Thursday, August 23, 2007
Steamboat Springs No official candidates have stepped forward as of Wednesday to be candidates for School Board seats in the Steamboat Springs, Hayden and South Routt School Districts.
Three of the five School Board seats in Steamboat are up for grabs in the November election, while two are open in Hayden, and five of seven seats are open in South Routt.
In Steamboat, board members Jeff Troeger, Char Rusk and Jerry Kozatch have said they intend to run for their seats, but none has turned in a completed petition. Troeger is the only board member seeking re-election; Rusk and Kozatch were appointed to their positions.
Kozatch, who was appointed to finish the term vacated when Tom Miller-Freutel resigned in September 2006, said he is running because he wants to be part of developing a more positive atmosphere in the district. He also wants to be involved hiring a superintendent and help the district's four new administrators transition into their jobs.
"We are also at the point where we are actually building things with our three construction projects at the elementary schools and the middle school," he said. "I want to see the projects through. Hopefully, my input will help the process."
Rusk and Kozatch said they want to help the district move forward after several tumultuous months that ultimately led to the buyout of former Superintendent Donna Howell's contract.
"I'm running because I'm interested in moving the direction in a positive direction," said Rusk, who abstained from voting on buying out Howell's contract.
Kozatch, along with the rest of the board, voted to buy out Howell's contract for $270,000 in addition to the $37,500 owed to her in personal and vacation leave.
Kozatch represents District 5, which includes most of Old Town. District 2, represented by Troeger, includes south Steamboat, while Rusk's District 4 includes parts of Old Town and areas west of downtown Steamboat.
Ann Muhme, assistant to the superintendent, said no challengers have filed petitions, but on Monday, Steamboat Springs resident Lisa Brown confirmed her candidacy, although she has yet to turn in her nominating petition. Brown would run for the District 2 seat held by Troeger.
"One of the reasons that I'm running is that I have very young children," said Brown, who has a daughter in kindergarten and a son in third grade. "I have 14 years of education ahead of me in my family, so what happens in the school district impacts my children, as well as many other children in our area."
No candidates have stepped forward to fill board seats in the Hayden School District or the South Routt School District.
South Routt Superintendent Kelly Reed said four potential candidates have picked up petitions as of Wednesday, but no one has officially filed. Reed wouldn't say whether any of the four is a current School Board member up for re-election.
The five open South Routt School Board seats are District 1 (Oak Creek), District 4 (areas northeast of Oak Creak), District 5 (south of Yampa), District 6 (Yampa) and District 7 (Oak Creek).
Hayden School District Finance Director Jnl Linsacum said District B, which is held by School Board Vice President Jody Camilletti, and District D, which is held by Troy Wertenberger, are up for election. Both Camilletti and Wertenberger were first elected in 1999 and were re-elected to four-year terms in 2003.
"Typically, what happens is that people wait until the last minute to file petitions," she said.