Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs School Board member Jeff Troeger said he would not seek re-election in November, citing time constraints.
Troeger announced the decision in a brief e-mail Tuesday. On Thursday, Troeger emphasized the strain that volunteering on the School Board has placed on his family.
"I've been torn on this for quite a while," said Troeger, a professor at Colorado Mountain College for more than 20 years. He won his School Board seat in 2003.
"It's just the amount of time. I want my life back. For the last six months, there have been times I've been spending four or five hours a day, five or six days a week on this," he said. "It robs time from family, work and our plain life. After a while, it got to be too much."
The School Board's senior member, Troeger was a vocal critic against the four-year contract given to former superintendent Donna Howell in 2005. He voted in August to buy out her contract for $270,000.
His withdrawal from a re-election bid means Lisa Brown, whose candidacy petition was certified Monday night, is now running unopposed for the District 2 seat.
Troeger said new candidates for the School Board might campaign on a similar platform.
"What bothers me right now is that there is a strong whiff of S.O.S. (Save Our Schools RE-2) in declared candidates right now," he said, referring to the group that attempted to put a recall of School Board member John DeVincentis on November's ballot.
The group fell 154 signatures short of the 1,933 valid signatures needed for a recall vote.
Steamboat resident Laura Anderson, who will run against School Board member Jerry Kozatch for the District 5 seat, said she did not sign the recall petition. Brown and Education Fund Board President Robin Crossan could not be reached for comment Thursday. Crossan will run against School Board member Char Rusk for the District 4 seat.
Anne Muhme, the district's assistant to the superintendent, said Rusk's and Kozatch's candidacy petitions have been verified.
Muhme said additional candidates may emerge by today's 4 p.m. deadline.
"Two people have come and picked up petitions who have not yet turned them in, and one person picked one up for a friend," she said.
Troeger told his fellow School Board members Monday that he was contemplating dropping out of the race. He said the thought of another four years on the board convinced him that retaining his seat would be too much to handle.
"When you get into it, you see there is so much behind the scenes the public isn't aware of," he said. "You become a politician. I don't want to be a politician. I want to be an educator."
Troeger said he hopes to spend more time volunteering in classrooms.
"Running an organization with the superintendent, you are pretty far removed from what happens in the day-to-day classroom," Troeger said. "You find yourself drawn to the board because you love education, but you are forced to take a couple steps back from it."
School Board President Denise Connelly, who has served on the board since November 2005, said Troeger will be missed.
"He brought a lot of expertise and thoughtfulness to the board," she said. "He's been through some tough years (on the board), that's for sure. But we really appreciate his respectfulness, and he always treated people with kindness. He was always open to people's ideas."
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