Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Five candidates file for school board positions

Zone 2 and 4 elections set for May 19


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Five people have declared their candidacies for next month's Blaine County School District Board of Trustees elections.

Running in Zone 2, which includes portions of south Hailey and areas to the south of the city, are Steve Guthrie, James Laski and incumbent Kim Nilsen. Running in Zone 4, which includes west Ketchum and areas north and south of the city, are Paul Bates and incumbent Alexandra Sundali.

Declarations of candidacy were due by last Friday. The elections are set for May 19. Ballots can be cast from noon until 8 p.m. Zone 2 voters can cast ballots at Hailey Elementary School. Zone 4 voters will vote at Hemingway Elementary School in Ketchum.

Guthrie issued a press release Monday in which he describes himself as a longtime Wood River Valley resident who is running "on behalf of our community's children, our teachers and the public." Guthrie is airport security coordinator at Friedman Memorial Airport. He is serving his second term as co-president of the Wood River Middle School PTA.

"If elected, I will welcome genuine public engagement in the process of running our schools," he said.

Laski is a Ketchum attorney in the firm of Lawson and Laski.

"I'm going to emphasize the need for a fair and appropriate allocation of district resources and assets among the schools, programs and students of the district," said Laski, who lives west of Bellevue.

Nilsen, a resident of Hailey, has served on the board of trustees since his appointment to the position in 2002. He was subsequently elected in 2003 and 2006. He has worked in the valley since 1978 and became a permanent resident in 1990.

Zone 4 candidate Bates issued a press release Monday in which he states he is running for school board to "ensure that the community and the teachers are represented in the decision making of the district."

"When the public is included in the policy making of their public schools, the quality of education is enhanced," Bates said "Our public schools are the largest recipients of our local tax dollars. This re-enforces the importance of accountability and public trust in the decision making of the board."

Sundali, who was first elected to the board in 2003, currently serves as school board chairwoman. She has lived in the valley since 1980. Prior to election to the board, Sundali was a guest teacher for the school district. She and her husband, Bill, own and operate a construction business in Ketchum.

Maps of the district's zones can be viewed at www.blaineschools.org.

Zone 2 is described as "south of Croy Creek Road, Fox Acres Road and Quigley Gulch Road, including Woodside subdivision and southwest Hailey, and north of Glendale Road and Muldoon Canyon Road, excluding the city of Bellevue."

Zone 4 is "all of Ketchum west of Highway 75 and north of Deer Creek Road to the Custer County line."

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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