Thomas William Coniam
I have lived in Arizona since I was 8 months old. I am a product of Arizona’s public school system. I attended school in two districts (Peoria and Deer Valley) and earned my Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. I have always had a strong sense of civic duty and a desire to serve my community and nation. I initially went to Arizona State University to become a high school social studies teacher. As I studied American government and history, my patriotism swelled and I felt a strong desire to serve my country; so I joined the United States Marine Corps. I served in the United States Marine Corps for a total of 8 years and I received an honorable discharge as a Sergeant in 2012, but I continue to serve our community in various ways today.
I am a devoted husband and father of two children. We have made our home in Surprise and the Dysart school district for the past 13 years. Both of our children attend Dysart schools, with one child in middle school and the other in elementary school. I am personally invested in Dysart for the long term.
While working full-time and advancing my career, I have served the Dysart Unified School District and schools in various ways including the Student Handbook Revision Committee, Superintendent's Parent Council, PTSOs, PTAs, and RGES Site Council.
I serve on the City of Surprise Board of Trustees. I am currently the Vice-Chair and I am serving my third term, as I was re-appointed with a unanimous vote by the Surprise City Council in June of 2022. The purpose of the Board of Trustees is to oversee the City's self-insured medical program and to make recommendations to the City Council regarding trust fund programs, including reserve levels to assure stability and security of the trust fund. I am happy to say that, thanks to fiscal conservatism, we were able to amass a pretty sizable reserve to ensure we are able to meet unexpected costs that might be incurred. Part of fiscal conservatism means also knowing when you don't need to keep taking in so much revenue. So, in 2019, we voted for some pretty major changes. We began taking $1 million less from the City of Surprise general fund - therefore allowing an extra million dollars every year for the City to use for other needs. Another change we made was expanding options. Since 2012, employees only had one option for their health insurance: a PPO plan. There was demand for the HMO plan to be opened for enrollment again and beginning in 2019 we actually began providing 3 options: a PPO, HMO, and EPO; providing more options to help employees meet the health insurance needs for their families.
My other volunteer work with the City of Surprise includes serving on the Bullard Avenue Task Force (formed to find a solution to replace the golf cart lanes) and as a Surprise Parks & Recreation volunteer coach for numerous soccer and kickball teams.
I have developed a reputation in the community for my willingness to objectively analyze situations and make educated decisions. I try not to rush to judgment without proper evaluation and I am not afraid to admit I was wrong should I be presented with a cogent case backed by evidence. I strive to look at things critically, focusing on facts and not opinions, in order to make evidence-based decisions. While I consider myself a fiscal conservative, my decisions are guided by the well-being of the community.
I am moderate, non-partisan, and independent. I am not interested in pushing any sort of agenda for any political party or movement. I do not believe that sort of partisan politics belongs in our classrooms or board room. The only agenda I’m interested in is what will result in the best educational outcome for the children. The purpose of public schools is, first and foremost, to educate our youth. If elected, I will bring a fresh perspective to the board and examine the issues rationally and critically. I will do my best to make decisions that are in the best interest of our children and community while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
This is not the first time I have promised to serve and you can count on me to meet the needs of our district, taxpayers, and most importantly, our children. I humbly ask for your vote for the Dysart Governing Board.