School Board election nearing

Candidates can circulate petitions

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— Candidates for three spots on the Steamboat Springs Board of Education can begin collecting signatures needed for their nomination petitions.

Wednesday marked the 90-day point until this year's election, which will take place Nov. 4. State law prohibits candidates from circulating petitions more than 90 days before the election.

Those interested in becoming candidates must collect 50 valid signatures from voters who live within school district boundaries and submit those petitions to assistant to the superintendent, Anne Muhme, by Aug. 29.

Three School Board seats -- those held by Paul Fisher, Tom Sharp and Pat Gleason -- are up for election this fall. Fisher, who has served as the board's president for two years, and Sharp said they would not seek re-election.

Gleason said Wednesday he has not decided whether he will run. He expects to make a decision by Monday.

"There are some people who will run if I don't, so I should probably let them know soon," Gleason said.

At least one new candidate announced his intentions Wednesday.

Jeff Troeger, a Colorado Mountain College professor of computer education and father of two Steamboat Springs School District students, said he will seek a spot on the School Board. Troeger said he lives in Director District 2, which Fisher represents.

"I'm starting to circulate the petition," Troeger said.

Citizens for Education, a political action committee formed in May to identify and financially support School Board candidates, plans to announce this week the names of three candidates -- one for each open director district seat -- it will back in the election, treasurer Scott Crouch said.

The committee has yet to raise money because it wants to see if any challengers to its candidates will surface, Crouch said. The committee has received pledges for campaign funds.

"Hopefully, there will be a contested election," Crouch said. "It's good to get the issues out there; else it will be just like other recent elections."

The School Board hasn't had a contested election since 1997, when incumbent Dan Birch defeated Tom Reuter.

Many expected a contested election this fall after the formation of the political action committee, but that possibility has been put somewhat into question since Fisher and Sharp announced they would not run again.

Interested candidates can obtain nomination petitions from the school district's central office at 325 Seventh St. Potential candidates should obtain more than the 50 required signatures because names are often invalidated when verified.

To be eligible, a candidate must be a registered voter and a resident of the school district for at least 12 consecutive months before the election, according to the Colorado Association of School Boards. In Steamboat, the candidate must reside in the particular director district he or she wishes to represent. A director district map is available for viewing in the district's central office.

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