Be sure to vote: Area schools counting on your ballots for improvements and guidance

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 5:16 PM
Jim Mimiaga/Cortez Journal

Reiterating the Journal editorial board recommendations for the 2017 Coordinated Election:

Montezuma-Cortez RE-1 – The school district is seeking a mill levy override of 4.96 mills for funds to upgrade three key components of their operations: teacher salaries, technology and the district’s aging bus fleet. All are needed.

Critics argue that student test scores do not warrant the increase in teacher salaries, but we disagree. They are related. The schools need competitive salaries to attract the best teachers, and scores are improving. The override will enable them to continue the trend. Vote yes on Ballot Issue 3B.

For the school board, we recommend Brian Balfour in District A and Sheri Noyes in District F.

Board president John Schuenemeyer, director Kara Suckla and director Josiah Forkner are running unopposed, but all three deserve your vote of approval as the district’s focus on meeting and exceeding state requirements is paying dividends.

HHHMancos RE-6 – Mancos voters should vote yes on Ballot Issue 3A. The district has an opportunity to take advantage of a state Building Excellent Schools Today grant, making the time right to make some overdue improvements to existing buildings and take on new construction as well.

A few vocal opponents have chided the district for the “open-ended” nature and vague wording of the request. Their concerns should be addressed by the board, but not at the expense of missing out on BEST grant funding.

For the open board seats in the district, vote for Brian Hawkins and Blake Mitchell.

HHHDolores RE-4A – Seven candidates are running for two open seats on the school board in Dolores, which shows how engaged the community is in its schools. They are Sandra Corbitt, Rebecca Frazier (incumbent), Lisa Holz, Casey McClellan, Kay Phelps, Eugene Reininger and Gerald Whited.

The editorial board endorses Phelps and Reininger, as they bring the strongest combination of experience, accomplishment and new ideas to the mix.

In addition to their regular weekday hours, the Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, which has a 24-hour ballot drop box, will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4. On Election Day they will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Turnout for local elections in Southwest Colorado is expected to be low, and that’s a shame. School districts and board directors across the region deserve more than our thanks; they deserve our thoughtful attention on election day.