USD 398 will need to have at least three people file to fill upcoming vacancies on the Board of Education. Shayla Clark, Julia Ensminger, and Barry Peter all are serving terms that will expire July 1, 2013. New board members will serve a four-year term.
All three positions will be filled by at-large candidates. The district no longer elects candidates who live in and represent specific areas in the district. Clark and Peter said Monday they plan to run for re-election. Ensminger was on the fence.
The candidates must all live in the district and be registered voters. Each must be 21 years old and must file by noon Tuesday. Filing may be done at the district central office.
While Superintendent Ron Traxon said he did not have a list of qualifications that are a must for candidates, he did offer some suggestions about what makes a good board of education member.
“Probably the first thing is not having a specific ax to grind,” he said. “Candidates who are single-minded and only interested in ‘taking care of’ one class, program, or one teacher will not bring much to the education of our children.
“We hope the candidates sincerely care about the best possible education, are open-minded to all possibilities in any situation, and are able to compromise with fellow board members.”
He also noted that listening is an important characteristic for board members.
The City of Peabody will elect a mayor and two city council members this spring. Council seats occupied by Tom Schmidt and Janice Woodruff will open as their terms come to a close in April. City council members serve four-year terms and are elected at-large rather than by wards or districts.
Mayor Larry Larsen’s seat also will be open. That position is a two-year term and is an at-large position.
Larsen also encouraged people who are open-minded, willing to listen, and compromise to run for the city vacancies.
“And there certainly is a time commitment when people are looking at running for office,” he said. “That is something people need to consider.”
Larsen and Traxon said the budget will be a big issue for both the city and the school district this year.
Paperwork that needs to be filled out to run for school board may be picked up at the central office during regular working hours, but must be returned to the Marion County Clerk by noon Tuesday.
Paperwork for the mayoral or city council positions must be picked up from and returned to the Marion County Clerk. The deadline to return it is the same as for the school board position — noon Tuesday.
For more information about running for mayor or city council, contact the city office at (620) 983-2174. For more information about running for school board, contact the central office at (620) 983-2198.