Danedri Thompson
It’s election season, again.
Registered voters should begin receiving ballots for the USD 231 Local Option Budget (LOB) election shortly after New Year’s Day. Ballots will be mailed from the county election office beginning Jan. 7.
The ballot will ask voters to give future USD 231 school boards power to the ceiling on the local tax rate for Gardner Edgerton schools. The authorization would be permanent. School officials have said the goal would be to lower other tax revenue streams to offset potential increases in the LOB. That plan would assure a flat tax rate, but revenues raised by LOB can be used more flexibly. Officials say they would direct additional funding to classrooms via teacher pay increases and classroom materials.
Completed ballots must be to the election office by Jan. 27 in order to be counted, but election season won’t be over then. Municipal and school board elections will be April 7, with primary elections on March 3, if needed.
Already, several candidates have thrown their hats into the ring.
Citizens of Edgerton, Gardner and Spring Hill will 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.
The seats of three appointed council members in Gardner – Heath Freeman, appointed in 2012; Tory Roberts, appointed in 2013; and Todd Winters, appointed in 2014 – will be up for grabs in 2015. To date, three people have thrown their hats into the ring. They include Randy Gregorcyk, Steve McNeer and Lee Moore.
In Spring Hill, Floyd Koder, a current council member, has filed for re-election. In addition to Koder’s seat, the seats of Clint Gillis and Tyler Vaughn will also be on the ballot next year. The filing deadline is Jan. 27.
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. Two candidates have filed to run for the board. Boden, who was appointed to the board, has filed for one seat, and Shaun Henderson has filed to run as an at-large representative to the board.
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. To date, update is the sole candidate to file for election to the board.
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.