The District 2 seat on the Steamboat Springs School Board was filled on an interim basis during Monday’s meeting, but the November election ultimately will decide a permanent member.
Randy Homan, one of two candidates running for the District 2 seat, was appointed by the School Board unopposed. But Joey Andrew, the other candidate, has filed for the position and will be on the ballot come election time.
Andrew said he had filed the same paperwork as Homan to serve as an interim member but voluntarily withdrew after he decided it was “inappropriate,” citing advice from community members on it being a potential unfair bias, he said. Homan interviewed with the School Board, and on Monday night, took the oath to fill the slot.
Steamboat Springs School District Superintendent Brad Meeks said the District 2 seat had to be filled if someone was able and willing.
“The board has to make an appointment, and we have a qualified candidate who came forward,” Meeks said. “So, Joey, he had his own personal beliefs on that, and that’s what he went with. That’s his call, not mine.”
Homan now will serve on the board on an interim basis for the next six weeks, and Andrew said he thinks that may put him at a disadvantage.
“The candidate is now referred to as a board member, rather than a candidate,” Andrew said. “In part, you are battling an incumbent in a way.”
The scramble to fill the District 2 spot is just the latest in a growing list of challenges the School Board has faced in recruiting candidates. Jim Kissane was appointed to a School Board seat in January but had to resign after moving outside of his district.
To make things more complicated, the District 3 seat held by Denise Connelly also will need to be filled because she is term limited after eight years on the board and no one has filed to fill the position.
Meeks said there have been roughly 14 board elections in the past decade and only half have been contested.
At Monday’s meeting, School Board member Robin Crossan voiced her frustration with the district’s struggle to attract candidates for open School Board positions.
“I think it would have made the election much cleaner and much smoother, and I’m very concerned with the lack of support this community has given this school district through volunteering for School Board,” Crossan said.
To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll