Only one candidate filed so far for elections; deadline July 24

MANISTEE —  The clock is ticking for people looking to file for one of the many school board seats in Manistee County or the two trustee positions on West Shore

The deadline for filing petitions to run for one of the expiring Manistee County board of education seats or West Shore Community College Board of Trustee for the Nov. 6 election is 4 p.m. on July 24. As of Friday morning only one candidate has filed with the county clerk's office in the entire county.

The deadline for filing petitions to run for one of the expiring Manistee County board of education seats or West Shore Community College Board of Trustee for the Nov. 6 election is 4 p.m. on July 24. As of Friday morning only one candidate has filed with the county clerk’s office in the entire county.

Community College board that will be decided in the Nov. 6 election.

Manistee County clerk Jill Nowak reminded prospective candidates that information on filing for those seats is now available at her office in the Manistee County Courthouse building. She added that the number of candidates is quite low considering the short time remaining to get that information into the clerk’s office.

All persons wanting their name on the ballot on Nov. 6 need to fill out that paperwork before 4 p.m. on July 24 and return it to the clerk’s office.

“As of Friday morning I have received paperwork from only one candidate from the Kaleva Norman Dickson School District,” said Nowak. “No one else has filed in any of the other districts and time is growing short if they want to get their name on the ballot in November. Hopefully, some will be coming in soon because we have to check the signatures to make sure everyone who signs a petition resides in that district.”

Political affiliation is a non-issue in school board and college trustee positions are non-partisan and do not have any political party affiliation. All candidates must be 18 years of age; a citizen of the United States; a resident of Michigan for 30 days; and resident of the school district on or before the date of the election. Property ownership is not a requirement for candidacy for any of those positions.

Nowak said anyone wanting to become a candidate has one of two easy options available to file.

“People have the choice of filing a nominating petition containing signatures of registered voters in the school district from where they are running for a seat or they file a $100 nonrefundable fee in lieu of petitions,” said Nowak.

However, the clerk did point out that the number of signatures needed on those petitions goes by the population sizes in that district.

“Manistee Area Public Schools is different from the other three because the population in the district is more than 10,000 people, so candidates need a minimum of 40 signatures and a maximum of 100 signatures,” said Nowak. “For the other three (Onekama Consolidated, Bear Lake Schools and Kaleva Norman Dickson) who have a population of 9,999, or less candidates need a minimum of six signatures and a maximum of 20 signatures.”

Nowak said that it is also necessary for all the candidates to file an affidavit of identity to get their name on the ballot.

“The affidavit of identity gives us the candidate’s name, address, how they want their name on the ballot, how many years they have been a resident, what term they are running for and what school district,” she said. “It gives us all the information that we can verify they are a resident in that school district.”

Candidates also have to file a statement of organization (campaign finance). A candidate who seeks a school board position in a district with a pupil membership of 2,400 or less and received or spends $1,000 or less for the election is not required to file a statement of organization.

Those elected in November will not take office until Jan. 1 for all school board positions.

The Manistee Area Public Schools has three seats expiring as they move into the last phase of transition to the six-year terms. Seats that are presently held by Dr. Paul Antal, Paul Wehrmeister and Richard Edmondson will be expiring and are on the ballot.

In the Kaleva Norman Dickson School District voters will be looking to fill four four-year terms in the November 6 election. Seats presently held by Kathleen Fairbanks, Robert Guenther, Karen McIntyre and Jessica Ward are all expiring.

Since Ward was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Jeannette Somsel on Jan. 22, she now must run for election if she wants to retain the seat.

At the Onekama Consolidated Schools, four-year term seats presently held by Heidi Wisniski, Nick Dye, Daniel Behring and Karl Domres will all be on the ballot. The district is the only one in the county that has not had enough candidates file for the openings in the past two elections and no one has filed yet.

Two seats on the Bear Lake Schools Board of Education presently held by Eric Smith and Greg Babinec are expiring this year. They are six-year terms that will be decided by the voters.

Nowak said there also will be seats from the West Shore Community College Board of Trustees that will be expiring this year.

This year the six-year term seats presently held Mike Ennis and James Barker, who both reside in Manistee County, are expiring. Ennis has announced that he will not be seeking another term, meaning the WSCC board will be getting at least one new board member.

 

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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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