some of the things that are going on in the school (district) and I go, ‘you know I could bring a lot to the school (district).
“As a consultant – I’ve had my own engineering firm for 24 years so that’s not going to be something where I can go in and they can afford to hire me. But for free; if I donate time and I put back to the community, at this point in my career it seems like the right thing to do. At some point there’s got to be something giving back to the community.”
A recent state audit conducted in the district caught Ousnamer’s attention. The district received a ‘good’ rating but several red flags were raised in the audit. Those flags, minor in some eyes, caused major concerns for the self-admitted financial geek.
“I have a tremendous amount of experience in capital projects; running large corporations,” Ousnamer said. “In the last 10, 15 years I’ve been focused on you either go into a department within an organization that is not performing up to the rest of the corporate standards or if you’ve got a corporation – and there have been several that I’ve worked with on the verge of bankruptcy – where the bank said, ‘we’re going to pull the note and we’re going to shut you down.’
“I’ve done that enough … It’s fun, but at this point it’s about giving back to the school board.”
The school board run is Ousnamer’s first attempt at an elected position. He hopes his professional experience isn’t overshadowed by his penchant for goofing off and wise-cracking about his status as a “Mr. Do Everything” for the Best Midwest club.
“I keep hearing so much about state funding being in limbo and that the local funding is dropping because of the economy,” Ousnamer said. “Houses are being reevaluated and dropped down and that affects your tax revenue. Well, that’s not any different than what private industry is saying: ‘It’s shrinking and we don’t have as much money.’ How do we intelligently conserve our funds and still provide a quality product?
“In this case, with the school district, it’s our kids’ education. That’s a little more important and I have the expertise to do that. I honestly believe I can bring a lot to the table.”

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