Originally Published: July 18, 2010 10 p.m.
As the filing deadline for school district governing board members nears, the members of the Mountain Institute Joint Technical Education District are preparing for uncontested races.
When voters in seven public school districts approved the formation of Mountain Institute Joint Technical Education District two years ago, state law and the new district plan called for county School Superintendent Tim Carter to appoint the district's first governing board.
Carter received recommendation from each of the member school district governing boards, and appointed a member from the Ash Fork, Bagdad, Chino Valley, Humboldt, Mayer, Prescott and Seligman school districts. Each member would serve until the Nov. 2, 2010, General Election.
At that time, the percentage of votes received by each district candidate would determine the initial term rotation. The four districts receiving the highest percentage of votes would receive four-year terms, and the next three districts would receive an initial two-year term. At the next general election (2012) those two-year terms would become four-year terms. After that, a four-year term rotation would be in effect for the governing board.
Carter told the board members Wednesday evening that the law and the district plan did not "anticipate that the current board members would be running unopposed."
Currently, no one has taken out a nomination packet to run against any of the Governing Board members. Anyone interested in running for the board has until Aug. 4 to submit his or her nomination signatures.
Typically, Carter would cancel an election when the number of candidates equals the number of seats available. This saves the district the cost of an election.
However, since the election would have established the board term rotation, Carter can not cancel the election without another method of determining which districts would have an initial two-year term and which would have a four-year term.
After conferring with the Yavapai County Attorney's office, Carter gave the board two options - to decide among themselves which districts would take a two-year or four-year term, or to draw lots.
"This is assuming no one else pulls a packet. If that happens, the original (plan) remains in effect," Carter said.
With little discussion, the Governing Board members quickly decided which school districts would take an initial two-year term and which would serve a four-year term.
Board members Roger Harlow from Chino Valley, Jesse Eller from Prescott and Ronnie Hawley of Seligman chose two-year terms for their districts. Board members Heidi Baker from Ash Fork, Tony Carroll from Bagdad, Thomas Liuzzo from Humboldt and Casey Samsill from Mayer selected four-year terms.
Carter reminded the board members they must file their nominating petitions even if he cancels the election after the filing deadline. The petitions, he said, signifies that they are valid candidates.
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