No candidates for school board seats ... yet

Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2002

With one full day left to file for local office, the Juneau School Board had no takers for two open seats as of this morning.

School board incumbents Deana Darnall and Carolyn Spalding said last week they won't run for re-election. While no one has filed for the School Board, people have picked up applications, Deputy City Clerk Beth McEwen said.

"Often people wait until the very last day to wait to see who else might have filed," she said. "We would really like to have some applications."

Filing for three Juneau Assembly and two Juneau School board seats opened Aug. 12 and closes at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The local election is Oct. 1 and the open seats have three-year terms.

School Board member Alan Schorr said he wasn't concerned by the lack of candidates today.

"It has varied over the years. Some years, in the last two days, four people will file," he said. "I understand there are people out there thinking about running, having petitions signed. ... I don't see a case where no one is running for two open seats."

Schorr said the number of candidates often depends on the issues before the School Board. If people think things are going relatively well, they are more complacent, he said.

City candidates as of this morning

• Areawide Assembly

Marc Wheeler

Chuck Collins

• District 1 Assembly

Frankie Pillifant

Merrill Sanford

• District 2 Assembly

Dixie Hood

Don Etheridge

Stan Ridgeway

• School Board (two seats)

None

"In my opinion, people are generally satisfied," he said. "I may not be satisfied, but generally people are."

But School Board member Stan Ridgeway, who has filed for the District 2 Assembly seat, said people might not be filing because they are frustrated with the Juneau Assembly. The Assembly's decision to remodel Juneau-Douglas High School over the wishes of some members of a joint school-city project team is one sore spot, he said.

Ridgeway said he has heard that three 18-year-olds are collecting signatures to run for the School Board.

"A couple people have asked me questions about the board, but no one has committed to me that they were going to run," he said.

The Juneau Assembly has scheduled a luncheon with the School Board next month to discuss issues and the panels' relations, according to Mayor Sally Smith.

Ridgeway is running against Assembly incumbent Don Etheridge and therapist Dixie Hood for the District 2 seat on the Assembly. Incumbent Marc Wheeler will run against businessman Chuck Collins for the area-wide seat. And incumbent Frankie Pillifant will run against Juneau Planning Commissioner Merrill Sanford for the District 1 seat.

While Assembly candidates file for a seat based on where they live, Juneau residents can vote in all of the races.

If no one files for School Board, the board will appoint two people to fill the vacancies until the next regular municipal election, McEwen said.

Nominating petitions to run for local office are available at the city clerk's office and online at www.juneau.org/clerk/elections/.

Joanna Markell can be reached at joannam@juneauempire.com.



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