It appears the seven-member Montezuma-Cortez Re-1 school board will have two open seats this fall.
According to district election supervisor Linda Diffendaffer, candidates filed petitions to run for only two of the four available posts in the Nov. 3 election. Only District C, which roughly spans from County Road 21 east to Mesa Verde National Park and south of U.S. 160, is contested.
In District C, Joseph Miller will challenge incumbent Sherri Wright to a four-year term on the board.
In District E, which jaggedly spans from County Road 24 east to County Road 33 and north of U.S. 160, incumbent Pete Montano will be unchallenged for a four-year term.
No candidates applied to replace term-limited board president Tim Lanier in District G, which spans west from U.S. 491 and roughly north of County Road G, or retiring board member Brian Demby in District F, which spans east of U.S. 491 to roughly County Road 24.
In District A, which roughly includes the area south of U.S. 160 within city limits, Mike Tanner will be appointed by the board on Sept. 8 to fill a vacancy left by Diane Fox after she resigned in April. Tanner will serve until 2017.
Diffendaffer said the new board, once elected, would appoint people to serve two-year terms for the vacant seats in Districts G and F.
The deadline to file was Friday, Aug. 28. Qualifications include being a registered voter and resident of the district to be represented. A petition with 50 signatures was also required.
Guidelines prohibit anyone from serving on the school board who has been convicted of committing a sexual offense against a child. No background checks were performed, Diffendaffer said.
Jack Schuenemeyer represents District B, which roughly covers the area north of U.S. 160 within city limits, and Eric Whyte represents District D, which roughly spans south of County Road G to the eastern and southern borders of Mesa Verde National Park.
The Cortez Journal has sent a questionnaire to the candidates, asking them to comment on a number of issues, including their thoughts on holding closed-door meetings and increasing property taxes to better fund public education. We plan to publish their responses in an upcoming edition of the Cortez Journal.