Veteran Pasco School Board member Allen Altman won’t seek reelection

Tampa Bay Times | By Jeffrey S. Solochek | March 1, 2022

The Dade City insurance executive was first elected in 2006.

Longtime Pasco County School Board member Allen Altman vividly remembers a conversation he had with his former board colleague, Marge Whaley, as she decided not to seek reelection.

“She said, ‘You know when it’s time,’” Altman, 63, recalled. “I realized over the holidays that it’s time.”

Altman announced Tuesday that he will not run for a fifth four-year term this year. His decision paves the way for east Pasco to have its first new board representative since 2006, when he was first elected.

“It was extremely important to me to make sure if I decided not to run again that there were candidates that care more about students and families than about their own personal agendas and political statements,” he said. “I am confident there will be one or two candidates who will make tremendous board members.”

Currently, the District 1 seat has one pre-filed candidate, Jonathan McKeen-Chaff, a Dade City native who runs a tutoring firm.

Altman said the success of three of his top priorities contributed to his plan.

He had a priority of bringing advanced academic programs to east Pasco. When he first joined the board, there were none beyond Land O’Lakes High on U.S. 41.

Now schools in Dade City boast nationally recognized Cambridge International programs, and new science and math magnets are coming to the area.

Altman also pushed to have a career and technical high school in the region. The Kirkland Academy of Innovation opens in August.

Third, he led the board in insisting that it maintain healthy financial reserves and operated a sound budget.

“I’m proud to say that is the case. We have tremendous bond ratings and have been extremely frugal,” Altman said. All that accomplished, “I think it’s time for somebody else to step in.”

Before seeking the board seat, Altman headed the county’s Penny for Pasco committee when the sales tax initiative first won voter approval. He also chaired the committee that rewrote the county’s comprehensive growth plan.

He expected to continue working in some capacity in the public sector. But he looked forward to scaling back, as he has attempted to do with his insurance business.

“I have had a long opportunity to do community service for my fellow citizens,” he said. “It’s been an honor to serve.”

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