Positions open in Routt County school board races | SteamboatToday.com

Positions open in Routt County school board races

Frances Hohl/For Steamboat Today

Anyone interested in running for school board positions in Steamboat Springs, Hayden and South Routt can now pick up information packets at their school district offices. According to current school board members and directors, there will be at least one open seat in Steamboat, and perhaps two, while Hayden and Soroco will each have three board members likely running for re-election.

"Candidates have to get 50 eligible signatures in order for them to be considered valid petitions. I suggest they don't wait until the last minute," said Deb Ginesta, administrative assistant to Steamboat's superintendent of schools. Hayden and Soroco candidates only require 25 petition signatures.

In the meantime, school board elections in both Hayden and Steamboat will be critical this year, because the school boards will be overseeing how millions of dollars will be spent in both of those districts if special bonds are approved by voters in November.

Soroco is also looking at placing a mill levy override on the ballot.

Steamboat school board member Sam Rush will not be running for re-election due to work obligations but leaves the board with several goals accomplished.

"We now have funding for kindergarten, supported by the community. That was huge," Rush said.

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Rush said working with the Community Committee for Education to get funding issues on the ballot was also a major accomplishment, along with getting a $100,000 grant from the hospital to address mental health issues in all the schools.

Roger Good's at-large seat on the Steamboat board is also up for election, but Good hasn't decided whether to run for re-election.

"I've had the the good fortune of spending six years on the Education Fund Board and four years on the school board," Good said. "Part of me thinks it might be time for somebody else."

However, Good and school board members in Hayden and Soroco school districts might find themselves pressured to stay on as important bond and mill levy issues come up.

Hayden's new superintendent, Christy Sinner, knows how difficult education financing is to understand, as Colorado state laws have inadvertently made funding schools extremely complicated and difficult.

"It takes about three years for a new (school board) member to understand" education issues, Sinner said.

Soroco School Board director Jamie Hoff, who is up for re-election for the Phippsburg/Stagecoach area, agreed there is a learning curve for any new board member.

"I would say it takes a year before you fully understand everything, especially with school financing, and even then, it's difficult. I feel like I finally have a pretty good grasp of it," Hoff said.

In Hayden, Brian Hoza, who has served 16 years on the school board, will likely receive pressure from citizens and school officials to seek re-election.

"I hope they all choose to run again," said Kevin Kleckler, Hayden resident and new spokesman for Thriving Community: Schools with Distinction, a group that is trying to get a bond passed in November in Hayden.

"We have a good balance (on the school board) right now," Kleckler said.

"They're in the middle of a five-year vision program."

In fact, it looks as though Hayden will have the opportunity to receive about $41 million in grant money from the state, but there's a catch. The district must pass a $22 million bond issue.

That's why Hayden school board member Medora Fralick says she wants to run for another term.

"It's a very exciting time. I'd like to see some of these things through to the end," Fralick said.

The bond vote in Hayden might be an easy one for voters when they realize the school needs at least $22 million in improvements, Fralick said. But when you add in the fact that the state is willing to offer Hayden another $41 million that would fund new buildings, they hope the citizens will see the math.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Hayden board president Brian Hoza. "We have a $22 million problem. For the same $22 million, we can get $63 million to build a new K12 facility."

Steamboat Springs School District eligibility — two at-large positions

  • Must have been a registered elector for the school district for at least 12 consecutive months before the election.
  • Nomination petitions must be turned in to the Steamboat Springs School District Office, 325 Seventh Street.
  • Petitions require 50 eligible electors’ signatures.
  • Deadline is 3 p.m. Sept. 1.
  • For more information, contact Deb Ginesta at 970-871-3193 or dginesta@ssk12.org.

Soroco School District eligibility — Districts 1,3 and 6

  • Must have been a registered elector for the school district for at least 12 consecutive months before the election.
  • Nomination petitions must be turned in at 305 S. Grant St., Oak Creek.
  • Petitions require 25 eligible electors’ signatures.
  • Deadline is 4 p.m. Aug. 31.
  • Candidates must live in a designated district. The map lines are available at southroutt.k12.co.us.
  • For more information, contact Lori Lombardi, designated election official, at 970-736-2313 or llombardi@southrouttk12.org

Hayden School District — Three at-large positions

  • Must have been a registered elector for the school district for at least 12 consecutive months before the election.
  • Nomination petitions must be turned in at 495 W. Jefferson Ave, Hayden.
  • Peititions require 25 eligible electors’ signatures.
  • Deadline is Sept. 1.
  • For more information, contact Jnl Linsacum, designated election official, at 970-276-4485 or jlinsacum@haydenschools.org.

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