Write-in candidates still considering
After the announcement of the unofficial results from the school board elections on Tuesday, Sept. 10, candidates who received write-in votes still have to decide if they want to accept their positions on the school board or if they decline.
Terry Engelken received the highest number of writein votes, 12, for District 2 in the Washington Community School District (WCSD). He said he didn’t find out about it until he went to work on Wednesday morning.
“I received an e-mail from an employee congratulating me,” Engelken said. “I e-mailed her back and asked what she was congratulating me about and that is when I found out.”
Engelken said he is really surprised and humbled from being written-in as a candidate but has to think about it.
WCSD superintendent Dr. Mike Jorgensen related this message from Engelken to the board at their meeting Wednesday night. He said Engelken told him he would let the board know in a couple of weeks.
If Engelken doesn’t accept the position, then the board would appoint someone to that position, said WCSD’s business manager Jeffrey Dieleman.
In the Keota Community School District all of the candidates were written-in votes. Superintendent of the Keota and Mid-Prairie School District Mark Schneider said all of the candidates, Billie Kindred, Pat Hammen, and Naomi Gretter, were at the regular school board meeting as public attendees on Thursday, Sept. 12.
He said this was a good sign that the candidates who were written-in want to be on the school board. He personally reached out to the elected candidates to congratulate them and asked if they would accept their positions. None of them declined, he said.
“I think they will be good for the school board because they all have children who attend school in our district,” Schneider said. “I look forward to working with them.”
If for some reason one of them chooses not to be on the school board, then that seat will become vacant.
“After our organizational meeting with the new school board we would appoint someone to that seat,” Schneider said. “In most school districts it goes to the person with the second highest votes but I’m not sure what we’ll do yet.”
Two public measures were also passed on Tuesday evening for the Keota Community School District, Schneider said. Public Measure A was to go from having districts for the school board to all at-large positions. According to the Keokuk County Courthouse’s tally, 106 people voted for it.
“When this came up, we [the school board members and himself] looked at other school districts, including Mid-Prairie, and how it worked,” Schneider said. “Then it was decided to have it on the ballot as a public measure.”
Public Measure B passed with 146 votes according to the tally from the Keokuk County Courthouse. This was the re-authorization of the sales tax for the Keota Community School District, Schneider said.
“It was due to end in June 2014, so we had it on the ballot for continuance,” Schneider said.
Pat Hammen, Naomi Gretter, and Billie Kindred could not be reached for comment.