Tuesday, August 13, 2002

N.Ky. school board deadline looms

Officials ready for last-minute filings

By Earnest Winston ewinston@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Officials in Northern Kentucky are bracing for a rush of last-minute candidates trying to meet today's 4 p.m. deadline for seats on local public school boards.

        The Kentucky Board of Elections set the deadline for all candidates who want to be on the Nov. 5 ballot. Newcomers and incumbents alike must file nominating petitions with the local county court clerk's office.

  State law requires that a candidate for a school board seat must:
  • Be a citizen of Kentucky for three years before the election and a voter in the district from which he or she wants to be elected;
  • Be at least 24 years of age;
  Hold a 12th grade education or GED;
  Not have a relative employed by the school district. Relative is defined as father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, son-in-law or daughter-in-law.
  • Not have, as of the day of the election, a contractual relationship with the school district for the sale to the district of property, supplies, or materials or services for which school funds are expended; and
  Not be an employee or officer of city or county government.
  Source: Kentucky School Boards Association
        Historically, newcomers file during the last 48 hours before the deadline, said Brad Hughes, spokesman for the Kentucky School Boards Association. There was a slight increase in the number of both incumbents and newcomers who soug ht seats on the school board during the 2000 election, he said.

        Boone County Clerk Marilyn Rouse expects more candidates to file today for

        five open seats on the Boone County and Walton-Verona school boards. By the close of the business day Monday, four people, including two incumbents, had filed for a spot on one of the two boards.

        Historically, Mr. Hughes said, elections in Northe rn Kentucky are less contested because it is such a compact area. There are 18 school districts in Boone, Campbell, Kenton, Gallatin, Grant and Pendleton counties.

        “It would not be surprising to me if there were not many contested races,” said Mr. Hughes, who has been tracking school board elections for the past six years.

        All three incumbents on the Beechwood Board of Education - Mike Dammert, Dr. Mark Gooch and Gary Bockelman - have chosen not to seek re-election.

        Dr. Gooch, a 12-year board member, said it was time to get some new blood on the board. He added: “I hope we helped. I think we've accomplished a lot.”

        Mr. Dammert, who no longer has kids in Beechwood schools, said, “It's time to turn it over to a new group that has children there.”

        He is an eight-year board member, but has been involved with the school system for 12 years.

        Mary Crank, a two-year member of the Newport Board of Education, is trying to secure her first full four-year term on the board. She was appointed to fill an unexpired portion of a term.

        As of Monday afternoon, Mrs. Crank and incumbent Ken Fields were unopposed in their bids to lock up seats on the school board.

        “I just want to be able to contribute,” said Mrs. Crank, a 30-year Newport resident. whose daughter is a sophomore at Newport High.

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