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Danedri Thompson
[email protected]
It’s election season, again.
With the fall 2014 election in the books, election officials are turning their attention to the 2015 spring election. Voters will have the opportunity to fill a majority of the seats on the Gardner, Spring Hill, and Edgerton councils and on the USD 231 school board.
Municipal and school board elections will be April 7, with primary elections on March 3, if needed. Already, several candidates have thrown hats into the ring.
“I commend them for taking the opportunity to lead the pack,” Gardner Mayor Chris Morrow said.
Two contenders have filed paperwork to run for Gardner City Council this spring. Steve McNeer and Lee Moore, both of Gardner, recently appeared before the council seeking to replace council member Larry Fotovich on the governing body. Todd Winters was selected, but McNeer and Moore will both appear on the April ballot seeking their own council seats.
There will be three seats up for grabs on April 7. The terms of three appointed council members — Heath Freeman, appointed in 2012; Tory Roberts, appointed in 2013; and Winters, appointed earlier this month — expire in 2015.
Citizens of Edgerton and Spring Hill will also elect three council members this spring. In Edgerton, the seats of council members Jody Brown, Frances Cross and Clay Longanecker will be available. To date, two candidates have filed for the job. They include Keith Buntemeyer and Cliff Withrow.
In Spring Hill, voters will have the opportunity to replace or retain, if they file for re-election, Clint Gillis, Floyd Koder and Tyler Vaughn. No one has yet filed to run in Spring Hill. The filing deadline is Jan. 27, 2015.
That deadline is the same for school board races. There will be seats open on boards of education in the Gardner-Edgerton and the Spring Hill School Districts.
In Gardner, five seats of the seven-member body will be on the ballot. The seats of James Repshire, Mary Herbert, Tresa Boden, Mark Grannell and Mary Nelson will be up for grabs.
Members of the USD 231 school board represent three separate geographic areas of the school district. Two of the seats on the April ballot will be in district one, which primarily encompasses the western half of USD 231. Voters will select one candidate from the northeastern part of the district and one from the southeastern part of USD 231 as well as an at-large board member.
The Spring Hill School Board members are also elected from three geographic areas. USD 230 voters will elect a representative from each of the three and an at-large member during the April 7 election. The current board members in those seats are Brent Hoffman, Nels Anderson, Doug Updike and Chuck Willis.
If enough candidates file for some of the positions in any of the municipal races or the school board races, a primary election is scheduled for March 3. The primary will winnow the field down to no more than three candidates per open position.
In a typical spring election, fewer than 15 percent of registered voters cast ballots. For example, in Gardner, a community with 20,000 people and a little more than 10,000 registered voters, Larry Fotovich secured a seat on the council in 2011 with 447 votes.
In Edgerton, Clay Longanecker secured a seat on the council with 69 votes, and in Spring Hill, Floyd Koder earned a spot on the school board with 167 votes.
The deadline to file for municipal office or school board is Jan. 27, 2015. If needed, the primary election will be March 3. The general will be April 7.
“I think they will find serving on the Gardner city council – any city council – an educational experience,” Morrow said.