Vance Fulton keeps Hayden District B seat

Incumbent tops challenger Laurie Hallenbeck for School Board

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Election 2009

Visit www.steamboatpilot.com/election2009 for complete coverage of this year's races and issues.

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Vance Fulton

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Laurie Hallenbeck

— Hayden School Board member Vance Fulton will retain his seat and get his first full term as a board member. Fulton received 341 votes to opponent Laurie Hallenbeck's 206 in the District B School Board race.

Fulton, an engineering technician with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service office in Steamboat Springs, was first appointed to the School Board in 2007. He said his first two years included a steep learning curve that has prepared him for the next four years.

"It's going to be challenging," he said. "There are a lot of issues out there, especially with the budget. We'll see what the future holds. (The School Board will) probably have to make some tough decisions that aren't popular. We always have to keep the best interest of kids and faculty in mind and try to be fair."

Fulton and his wife, Sue, have a 17-year-old son, Ben, who is a senior at Hayden High School.

Hallenbeck, who has never held public office, said she was OK with not winning. But she'll remain a fixture at School Board meetings - something she's done for years.

"I have to voice my opinion," she said. "If someone doesn't do it, things won't happen in the school district."

Hallenbeck works at Mountain Valley Bank and part time at Wolf Mountain Pizza. She's lived in Hayden for 24 years. Hallenbeck and her husband, Dennis, have a son, Richard, a fourth-grader at Hayden Valley Elementary School. Their daughter, Emily, graduated from Soroco High School in 2007. Hallenbeck said she probably would run again for the School Board in four years.

Fulton said declining revenues were the "single biggest concern" facing the school district. He said the district's declining enrollment - there are 27 fewer students than last year - is having a direct impact on those budget issues. He said it will be important for School Board members to work together to come up with creative solutions to provide existing levels of service in the face of declining revenues.

Leading up to the election, the candidates - each a longtime Hayden resident - couldn't remember when there was as much interest in the School Board. They all cited tight district finances as the reason for two contested races. Tim Frentress beat challenger Darren Zehner for the District A seat.

Board President Brian Hoza, who represents District E, and board member Kurt Frentress, of District C, ran unopposed. Hoza, who received 450 votes, was elected to his third four-year term on the board. Frentress, who has been a board member since 1995, received 461 votes.

- To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203 or e-mail jweinstein@steamboatpilot.com

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