Deadline passes for school board elections

MANISTEE — The deadline for filing paperwork to gain a seat on area board of educations passed Tuesday.

School boards across Manistee County will be electing candidates to their respective board of educations at the Nov. 8 General Election. Tuesday was the deadline for filing for those seats.

School boards across Manistee County will be electing candidates to their respective board of educations at the Nov. 8 General Election. Tuesday was the deadline for filing for those seats.

It appears there will be races in two of the four Manistee County school districts in the Nov. 8 general election.

Manistee County Chief Deputy Clerk Lindsey Marquardt said that might change with the opportunity to add write-in candidates, but those who file for that status will not have their name appear on the November ballot.

“Candidates still have until 4 p.m. on Oct. 28 to file for write-in status in any of the districts,” said Marquardt. “They would have to file a declaration of intent form in order for them to be a valid write-in candidate.”

Marquardt said that the candidates who met Tuesday’s deadline still have the opportunity to withdraw their name from the ballot.

“The withdrawal deadline is by 4 p.m. on July 29,” she said.

Manistee Area Public Schools District is the largest district in the county. It will have some races including a few former board members who are seeking to win another term on the board.

Two four-year terms will be up for grabs among three candidates. Incumbent Tom Williams has served since 2007 is seeking another term on the board and will be competing for those two open seats with former board member Dale Sparks and newcomer Daniela Thomas.

Sparks served for several years on the board and resigned in 2011 when he accepted a position working in the district’s transportation department.

Incumbent Kris Thompson is not seeking another term for her seat that is expiring on Dec. 31.

The MAPS board also has two six-year terms that are expiring with three candidates seeking those positions. All three have MAPS board of education experience as incumbents Shelley Johnson (first elected in 2008) and Jim Thompson (first elected in 2012) are both looking to win another term.

Also seeking one of those positions is former board member Nick Jaskiw. He was appointed to the board in 2014, but lost his bid to retain the seat in the November election of that year.

Voters of the Onekama Consolidated School districts will be viewing a sparse number of candidates on their ballots in November. Four four-year terms are expiring this year, but only three candidates have filed their paperwork for those openings.

Current board of education president Sally Koon and newcomers Steven Brooks and Samuel Cantanese will have their names on the ballot. In the last school election two years ago, current Onekama board member Mike Acton won a write-in candidacy and that could happen with another candidate this year.

“If Onekama does not get anyone who files for write-in status it would be up to Onekama board to fill that position,” said Marquardt.

Board members Mickey Story, Ed Helmlinger and Lynn Mathieu all chose not run for another term. They will all remain on the board until their term expires on Dec. 31.

The Bear Lake Board of Education has two terms expiring and the two incumbents who presently hold those terms are looking to serve for six more years.

Shad Buckner and Rebecca Fink have both filed the paperwork to retain their seats on the board. Fink has been on the board since 2012 and Buckner began in 2015.

Kaleva Norman Dickson School District will see at least one new face on its board after Rebecca Biller decided not to run for another term. However, they do have four candidates for the three four-year terms that will be expiring at the end of the year.

Those candidates include incumbent Dan Holtz who is the longest tenured board member in the county with 25 years of experience with his service beginning in 1991. The second incumbent running for another term is Heather Stapley, who has served since 2008. Also challenging for those seats are newcomers William Edmondson and Ashley Gutowski.

West Shore Community College has four openings, and filing for those openings are incumbents Richard Wilson, Bruce Smith, James Barker and newcomer Sherry Wyman. Incumbent Steve Urka is not seeking another term.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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