Archive for Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Qualified candidates needed for boards

December 18, 2002

In just a few weeks, the deadline to file for school board and city council seats will roll around.

And Tonganoxie needs some good women and some good men to step forward to run for these important posts in our community.

As our city and our schools continue to grow and progress, it is important that board and council members take a forward-looking view.

Mayor John Franiuk says he's contemplating a second term, but he's not certain he will seek re-election. The mayor's job is a great deal of work, and any mayoral and city council candidates must have the best interest of Tonganoxie at heart. One-issue candidates might as well not file for election. Handling the city's business as mayor or a council member means handling all of the city's business.

Two council members whose seats are up for election -- Pat Albert and Cami Zimmerman -- have said they won't run. So city residents will have at least two new representatives on the council.

The Tonganoxie school district is considering some heavy-duty issues, including whether to undertake a major building project and bond issue election. So school board members will be deciding some important money-related issues, as well as ones centering more on academics and personnel. And they're working under uncertain conditions, given the state's financial crunch.

Two board members -- Terry Needham and Ron Moore -- have indicated they won't file for re-election. And two others -- Dr. Richard Dean and the Rev. Rick Lamb -- say they're not certain whether to run again. The fifth school board member whose term expires, Leavenworth school teacher Kay Smith, said she will run for her seat. Smith was appointed this fall to fill a vacancy created when Phil Weide resigned, so she's a board neophyte.

It appears that both the school board and city council will seat new members after the April election. And it's important those new members are qualified and centered on the best interest of our schools and city.

The deadline for filing for school board and city council is noon Jan. 21. If you're interested, talk with some current members of the council and school board about what's required. If you have a neighbor or a co-worker who you think would be qualified and interested in working on these boards, talk with them about running.

The city of Tonganoxie and the local school district deserve the best people possible in these key, volunteer positions.

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