Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sun, April 21

Editorial: Not enough people are stepping up

The saying goes that "if you don't vote, you have no right to complain later."

That theory covers participation in the election process. A different kind of participation also applies: when not enough people run for elected office.

Wednesday was the deadline for people to file for school board positions. Voters will decide on those in the Nov. 4 General Election.

That is, except for those races in which the number of candidates equals the number of positions available for a specific school district. In those cases, County School Superintendent Tim Carter will ask the Board of Supervisors to cancel the district election and appoint the candidates.

This is possible in at least nine local districts: Cañon School District; Chino Valley Unified School District; Hillside School District; Kirkland School District; Williamson Valley School District; Walnut Grove School District; and Yavapai College precinct Nos. 1, 2 and 4.

And, if a school district has fewer candidates than positions available, or if no one files signature petitions, Carter would advertise for letters of interest to fill the positions. He would then appoint new board members after an extensive interview process.

This is possible in at least three local districts: Crown King Unified School District; Skull Valley School District; and Yarnell School District.

At first blush, this definitely saves the districts monetarily; elections are not cheap. However, we often see or report about people not being happy with school board decisions - involving capital/ building campaigns, curriculum, programs, changes, etc.

Being part of the process by speaking during "call to the public" and voting in an election are one thing. Not stepping up to the plate to participate is another.

When districts can't field enough people to make the election system work, giving voters a choice, we're all to blame.

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